Fully renovated in 2014, the National Hotel maintains its distinct art deco heritage (the chocolate- and ebony-hued pieces in the lobby date back to the 1930s, and the baby grand piano headlines the throwback Blues Bar) while also keeping up with SoBe's glossy newcomers. Guest rooms are found within the historic art deco tower and larger suites in the poolside cabana wing. The hotel serves as a bastion of calm in the sea of white-on-white mod decor and raucous reveling typical of most other beachfront properties lining this stretch of Collins Avenue. The most spectacular feature is Miami Beach's longest pool, which stretches from the tower, past a series of comfy black-and-white-striped cabanas and poolside tables, to a duo of tropical tiki bars and the beach.
Look out for references to the year 1939 - the year the hotel was built.
Bathrooms are stocked with the hotel's own brand of bath products.
The lobby is one of the quietest in South Beach, giving it an elegant feel. Decorated in gold and brown hues, it's a tranquil, Art Deco spot to relax.
Though there isn't a spa, the hotel offers poolside massages and yoga classes.
A well-equipped gym features stationary bicycles, treadmills, and free weights. Fresh fruit is offered as a welcome post-workout snack.
Tamara's Bistro offers Mediterranean fare, while the Aqua Bar & Grill serves light bites poolside.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The National's restaurants aren't very "scene-y" as other South Beach eateries, and mainly attract hotel guests as its clientele.
The Miami Beach free trolley operates Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to midnight, Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight. Several routes exist, the most popular being the Collins Express that goes directly to Ocean Drive.
Cleo South Beach (5-minute walk) offers Mediterranean dishes from Greece, Persia, and Italy. The News Cafe (20-minute walk) is most famous for being Versace's daily hangout and offers solid cafe fare 24 hours a day.
Sweet Liberty (10-minute walk) is a fun, locals hangout that has won numerous awards for its cocktail program. The Regent Cocktail Club (5-minute walk) features an intimate setting where Miami's best bartenders craft modern takes on classic recipes.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With a strong nod to the past, the National Hotel is a gorgeous example of Art Deco architecture combined with 31-century amenities.