The Best Hotels in Miami Are Made of Scalloped Cabanas and Avocado Green Archways
We’re following Pharrell to this retreat.
Published Apr 4, 2023 1:48 AM
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From dreamy decor to top-notch amenities, Domino’s Wish You Were Here series is your first-class ticket to the most design-driven getaways around the world. Whether you’re looking to steal away for a few days or just steal a few ideas for back home (we encourage both, for the record), check out where we’re checking in.
Some say it’s the gateway to Latin America; others think of it as the sixth borough of New York. Call it what you want, but there’s no denying that Miami is a melting pot of cultures, creatives, and—as a result—design. The Caribbean-inspired palettes, colorful walls of the Wynwood neighborhood, and abundance of historic Art Deco buildings give us more of a buzz than the city’s strongest cafecito. When you’re ready to brush off that South Beach sand, these stylish spots are the best hotels in Miami to seek respite—or a cocktail.
Esmé Miami Beach Hotel
This city is teeming with Spanish influence, but a stay at Esmé truly feels transportive. Once upon a time, this hideaway was a 1920s artists’ colony. One hundred years and $40 million later, the former bohemian retreat now oozes the laid-back luxury of a southern European village. Quietly tucked into a pedestrian plaza on Española Way, eight stand-alone buildings are connected by charming paseos that wind through sunny nooks and charming whitewashed courtyards.
Inside the 145-bed hotel, designer Jessica Schuster played up the Mediterranean Revival architecture with an artful combination of saturated hues like turmeric and burgundy, textured mahogany, and gold accents in the guest rooms. Different corners of the common areas feel especially tropical thanks to cabana-striped walls and avocado green archways. There’s also a buzzy rooftop with a variety of sangrias to sip, five restaurants, and a moody bar where you won’t find a liquor label in sight—at El Salón every cocktail is crafted from a proprietary collection of spirit blends.
Other Chic Stays
The Goodtime Hotel: If it’s got Pharrell Williams’s stamp of approval, it’s more than okay for us. The multihyphenate paired up with David Grutman, Miami’s nightlife king, to cultivate a high-energy destination that lives up to its name. Tropical hues and signature leopard-print accents infuse every room with happy vibes. At the pool, scalloped cabanas and giant metal monsteras offer just enough shade from the Magic City sun.
W South Beach: There aren’t a lot of big-box brands that get it right when it comes to design, but we’re pretty confident saying W South Beach is in a league of its own. From an art-filled lobby to a recent reno of the waterfront suites (which is all of 357 them, by the way), this is one mainstream resort that knows how to kick it with the cool kids.
Mayfair House Hotel & Garden: Centered in Coconut Grove, far, far away from the chaos of Ocean Drive, Mayfair House Hotel & Garden is an oasis of iconic architecture and lush landscaping. Make your way through the atrium and you’ll find eclectic rooms dipped in jewel tones and accessorized with vintage typewriters, claw-foot tubs, and private terraces.
Where to Shop
- Mrs. Mandolin: New York City transplant Anastasia Koutsioukis brings her Greek heritage all the way down south with this extension of her coastal lifestyle brand (she and her husband also own Mandolin Aegean Bistro). The shop offers everything from tabletop items and glassware to Mediterranean-inspired pantry staples and home decor.
- Fly Boutique: You’ll find this hip consignment shop hiding out in the northern neighborhood of Little River. If you can snag some treasures like a pair of vintage Tonge chairs by Jaymar or one of Curtis Jere’s Lily Pad lamps, you’ll find it was worth the trek.
Where to Eat
- All Day: If you’re jonesing for a dirty chai or a cold brew (trust us, go with the Sweetheart), this ventanita is the place to get your caffeine fix. For more sustenance, have a seat in the loftlike dining room and fill up on the flavors of plantain and black bean empanadas or a sage sausage breakfast sandwich.
- Le Jardinier: Before you spend your mortgage in the Design District (aka Miami’s Rodeo Drive), set a little aside for this culinary gem. As one of the city’s recent Michelin star recipients, Le Jardinier’s nine-course tasting menu is worth every penny. Each bite is exceptional, but honestly, we’d be happy if every single plate was filled with its perfectly seared scallops and shiitake chutney.
- Margot Wine Bar: Located downtown in the historical Ingraham Building, this natural wine bar is drenched in shades of—what else?—rosé! The bottle menu changes daily, and you can always count on small bites and a lo-fi sound system to whisk you away.