June 13, 2024


sights and trips

Hottest hotels and renos in the Magic City

The pandemic didn’t stop Miami. The Magic City used the down time to build, renovate and debut its hottest hotels. Check them out below.

915 Washington Ave.

It’s always spring break at the Moxy, Marriott’s youthful, frisky brand. Here in South Beach, however, the company welcomes its first resort — complete with six dining/drinking venues, two pools and an outdoor fitness center — just two blocks from the Atlantic on a stretch of the Art Deco Cultural District that’s in the midst of a mini-Renaissance.

Check into one of the 202 Rockwell Group-designed guest rooms, inspired by the overnight ferry that whisked social types from Miami to Havana in the 1940s and ’50s.

But don’t linger for long.

The all-day taco stand, the Mexican-influenced raw bar and the sexy mezcal lounge await. Sweat out all that food and drink with free poolside workouts or by shaking your money maker to the sounds renowned DJs at Serena Restaurant & Bar.

The dress code is always swimwear — and if yours doesn’t cut it, just call downstairs and ask for a “Bikini On Demand,” and within an hour you’ll have a selection at your fingertips (plus a $20 discount).

Rooms from $159

1677 Collins Ave.

An aerial of the pool at the National Hotel in Miami Beach.
The National has a 200-foot-long pool — ’nuff said.
National Hotel Miami Beach

For anyone who wondered why the heck kids loved splashing around the sexy 205-foot-long pool of the National Hotel in years past — come on in, the water’s fine.

The Roy France-designed tower emerged in January from yet another makeover, this one adhering strictly to the period in which the hotel was originally built.

Along with denying entry to anyone too young to vote, the beloved Art Deco gem refreshed the four suites and 32 poolside rooms. Think animal prints, terrazzo floors and lots of wood, skins and leather. (The suites are actually pretty psychedelic, for a different sort of Miami experience.)

Another shot of the pool with the palms that line it.
It’s as if the palm trees lining the pool want to dive in themselves.
National Hotel Miami Beach

Picture yourself sipping a tiki cocktail at the Pool Bar as the sun sets, then indulging at the main 1939 restaurant.

As you stumble back to your poolside room or up to one of the other 116 in the tower, you’re guaranteed not to trip over a toddler.

Rooms from $245

601 Washington Ave.

A rendering of the Goodtime Hotel.
Pharrell and David Grutman are opening the aptly named Goodtime Hotel this Thursday.
Gabriel Saunders

Pack you oversized buffalo hat because you’re about to be happy.

That’s right, Pharrell and nightlife guru David Grutman are opening the most ambitious new hotel development on Miami Beach on April 8.

The bar at the Goodtime Hotel.
The bar that helps give the hotel its name.
Gabriel Saunders

Dubbed “The Goodtime Hotel,” this nearly full-block ground-up build already looks at home in South Beach, with Art Deco meets Aztec reliefs and jungle décor.

Enter through a plant-filled atrium surrounded by trendy retail and restaurants and check in at the welcome desk. Upstairs you’ll discover Strawberry Moon, the hotel’s signature restaurant, a library-style lobby, a recording studio, hanging outdoor teepees and dozens of other Instragram opportunities.

“It’s a whole vibe,” one staffer told The Post.

The 266 guest rooms and 14 suites are admittedly compact here but they charm with plenty of pink velvet.

Here it’s all about being out and about and  making the scene at the hotel’s 25,000-square-foot pool deck and day club with multiple DJ booths and a sexy catwalk between the pools. Now clap along!

Rooms from $288

2201 Collins Ave.

A room at the W South Beach.
The W South Beach spent a whopping $30 million worth of guest room renovations by design firm Urban Robot Associates.
Chris Carter

If you think you know the W, it’s time to check back in. After a decade of hosting the hippest, the W South Beach is bringing a whole new vibe to its spa, 357 guest rooms, 114 suits and even its $100 million art collection.

This month, the hotel completed $30 million worth of guest room renovations led by design firm Urban Robot Associates that replaced its heavier black-and-white palette with a chic and airy new look that seems to bring that outside in. But don’t spend too much time upstairs.

Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia is serving up Italian culinary masterpieces in the hotels relaxed RWSB restaurant. Afterward, soak it in at the brand new Away Spa, which is already raising the stakes for serenity on Miami Beach.

There are at least five ways to get a drink at the W. Once you’ve had a few, be sure to walk into the Living Room lobby where Aby Rosen has curated new artwork to match the new décor.

Rooms from $500

334 20th St.

A room at Berkeley Park.
Chilean interior designer Claudia Rosenberg handled stylish things from the inside.
Berkeley Park Hotel MGallery

Tucked just off Collins Avenue but still right in the heart of the action, the newest arrival to South Beach, opening April 1, takes over the Mediterranean Revival hotel originally erected in 1936 by architect P.H. Mallory.

During a tip-to-toe renovation, Miami architect Edel Lima and Chilean interior designer Claudia Rosenberg retained historic details, while adding a five-story tower that blends into the Collins Park-adjacent surroundings.

Naturally, the pair dug a pool on the rooftop, which is decidedly more mellow than its raucous neighbors. Which isn’t to say there isn’t a lot to do here.

