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Think Miami, and images of sun-kissed beaches and a vibrant party scene come to mind. While many people head to Miami for its beaches, there is much more to the city than its parties. For one, the art deco buildings of the Ocean Drive are big tourist draws. Some of these gorgeous 1930s hotels have been given a facelift to emerge as some of the best modern hotels in Miami. These refurbished spaces also boast the best hotel pools in Miami.
While there are many hotels in Miami with indoor pools, the best hotel pools in Miami are the sun-kissed blues. The ones that are an oasis in their own right, surrounded by palm trees and expansive blue waters. You’ll find gorgeous infinity pools seemingly joining the sea, astounding rooftop pools, and pools with interesting quirks scattered through various parts of the city. Most of the best hotel pools in Miami are in the South Beach area but there are a few Downtown and some also feature in the top hotels with a rooftop pool in Miami.
Where to Stay in Miami
Miami’s most popular destination is South Beach with its vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and shopping. Lincoln Road Mall, is where the tourists head to in this area to get their shopping dose or marvel at the art deco architecture that is distinctively Miami.
North of Lincoln Road are Miami Beach and Mid-Beach, where you’ll find most of Miami’s celebrated hotels. While the area may not be as famous as South Beach, it’s a rising star on the horizon with some killer restaurants and an ever-expanding part scene.
If you’re not in the city for the sand, then Brickell, the Financial District of the city, is a good location. This area with its numerous skyscrapers feels like you’ve stepped into downtown Manhattan rather than Miami. You’ll find plenty to keep you occupied in this area with restaurants, bars, and retail meccas popping up everywhere. Downtown Miami has a similar vibe and appeal, with intriguing museums, art galleries, and countless shopping and entertainment spaces.
For a taste of Miami’s luxury, Coral Gables, dubbed ‘The City Beautiful’ is where you should head. It’s a great area for families as it’s a much quieter area with lush green spaces. Other places worth making your base are at the Design District north of downtown, Key Biscayne a notable island town or Coconut Grove. If you’re here for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, we recommend 11 Most Romantic Hotels In Miami.
W South Beach
The beautiful main pool at the W South Beach, surrounded by gorgeous landscaping epitomizes all that a stunning pool should be. It’s a private space for guests to unwind with hut-style cabanas, wooden lounge beds, and the WET Bar and Grille. A smaller pool surrounded by hedges is only open to adults.
True to the W brand, this hotel also exudes a hip vibe but where it differs is in the sophistication. The party scene is more muted at this W with a larger focus on professionalism and families. However, the pool is where the life is, with loud DJ music throughout the day. Occupying an oceanfront location, near the Miami Beach Convention Center, you’re within walking distance of nightlife, world-class dining, and shopping.
Spacious guest rooms have everything that you would need for a comfortable stay, complete with furnished terraces. If you love a good view, then consider the Spectacular Studio Suites on the 19th floor. All bathrooms except for the Fabulous Ocean View Studio Suite come with showers.
Although the pool is a great place to hang out, those that prefer salt water and sand can head to the beach behind the hotel. The beach is much quieter here so it’s a great spot to relax. There is plenty of on-site food and beverage options. Mr. Chow the hotel’s iconic restaurant is a study in art and design. You can also enjoy casual dining at the Restaurant at W South Beach or at the WET Bar & Grille. Irma’s beachside bar and the Living Room are other popular hangouts at the hotel. Guests can also avail of the W2Go service for a packed meal.
Guests can glam it up at the Oren Lankri Salon or work up a sweat at FIT the 24-hour fitness center. Alternatively, you can enjoy a game of tennis or try to slam dunk a few shots at the rooftop tennis or basketball court.
The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
Between the mainland and South Beach on Belle Isle, you’ll find the hip and happening The Standard Spa. It’s a five-minute walk from here to Sunset Harbor and at a convenient driving distance from Downtown, the Design District and Wynwood. However, if you’re hoping to stumble from one of South Beach’s bars to the next, you’ll be a tad disappointed by the location. The bayside island location where the hotel stands provide the experience of a true retreat.
