HOTEL REVIEWS

Miami at a Price That's Right

While not a cheap date when it comes to lodging, Miami does have a handful of hotels that are centrally located, tastefully attired, and surprisingly affordable. Follow our booking strategies, and then stay at one of our top picks.

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HOTEL ST. MICHEL
'Hood Coral Gables, an upscale district about a 20-minute drive from Miami Beach. Some neighborhood highlights/mainstays: The ArtSpace / Virginia Miller Galleries, independent retailer Books & Books (well regarded for its reading series and live jazz), and JohnMartin's Irish Pub & Restaurant (beloved by locals).

The vibe In this 1928 building, leaded-glass front doors open into a bar illuminated by chandeliers and furnished in a way that evokes a postwar Paris bistro.

Rooms Unlike many period hotels with stylized, reproduction furniture, this hotel feels like the real thing. Most of the 28 rooms feature actual antique furnishings and armoires.

Plus In Coral Gables, it's a rare hotel that feels this intimate and old world—especially in the heart of the business district.

Minus The parquet floors in several rooms have scars that need refinishing, and the hallways deserve brighter lighting. Also: The hotel is not on a beach and does not have a pool.

Free Wi-Fi Yes.

Credit cards accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.

Details 162 Alcazar Ave., 305/444-1666, hotelstmichel.com. Doubles from $135.

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HYATT REGENCY MIAMI
'Hood Downtown Miami, which recently transitioned from a dead-after-business-hours district to a lively neighborhood with sky lounges atop glassy towers, luxury hotels like the Four Seasons, and posh restaurants such as P.F. Chang's.

The vibe Low, Asian-style furnishings and a profusion of orchids are a calming influence in the busy lobby of this 26-year-old hotel, conveniently located near the city's main cruise ship terminal.

Rooms The 612 rooms, renovated in 2008, have upgraded amenities that aim to please corporate road warriors, such as granite tabletops and iPod-friendly stereos.

Plus Accessible by covered walkway, the free Metromover rail shuttle takes you to the restaurants on Brickell Avenue, the shops at the Bayside Marketplace, and the shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami/Dade County.

Minus When a convention is being hosted in the on-site facilities, this hotel is loud and a little uptight. Also: The property is not near the beach, and the pool is small.

Free Wi-Fi No; a charge of $10 covers 24 hours.

Credit cards accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.

Details 400 S.E. 2nd Ave., 305/358-1234, miamiregency.hyatt.com. Doubles from $109.

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INDIAN CREEK HOTEL
'Hood Central Miami Beach, one residential block from the boardwalk and overlooking the pretty Intracoastal Waterway. Getting to the South Beach scene requires a taxi.

The vibe In the cozy lobby, piped-in chamber music and colorful canvases on the corn-silk yellow walls create the impression that you've stepped off Miami's streets into a country B&B.

Rooms The 66 studios and one bedrooms are painted in happy shades of pale blue and yellow, and decorated with white bedcoverings and wave-colored runners.

Plus The hotel has a swimming pool, a leafy tropical garden, and the popular restaurant Creek 28 (which serves affordable Mediterranean dishes). In addition, 4 one-bedroom units are available.

Minus Uses window-based air-conditioning units, which can be noisier than a central system. Also: Located two blocks from the beach, by day this is a high-traffic zone.

Free Wi-Fi No; a charge of $6 per day applies for Wi-Fi in rooms and public spaces, but you can print out airline boarding passes from a hotel computer at no cost.

Credit cards accepted AmEx, MC, Visa.

Details 2727 Indian Creek Dr., 305/531-2727, indiancreekhotel.com. Double rooms from $109.

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SONESTA BAYFRONT HOTEL COCONUT GROVE
'Hood Coconut Grove, a harbor-front neighborhood with a hippie past, clings to a no-worries attitude despite a sprinkling of new condo developments.

The vibe Decidedly posh. An eighth-floor outdoor pool overlooks a sailboat marina. Meanwhile, cream-colored leather sofas huddle beneath attractive contemporary artwork in the lobby.

AFFORDABLE MIAMI

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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