Miami needs little introduction. The mixture of art deco architecture, swaying palm trees, and some of the best beaches in the US make it a world-famous destination. There are so many things to do in Miami. Where you choose to stay can massively dictate – and support or hinder – your Miami itinerary. Will you stay amidst art deco architecture in South Beach? Or in one of the all-inclusive Florida resorts on quieter Key Biscayne? Where to stay in Miami is a tough call.
Best Places to Stay in Miami
This guide will tackle the question of where to stay in Miami head-on. We’ll break down the best neighborhoods in Miami, providing the pros and cons and the best Miami hotels in each area. Miami’s neighborhoods partly make the city as great as it is. When visiting Miami, you need to make sure that you choose the best area and best hotel for you. Let’s get started finding your matches made in heaven.
1. North Beach
North Beach is a little more mellow than its flamboyant southern sibling, South Beach. Miami’s North Beach is lined by residential skyscrapers and family condos, pleasantly spaced out by green spaces and public parks – like the North Beach Oceanside Park. North Miami Beach is ideal if you want to experience life on the barrier island without the chaos. It bumbles along with a slower pace but equally brilliant beach access. You could catch live music at the North Beach Bandshell or play beach tennis.
Pros: Less touristy, residential vibe, brilliant beach access, and barrier island location. Cons: Less touristy and less well-connected to the mainland and Downtown Miami.
Budget Hotel: Oceanside Hotel + Suites
Oceanside Hotel + Suites is where to stay in North Beach if you want to keep prices low. Despite its glitzy appeal, it is one of the most budget-friendly options in exclusive North Beach. The private rooms and suites are just a six-minute walk from the beach, and you can access a gorgeous outdoor pool.
Mid-Range Hotel: The New Hotel
The New Hotel is within easy walking distance of the beach and offers a boutique stay in North Beach, Miami. Expect everything from organic linens to on-site Mediterranean dining. The shaded outdoor pool is just the cherry on top.
Luxury Hotel: Monte Carlo Miami Beach
Sometimes, everyone loves a bit of luxury, and Monte Carlo Miami Beach is an elegant 4-star apartment complex with deluxe holiday units. You get all the homely luxuries like a kitchen and lounge area, plus access to a fitness center, swimming pool, and sun terrace. Not to mention you are within walking distance of the beach.
2. Mid Beach
Mid Beach is a trendy neighborhood that sits underneath North Beach. A little less relaxed and a little more luxe, it is an upscale area of luxury condos and sophisticated restaurants. Think formal attire for dinner and swanky hotel lounges. If you want an upscale experience on the Miami barrier island, Mid Beach is where to stay in Miami. It has some of the best hotels in the city and a real swagger that attracts those a little more wizened to Miami and its neighborhoods.
Mid Beach has a self-sufficient nightlife that means you won’t need to venture elsewhere unless you want to. It is an ideal place to stay in Miami for those wanting a less touristy neighborhood without sacrificing some of the tourist luxuries and buzz.
Pros: Less touristy, good nightlife, excellent beach access, and upscale atmosphere. Cons: Not as well connected to the mainland and more tailored to luxury travel.
Budget Hotel: Freehand Miami
Freehand Miami is a lively 3-star hostel with an outdoor pool and a friendly stroke party vibe. Freehand Miami is a fantastic choice if you want fun on a budget. You can book dorm or single rooms. And most of all, make the most of the two on-site bars and tons of new people.
Mid-Range Hotel: Eden Roc Miami Beach
Eden Roc Miami Beach is a spacious beach resort with a massive outdoor pool and a brilliant location. It has some luxury services, including yacht schedules and jet skiing. It also has all the ideal mid-range amenities on-site, like a fitness center and restaurant options.
Luxury Hotel: SoHo Beach House
SoHo Beach House needs a little introduction. The brand is world known, and this SoHo property has unique antique rooms with a large pool. You’ll enjoy rooftop bars, Cuban cigars, and waiter pool service.