While the Standard’s standout feature is undoubtedly the expansive spa, the pool is a close rival. Just beside the bay, the saltwater infinity pool offers gorgeous water views making it one of the best hotel pools in Miami Beach with a great view. You’ll also find a waterfall hot tub and an arctic plunge pool. There’s also a mud lounge near the pool where guests can enter without clothes. Not surprisingly, this is an adults-only hotel.
The Standard chain of boutique-style properties is a hipster-friendly space that targets the young crowd. You’ll find plenty of kitschy elements in the vintage-inspired interiors that give off a hip, retro vibe. Don’t expect any over-the-top decor in the guest rooms as the rooms are simplistic with beach-cottage vibes. You can choose from a wide range of room types that come with standard amenities. Rooms feature private terraces and some even have outdoor soaking tubs.
Apart from the pool area, the other popular outdoor spot is The Gardens with hanging chairs and fire pits. Multiple dining options are available onsite to satisfy your cravings. From the Japanese-inspired Lido Bayside Grill that offers delectable Japanese cuisine to the Juice Cafe & Terrace for grab-and-go options and the Lido Bar & Lounge, there’s plenty to whet your appetite and satisfy your thirst.
The hotel’s expansive spa is a favorite with guests and locals. However, the spa is currently under renovation and will only reopen in May 2021. Till then guests can enjoy limited treatments in the private Spa Suites.
The Miami Beach EDITION
The Miami Beach EDITION is a gorgeous beachfront property that traces its roots to 1950. The restored mid-century grand dame formerly known as the Seville Hotel exudes style and luxury. Its prime location on the beachfront of the Mid Beach area gives guests direct access to the beach. However, if you’d prefer to relax in the sea breeze minus the saltwater, the hotel has two beautiful pools to choose from. Lounge chairs, private outfitted cabanas, hammocks, and a secluded enclave make this one of the best hotel pools in the Miami Beach area.
Mid-Beach is a rising star on Miami’s party scene with trendy nightlife spots, restaurants, and boutiques mushrooming everywhere. It’s rival South Beach is still a more happening spot so if you’re keen to venture to that part of the beach, it’s about a 20-30 minute walk.
Much of the original features of the Seville’s lobby have been incorporated into the Miami Beach EDITION such as the revamped Matador restaurant and bar. Guests can choose from different room categories including suites. The ocean-front suites are housed in a separate Bungalow Tower. All rooms are big on comfort with a host of modern amenities.
Apart from the gorgeous pool area, guests can also indulge in a wide range of treatments at the upscale spa. There’s also a modern fitness center, open 24 hours a day. Another popular spot at the hotel is the BASEMENT with its bowling alley, ice-skating rink, and nightclub.
For dining, there are multiple restaurants to choose from. Starting with the Market at EDITION, a food hall inspired restaurant featuring gourmet cuisine counters you can move onto Tropicale with casual al fresco dining. This is another of the Seville’s original spaces, formerly known as the Sundial restaurant. The Matador Room & Bar and the Lobby Bar are two other popular dining venues at the hotel.
The Villa Casa Casuarina
Another hotel in Miami that exudes historic charm is The Villa Casa Casuarina, the former Versace Mansion. Initially built in 1930, by Alden Freeman, the Treasurer of the Standard Oil Trust, the villa passed through several owners after his death. It was eventually purchased by renowned designer Gianni Versace in 1992. However, after Versace’s untimely death it once again passed to several owners before its transformation into this cozy hotel space. This is no sprawling hotel though, but it is the perfect oasis in the chaos of South Beach.
The Villa features ten custom guest suites with separate living rooms or sitting areas. Guests can choose from One Bedroom Suites, Superior Suites, and Exceptional Suites. No matter what type of suite you choose, you’re going to catch your breath at the opulence and charm of the interiors. Plush bedding, beautiful murals, and colored ceilings will transport you to another realm. Most rooms have balconies or patios.
