In a city where $500 a night rooms are commonplace, there’s a very simple reason why cheap Miami Beach hotels have maintained their popularity. There’s so many other desirable things for tourists to spend their hard-earned money on—from world-class restaurants to hopping nightlife, to the numerous attractions throughout the Miami area—travelers don’t always want to shell out big bucks for a hotel room they will only use to crash in for a few hours per day.
In this regard, we have assembled a group of hotels for price-conscious travelers to consider during their visit to Miami South Beach.
1320 Ocean Drive
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The style of the Cavalier Hotel is, in a word, distinct. When entering the lobby, guests will be greeted by several large area dividers standing guard at either side of the entry.
Turret-backed lounges, terrazzo floors, a faux fireplace having candles along with a natural stone Buddha standing watch complete the eclectic look of the space.Yet don’t allow the eccentric furniture fool you, the hotel and its facade were actually featured in several Hollywood films set in South Beach.
The Cavalier has forty-five rooms even though, admittedly, they are on the modest side, they are also brimming with personality and, most importantly, well-designed. A standard room has Caribbean-inspired sunset-orange stucco surfaces, modular wooden reproduction furniture, a mini-bar, a queen-size bed, batik fabrics, a charming powder room with checkered floor tile floor and a stand-alone bowl sink.
Suites contain modern amenities such as entertainment centers which include cable TV, VCRs and CD players. Retro black and white photos which capture the stylish historical past of South Beach adorn the walls.
Should you reserve an upgraded room, you can expect an ocean view and king-size bed. As a perk, the hotel provides a daily guest newsletter with detailed information on local sight-seeing opportunities and current activities in the area.
Located within the center of the Ocean Drive strip, the Cavalier Hotel is adjacent to many designer boutiques and shopping opportunities. Many of the Beach’s finest gourmet restaurants are within easy walking distance.
The Cavalier Hotel is conveniently situated across the street from the Atlantic Ocean and visitors have total access to Lummus Park where rollerblading, jogging or just a relaxing stroll under shady palms is a favorite pastime of guests and locals alike.
1757 Collins Avenue
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The Richmond Hotel was one of the first hotels to be constructed during the 1940s Art Deco period in Miami Beach. The hotel, which opened in 1941, is incredibly, still managed by its original owners.
This oceanfront boutique hotel has 92 rooms and suites, many with ocean vistas. Rooms have been redesigned and are furnished with modern amenities such as broadband internet service, satellite television as well as 24-hour room service. For more posh South Beach-style details, try chenille bed linen, plush sofas and a 1930s floral design theme.
At the Verandah Terrace guests may enjoy a buffet-style breakfast with international cuisine offered for both lunch and dinner. And if you are looking for further variety, you’ll find that many of the Beach’s finest restaurants are only a few steps away.
On the hotel’s lush tropical grounds there is a large swimming pool with romantic white cabanas, a half-moon spa and an eye-catching stream. The palm-lined footpath slices through a large garden and over a bridge and opens onto a 400-foot stretch of beach.
You won’t find over-the-top glam at the Richmond Hotel, and it doesn’t try to take on its more lavish neighbors like the Delano or the Raleigh. The hotel simply offers a great location close to everything you want to see in Miami Beach.
944 Washington Avenue
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The Hotel Chelsea is a recently restored Art Deco boutique property with a wonderfully modern perspective. The hotel’s décor is based on the Japanese art of Feng Shui, with soft lighting, bamboo floors, full-slate bathrooms and floating Japanese-style furnishings arranged in a way meant to enable energy to pass freely and relax guests, and this is what separates the Chelsea from practically any other boutique hotel on South Beach.
After making your way past the hedged wall encircling the umbrella-lined terrace you are lead directly into an intimate lobby with fresh tropical plants, a large bar and bamboo sofa perfect for relaxing amidst the soft music that enhances the ambiance.
All 42 guest rooms at the Hotel Chelsea offer the level of convenience that South Beach Group hotels are known for: mini-bar, in-room entertainment center, spa-like marbled twin showers, Garden Botanica toiletries, down comforters and very comfy beds.
Guests also have access to a daily complimentary continental breakfast, beach yoga classes, free sake at happy hour, web access, complimentary magazines, concierge services, airport transport, guest gym passes and VIP passes to all Miami Beach nightclubs.
The hotel’s Chelsea Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a menu composed mostly of American cuisine.
Situated on a busy yet entertaining stretch of Washington Avenue, the Chelsea is only a short walk from many South Beach nightclubs and a multitude of outstanding restaurants. And if you would like soak up some Miami sun, the hotel is situated just two blocks from the sandy white beach.
From the daily happy hour to the sofas in the reception area, the Hotel Chelsea promotes socializing among its guest, and you’ll be in very good company, since the hotel draws in budget-conscious travelers who enjoy the hotel’s hip-but-welcoming surroundings.
1418 Ocean Drive
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The Penguin Hotel may be the perfect selection for tourists who aren’t looking for loads of hotel amenities, but who would much rather spend their hard-earned vacation dollars dining at the best restaurants, local shopping and of course, South Beach’s amazing nightclubs.
The Penguin Hotel is located across from the beach and roughly eight miles from MIA Airport, and is one of the most convenient locations on the Ocean Drive strip.
Designed by renowned architect Henry Hohauser in 1948, this three-story boutique hotel, originally known as the Golden Dawn, offers 44 fully renovated (albeit still on the small side) guest rooms as well as a penthouse suite, which features a rooftop solarium.
Modern guest conveniences include Satellite television, voice mail, data ports, mini fridges, in-room safes, laundry&valet services, wake-up calls, concierge, limited room service, translation services, car rentals, gift shop and hair salon. And to remind you of the Penquin’s historic past, you can anticipate wall air-conditioning systems.
Deluxe guest rooms include tile floors, 30″ flat screen LCD TVs, irons and hair dryers. Bathrooms include marble counter tops, deep soak jet-tubs, glass doors and rain showers. All rooms have electronic door locks, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems. Guests will enjoy access to a private, secluded garden and wading pool at the President Hotel, which is adjacent to the Penguin. Onsite dining is available at the Front Porch Café & Restaurant, which locals say offers the best breakfast in South Beach.
808 Collins Avenue
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Having a slogan like “Clean sheets, hot water, stiff drinks” you can bet the Whitelaw Hotel delivers a sense of humor plus some serious attitude – just what one would expect in South Beach.
Black shag carpets, white vinyl sofas and cool music are what the owners choose to call “Bond meets Barbarella style.”
Even so, this may be the only place on South Beach where a high fashion sense doesn’t translate into high cost accommodations for travelers.
The hotel is inundated by hipsters from around the globe who wish to enjoy the homey, youngish atmosphere with beds that are borderline sinful (decked out in Belgian sheets no less), marble bathrooms that are sizeable and well-stocked along with a complimentary happy hour in the lobby every evening from 7 to 8pm.
Once you step inside the Whitelaw, you’ll know that white isn’t just a part of the hotel’s name, it’s also the color layout for all of the hotel’s 49 rooms – and not just for the walls, robes and towels, either. The monochromatic style permeates the TV, VCR, stereo, minibar, and even the in-room safe.
While the rooms are meant to evoke a feeling of convenience, it is clear that the main amenity is the vibe outside the rooms – mainly at the on-site 808 vodka bar.
While there is no on-site swimming pool or trendy restaurant, there is no shortage of great eateries and hip lounges in this centrally located stretch of South Beach. And if a after a long of night of partying you are looking to relax in the beautiful Miami Beach sun, have no fear – the soothing sands of South Beach are merely a block away.