3. South Beach
South Beach is impossible not to love with its art deco architecture, street art, and pulsing beach culture. For first-timers, Miami’s art deco district is the best place to stay. It is the postcard neighborhood of the entire city and what you likely have in mind when considering a classic Miami trip. It is easy to reach South Beach, located just below Miami Beach on the Miami barrier island. Vibrant South Beach is fun and aesthetic, and regardless if you choose to stay here or not, it will at least bag a spot on your itinerary. The neighborhood sits at the bottom of the small barrier island. It is home to South Pointe Park Pier and some ridiculously colorful lifeguard towers.
Pros: Beautiful art deco buildings, vibrant atmosphere, and beach culture. Cons: Touristy and much busier than other places on the Miami barrier island.
Budget Hotel: South Beach Rooms and Hostel
South Beach Rooms and Hostel is your top choice for budget-friendly accommodation in the lovely South Beach neighborhood. Suitably funky with bright colors and a community atmosphere, this hostel is within easy walking distance of the beach and offers a complimentary breakfast each morning.
Mid-Range Hotel: Cleveland South Beach Hotel and Bar
Cleveland South Beach Hotel and Bar is an adults-only party hotel. Get your best outfit and head to one of the best hotels for partying in Miami. Cleveland has sparkling reviews and a reputation of the best kind. Its highlights are its atmosphere and rooftop bar.
Luxury Hotel: Bentley Beach Club
Bentley Beach Club has a stunning rooftop pool and hot tub for guest use. Just 160 meters from Miami Beach, you can head to the beach almost off your doorstep to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. This 4-star property is the best hotel for luxury in Miami Beach.
4. Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami has a central location and vibrant nightlife. The Downtown area is split in half by the Miami River and combines skyscrapers and riverside architecture. If you want to experience the city culture, just day-tripping to the beaches and barrier islands, this is where to stay in Miami. Downtown Miami is home to Bayside Marketplace – a huge waterfront shopping center. It is also packed with cocktail bars and museums and is within walking distance of Bayfront Park and Brickell city center.
Downtown Miami is excellent fun, and if you’ve already stayed in South Beach before, a brilliant place to stay and let your hair down. It is home to the best restaurants and best hotels. You can shop, sightsee, and eat until your heart’s content – and still have things to do the next day. Downtown Miami has that conveyor belt vibe, with constant activity and things to do and see.
Pros: Things to do, fun atmosphere, plenty of restaurants, and amazing hotels. Cons: You’ll need to travel to reach a beach, which is always busy.
Budget Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown Miami
Budget stays can be hard to find in Downtown Miami, but Comfort Inn & Suites Downtown Miami is your best hotel option to keep costs low. Expect modern amenities and thoughtful touches like weekly newspapers in the lobby. This property is flexible – it could suit budget travelers or business travelers.
Mid-Range Hotel: Mint House Miami Downtown
Mint House Miami Downtown is an ultra-trendy downtown place to stay in Miami. The hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows with a classic dark and white color scheme and a glitzy outdoor pool. Mint House is an excellent choice on a mid-range budget for an aesthetic stay in Miami.
Luxury Hotel: Icon Residences by SS Vacation Rentals
Icon Residences by Miami Vacation Rentals is the answer to luxury chasing in Downtown Miami. The apartment hotel has an outdoor pool, waterfront location, and a fitness center. This is the best luxury hotel in Miami and has some serious wow factor. And location-wise, it is just over a kilometer from the American Airlines Arena.
5. Miami Beach City Center
Miami Beach City Center is smack bang in the middle of Miami’s barrier island. ‘Miami Beach’ is the city on the island, with North Beach, South Beach, and Mid Beach all neighborhoods within this city. However, Miami Beach City Center is a specific region on the island, located near the Venetian Way overwater bridge.
This is the most built-up area on the island and where to stay if you want a city experience on the barrier island. Miami Beach directly overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has great attractions like Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach Marina, and the Miami City Ballet.
Pros: City atmosphere, amenities and attractions, barrier island location, and easy beach access. Cons: Still busy and quite touristy.
Budget Hotel: The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club has two outdoor pools – one of which is a rooftop pool – and a free happy hour every night. Surrounded by a bamboo garden, it has a peaceful vibe and is friendly during your stay and friendly to your wallet.
Mid-Range Hotel: Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach
Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach is a polished, modern hotel in the center of Miami Beach. The hotel has everything you’d hope to see in a mid-range property, including a bar, outdoor pool, and fitness center. Residence Inn ticks all the boxes for a really moderate price. It has an excellent location in sought-after Miami Beach.