Everything about the villa reeks of style, right from the Rooftop Lounge to the Onyx Bar. Restaurant Gianni’s serves up some delectable cuisine among pebble mosaic walls and storied history. While there’s a lot about The Villa that will catch your breath, The Thousand Mosaic pool is a clear standout. Part of the $32 million renovations that Versace undertook before he moved in, the stunning pool definitely tops the list of best hotel pools in Miami beach.
SLS South Beach
The trendy SLS South Beach enjoys a beachfront location in a designated Historic Art Deco Building. Situated in an area that overflows with upscale properties, it’s a great location to be at. From here it’s an easy walk to the famous Art-Deco buildings of Ocean Drive or the Miami Beach Convention Center. If you’re interested in going further, downtown Miami and Wynwood are about a 25-minute drive.
The upscale hotel is stylish with classy elements, yet it does not feel over the top. Most of the action happens poolside with a trendy pool scene at Hyde Beach. Weekends are especially loud with guests and visitors descending poolside for the party scene. The Guest Pool, however, is off-limits to outsiders. Apart from the pool, guests can also enjoy the sands behind the hotel that are accessed from the pool area. Although there’s no spa on-site there is a full-service hair and makeup salon.
Designed by Phillippe Starck, the rooms are stylish and comfortable, a tad smaller than most Miami hotels though. The rooms are well stocked with amenities especially the minibars. If you find the rooms a bit cramped you could opt for the larger villas. Spacious rooms in the villas overlook the pool from individual balconies. They’re also much quieter than the other rooms.
Food and drink are taken very seriously at the hotel with four dining options. The Bazaar South Beach is run by renowned Chef Jose Andres, while master sushi Chef Katsuya gives you a fresh take on classic Japanese cuisine. Hyde Beach and Bar Centro are two other popular dining venues at the hotel.
A popular choice for business and leisure travelers to the city is the upscale EAST Miami. Located in the Financial District at the top of the Brickell City Center, you have a whole gamut of outdoor options just below. Restaurants, bars, and shops are plentiful. For those who want to venture out, the Eighth Street Metromover Station is just at the side of the hotel. Other attractions of the city are easily accessible by car.
The hotel’s outdoor pool is a clear standout, with its palm trees and various choices for a dip. You can choose from the regular lap pool, a hot tub, a spa pool, and a cold plunge pool. Chic loungers and shady umbrellas make this a cool space, adding to its lore of being one of the best hotel pools in Miami.
Like the layout of the pool area, trendy, eye-catching designs are visible everywhere. Although the guest rooms have minimalist decor, they are stylish with a wide range of amenities. Floor to ceiling windows, seating and tables, and private balconies are what you can expect here. Suites with separate living areas come equipped with full kitchens.
You can begin your culinary adventure poolside at the Pool & Deck but if you’re looking for something more wholesome head to Quinto La Huella, the hotel’s outpost of Uruguay’s beachfront restaurant, Parador La Huella. Domain, the hotel’s lobby lounge is where you can enjoy a glass of wine and some light snacks. For Asia inspired tapas, Sugar, the rooftop garden and bar is a great place to hang out. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy BEAST, the 24-hour wellness and lifestyle hub.
Formerly known as the Viceroy, the W Brickell is located in the Financial District in downtown. You’ll find plenty of corporate offices, attractions, and restaurants in the area. It’s also a short walk from here to the Mary Brickell Village. Although the hotel enjoys a convenient location, the crowning glory of the hotel is its 300-foot long infinity pool, Wet Deck, on the 15th floor. It’s another of the best pools in Miami with a happening party scene and breathtaking views of the bay.
Besides the happening scene at the rooftop pool, there’s also an indoor nightclub lounge open on the weekends. For dining, the on-site restaurant, ADDiKT, is open for all meals. You’ll also find two salons and a large ballroom that is available for events. Guests at the hotel also have free access to the Iconbrickell Spa, free fitness classes, and a rose wine happy hour. Unlike most of the hotels in the area, there is no mandatory resort fee charged so the freebies are definitely worth it.
