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Fodor's Expert Review Cadet Hotel

1701 James Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, 33139, United States See on Map Fodor's Choice

A former home to World War II air force cadets, this gem has been reimagined as an oasis in South Beach, offering the antithesis of the sometimes maddening jet-set scene with 34 distinctive rooms exuding understated luxury. All rooms implement art deco style and feature beautiful antiques hand-chosen by the hotel's proprietor. If you're looking for loud music and wild times, go elsewhere. Cadet is more about enjoying a good read on the patio and discovering elusive serenity in the heart of South Beach. It is one of the few privately owned hotels in the area, owned by breast cancer specialist Vilma Biaggi, M.D., who spends almost every weekend at the hotel (and plays piano for guests some nights). Little touches, like candles in the lobby, fresh flowers all around, high-thread-count sheets, and small pouches filled with fresh lavender or seashells, depending on the season, show care and sophistication. This intimate hideaway is one block away from Lincoln Road, two blocks from the beach, and two blocks from the New World Symphony. Clark Gable stayed in Room 224 during his time training with the Army Air Corps in the 1940s. For slightly more money, opt for the breakfast package and enjoy a sumptuous start to your morning in the patio-garden.

room

While not modernistic fantasies like other South Beach hotels, the rooms at the Cadet are warm and inviting. Vintage touches, like iron lighting fixtures or steamer trunks, add nice accent notes. Amenities include mini-fridge, desk, Wi-Fi, and free newspaper.

bathroom

Bathrooms are on the small side, but do offer bath products and robes.

lobby

A small lobby is steeped in history. A terrazzo compass rose leads the way and pictures of Clark Gable remind guests that the dashing actor spent time here while training with the Air Corps during World War II.

pool

A very small plunge pool has jets for relaxation.

spa

Spa services are available upon request.

dining

Pied a terre restaurant offers dinner nightly, featuring a large selection of Canadian foie gras.

drinking

The lobby bar offers cocktails. A Scotch bar has a vast selection of spirits.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The Cadet Hotel is located within walking distance of most South Beach restaurants and attractions. A free Miami Beach trolley runs seven days a week.

Restaurants

Dolce Italian Miami (5-minute walk) serves classic red sauce dishes in an art deco setting. Cleo (5-minute walk) offers Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare in a colorful souk-like setting.

Bars

The Regent Cocktail Club (5-minute walk) serves classic cocktails. Bartenders "throw" their daiquiris in the classic Havana style. Repour (5-minute walk) offers cocktails made with herbs and botanicals grown in the bar's own garden.

WHY WE LIKE IT

In intimate hotel steeped in history provides a comfortable night's sleep after exploring Miami Beach.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Sophisticated
Near the beach
Casual Chic
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 305-672–6688;800-432–2338

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