Luxury Hotel: Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Faena Hotel Miami Beach is a beautiful luxury hotel to stay in Miami Beach. Picture marble bathrooms, a fitness center with ocean views, and swaying palm trees around an expansive outdoor pool. The whole property is a luxurious work of art.
6. Coral Gables
Coral Gables is a unique place to stay in Miami. The neighborhood is Mediterranean Revivalist with a Venetian Pool famously carved from rock. This area is heavily influenced by Italian and Spanish culture. It has a different aesthetic from what you’ll find downtown or on the barrier island. Picture ivy-coated mansions and picturesque tree-lined boulevards with subtle nods to Italianate streets and Spanish culture. Coral Gardens has an old-money, historical atmosphere that makes it a beautiful – and interesting – answer to the question of where to stay in Miami.
You can visit the War Memorial, Coral Gables Museum, and Miracle Mile (a huge shopping strip with boutiques and fantastic stores) in Coral Gables. Despite being inland, it is an excellent base to travel short distances to the city center and barrier island beaches.
Pros: Mediterranean influence, history, and plenty of attractions. Cons: Doesn’t have direct beach access.
Budget Hotel: Hotel Ponce de Leon
Hotel Ponce de Leon is a basic but brilliant option for budget accommodation in Coral Gables. This unfussy accommodation is just 800 meters from Miracle Mile and is ideally located to get the best out of the neighborhood. Each room also has a coffee machine and microwave – ideal for cutting food and drink costs.
Mid-Range Hotel: Hyatt Regency Coral Gables
Hyatt Regency Coral Gables is a picture of elegance and a marvelous mid-range accommodation choice if you’d like to stay in Coral Gables. It makes sense that the property is inspired by the 19th-century Alhambra Castle in Granada, Spain, as its chandeliers and stately European architecture look fit for royalty.
Luxury Hotel: Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables
Biltmore Hotel Miami Coral Gables is beautiful. The palatial hotel has its own 18-hole golf course and on-site spa. And the massive shape of its light orange turrets makes it impossible to miss when walking through Coral Gables. Get ready for the luxury hotel experience of a lifetime – Biltmore Hotel is something else. It even has lighted tennis courts and its own acreage of tropical gardens.
7. Little Havana
Miami has a considerable element of Latin culture, and the best place to embrace that is Little Havana – the heart of the city’s Cuban influence. During the 1960s and 70s, Cuban people began seeking refuge in Miami en masse, and Little Havana is a testament to their efforts at preserving and forging an area of Cuban culture.
The neighborhood has bright colors, Cuban coffee shops, and what seems like puffing Cuban cigars at nearly every point. Little Havana is a place of celebratory culture and a fun base to stay in Miami. Little Havana has incredible food and architecture, and if South Beach and Downtown Miami don’t float your boat, chances are this area will.
Pros: Cuban culture, amazing cuisine, and bright, colorful architecture. Cons: Distant from the beaches and city center.
Budget Hotel: Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport
Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport is one of the best budget hotels near Little Havana. The hotel might look a little too glam for the budget category. Still, it offers reasonably priced rooms that are competitive in the area. And you get a complimentary breakfast each day and free airport shuttles. Facility-wise, you get access to a hot tub and outdoor pool.
Mid-Range Hotel: Life House, Little Havana
Life House, Little Havana, is a stunning 4-star property with a rooftop with impressive views. Right in the center of Little Havana, Life House is the best hotel for those who value location. You are just a three-minute walk from iconic 8th Street.
Luxury Hotel: Roami at Grove 27
Grove 27 is luxury self-catered. Each unit has its trendy little lounge and kitchen, and this property is the perfect place to set up and relax in Little Havana. Roami at Grove 27 is the best luxury hotel option in Little Havana for comfort and convenience.
8. Coconut Grove
Coconut Grove is an area in Miami that doesn’t pop up too much on tourist radars. The neighborhood follows the Biscayne Bay shoreline with waterfront views and a pleasant residential vibe, despite its proximity to Downtown Miami. Coconut Grove beats to the sound of its drum – with a waterfront location, plenty of green spaces (even a mangrove forest), and access to Miami’s major inner-city highlights.
