If you ask any local or any tourist to name 3 bars in the heart of South Beach, the Clevelander would definitely be on that list. And there are so many reasons for that. Most bars don't include an outdoor pool on the beach, and that's just one of the perks that makes the Clevelander one of the most popular destinations on Ocean Drive. The raucous and splashy atmosphere is quintessential South Beach, and the crowd makes it feel like Spring Break all summer long. Don't worry about a dress code; bathing suits and flip-flops are the order of the day even in December. The music runs the gamut, from rock to dance, and live music or DJs are sometimes featured.
Located on the 50th floor of the Viceroy Hotel in Brickell, FIFTY Miami Ultra Lounge is the hottest pool party in South Florida. The pool was originally built as a club house for hotel VIP's, but today this private pool opens to those willing to pay a small fee and is the location for fantastic drinks, wonderful food, and a party unlike any other. The views of Miami are jaw dropping and the people and staff are friendly and welcoming. Two sections, one for hip-hop and another geared toward techno and EDM-lovers, are available to hang out and schmooze in. Check out this one of a kind venue and remember to bring your thirst and your swimming trunks.
The Social Club is the right kind of scene to be in for drinks, dinner and good times on South Beach. It enjoys a cool clientele that prefer a laid-back atmosphere with chilled cocktails and delectable dishes. Come here for their Happy Hour daily from 4pm to 7pm and enjoy $4 glasses of their Pisco Punch or $5 micro brews and other specials that will glue you to your seat. Dig the artsy decor and people watch on their terrace facing the infamous Collins Avenue. It's the type of place you go in for a quick drink and an appetizer and then find yourself closing out.
Located in the heart of Mid-Beach is the spectacular Thompson Hotel. And just behind this luxurious oasis is one of Miami's newest bars: 1930s house. The bar itself is inside of a small bungalow on the Thompson Hotel property and you'll have to trek through the hotel and past the pool to get to it. Once there, you'll have certainly earned yourself a drink or two. Their hand-crafted cocktails like the Buena Vista (Plymouth Gin, St. Germain, cucumber, lemon and mint) are just as classy as the ambiance requires. Those who desire something a little less fancy can opt for a beer (which may include anything from a Chimay Grand Reserve Blue to a Miller High Life). Tapas and light fare are served thanks to Michelle Bernstein's Sra. Martinez Pop-Up. Indulge your palate with ceviche tacos, piquillo peppers, or pan con tomate.
Like the hotel itself, the Bar and Courtyard at the Setai Hotel caters to a well-heeled clientele who sip nothing but the best single malts and the finest wines. The stylish and ever-so-sophisticated space is modern and sleek, without being harsh or intimidating, thanks to the abundant use of natural materials like stone and wood. The long, low bar and cozy leather chairs are ideal for lingering over cocktails and with an atmosphere this rare, you never know who you might rub elbows with. The Setai also has an equally classy lounge that offers light meals and an impressive caviar menu, and a gorgeous outdoor bar that's perfect for afternoon lounging or an evening rendezvous.
Located inside the posh Shore Club Hotel, Skybar's glamorous, welcoming spaces act as a magnet for the unabashedly chic and famous. From the gorgeous, dramatic Redroom, activity spills out the back door, into a lush garden, then to a poolside lounge, and finally on to the sands of South Beach. Accented with handcrafted lanterns, vibrant textiles, rich beading, tropical foliage and imported furniture, the lounge is designed to seduce – and it succeeds brilliantly. You'll quite possibly lose all sense of time and place. A night at Skybar might mean listening to beats from world-renowned DJs, sipping martinis or specialty cocktails (like their Gin Gin Mule or Watermelon Smash) with your girlfriends, or getting cozy under the stars with your date.
Whether you're staying at the Delanoe Hotel or merely searching for a spot on the beach to grab a drink, Rose Bar is the place to be. Incomparable people-watching is a mainstay at the endlessly classy Rose Bar where, appropriately enough, pink-tinted lighting lets guests view each other through the proverbial rose-colored glasses. This unique touch flatters everyone, from European jet setters and models right off the runway to tanned locals and curious barflies. Lounge music sets the groove as international beauties and Hollywood types sip Cosmopolitans and mingle. If hunger rears its head, a fashionable sushi bar sits next door.
Just a few years ago, a hip little cocktail bar opened up inside the Freehand Hostel on Miami Beach. Today, it is one of the most well-known and sought out places to enjoy a well-crafted drink for a reasonable price. Frequented by locals, tourists, and those in-the-know, the Broken Shaker is paradise for anyone who wants a high-end cocktail without the fuss of many of SoBe's other bars and lounges. The bar, located right off Indian Creek and on the quieter part of South Beach, is casual and cool, a total hipster joint. Weekdays are your best bet if you're looking for a chill vibe, and happy hours are best if you're looking to save a buck or two. But if you're visiting and want to meet some folks and maybe even find someone to flirt with, you'll want to come here on the weekends when the crowds are saucy.
One of Food & Wine Magazine's 2012 Fifty Best Bars in America, the Living Room at the W South Beach features one of the most innovative cocktail programs in Miami. The funky lounge, located in the W South beach Hotel & Residences, is operated by neighboring The Dutch proprietors, Nicola Siervo and Karim Masri. They tapped Napa Valley's Scott Beattie to create the program. Seasonal specialty drinks, which include essential oils, edible flowers, and other organics from Homestead farm Verde Gardens, include the Crimson Cooler, a vodka cocktail infused with essential oils of ginger, shiso and galangal; and the Waverly Place Echo – mandarin vodka, fresh lemon, pomegranate seeds and Beattie's Five-Spice Honey Syrup – a blend of star anise, fennel, cinnamon, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns. If all those yummy ingredients spark an appetite, much on truffled popcorn or an "adult" grilled cheese with American cheese, bacon, avocado and tomato.
When visiting the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, you'll want to take a moment to stop in at the St. Regis Bar and Wine Vault. There's nothing quite like this hotel bar anywhere else in Miami. Chic and contemporary, you won't know what to make of the ambiance that combines black marbles floors with plush couches and purple flowers and culminates in an eye-catching mural by Santiago Rubino--except that it is brilliant and beyond compare. The perfectly surreal atmosphere is topped by live music, from jazz to bossanova, adding to the feeling that this is the place to be. As for the drinks, you'll become enamored with their signature cocktails like the Lychee Martini and champagne-based Honeydew Fizz. And speaking of champagne, the St. Regis partakes in a champagne sabering ritual nightly. Additionally, the St. Regis Wine Vault houses 2,500 bottles of wine at a time, from over 400 vineyards spread throughout 14 different countries. Ask their sommelier for help choosing the right one for your evening.