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In a city where there are dozens of luxury hotels to choose from, settling on the right one can be a challenge. Maybe you’re in it for the view (aren’t we all, in Miami?); maybe you’re in search of an over-the-top spa experience; maybe you want to try the absolute best cuisine the city has to offer. Or perhaps you want some combination of all of those things. A five-star hotel isn’t just about the boxes it checks on paper (superb service, beautifully-appointed rooms, award-winning cuisine), but about the feeling you get when you walk into the lobby—or when you check out knowing that you’ll surely need to return due to just how fabulous your experience was. And sometimes, as we note below, you’ll find that it’s worth it to venture 30 or so minutes outside of the city center to find the perfect accommodations.
Here, we’ve highlighted the best of the best luxury hotel offerings, all trustworthy American Express Fine Hotel & Resort Properties.
The private beach and bay-facing infinity pool are just the start of this luxury Brickell Key property. Booking a room at the Mandarin Oriental means you’ll be getting the ultimate luxury experience in the form of stunning Biscayne Bay views, an attentive staff, world-class spa treatments (like this indulgent 90-minute facial), and elevated cuisine at the property’s Peruvian restaurant, La Mar (known as one of the city’s best restaurants). You’ll come for the views, surely, but you’ll likely want to stay longer (and you can!) for unique experiences like the curated Abercrombie + Kent deluxe tour, where guests are taken with their very own private guide around the hip Wynwood Art District.
An iconic Florida property, the Biltmore opened its doors in 1926, and has since remained one of Miami and Coral Gables’ finest hotels—and a National Historic Landmark. Situated on 150 acres, the 271 rooms reflect beautiful Mediterranean-influenced design. Guests can enjoy an 18-hole golf course, expansive tennis courts, and the largest hotel pool on the East Coast. With multiple restaurants, including the award-winning Palme d’Or, the Biltmore offers stylish luxury and home-away-from-home accommodations (and so much more).
Steeped in history, the Surf Club has been one of the most exclusive getaways near Miami since 1930. Once a private club frequented by the likes of Winston Churchill and Elizabeth Taylor, the Four Seasons reopened this legendary property in 2017, reviving the old world glamour and elevating the interior decor to yield a particularly relaxing, oceanside atmosphere, while sparing no expense. Floor-to-ceiling oceanfront windows, an Amalfi Coast inspired restaurant, a grand ballroom, and Joseph Dirand-designed minimalist interiors are just some of the incredible offerings at this beautiful property.
There’s no question about it: book an ocean suite at Miami Beach’s Setai, and you’ll never, ever want to leave. Views aside, this property has a decidedly relaxing vibe, which is in large part due to the Art Deco exterior and East Asian inspired interior design (think dark-wood furnishes, hardwood floors, Asian art, and sleek light fixtures). The on-site Spa by THÉMAÉ is worth writing home about: the treatments are carefully curated using four types of teas, paying homage to traditional Japanese tea rituals.
Florida’s natural surroundings are brought inside at 1 Hotel South Beach, the picturesque landscape reflected in both the interior design, and through the property’s use of sustainable materials. Located along 600 feet of ocean-facing sand in South Beach, the hotel offers farm-to-table cuisine, airy bedrooms that feature organic cotton sheets and reclaimed woods, and oceanside swimming pools. Pro tip: opt for the ocean view penthouse, a 1,740-square-foot paradise with a private balcony and not one but two king beds (you’ll be paired with a personal guru to take care of all your needs when you book a suite in the Retreat Collection).