The neighborhood has played home to some significant celebs in the past, too, including Madonna. If you psyche yourself up, you could even peek at the neighborhood’s Church of Scientology. Coconut Grove is where to stay in Miami if you want an affluent residential base from which you can easily travel to the city’s major attractions.
Coconut Grove mostly has parks and coastal viewpoints, including Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It is a leafy suburb and more somewhere that you enjoy coffee walks and corner restaurants than sightseeing. Wait until you see the Coconut Grove hotels, though; these break that non-touristy pattern instantly with marvelous accommodation options.
Pros: Leafy suburb vibe, Biscayne Bay shoreline, and affluent residential atmosphere. Cons: Further from beaches and attractions.
Budget Hotel: The Mutiny Hotel by Provident Hotels & Resorts
The Mutiny Hotel by Provident Hotels & Resorts is an all-suite hotel on the shores of Biscayne Bay. A bay front park-style setting makes the Mutiny Hotel one of the prettiest hotels in Coconut Grove, and you’ll adore the location – and the price.
Mid-Range Hotel: Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove
Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove is spectacular, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a stunning pool with ocean views. The whole property oozes modern elegance. The high ceilings and abundant natural lighting give this hotel a fresh feel. It’s easy to love.
Luxury Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove
The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is an easy choice. The 5-star property is set amidst skyscrapers and residential high rises in the beautiful Coconut Grove neighborhood. The rooms have private balconies, and guests can access an on-site full-service spa. Out of all the Miami hotels, this is one of the top for luxury seekers.
9. Miami Design District
A tiny, walkable neighborhood in northern Miami, the Miami Design District slips under many a radar. The compact district is where to stay in Miami if you have a passion for modern and contemporary art. The Design District is packed with art galleries and jewelry stores. So if you want to go shopping for indulgent souvenirs, art, or an art enthusiast, you know where to book a hotel.
The Design District has a luxury vibe and clientele, and honestly, some of the best luxury hotels in Miami. It is a place for luxury fashion, design, and eateries – with equal amounts of celebrity chefs and fashion designers at each corner. Set slightly out from the downtown and South Beach chaos, the Design District is somewhere to retreat after spending a day in more touristy places.
Art lovers and luxury travelers will love the Design District. It has an exclusive and creative feel and is a great place to stay in Miami.
Pros: A serious art culture, jewelry stores, a luxury atmosphere, and a quieter vibe. Cons: Further away from the city center and mostly tailored to a luxury crowd.
Budget Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Wynwood Design
Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Wynwood Design might look ultra-luxurious. Still, it is actually one of the cheapest options in the area. The striking black and white color scheme hotel is a short distance from the Design District and suitably trendy. The property has a large outdoor pool and a great sense of style – plus a complimentary breakfast each morning.
Mid-Range Hotel: Hyde Midtown Miami
Hyde Midtown Miami is another nearby hotel option and, this time, ideal for a mid-range budget. Hyde Midtown Miami is a substantial all-suite hotel with tennis courts and a swimming pool. Each suite has a microwave and fridge (cold wine, anyone?), and some suites have a private balcony.
Luxury Hotel: Sonder The Palace
Sonder The Palace is the closest luxury hotel to the Design District. The bright white building is super striking, and each suite has a private kitchen for ultimate homely comfort and convenience. As a suite-only hotel, Sonder The Palace is ideal for anyone wanting a luxury self-catered experience.
10. Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne is a residential beach community on a small key island off the coast of southern Miami. This is where to stay in Miami if you’d rather steer clear of the city center and barrier island’s mayhem, instead opting for a quiet beach holiday on an idyllic island. Key Biscayne was once almost entirely the property of the Matheson family and their 800-acre coconut plantation. However, once they donated the land, it became Crandon Park. Key Biscayne began developing as a Miami destination in its own right.
Key Biscayne is home to the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse and stunning beaches. The island’s residential area is sandwiched between two protected nature parks, and the whole island is just nature and slow-paced luxury living. It has some of the best hotels with private beaches. Even accessing Key Biscayne is beautiful, as you’ll drive along the overwater 913 highway, stopping in Virginia Key along the Way. There’s no other neighborhood like Key Biscayne, and if you want a peaceful base, this is where to stay in Miami.
