Ocean Views, Nightlife, Pampering and More at Miami's 10 Best Beach Hotels

Nothing complements a stay on the beach more than the perfect accommodations, and Miami's got those in spades. There are certain things you may want to look out for, like private beach access (to avoid the hoards of tourists, especially during certain times of year) and convenient cabanas, towels, umbrellas, and beach chairs; relaxing ocean views right from your room; high-quality on-site dining and pampering; and even nearby or in-house entertainment for those days when the weather is less than perfect (a frequent occurrence during the rainy summer months). 

Hotels like The Palms Hotel & Spa in Midbeach offer guests high-quality service and extensive pampering packages with delicious in-room comforts like plush robes and rain shower heads. 

Guests staying at the Setai will enjoy extras like instruction in yoga and tai chi, various on-site dining options, and beautiful private pools.

The Fontainbleu's reputation as a star-studded hotel precedes it, and visitors always run the chance of rubbing elbows with big name celebs poolside or at their popular on-site nightclub, LIV.

Or maybe you'd prefer to forego the Miami Beach experience altogether but still want a place on the sand that's a bit more laid back. That's why we've also listed the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne, known for its enormous spa, tennis center, and proximity to golf and water sports.

Check out our list for the best beach side hotels; there's sure to be one that's right for you.


East Fort Lauderdale
Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach
Photo courtesy of John Cameron

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel sits on an ideal spot centrally located along seven miles of Fort Lauderdale's golden coastline, across from the tranquil Hugh Taylor State Park and the beautiful Bonnet House and Gardens. Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach is an AAA Four Diamond-rated hotel features heavy on amenities and accommodations for all group sizes. The Penthouse level, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the beautiful beaches of Fort Lauderdale and the Atlantic Ocean is perfect for all events. For those looking to incorporate the fresh ocean air, they can host their meeting or events in the oceanfront Breeze Terrace on the second floor. Many rooms have floor to ceiling ocean views while corner units offer park views too. All offer top quality bedding and amenities and nightly free snacks,that can be eaten poolside where you'll find a cute bar with excellent small plates and drinks including a welcome cocktail.  

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Location, location, location!Beach,good restaurants,the Sun Trolley and large scale shopping at nearby Galleria.

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Acqualina Resort & Spa is based in what some consider Florida's Riviera, a stretch of pristine beaches along Sunny Isles. This high-end destination features 188 residences and 98 rooms and suites along 4.5 acres of Miami beachfront property. Within, you'll not only find luxury accommodations, but also, one of the premier spas of the world, ESPA. The restorative treatments, Finnish saunas, crystal steam rooms, ice fountains, and spa cuisine found within Acqualina's Spa are reason enough to visit this amazing resort. Add to that their luxe rooms with breath-taking ocean views, oceanfront fitness room, Yogiiza yoga sessions and three oceanfront restaurants, and you'll know why this is considered one of the best hotels in South Florida.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Acqualina is all about pampering thanks to their world-class spa, making it one of the most relaxing hotels along the beach.

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Travelers seeking a peaceful getaway adore this hotel's serene oceanfront setting in Miami Beach, Florida. Inspired by nature, the hotel offers 215 oceanfront and city view rooms and suites outfitted with soft tones of the sea, chic custom furnishings, divine robes, and heavenly rain showers. An on-site gym is the perfect place to catch a quick workout, though others will of course prefer to break a sweat swimming in the Atlantic. Guests enjoy being pampered at the wellness spa or lounging in the garden hammocks amidst towering palms, and afterward, a stroll on the boardwalk followed by cocktails on the beach completes the perfect afternoon in paradise.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Palms is in midbeach meaning it's got a more relaxed atmosphere and is ideal for romantic getaways.

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This secluded 205-acre private island, the former winter estate of the Vanderbilts, is accessible only by air or water, so helicopters, seaplanes, and yachts are common sights. Once on the island you may never want to leave, and you wouldn't have to. There are seven restaurants and bars, tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, a full service spa and health club, plus an array of shops and services. Accommodations are available in a variety of configurations from rooms to suites to private cottages and villas. All are thoughtfully furnished, and all guests receive complimentary golf cart use for the length of their stay. 65 cottages, suites and villas. Event space for 200.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Fisher Island is the place to go if exclusivity and class are what you seek in a beach hotel.

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Offering the perfect combination of tranquility and adventure, this Miami area resort is ideal for both family vacations and romantic retreats. Minutes from the Miami mainland yet far enough from the urban buzz to feel closer to island getaway, The Ritz-Carlton is a haven of relaxation. This particular Ritz Carlton boasts a 20,000-square-foot spa, two heated oceanfront pools, four fine dining establishments, the largest tennis center of any Ritz Carlton, plus a stunningly gorgeous beach. Visitors seeking a dynamic day in paradise can also enjoy water sports, golf, and biking. Stylish ocean-inspired rooms and complimentary car service to any restaurant on the island on weekends completes the package.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: For those looking to stay on a different island, the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne offers the goodies of a Miami Beach hotel with added privacy.

