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Esmé, Miami, USA
A stylish hotel with a Spanish hacienda feel, occupying a series of eight historic buildings which stretch back along Española Way, with the main entrance located on buzzy Washington Avenue. A fine example of Mediterranean Revival architecture, it was latterly a hostel called the Clay (where it's rumoured Desi Arnaz introduced the rumba to America in the 1930s) and has been beautifully updated and modernised while keeping faithful to the original architecture. Thanks to the connecting outdoor courtyards and passages, it evokes a Spanish village, with a bar and restaurant on ground level, and on top, a rooftop area with a pool, connected by small bridges. It's surrounded by dozens of other bars and restaurants, and the beach is only a few minutes' walk away. A nearby sister property, Casa Matanza, offers even more accommodation.
The temporary art installation just across the road from the hotel, Little Cloud Sky, raised a smile.
The hotel is on the corner of Española Way, a vibrant shopping district. You're also close to numerous beaches.
By plane: direct flights from London to Miami International take 10 hours. The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs $45 per day. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
This hotel suits sophisticated couples and friends who like the finer things in life. We loved the homage to the original, Spanish-style décor, interspersed with contemporary touches and design.
Service & Facilities
Events and 'happenings' are regularly planned, such as happy hour drinks at the bar, themed brunches or DJ nights.
- Swimming pool
- Bike hire
- On-site parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The corner suites look right onto both Española Way and Washington Avenue, and have a small balcony. The blackout curtains and soundproofed windows are essential for when South Beach nightlife really gets going.
Village, Matanza, Village Deluxe, Matanza Deluxe, Village Balcony, Matanza Balcony, Española Suite, Matanza Suite, Louise Suite, Capone Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, espresso machine, in-room tablet, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
There is lots of choice, and each venue has its own distinct vibe. The grilled red snapper at The Drexel with a lemon and herb sauce tasted fresh and zingy.
The Drexel: casual restaurant, open-flame cooking, Mediterranean cuisine. Open daily, from 6pm.
Sushi | Bar: intimate sushi counter, 17-course omakase menu. Open Wed-Sun, from 5pm.
Tropezón: Spanish tapas and creative cocktails. Open daily for dinner, Fri-Sun for lunch.