With so many hotels to chose from when staying in Miami, where should yo go? What if you have a tight(er) budget, and what if you want to sleep in a unique place? This post reviews two hotels and a unique place where you can stay during your visit: a boat. Each caters to a different budget and perhaps a different kind of traveler, but they are all great places to stay in I highly recommend.
The Palms Hotel Hotel & Spa
This high end hotel in Miami Beach features all the comfort you need in a beach front hotel and more. Nice rooms, classy decoration and good food were the highlights of my stay, with an emphasis on attention to detail.
The Palms Hotel is a well known hotel and as such there are certain things you expect to find upon your arrival. I was not let down and in fact the level of friendliness of the girl at reception was higher than standard, something that set me in a good mood right away. I waIked across the classy lobby to the elevators and easily found my room on the 7th floor, settled in and pulled out my laptop to send a few emails. About ten minutes later I heard a knock on the door, I opened it and a staff member asked me by my name if my room was well appointed. Upon answering affirmatively I was given a welcome tray with several cheeses, nuts, fruits and a bottle of wine and was told to enjoy my stay. I’ve been to many hotels in the world, some much more expensive than The Palms, yet this detail was something new, and had me in a great mood after a relatively long day of travel.
They might not be the biggest around but there is certainly enough space to feel comfortable, work and rest indistinctly. The rooms face the ocean for a superb view with the swimming pool right under, the beach just a few steps behind the trees. The bathroom is spotless and high quality toiletries are provided, though you might not find them at first as they are not on the sink as you might expect them but in a designated shelf besides the mirror. The bed is very comfortable indeed and the AC is quite silent allowing you to have it on during the night should you need it- I didn’t and was visiting in October.
The Palms hotel likes to put a lot of emphasis on the food it serves- and how it does it. The restaurant has two sections to it, and inner one with a/c and an outer one in the shade- most guests choose the second, and so did I. I was assigned a table and offered coffee as well as fresh orange juice, and I then made my way to the buffet were I had all the food I could need- though I have seen more variety. Still, there is plenty of fruit, cheese, cereals, breads, pastries, teas, and cooked dishes to choose from and you can also have omelets made on the spot a la carte- included in the buffet price.
A night there is Essensia, its gourmet restaurant that focuses on providing fine dining using primarily organic ingredients from local farmers. I had dinner in it once and was pleased with the mix of flavors the different dishes had, combining fruits and plants with vegetables and fish to provide rich flavors and textures that were a joy all by themselves to begin with.
The Palms Hotel is a comfortable mid-high end hotel where good service, comfortable rooms and guest experience are very looked after. The hotel is a 20 minute walk from the art deco area of South Beach, and just a five minute walk from the stop where the bus will leave you when coming from the airport- a money saver indeed. The bus stops right at the hotel to head back to the airport. I had a very comfortable stay at The Palms, and find it ideal if you come here for work or to hang out at the beach in a stylish hotel unless you specifically want to stay at South Beach all the time, in which case you will have to walk a bit every day or take a cab.
Red South Beach Hotel
Located right across The Palms Hotel is this stylish, fun hotel suited to perhaps a younger crowd and families. As the name hints the hotel has a unique lavish red decoration that definitely stands out and makes it quite appealing.
A few steps lead to the lobby of this smaller yet trendy hotel, leaving the inside restaurant and somewhat small pool to the left. There are two elevators that lead to the rooms and a relatively small lounge area just to the right of the entrance with furniture and details colored-you got it right- red.
My room was much larger and fancier that I expected. As I walked in instead of finding the bed there was a small living room with a working table, couch and flat screen TV. To the left was a small hallway which with a kitchenette including cooking utensils and a fridge I did use to keep my drinks and breakfast cold, and right after it was the bedroom with a large king sized bed. Again the decoration was very trendy reminding me I was not staying in your typical business like hotel that has no character- the Red Hotel has lots of it, which I loved.
The Red Hotel is ideal for families and friends looking for a more affordable place to stay that still has personality and good service. The kitchenette comes in very handy if, like me, you like to have breakfast before leaving your room and a quick in-room dinner is an option too. The hotel might not have a big pool but the beach is just a five minute walk away, as are a few cheap eats, and the rooms are as comfortable as you might need them-if not more.
Budget: Mid range
Stay Somewhere Unique: How About a Boat?
Yes, you read that right. I will spare you the story about how I learned about this possibility, but as soon as I did I jumped to it as I always like to do things differently, especially when it comes to travel.
You probably never stopped to think about this option, and to tell you the truth neither did I, yet it is one that I will not forget in my future travels and is one I highly recommend if you want to make your stay different and truly memorable.
Contrary to what you might think staying in a boat can actually mean having more space than in a hotel room, the same amenities if not more and views that are to die for! If you need restaurants nearby there is a Starbucks and a small deli, but these are not open until late. Anyhow, I think that this time a video will transmit much better what staying in a boat is like so please watch the one I filmed below.
Fun, comfortable and entertaining staying in a boat is a unique experience I highly recommend, especially if you have rented a car the boats are not close to South Beach and taxis are not cheap. This said once you overcome this small obstacle you are in for a great experience- unless the gentle movement of the boat makes you dizzy, which in any case will rock you to sleep.
Rate: 9/10 (super high fun factor!)
I was a guest of these three locations, however all opinions expressed here are entirely my own. I mean looking at the pictures and video, what is there not to like about them?
Have you visited Miami? Where did you stay in? Did you like it? Is the idea of sleeping in a boat appealing to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and this post too if you think others might find it useful!