Luxury Hotels in Miami – The Best Hotels in South Beach


South Beach, known colloquially as SOBE, is like nowhere else. Trend-setting, affluent and vibrant, it has a distinct up-market Latino flavor. White sand and azure ocean beneath a cloudless sunny sky, the eclectic mix of pastel Art Deco hotels along Ocean Drive, beautiful people strolling arm in arm in the latest fashions, this is what South Beach is all about. It is an escape from reality, at least for the time you are there! Once the home of drug barons and Mafioso, it is now an idyllic retreat for the rich and famous, as well as the migratory flock of snowbirds who return year in, year out.

Along with the palm-fringed beachfront, South Beach offers fabulous designer shopping from Lincoln Road to name-dropping Collins Avenue. Armani, Kenneth Cole, Benetton, Sephora, Ralph Lauren, Diesel….they can all be found here on these narrow streets. After dark, restaurants, bars and nightclubs buzz with music and you pay more for valet parking than most people would pay for cocktails, but hey, there is only one South Beach! See and be seen is the name of the game. After dining out in style at one of the many Michelin starred restaurants such as the lovely Casa Tua, or Palme d’Or, walk though romantic Lummus Park beneath the stars and then retire to your chosen luxury hotel for a nightcap in the bar.

Once again there are too many wonderful hotels to list, even on the short stretch of Ocean Drive. If you are looking for Art Deco inspiration consider the newly renovated Hotel Victor, right next door to Casa Casuarina, better known as the Versace Mansion. This delightful boutique hotel in Miami has retained some of its finest Art Deco features in the extensive lobby and bar. Right on the beach is the Raleigh, which has retained all its 1920s charm including the uniquely shaped swimming pool. With designer shops at the front, and the boardwalk and beach to the rear, everything is conveniently close by. Rather more hip and trendy but one block back from the beach is the Shore Club Miami, a true celebrity hang-out. Designer-cool rooms by British designer David Copperfield, and managed by Ian Schrager, creator of the boutique hotel genre, this contemporary style hotel is a far cry from the 1930s in which it was built. The Casa Grande is quite the opposite.This refined luxury hotel invites guests to truly relax and feel at home. Last but certainly not least, checkout the Pelican; owned by Diesel it is a temple to OTT decor and zany fashion. Wherever you choose to stay you are unlikely to be spending long within its four walls.

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