The rooms here stand out for their luxurious decor. They are quite spacious by Miami standards, featuring floor to ceiling windows, driftwood canopy bed-frames, and eclectic designs. Large en suite bathrooms feature separate soaking tubs, plush robes, and luxurious toiletries.
1 Hotel South Beach
Although the decadent 1 Hotel South Beach sits at the nexus of two popular Miami beaches you’re not that close to either of them. South Beach with its pulsating nightlife is about a 10-minute walk from here while Ocean Drive at Lummus Park is about 15 to 20 minutes walk. Mid-Beach the rising star on the horizon is to the north of the hotel. However, if it’s the sun and sand that you’re after, you couldn’t choose a better hotel.
You have direct access to the beach from the hotel but if you’re content lazing by the pool, there are four options to choose from. The main, elevated pool is one of the best hotel pools in Miami beach. The ocean seems to be at eye level from this mesmerizing space. Equally interesting is the narrow rooftop pool that offers 360-degree views. There’s also the Cabana Pool that transforms into a hot tub and the South Pool. Plush loungers and cabanas will probably keep you poolside all day.
Guest rooms are huge, starting at 700 square feet. The beautifully designed rooms are perfect for a relaxing vacation. Wooden tables, reclaimed beetle kill pinewood, hemp mattresses, soft blue blankets, and glass terrariums add to the tastefulness of the design. Predictably, the room has a wide range of modern comforts. Since the hotel is big on eco-luxury you’ll find take-home socks instead of disposable slippers, cotton jersey robes, and chalkboards instead of notepads.
There are plenty of dining venues at the hotel from the high-end Habitat, grab-and-go cafe, Plnthouse, and Watr and Sandbox at poolside. There’s also Drift that offers a wholesome and farm-fresh meal. If you’re looking for some healthy fast-food options head to Neighbors. Other than these multiple dining venues, the hotel also has a full-service spa, a kids club, and a spacious gym.
History resides at the iconic Biltmore Hotel, a gorgeous Mediterranean Revival retreat that was built in 1926. Sitting on an 18-hole golf course, the hotel is renowned for its huge swimming pool, one of the best hotel pools in Miami. It’s one of the largest swimming pools in the continental United States too, covering a whopping 23,000 square feet!
The old-world charm of the hotel has been a big draw for travelers through the years. Vaulted ceilings, marble columns, and restored hand-painted frescoes will take you back in time to the Old Florida opulence. However, given the opulence of the exterior, the guest rooms might come as a bit of a disappointment. Nevertheless, the spacious rooms are comfortable and homely.
The Biltmore lies in Coral Gables, one of the most luxurious suburbs in Miami. Nicknamed, The City Beautiful, the area is characterized by wide boulevards and central plazas named after Spanish cities. Multi-million dollar homes, high-end shopping, iconic landmarks, and excellent restaurants are what you can look forward to in proximity to the hotel.
Once you check in to The Biltmore you probably won’t feel like venturing out as it has enough to keep you busy. From its iconic swimming pool to the golf course and expansive fitness center boasting 10 tennis courts, what more could you ask for? Children have plenty to keep them busy too with many special classes and water shows for their benefit. When you’ve worked up an appetite after all the activity head to the Palme d’Or, the award-winning restaurant. Make sure you’re suitably dressed though as jackets and ties are the standard attire here. If you love your wine, the Cellar Club will definitely enthrall you with over 100 types of wine by the glass. Apart from these dining venues, there are also two poolside food options and courtyard restaurant, Fontana. Nothing comes cheap at this hotel so be prepared to splurge.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated alternative to the Art Deco kitsch of South Beach, the stylish Kimpton EPIC is your best bet. Far removed from all the action of South Beach with its location in the heart of downtown, the hotel puts you close to the nightlife and other offerings of Brickell. It’s almost at an equal driving distance from bohemian Coconut Grove but South Beach is 20 minutes from here.
Given the hotel’s distance from the beach, the 16th floor is where all the action happens. The two angular infinity pools on this floor easily classify as the best hotel pools in Miami with their cabanas and woven basket daybeds. On Saturdays, you can groove to the beats of various DJs who perform poolside.
