Headed to Miami on a budget? These affordable hotels on the main South Beach drag that is the center of entertainment offer the most bang for your buck, not to mention prime location and plenty of upside.
The Miami that most out-of-town visitors know is the one of steamy summer weather, sheer opulence, fast money, gluttonous excess, and glitzy sensory overload. Of course, the locals and insiders are happy to indulge all those “Magic City” stereotypes, because that’s the version that many tourists pay handsomely to be a part of. And South Floridians play the fiddle in tune because “a fool and his money are soon parted” as the old saying goes – more revenues generated and jobs created for the city’s residents.
That being said, having a blast in Miami on a budget is actually much easier than you think. With the right hotel choice, you can save A TON money for all the fun stuff: shows, attractions, and of course…. reasonably priced (aka “Ballin on a Budget”) nightlife. But, first things first: if you’ve already told yourself that you’re one of those party animals that only needs a room to shower and nap pretty much, then you should to move early to lock down a good room rate at one of the best cheap (3-star or lower) hotels in Miami.
Take it from us experts: there are indeed a handful of budget-conscious resorts that offer all the amenities you need in the central location you want – right smack dab on South Beach – and at a ridiculously reasonable price point. Here, in order of our highly experienced customer service staff’s preferences, is our Discotech Top 10 List of best cheap – ahem, “affordable” – hotels smack in the center of Miami’s primary entertainment district, all within walking distance of the city’s world-famous nightclubs:
1) Hotel Victor
Located next to the Versace Mansion, the Victor was designed by Jacques Garcia (the man behind Paris’s Hôtel Costes), who adapted the “retro” 1930s Art-Deco feel into the Victor’s modern architecture. Garcia splashed the interiors with bold reds, magentas, and emeralds against warm and soothing beige tones. The Victor’s mosaic-tiled pool is tiny but equally beautifully decorated, as are the spa and the on-site restaurant Bice Ristorante. Comfortable guest rooms are outfitted with walk-in showers and infinity bathtubs for you to relax to the fullest while scrubbing the South Beach sand off your newly tanned body.
- Sharp rooms with Keurig coffeemakers and 42-inch flat-screen TVs
- Bungalow Rooms with direct pool access and outdoor rainfall showers
- Casual outdoor pool with bar and stylish daybeds
- Fitness center with a wide selection of cardio and weight machines
- Lobby bar and independently owned/operated restaurants on-site
- Free bike rental
- Complimentary Wi-Fi plus free iPad use (hour per day)
Set in a 1930s Art Deco building just two blocks from the beach, the Freehand features amenities, a guest kitchen, complimentary Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast with Cuban pastries and locally roasted Panther Coffee, a happy hour for shared-room guests, and a chic hotel pool. One of the best budget hotels in Miami, the Freehand is not short on quirky character than many of its South Beach competitors, with vintage pieces from flea markets adorning the lobby and its 63 guest rooms. Because the property started out as a hostel – and technically still is – guests can opt to book shared “dorms” for four or eight in addition to private rooms for two. This hotel attracts mostly international clients, who are drawn by both the congenial atmosphere it exudes and its proximity to the South Beach eye candy.
- Convivial atmosphere in lobby lounge
- Chic outdoor pool with poolside table service
- Broken Shaker cocktail bar draws locals and visitors
- Excellent value for style and location
- Free breakfast
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
3) President Hotel
Location, location, location: the recently renovated three-star President Hotel is well-located in the Art Deco district of Collins Avenue, just a mere 15-minute walk from Ocean Drive. The hotel has fresh and modern wood-floored rooms – 64 guest on-site plus 20 villa annexes next door – decorated in minimalist nature motifs. The hotel has a small front terrace and a cocktail and smoothie bar in the lobby, plus a casual full-service on-site restaurant for you to grab a quick 10-minute bite…. before taking 2-3 hours to get ready for your epic night out at the Miami nightclubs.
- Short walk to the beach and Ocean Drive
- Guest rooms with mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs
- Casual lobby restaurant and lobby bar serving cocktails and smoothies
- Continental breakfast with upgraded hot options
- Front porch terrace with tables and chairs
4) Colony Hotel
Launched in 1939 and last renovated in 2008, the Colony Hotel is a bustling, not-so-quiet party pad that offers 50 clean and modern rooms with picturesque views of Lummus Park. Across from the beach and in the middle of the all-night Ocean Drive chaos, this hotel relishes its niche role catering to younger spring breakers, with free Wi-Fi and a bar that serves fishbowl-size mojitos. For guests who aren’t going to be bothered by dingy yet safe hallways and tiny guest room bathrooms, the Colony is a wonderful way to stretch your dollar
- Prime location across street from South Beach
- 37-inch flat-screen TVs
- Clean, modern bedrooms
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
5) Clinton Hotel
The Clinton is an affordable, comfortable, clean hotel that’s only two blocks from the beach while surrounded by the swarm of South Beach bars and restaurants.. The upholstery is aging and the rooms are small, but the property make up for that by offersingmore amenities than most small-scale budget boutiques in the area. And the best part: it’s actually tucked away in a much quieter location than most South Beach hotels, so your night’s sleep – or day’s sleep, you party animal! – will be more peaceful and less subject to noise interruptions.
