730 S. Dixie Hwy., 305/661-7999, thegablesinn.net
A comfortable Mediterranean-style motel with arched, deep-ocher walkways and marble-tile floors. The downside: The highway location can make it noisy, so bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper. Doubles from $68.
Holiday Inn Port of Miami Downtown
340 Biscayne Blvd., 305/371-4400 or 800/526-5655, holiday-inn.com
Recently renovated, with a nice view of the Port of Miami. Large, light rooms and easy access to public transportation. Outdoor pool. Kids eat free. Doubles from $109.
Miami River Inn
118 SW S. River Dr., 305/325-0045 or 800/468-3589, miamiriverinn.com
An offbeat charmer with 40 guest rooms in a cluster of cottages around a courtyard and small pool. Rooms have hardwood floors and antique beds and dressers. "Well-behaved" pets welcome. Doubles from $69 in summer, $89 in winter.
1530 Collins Ave., 305/538-4361, aquamiami.com
Funky motel conversion a block from the beach with spartan-chic rooms (concrete floors, modern furniture) overlooking a courtyard. The private sundeck makes a terrific (and quiet) sunbathing spot. Doubles from $99 in summer, $150 in winter.
956 Washington Ave., 305/531-8081 or 800/270-4981, hotelastor.com
The beige rooms are huge for an old deco hotel, with nice touches like TVs on swivel poles and rain-head showers. The staff is reliably friendly. It's a two-block walk to the beach. Doubles from $125 in summer, $190 in winter.
Royal South Beach Condo Hotel
758 Washington Ave., 305/673-9009 or 888/394-6835, royalsouthbeach.com
A funky bargain with a candy-colored lobby and futuristic accents. White rooms have injection-molded plastic bed frames, curvy chaise lounges, and other Jetsons-style furniture. Every room has a microwave, coffeemaker, and free toothpaste. The beach is two blocks away. Doubles from $89.
South Beach Plaza Villas
1411 Collins Ave., 305/531-1331, southbeachplazavillas.com
A shady group of buildings crowded together and outfitted with dark-wood furniture and handsome, tone-on-tone fabrics. One of the best low-cost options near the water, with a lush tropical courtyard just a half-block off the beach. Doubles from $129.
The Standard 40 Island Ave., 305/673-1717, standardhotel.com
A scene-y hotel on South Beach's western side, 10 blocks from the beach. There's a sumptuous spa with Turkish baths, waterfall hot tubs, nude mud baths, and an on-site yoga center. Rooms are small and basic. Doubles from $150, opens Oct. 2005.
150 20th St., 305/534-3800 or 877/534-3800, townhousehotel.com
The best boutique hotel near the beach, with an attentive, laid-back staff; small, beautifully minimalist rooms; and an inviting roof deck with crimson water beds for sunbathing. A two-minute walk to the water. Doubles from $135.
Appreciating Art Deco
Miami is famous for its art deco architecture, especially the hotels that dominate South Beach's skyline. Deco comes in different styles that are easy to spot.
Get with more from BudgetTravel.com
Budget Travel Real Deals