Apart from the pools, on the 16th floor, you’ll also find the Exhale Spa and fitness center as well as the upscale seafood restaurant Area 31 which is open for all meals. The views from this floor are pretty spectacular too. Another popular dining option at the Kimpton EPIC is Zuma, the Japanese restaurant on the first floor.
Guest rooms and suites begin from the 18th floor all the way to the 30th floor. You can be sure that you’ll be treated to some spectacular views from your own private balcony no matter which floor you’re on. Floor to ceiling windows, wood furniture, and a host of amenities are what you can look forward to here. En suite bathrooms have soaking tubs and rainfall showers.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Offering the ultimate experience for ‘water-babies,’ the Fontainebleau Miami, definitely stands out. There’s no doubt that this iconic hotel built in the 1950s has one of the best hotel pools in Miami with a whopping 11 pools to choose from. You’ll find a pool to suit every taste with small dipping pools for kids and ‘happening’ pools for adults. Pool parties happen at the adults-only Arkadia Day Club while throbbing music at the abstract bowtie-shaped mail pool keeps the spirits high.
There’s also a Family pool with a waterslide and fountain. You’ll find several day beds and cabanas poolside which guests can use for an extra fee. Since the resort is so popular, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the crowds but don’t despair. The pools at the Tresor and Sorrento towers offer some respite from the crowds as they’re much quieter.
While the hotel is at a little distance from South Beach with nothing much around, the 20-acre property has enough to keep you in. However, if you’re still keen on venturing out South Beach is a 10-minute drive down Collins Avenue. The other happening spots such as the historic Art Deco district and Downtown Miami are about a 15-minute drive from here.
After a massive $ billion renovation, the hotel reopened in 2008 with a classic-contemporary look. It features some fantastic artwork by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei. Layer cake chandeliers, gold-painted columns, and an iconic marble bow-tie floor blend in with modern decor elements. Guest rooms and suites are spread across four towers. Expectedly, the rooms are sleek and outfitted with plenty of amenities.
Apart from the massive pool area, the hotel also has plenty of dining options with eight dining venues. It’s a foodie-haven with four signature restaurants Hakkasan by Chef Loo, Stripsteak, and Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina and Scarpetta by Scott Conant. There’s also an American Brasserie, Vida, and La Cote at the poolside. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a celebrity or two at the restaurants!
One of the most renowned spots at the resort is LIV nightclub which sees celebrities and well-known DJs grooving to the music. Other amenities you can look forward to is the Lapis Spa, a huge gym, a hammam, and a comprehensive boutique. You’ll run out of time before you can manage to avail of all that the hotel has to offer. After all, it’s also one of the 11 Best Hotels in Miami Beach.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Miami:
- Little Havana Food, Culture, Mojito & Street Art – Experience the Cuban way in the USA on this tour of Little Havana. Sample some of the tasty snacks and quench your thirst with a mojito or coffee as you discover all that the area has to offer.
- South Beach Food Tour – This three-hour food tour of South Beach is a great way to sample some great flavors and take in a bit of history. Enjoy food tastings at Peruvian, Cuban and Colombian stalls and restaurants in the area.
- Casablanca On the River – If you’re craving some fresh seafood in Downtown Miami head to Casablanca with its beautiful setting over the Miami River. It’s not just the setting that’s fantastic but also the fresh fish that is served here.
Recommended Activities In Miami:
- Beyond the Beaches Guided Tour – Miami has so much to offer beyond on the beaches. On this semi-private tour experience some of the most iconic locations in this vibrant city.
- The Original Millionaire’s Row Cruise – View the sights of Miami from a different angle as you cruise around on a modern yacht. On this 90-minute tour, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on the lavish homes of some of the rich and famous.
- The Wynwood Art Walk Block Party – If you’re looking for something interesting to do, join the ever-popular Wynwood Art Walk. Held every second Saturday of the month, this free walk through the most artistic spaces of Wynwood is a celebration of art. Local DJs, food trucks, and drinks, plus popular games are all part of the interesting experience. The best part is that its open to all ages.