- Sunny enclosed courtyard
- Large hot tub on-site
- On-site French restaurant (with room service)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi and in-room Netflix
6) Kimpton Angler’s Hotel
With its lush tropical gardens buffering its guests from the white-hot bustle of the South Beach streets, The Kimpton Angler’s Hotel has all the feel of a serene desert oasis. This low-key 46-room property also has a top-notch restaurant and a small but well-groomed and always peaceful pool and courtyard. Other surrounding properties in the neighborhood do offer more features and amenities, but the Angler should be your go-to choice if the only thing you really care about – other than your party plans – is having a hotel room that is more adult than college dorm.
- Spacious Wallace Tutt-designed rooms
- HDTVs plus surround sound in each room
- Central location to main South Beach drag
- Free passes to Miami Life Center’s yoga classes (1 block away)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
7) Marseilles Hotel
In the heart and soul of Miami Beach, the 111-room Marseilles Hotel combines historic art deco charm with modern sophistication and comfort. It is elegant yet unpretentious, and bursting at the seams with vibrant color patterns. Proximity to the beach is the main selling point of Marseille, but a relatively large outdoor pool with lots of seating is certainly a plus. Brightly decorated rooms come with coffee makers and electronic safes, and some of the rooms even have small balconies to take in Miami cityscape views and jetted tubs.
- Beach loungers and umbrellas (included in resort fee)
- Contemporary, rooms with hairdryers, flat-screen TVs, and AC
- Attractive pool lined by loungers and daybeds
- Casual all-day American restaurant and a backyard bar
- Daily happy hour with free cocktails
- Meeting room and business center
- On-site gymnasium
8) National Hotel
Designed by Roy France, one of the Art Deco period’s foremost architects, National Hotel was one of the grandest luxury hotels on Miami Beach when it opened in 1940. In 1997, new owners and management restored and reopened the hotel, which today stands asa historical landmark and treasure in the heart of ritzy South Beach. The National Hotel is hard to beat when it comes to location – a stone’s throw from the sand and rolling waves – but it’s got plenty of style and amenities as well. The tower’s 116 rooms provide sweeping views of downtown Miami across to the Atlantic Ocean, with cabanas and artist-inspired suites lining Miami’s longest infinity-edge party pool. The poolside Aqua Club is a prime pre-game prelude to a long night of South Beach partying, with specialty cocktails and classic favorites available.
- Expansive pool deck and swimming pools
- Direct beach access
- 24-hour concierge
- Great on-site fitness center + yoga classes
- On-site restaurant
9) Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel
Built in 1948 and acquired by the Kimpton hotel chain in 2011, the 186-room Surfcomber Hotel is more affordable and more casual than most of its swankier neighbors. It’s always been more hip with the cool kids: with its giant rectangular pool and direct beach access, the hotel has become world-famous for its high-energy pool parties during big Miami weekends (it served as the headquarters for MTV during the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards and for Bud Light during 2010 Super Bowl XLIV). On the inside, the rooms are small but trendy with colorful surf-themed decor and a host of modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, smartphone docks, and in-room yoga equipment.
- Large pool with waterfall and cabanas
- 2 stylish restaurants and a poolside bar
- Rental chairs, umbrellas, and bar service on the beach
- Rooms have flat-screen TVs, iHome docks, and cool surf-inspired decor
- Fitness center with modern equipment
- Free morning coffee, evening wine hours, in-room yoga equipment
- In-room and cabana massages available
10) Townhouse Hotel Miami
Where beach house charm meets old-fashioned comfort in the heart of South Beach. Located steps from South Beach, the Townhouse is quite the minimalist property that offers guests bright, stylish rooms with little to add in terms of amenities. Still, it’s a property that’s cleaner, more modern, and less sketchy then some of the other South Beach hotels at the same price point. It’s also a great fit for clubheads and well-behaved party people, as it attracts a younger, hipper, and good-looking global crowd that takes advantage of the venue’s proximity to the famed Miami nightlife spots.
- Direct beach access
- Rooftop bar The Cape (managed by SBE)
- On-site restaurant Ramen Baby Burger
- Free continental breakfast
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Free coffee and water in the lobby
Miami is definitely a place where things can escalate quickly in terms of expenses, especially when the party picks up and the food and drink are flowing Nevertheless, it is still a magical landscape where fun can be had on the cheap if you know the lay of the land; your our friends and budget nightlife guides here at Discotech are an essential part of that equation. What are you waiting for? Download our app now – featured on BBC Travel and highly reviewed on Yelp! – in the App Store or Google Play.