6 Miami Hotels With Can’t-Miss Nightlife

See recent posts by Krystin Arneson

Pool Bar at Clevelander South Beach Hotel, Miami/Oyster

The bar at the Clevelander Hotel.

There's no shortage of places to dance the night away in in Miami -- particularly when you get to the sandy stretches of South Beach, where hotel bars are less of a cliche and more of a pulsing, buzzing, worth-the-queue nightlife destination. Plus, staying there not only makes getting home convenient (elevators are much cheaper than taxi fares), but there are often guest perks to the on-site clubs, like waived covers or VIP treatment. We've rounded up six of our favorite Miami hotels with can't-miss nightlife, from South Beach to downtown.  

1. W South Beach

It’s hard to top the W with its perfect blend of substance and style. There’s the company’s aesthetic of sexy, modern design and the substance that makes a truly great hotel. In this case, when it comes to “substance,” we’re talking one of South Beach’s best nightlife venues — specifically, the somewhat strangely named WALL club, which keeps the music and drinks going until the early hours. And don’t worry about coming during the weekend: Weeknights (particularly Tuesdays) are some of the busiest. 

Before you go up to WALL, make sure to swing by the apothecary-themed Living Room (pictured) for a cocktail — it’s worth the detour just to see the original artwork by Basquiat, Warhol, and others.  

2. Gale South Beach

The Gale Hotel has a bar that’s been nominated as one of the best hotel bars in the world by Tales of the Cocktail — and for good reason: the Regent Cocktail Club is at the forefront of a passionate movement to cement a thriving cocktail culture in Miami. Each drink is a mini-education in mixology, served in a swanky retro atmosphere that draws upon the 1940s vibe of the original space. But it’s not just the super old-fashioned (or old fashioneds) you’ll find here: The Rec Room is a throwback space designed to look like a friend’s basement from the ’70s (though one inspired by Pinterest and a furnished with a very high budget). It’s one of Gale Hotel’s parent company’s newest nightlife offerings, and with a lineup of DJs and hours that keep up with the rest of South Beach’s club scene, it doesn’t disappoint. (Bonus: guests at the hotel get preferred VIP access.) 

3. Fontainebleu Miami Beach

The Fontainebleau Hotel’s bar has a star-studded history: Old Hollywood-era stars like Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends were known to get a drink at the lobby’s Bleau Bar. It’s no less popular today. According to MiamiandBeaches.com: Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian have both been spotted there (though not necessarily together). However, it’ll look a little different than it did in Sinatra’s time: The property poured $1 billion into a renovation in 2008 that’s given the property a major upgrade — and some characteristically Miami vibes. At night, the place to go is LIV, the hotel’s megaclub — four bars and clubs, each with a different style —  that’s the hottest spot this side of South Beach (even P-Diddy’s been known to stop by). 

4. Clevelander Hotel

Pool Bar at Clevelander South Beach Hotel/Oyster

A hotel in name, a massive, sprawling party by night (and day), the Clevelander Hotel has been throwing “ragers” (as some of its guests might say) since 1938. It’s not the most sophisticated spot in town –mixology lovers might head elsewhere — but the music is loud and non-craft beer flowing (bonus: you can grab a brew for less than $10 here). With plenty of bars, clubs, and terraces to imbibe (and dance) in and on, the party is practically nonstop. 

5. Kimpton EPIC Hotel

Kimpton EPIC Hotel’s LILT lounge lives up to the hotel’s name when it comes to their drink program, which shows off speciality cocktails and an excellent daily happy hour featuring per-glass champagne specials to get the night going. And get doing it does: At some points it seems as if there’s more clubgoers in the hotel than guests. It bills itself as a little more sophisticated than the downtown club scene, but don’t mistake that for pretentiousness: The poolside DJ (especially on Friday nights) is backgrounded by stunning skyline views for an atmosphere that’s perfectly uptown. 

6. The Miami Beach Edition

The Edition’s “micro-club,” Basement Miami, is billed as an homage to Studio 54. And in terms of quality, it certainly doesn’t miss the mark, with top DJs lining up to perform there. But there’s much more to this Edition than a dance floor. There’s a 2,000-square-foot indoor ice skating rink that’s open until midnight with lightshows and pulsing music and a four-lane bowling alley with lighting that syncs up with players’ movements with games going until the early hours. One of the many brilliant minds behind this three-in-one concept is Patrick Woodroffe, who’s done lighting design for Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Michael Jackson. 

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