Pros: Residential, island living, quiet, idyllic, and luxurious. Cons: Isolated, requires a car, and the best hotels sell out quickly.
Budget Hotel: Coral Reef Suites
Coral Reef Suites is the cheapest hotel option on Key Biscayne and have a real residential beach community feel. Each suite has a kitchenette and fridge – keeping food costs low. And with an outdoor pool to enjoy on the days, you can’t be bothered walking to the beach. You really have everything you need on your doorstep.
Mid-Range Hotel: Silver Sands Beach Resort
Silver Sands Beach Resort is a pleasant resort with modern hotel rooms with a useful kitchenette and fridge. It is located along the shoreline, with almost direct beach access. Guests get access to an outdoor pool and free guest parking too.
Luxury Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami
In a word, wow. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami is a beautiful place to stay in Miami for a bit of island luxury. The 5-star property has a private beach and the most insanely meticulous interior design you’ll ever see. From brick-feature walls in your bathroom to elegant columns and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you must see this hotel to believe it.
Tips for Visiting Miami
Ready to visit Miami? It is impossible not to love this iconic coastal city, and we are excited for you to experience it first-hand. Before you go, though, these are the top 6 tips for visiting Miami.
Don’t just stay in South Beach. Plan day trips to the Florida Keys, Everglades, and Biscayne National Park. Shop for art as a souvenir. Avoid walking around alone at night. Do your research on areas to avoid and take Ubers when possible. Watch out for purple beach flags – these warn you of stingrays and jellyfish in the water.
Where to Stay in Miami: FAQs
Miami undoubtedly creates some questions, especially with its unique layout. Here’s everything you need to know and the answers to your most burning questions.
Is it better to stay in Downtown Miami or South Beach?
South Beach is best for first-time visitors because of the iconic art deco architecture. In contrast, Downtown Miami is better for those wanting nightlife or who have already visited South Beach.
What’s the difference between South Beach and Miami Beach?
South Beach is the southern part of Miami Beach, a concentrated area of art deco buildings. South Beach is a neighborhood. Miami Beach is the city on Miami’s barrier island, built with modern amenities.
What are the best and safest areas to stay in Miami?
Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove are the safest parts of Miami, with much lower crime levels than the city’s average. South Beach and Downtown Miami have higher crime levels but are two of the better areas to stay in Miami.
Where is the good part of Miami?
There is no singular ‘good part’ of Miami. The main barrier island home to South Beach is the most popular tourist area. While the mainland area around Biscayne Bay is also popular with tourists, with plenty of attractions and luxe cocktail bars. Some of the southern neighborhoods like Coconut Grove and the key island Key Biscayne are also good areas if you want a quieter, more residential environment.
Is it better to stay in Miami or South Beach?
South Beach is the best option of the two. It is much more iconic with art deco architecture and fun beach scenes.
Is it better to stay in Miami Beach or Brickell?
Miami Beach is better if you want immediate beach access. Brickell offers a more citified experience and is home to the city’s financial center, so think luxury hotels and glittery skyscrapers.
Miami feels like a separate island city. The unique distribution of the city between the mainland and barrier islands creates a strong sense of isolated neighborhoods. Miami’s layout makes the question of where to stay in Miami even more critical. You need to find an area that matches your holiday style and plans. Hopefully, you now have some solid ideas. Plus, have a few of the best hotels under your belt. Miami is one of the best places to stay in Florida, thanks to its range of beautiful hotels and varied neighborhoods.
Keep in mind that Miami International Airport is located to the west of Miami’s city center. If you have an early flight, booking a night’s accommodation closer to the airport may be worth booking. Florida Grand Opera is near the airport, too, so you could even catch an opera show before catching your early morning flight.
Looking for more Miami inspiration? Well, as great as it is, we’d recommend branching out from the city. There are many unique places to visit in Florida, including the Everglades, Florida Keys, and quiet barrier islands like Amelia Island. Even the drive to Key West from Miami is incredible – so rent a car and take a road trip. There’s so much you can enjoy just outside Miami. So once you’ve decided where to stay in Miami, research about day trips and detours.