With only 24-hours in Miami after our Virgin Voyages cruise, we checked out a hotel that has been calling our name — The Esme Hotel in Miami Beach!
It’s cute! The Esme blends the new and the classic so well. From the rooftop bar to the rich-textured rooms, everything felt bespoke and original.
Location, location, location. The Esme sits in the thick of South Beach, just a five-minute walk from the beach and tripping distance from restaurants and bars (we’ll come back to this!)
The price is right. Having spent most of our budget on the cruise itself, we didn’t want to pay $500+ for a single night. The Esme gave us the perfect taste of Miami at a great, reasonable rate.
This little boutique gem is just a few blocks from Ocean Drive and the beach. Española Way, a cafe-lined pedestrian-only street, runs along the side of the Esme property. Restaurants include classic Cuban food, pizza, sushi — pretty much everything. You could probably spend a long weekend at the Esme and never need a car.
The Esme is made up of several buildings connected by paseos. The main building, Esme Village, holds the rooms and suites decked out in soft-palette pinks and jewel-green hues. The rooms and suites of Esme’s second building, Casa Matazana, feature darker, moodier reds, greens, and yellows.
In addition to the rooms, Esme Village also hosts The Drexel, a Mediterranean restaurant; Sushi | Bar, an Omakase restaurant; Tropezon, with tapas on the menu; and El Salon, an intimately sized bar featuring several in-house whiskey fusions that make your favorite cocktail even better.
And of course, the Esme’s rooftop pool with its off-to-the-side bar simply can’t be beat. There is no gym on-site, but the hotel does provide passes for a nearby gym, and complimentary bicycles are available for use.
The Esme’s history is so cool. Opened in 2021, the property formerly served as a colony for artists and outcasts in the 20s. One of the buildings is even rumored to have been a former hideaway and an underground gambling operation for Al Capone.
What we loved?
It definitely lived up to the vibe. The building’s history is reflected in its design - a Spanish-Mediterranean influence with a retro, moody atmosphere. It feels exclusive and chic, but it won’t hurt your wallet.
Rooftop pool, with views of the beach - say less! We wish we had more time to take advantage of the pool deck.
Esme village itself has plenty to offer, but even more restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. are well within walking distance. You can experience a lot without having to call an Uber.
The staff were super attentive and helpful. We got there a few hours before check-in, and they were happy to hold our bags for us.
Things to keep in mind:
The standard rooms are very COZY, and there’s not a sitting area or a place to set your luggage. If you need more room, I would recommend upgrading to one of the suites.
If you’re sensitive to noise, you’ll want to stay in one of the more interior rooms, and not facing Española Way. Our room was fairly quiet, but we could hear guests talking as they walked down the hall.
There is a $40 per room, per night (plus tax) “Village Amenity Fee” added on to the nightly rate. Resort fees in beachy destinations are pretty standard these days, but sometimes they can catch you off guard.
How to get there?
We found that the easiest way to get around Miami was using rideshare services. The Esme is 12.5 miles away from Miami International Airport (MIA), which is about a 25- to 30-min drive, and Miami Port is 6.9 miles away, which is about a 20- to 25-min drive.
What to do near Esme Hotel Miami Beach?
Lounge on the beach: A stay at the Esme Hotel includes complimentary beach access just a short 5-minute walk away with chairs and towels, so why not spend some time lounging in the sand?
Stroll along Miami Beach Boardwalk: The Miami Beach Boardwalk is a scenic pathway that runs along the beach, making it a great spot for a morning bike ride or a sunset stroll.
Tour the Art Deco Historic District: The district is home to over 800 pastel-hued Art Deco buildings that date back to the 1920s and 30s, a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.
Visit the Bass Museum of Art: Just a short walk from the Esme Hotel, the museum offers an eclectic collection of contemporary art and design, from both established and emerging artists.
Get Zen at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden: If you’re looking for a peaceful escape, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden is just a few blocks from the hotel and features a variety of plants, trees, and sculptures.
Where to eat near Esme Hotel Miami Beach?
La Mulata: Across the street from Esme, La Mulata serves up authentic Cuban cuisine in a cozy, casual atmosphere and top-notch service. Everything we tried on the menu was fantastic! The guava mojito and paella habanera were highlights for me.
The Drexel: Located just behind the Esme as part of the village, The Drexel bills itself as sophisticated Mediterranean. It’s a great spot for a romantic dinner.
Tropezón: With tapas and infused gin cocktails on the menu, you’ll want to take your time to explore the menu of Tropezón.
Sushi | Bar: Located on Espanola Way, Sushi | Bar is an intimate Omakase-style restaurant with a fixed 17-course offering. With only 12 seats in the restaurant, reservations are an absolute must!
Planta South Beach: This plant-based, casual restaurant offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, including sushi, pizza, and pasta. It’s just a few blocks away from the hotel.
Who’s it for?
The Esme feels prime for bachelor/bachelorette parties or couples looking for something special on a budget. It was definitely a fantastic place to spend our less-than-24-hour stopover in Miami. where to stay Miami