South Beach began as coconut farmland in the late 19th century and eventually experienced a land boom and architectural revolution that lasted until the 1960s. Despite its growth, over the next two decades South Beach became famous for just two things, retirees and crime. It wasn't until the late 1980s that the area started to change for the better.
Now South Beach is a hub of tourism and premium entertainment with hundreds of nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and hotels lining the streets. Whatever your reason for visiting South Beach, whether it's clubs, beaches, or both, it's important to find the best hotel for your needs so you can make the most of your trip.
When to Visit South Beach, FL
The best time to visit South Beach is between March and May when temperatures are in the high 70s and low 80s. The clubs aren't overly crowded, there is space on the beach, and plenty of fun events are happening like the Winter Party and Miami Beach International Fashion Week. Best of all, hotel rates are affordable during this season, and the only crowds to contend with are college students on spring break. Even that is avoidable if you plan your trip for late April or early May to miss them completely.
If you travel to South Beach between June and August, you face large crowds and hot and humid weather with highs in the 80s and 90s. Families converge on the beach during the day but clear out by evening leaving the area free and clear. Hotel rates and airfare are affordable, and loads of summer activities like the Florida Supercon and Colors of the Caribbean are in full swing. Just be sure to pack your strongest umbrella. South Beach is known for summer thunderstorms in the afternoons.
The fall months of September to November are nearly as hot and humid as the summer, but there's the added risk of hurricanes. Sure, you'll be taking a gamble if you travel to the area during this time, but at least the beaches are open, the hotel rates are low, and great events like Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest are going on. Pack an umbrella because heavy downpours throughout the day are likely.
December through February is peak season in South Beach. The weather is gorgeous, the best events are happening, like Art Basel and the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, and the who's who of the neighborhoods are out and about. This is the time when everyone wants to visit South Beach so hotel rates and airfare will be high. If experiencing the area during the winter is on your bucket list, be sure to book your trip at least three to four months in advance.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in South Beach, FL:
South Beach by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in South Beach, FL. You can use these charts to determine the cheapest months to book in South Beach during the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in South Beach, FL
4 Star Average Prices: $210.86
If it's luxury you're after, you'll find plenty of great hotel options in South Beach. The Loews Miami Beach Hotel – South Beach is one of the premier accommodations in the area. This 18-story property sits directly on the beach, near the Anchor Shops and New World Center. It boasts 790 amenity-rich guest rooms with pillowtop beds, down comforters, Frette Italian sheets, flat-screen TVs, spacious work desks, Keurig coffee makers with complimentary coffee and tea, and iPod docking stations. In the bathrooms, you enjoy a marble walk in shower and complimentary toiletries.
Step outside your room and you are literally steps away from the beach, as well as a relaxing spa, health center, and FedEx business center. After a long day out and about you can return to a delicious meal at one of six hotel restaurants or sit poolside where both food and drink are available.
If you'd rather stay at a luxury hotel that's chic, modern, and sophisticated, the Delano is where you belong. With its unique decorations and architecture, the Delano is sometimes called “the hotel that changed South Beach forever”. Check into one of the 194 crisply furnished rooms and enjoy beautiful views, complimentary wireless internet, iPod docking stations, and private bathrooms with rainfall shower heads and premium toiletries.
The hotel offers so many conveniences that you never have to leave the property. Its signature South Beach restaurant, Bianca, features delicious Italian cuisine cooked with organic ingredients while the stylish Umi Sushi and Sake Bar provide excellent meals in a casual atmosphere. Other hotel amenities include a spa, nightclub, health club, and outdoor pool.
Affordable Hotel Options in South Beach, FL
3 Star Average Prices: $165.10
South Beach has a number of affordable hotel options if you're traveling on a budget. The Island House South Beach is a comfortable choice conveniently in the Art Deco Historic District, putting you close to the beach, shopping, and attractions like the Anchor Shops and the Miami Beach Cinematheque. The hotel offers 20 cozy guest rooms with flat-screen TVs, cable programming, ceiling fans, and private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations.
Once you step outside your room, take advantage of complimentary breakfast each morning, a terrace with beautiful views, concierge services, and beach accessories available for your use. The hotel also hosts a complimentary reception on select days so you can mingle with other guests.
For an affordable hotel option with architectural charm, the Hotel Astor is a great choice. It's located in South Beach, just minutes from the Wolfsonian Museum and the Art Deco Museum, two must-see attractions. Perfect for budget travelers, the hotel offers 42 beautiful rooms complete with refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, free wireless internet, and private bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. Hotel amenities include concierge services, a restaurant and bar, a garden with a view, complimentary continental breakfast, and the use of a retro bike.