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Formerly the Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa, the new Carillon Hotel still holds the bar for luxury and decadence with a focus on wellness. This oceanfront resort in North Beach features decks out its rooms with 400-thread-count Mascioni linens plus Mascioni robes and slippers to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Each suite also comes with a fully equipped kitchen, HDTV system, Bose Wave Radio, complimentary wifi or Ethernet, plus city or ocean views. While the ocean is just a few feet away, the Carillon also features four heated, fresh water pools. Once hungry, you can dine at the on-site restaurant, grab a drink at their juice bar, or order room service.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Carillon is one of the best in north beach for its commitment to wellness. Stay for fitness classes, prime spa treatments, and organic cuisine.

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The legendary Fountainbleau first opened its doors in 1954, in a Miami Beach that would be unrecognizable today. What started as an 11-story building with 554 guest rooms is now an epic resort housing 1504 rooms and suites; a 40,000 square-foot spa; 12 restaurants and nightclubs and 20 acres of oceanfront property. Those who book the Fountainbleau know they'll be getting A-list star treatment. Celebrities have visited and stayed at the Fountainbleau since its inception, including Lucille Ball, Judy Garland and Jackie Gleason, and the resort has been used in films such as Goldfinger and even an episode of the Sopranos. Maybe it's the plentiful pools throughout the property, the 30 treatment rooms at the Lapis Spa, or the first-rate dining experiences at places like Hakkasan and Scarpetta that keep people coming back. Maybe it's the chance at meeting music icons inside ultra-exclusive LIV Nightclub. Does anyone need a reason?

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Paparazzi wannabes and anyone looking to sample the life of the high-roller will want to treat themselves to a few days at the Fontainebleau.

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This sophisticated Miami hotel's location in the Surfside area offers tranquility for adults as well as excitement for little ones. It's the perfect place for a family vacation with proximity to world-class shopping and dining, beautiful scenery, and of course, pristine beaches. Nearly all of the spacious, breathtaking suites feature private balconies with resplendent ocean views, and multiple pool areas that provide both family-friendly fun and serene adult-only settings. After a day on the gorgeous glittering beach, guests dine al fresco at Chez Gaston before sipping cocktails as the sun sets over the ocean outside the seventh-floor Sunset Bar--with hot tubs if the mood fits.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: If South Beach isn't your scene but beautiful beaches and luxury shopping are, Grand Beach Hotel is your kind of place.

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As South Beach has a wide variety of hotel options, from the basic to the luxurious, Loews definitely falls into the latter category. With the beach on one side and busy Collins Avenue on the other, you'll never be far from the action. The two buildings (a newer tower and the original Art Deco St Moritz) are decorated in a successful blend of Art Deco/contemporary styles. An oceanfront pool and private beach are big draws, as are the hotel's three restaurants and cocktail lounges. Rooms are furnished with all the necessary amenities, and then some. Facilities and services are top-notch, as you'd expect. 790 rooms. Event space for 3000. Valet parking only, $31/night.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Lowes is one of the few kid-friendly beaches on SoBe, featuring a toy library, videogame rentals and more alongside all the usual high-end hotel amenities.

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Overlooking the oceanfront on South Beach, this stylish hotel, easily one of the most stunning designs on South Beach, is flanked by a 40-foot tower and beautiful Asian-inspired courtyard. Very exclusive, private, and serene, The Setai does not air a constant party atmosphere like much of South Beach; this is a hotel for adults. Awarded a slew of honors from national magazines and outfits, The Spa at the Setai specializes in Pacific Rim-influenced treatments, such as Ancient Balinese Massage and Thai foot reflexology. Luxurious rooms come equipped with flat-screen TVs, espresso machines, bar, and Acqua di Parma bath products. Impressive on-site dining venues, the Restaurant and The Grill at the Setai, boast spectacular global (French, Mediterranean, Asian) cuisine and an expansive bar, while the beach bar provides cocktails by pool and beach. 24-hour room service, a fitness center, swimming pools, yoga and tai chi add to guests' comfort and pleasures.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Setai's commitment to pampering with luxury ensures guests complete satisfaction. The ocean views are just a bonus.

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Meet Priscilla Blossom

Pris Blossom is a freelance writer and feminist mama with a love for travel, writing, music, film, yoga, museums, cultural anthropology, and her awesome kid.

Read her words at PrisBlossom.com