Chef Danny Elmaleh brings his Moroccan-, Japanese- and French-inspired dishes to the hotel’s Cleo restaurant, whose roof retracts to ensure diners are comfortable no matter the weather, and guests are offered day passes to nearby Bass Museum, the hotel’s private beach and access to Berkeley Park-branded vintage bikes to tool around SoBe.

Aesthetes can cool off with a cocktail in the lobby library, whose collection of coffee table books come straight from the presses of the world’s top publishing houses (Taschen, Assouline), then take all that introspection upstairs to care for the orchid that is carefully placed in each of the 80 guest rooms.

Rooms from $279

1 Lincoln Road

Exterior of the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, underwent a $90 million facelift.
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

Miami Modern purists have been devoted to this Morris Lapidus-designed beauty that swoops across the southern point of Collins Avenue since it opened in 1953.

But the iconic structure was in serious need of the traditional 60-something face-lift. Once the $90 million bandages were removed at the end of 2019, a new era of MiMo was revealed.

Hirsch-Bedner Associates (HBA) gave the 376 guest rooms a clean, urban flair (minimal furniture; lots of wood), while Meg Sharpe Designs lovingly restored the bar, restaurant and the lobby with its dramatic curving wall and array of circular sconces (an application of Lapidus’ “Moth Theory,” which says that everyone is attracted to light).

The bar at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.
Meg Sharpe Designs restored the hotel’s bar.
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

Sharpe wisely kept the terrazzo floors and other historic details intact, yet revived the Lapidus Bar and pool, which extend from the new indoor/outdoor Fuego Y Mar restaurant.

Executive chef Anthony Le Pape takes his time with Cuban classics like the 12-hour braised ropa vieja and whole roasted snapper with mango-poblano lime sauce. Expect the squeals of kids gleefully frolicking in the pool while blissed-out parents sip mojitos and sneak strolls on the boardwalk, just out the back gate. 

Rooms from $899

1750 Alton Road

A bed inside the Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach.
Kimpton is employing a nautical theme and lighting to help soothe its guests’ souls.
Kimpton Hotels

Other resorts in the area have tapped into the wellness trend, but the Kimpton in Sunset Harbour, overlooking Biscayne Bay, practices what it preaches.

The Kobi Karp-designed, canal-side property aims to calm and comfort, with nautical themes and muted pastel hues, not to mention art and light installations that stimulate the mind.

The pool at the Kimpton.
The buzzy rooftop pool isn’t a bad waste of an afternoon.
Kimpton Hotels

Nearly all of the 96 rooms come with their own private balconies, and each has a yoga mat tucked into the armoire, plus plush robes for post-workout lounging available on request. (They are high-touch, and the hotel is mindful of COVID protocols.)

Of course there’s a requisite see-and-be-seen rooftop pool to show off that toned bod earned at the second-floor fitness center, and a step-down grassy terrace for restorative lazy afternoons — or serious matches of pingpong or chess.

Need to get off-property? Grab a free bike or take the gratis shuttle to the hotel’s private beach at 17th and Collins. The juice bar awaits your return, or you can undo all that hard work by dining on house-made pastas and lobster at star chef Michael White’s Osteria Morini. 

Rooms from $249

1350 S. Dixie Highway

A common area at THesis Hotel Miami.
The main, er, thesis of Miami’s new THesis Hotel is that gatherings are good — be it friends, family or colleagues.
Thesis Hotel Miami

Coral Gables just might be the new Downtown Miami. That’s partly thanks to the arrival of THēsis Hotel, which opened last year across the street from the University of Miami. It strives not only to host your next company off-site, but also to foster community with actual locals.

For real!

The 245-room Jorge Hernandez Architects- and Gensler-designed property was built with plenty of places for gathering, from the open-plan lobby to the Paseo de la Riviera (an “activated” space that packs visitors and Miamians for open-air markets, talks, artists-in-residence and other social events).

Contemporary co-working spaces, an elevated pool deck, two street-level restaurants by two-time James Beard Award-winner Niven Patel (which serve produce locally sourced from the chef’s own farm, Rancho Patel) and cocktails by Bar Lab at the rooftop boîte, Mamey’s on 3rd, give professors, visiting executives and everyone else an excuse to mix business with pleasure. 

Rooms from $189

Biltmore Coral Gables

1200 Anastasia Ave.

The Biltmore Hotel has undergone a massive $35 million refreshment.
The Biltmore Hotel has undergone a massive $35 million refreshment.

This National historic landmark has always been the Grande Dame of South Florida, even before Miami was Miami, with 271 rooms spread across 150 acres of tropical landscaping in Moorish, Italian and Spanish buildings.

With a $35 million update that refreshes everything from the elevators to the culinary
academy, even regulars will be enamored with the new amenities — some they might not notice, like hurricane-impact-resistant windows, Technogym equipment in the 10,000-square-foot fitness center and extra tech ports in guest rooms. (Welcome to the 21st  century!)

Others, like the award-winning 18-hole, par-71 golf course, which was renovated using the original plans drafted by Donald Ross in 1925, and the cabanas lining one of the largest swimming pools in the Continental United States, will surely have the grandparents begging to take three generations on a holiday to this palatial escape. (Be sure to have them grab the bill for the bucket-list Sunday Brunch!) 

Junior suites from $340, excluding resort fee.