If you are going to be in Miami for only a night or two, and if you aren’t staying in South Beach, then choosing airport area accommodations make sense. The MIA airports provide the best value in the city. And the airport area is close to downtown. An airport hotel is especially suggested if you are on your way to or from a cruise.
Best Overall Miami Airport Hotel
The Sofitel takes our top Miami airport honors in large part because of it’s perfect location. It is very close to MIA—about a 5 minute ride via the frequent and complimentary shuttle—but the hotel’s setting on a large, peaceful lagoon makes the airport seem much further away than that. The Sofitel is also right off highway 836, giving you easy access to the turnpike and downtown. You can get from your Sofitel hotel room to the nearest beach in about 15 minutes. All the rooms are elegantly furnished. The suites are often only around $20 more than the “superior” (eg. basic) rooms and well worth the upgrade. Our only complaint about this hotel? There’s an extra charge for in-room wifi internet.
Honorable Mention Best MIA Hotel
For single and business travelers, we recommend the Sofitel (reviewed above). For families, the Homewood Suites is the better choice. Everything from the restaurant to the restrooms to the outdoor pool to the welcoming staff are very kid-friendly. Homewood Suites is also an economical choice, partly because of the relatively low room rate and free parking but also because it is within walking distance of a Publix grocery store where you can buy your own food—all rooms have a fridge and microwave. The airport shuttle is complimentary.
Best Value Miami Airport Hotel
If you’ve heard or read negative reports about the Wyndham Miami Airport they almost certainly came from people who stayed here before this hotel’s renovation. Post-renovation the hotel provides a significantly higher quality experience, thankfully without charging significantly higher prices. All rooms have 32″ flatscreen TVs (with a channel that lists updated flight status) and marble bathrooms. Unlike the above two hotels, there’s also free in-room internet. The complimentary airport shuttle runs 24 hours. Although the hotel is conveniently located across the street from a Tri-Rail station it isn’t really within walking distance of anything else—that’s perfectly okay for one or two nights but we wouldn’t want to spend more than that here without a car. Upon check-in, ask for a room that faces the golf course (as opposed to one facing the airport).
Miami International Airport
Priority Pass Lounges: In Concourse F: Club America (follow signs after security). In Concourse H: Delta Crown Room Club (across from Gate H15). In Concourse J South: Club America (across from the Alitalia ticket counter). Priority Pass members have access to these lounges regardless of what airline they fly or what class they fly in.
Miami Travel Info
Best Miami Travel Guidebooks
|Best Miami Guidebook for the Kindle: Offbeat Guides has two Kindle offerings, one for the whole of Miami the other that concentrates on the South Beach / Miami Beach area. If your travels are taking you further afield check out the Florida Keys & Everglades Travel Adventures guide, Florida Off the Beaten Path and The Little Black Book of Walt Disney World.
The Kindle is an electronic e-book reading device with a screen that mimics the look of the printed page. The device is as thin as a magazine, lighter than a paperback, holds at least 1,500 books (!). Highly suggested for frequent travelers.
|Best Miami Paper Guidebooks: For a general guide the best choice is the Rough Guide to Miami & South Florida. However, there are many specialty guidebooks that might work better for your particular trip. For advice on exploring Miami’s hip and glamorous side we are huge fans of Hedonist’s Guide To Miami. For restaurant reviews buy the Zagat Guide; the Streetwise laminated map will help you find your way there. Frommer’s has a good guidebook to the whole of Florida. The award-winning The Complete Walt Disney World is a superb guidebook to that theme park.|
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Don’t Head To Florida Without . . .
. . . a waterproof case for your iPod
A good case will not only protect your iPod from water but also from sand, dust and drops. Check out this review of the best waterproof iPod cases for more information.