Glassy and sleek, the 12-story Novotel manages to make a business trip something to anticipate, not dread. Its 275 rooms are simple and spartan, but its rooftop pool with striped cabanas and wraparound glass begs travelers to pack a swimsuit and stay an extra day. A subtle Peruvian theme weaves through the First Avenue property, where the bar specializes in pisco sours and chef Benjamin Meyer’s Lima restaurant serves up salads with queso fresco and fries to dip in mojo-rocoto pepper aioli. Downstairs, the whole city is at your feet — you’re just a few blocks from Downtown and the Riverwalk; but even if you choose to hide away for a while, there’s plenty to entertain, from Wednesday movie nights under the stars to Saturday Sunset Sessions with half-off drinks and unparalleled views of that pink sun sliding into the sea.
1500 SW 1 Ave.; Rooms from $139.
Avoid the tourists in the city’s other areas and head to the tip of the peninsula instead. Tried-and-true institutions (Nikki Beach, Joe’s Stone Crab, Prime 112) have long ago designated South of Fifth (better known as SoFi) as the place for the cool kids and, along with claiming the best beaches, there’s now another reason to spend more time down here. Check into the Urbanica brand’s latest, the Euclid, which inhabits a modern Bauhaus-style building, with angular pop-out balconies and 30 stripped-bare rooms, just south of the Causeway. Indulge in Argentine chef Fernando Trocca’s cuisine at street-level Orilla before hopping on a complimentary bike to snag a spot on nearby “Brazilian Beach,” beloved for its buff men in short-shorts. If you can’t get into a yoga-on-the-beach class, there’s probably room at sister property Meridian’s poolside meditation sessions, which are free to guests of other Urbanica outposts.
426 Euclid Ave.; Rooms from $110
What was briefly known as the ME Miami is now reborn as the Gabriel — an urban oasis smack in the middle of Downtown. Take the elevator to the 14th-floor roof deck to find two pools, one overlooking Biscayne Bay. In between the lobby and the pool terrace, you’ll find a 24-hour fitness center, a Dermanova Med Spa and 129 guest rooms — all sleek and modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows, broad balconies and views, views, views. Fuel up at Cultura, whose Latin-Med menu is overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten alum Fabian Di Paolo, then hit the arts scene: The Pérez Art Museum Miami lies across the street, while Art Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts are also nearby.
1100 Biscayne Blvd.; Rooms from $159
This ninth Palisociety hotel property (courtesy of hotelier Avi Brosh) transforms the former Greenbrier Hotel into a lifestyle playground that rivals members-only destinations like Miami’s Soho House. Set in Mid-Beach — home to hot spots such as the Freehand, the Edition and the Faena — Palihouse aims for inclusive sophistication, with 71 boho-Med guest rooms, a large front patio overlooking Indian Creek and a nautical lobby (snag the semi-circular sofa) that’s become a local’s lair. The ur-cool Greenbrier Swim & Social occupies much of the public spaces, its buzzy pool area awash in lush greenery and every possible configuration of sling chairs, day beds and armchairs to create the ideal sewing circle (or modern equivalent). “For a really long time, if you were a cool and chic New Yorker, Miami Beach could feel cheesy,” says Brosh. “But now there are a few places that pass the New Yorker’s litmus test. Palihouse is one of those.”
3101 Indian Creek Dr.; Rooms from $200
Magic City remains lax when it comes to design codes, which makes for a stellar (or crazy, depending on your aesthetic) skyline. But no one out-weirds the new Hard Rock, shaped like a standing guitar and built totally to scale. Inside the 450-foot-tall instrument with illuminated frets and strings are 638 state-of-the-art guest rooms, but they are hardly the point. Downstairs, a 13.5-acre lagoon wends around the $1.5 billion expansion that includes 30,000 square feet of new gaming areas and the 7,000-seat Hard Rock Live, drawing top talent; do a double-header with crooner Tony Bennett (Dec. 8), followed by comedians John Mulaney and Pete Davidson on Dec. 9. There are now 19 dining venues and 20 bars and lounges (from modern-Japanese restaurant Kuro to the share-plate concept bar Abiaka) and lots of spots to spa with the arrival of a new retreat with 21 treatment rooms, including three 800-square-foot private therapy suites.
1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; Rooms from $349
This 1936 deco darling recently emerged from a $90 million makeover courtesy of Argentinian designer Juan Ciavarella, and it was worth every penny. The swanky Lennox retains much of its old-school vibe, like the original facade, the terrazzo floors and those white archways. But the addition of a fourth building means the property now wraps around an interior courtyard, lending the venerable icon a distinctive Mediterranean flair. Change into your most eye-popping caftan in one of the 119 eco-chic guest rooms, then head down to the courtyard swimming pool for al fresco dining and a poolside cocktail bar. Any guest can grab the shuttle to the hotel’s own swath of sand, where turquoise lounges and umbrellas match the vibrant shade of the Atlantic.
1900 Collins Ave.; Rooms from $299