Pavilion from the Ocean

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Miami Beach visitors have their pick of new (and old) hotels

Miami Beach, long known for its independent boutique hotels and Rat Pack-era resorts, has ushered in a new breed of arrivals.
Since late 2014, six branded hotels — encompassing about 1,600 rooms — have opened along Collins Avenue, some as recently as last week.
The new offerings include luxe high-end lodgings such as eco-conscious 1 Hotel South Beach and the posh Miami Beach Edition as well as, most recently, the youth-focused (and mid-priced) AC Hotel Miami Beach and Aloft South Beach.
“We think it’s a great thing that Miami Beach will now have even more diverse offerings of hotel product,” said Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I think now the portfolio of Miami Beach is diversified, is well-rounded and will increase the overall attractiveness to the travelers at large in any demographic.”
Miami hotel consultant Scott Brush said hotels such as the AC, Aloft and Hyatt Centric, which also opened recently, fit into the “upper midscale” market that bankers are eager to finance.
The most recent properties are located west of Collins Avenue and off the beach, so developers haven’t paid a premium for waterfront property. Most of the sites were not being fully utilized: The AC was a contractor staging area for construction at the Miami Beach Edition across the street and had a future as a parking lot; the Hyatt Centric housed an old apartment complex, and the site of the Aloft, which housed a ramshackle motel, was originally intended to become high-end condos until the economic downturn hit.
Even if they don’t have direct beach access — or, in some cases, beach views — all of the newest hotels feature pools and will have on-site bars and restaurants.
While there are some differences between the three new brands, the hotels are all trying to appeal to modern travelers who embrace technology, crave social opportunities and have a deep interest in using hotels as a launch point to explore the destination.
“In Miami Beach, you have either really high-end properties, or you have almost hostel- type properties,” he said. “And there’s not much in the middle of the market. Things in the middle of the market have done very well.”
Developers say they saw a need and moved to fill it.
In addition to Florida resident rates, discounts for staying more than one night and resort credits, the hotel also partnered with Travelzoo to offer a package with rates starting at $155 a night for weeknights in June and early July. That rate will also apply for any day of the week between Aug. 16 and Sept. 30, with a waived resort fee and valet parking and breakfast included.

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