Art-Deco Hotel in Heart of South Beach
Miami Beach didn’t start booming until the 1920s, when Harvey Firestone, J.C. Penney, and other millionaires built family homes along its sandy shores. In the 1930s, an architectural revolution hit, giving South Beach the art-deco buildings that it's known for today. Built in 1937, the Beacon Hotel is one of those historic gems, featuring the flat roofs, smooth stucco walls, and geometric flourishes typical of an art-deco exterior.
The hotel enjoys a prime location on the famed Ocean Drive, just steps from a 7-mile stretch of beach as well as trendy boutiques and nightclubs. Before heading out, ask the concierge for recommendations on places to visit and help with making reservations, or grab a cocktail at the hotel's Mojito Bar. The hotel’s interior reflects the area’s art-deco roots and modern South Beach style. The lobby is filled with high-backed leather chairs, and the second-floor lounge area has red sofas facing a flat-screen TV.
Deluxe double and deluxe king rooms echo the art-deco aesthetic of Ocean Drive. Ocean-view rooms live up to their name with views of the beach leading out to the Atlantic. There are complimentary chairs and towels in each room that you can take down to the beach, which awaits just outside the hotel’s front doors.
Miami Beach, Florida: White-Sand Beaches, Glamorous Nightlife, and Cuban Cuisine
Miami Beach is a small barrier island situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, a shallow lagoon that separates the beaches from downtown Miami. People from all over the world come here to enjoy the white-sand beaches, shop the high-end boutiques, and party at the legendary see-and-be-seen nightclubs the city is known for. The red-hot center of this sexy, international social scene is South Beach, a 20-block stretch filled with upscale lounges, rooftop bars, and ultrahip hangouts behind velvet ropes. Lummus Park beach is packed by mid-morning, and the clubs on Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue—many of which stay open until 5 a.m.—vie for the limelight with VIP service, celebrity DJs, and dressed-to-the-nines crowds.
Beyond the fast-paced luxury of South Beach lies Miami Beach’s softer side. A leisurely stroll through the Art Deco District reveals hundreds of beautiful, candy-colored buildings, including Versace Mansion—a 1930 manor modeled after a palace in the Dominican Republic that belonged to Christopher Columbus’s family. The centerpiece of the city’s arts scene, the Bass Museum of Art displays works from Peter Paul Rubens and Sandro Botticelli, and modern-design objects and propaganda arts fill three stories at the Wolfsonian-FIU museum. There’s also a handful of vibrant ethnic enclaves to explore here, and Little Havana is among the most notable. The neighborhood is lined with family-owned restaurants and Caribbean-style marketplaces, making it a great place to discover some of the country’s most delicious Cuban food, from sugary guarapo juice to pastelitos, or Cuban pastries.