Amy Jo Young
Miami's splashy South Beach serves as a hotel mecca for travelers. Every two steps you take, you stumble on a boutique inn, a shiny high-rise, or a Bohemian hostel. How do you know which ones are fabulous and which are, eh, frumpy? We've done the legwork, visited dozens of lodgings, and uncovered some great as well as affordable places. Here's what we found.
Courtyard by Marriott Miami Beach Oceanfront
For travelers who prefer a bit of familiarity in their lodging, opt for this year-old chain hotel. You'll find that it's sophisticated and comfortable, with an added touch of liveliness that you'd only find in Miami.
Originally built in 1940 as the Cadillac Hotel, this 14-story property offers 263 rooms and suites with the amenities, such as free high-speed Internet, that you're used to finding in a Marriott. The hotel sits in the heart of Miami Beach, which means you'll be within walking distance of everything unusual, colorful, and fantastic. The best part? You're mere steps from the beach. 3925 Collins Avenue; (305) 538-3373, 1-800-228-9290, or www.marriott.com/miabh. Rates: start at $119.