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Miami - United States
When you're looking for accommodations in Miami, keep one thing in mind: the nature and cost of your stay will be determined by the location of your hotel. Within the hazy borders of Greater Miami, over a dozen smaller towns coexist, each with a distinct personality and pace. Visitors are sure to find the perfect vacation spot somewhere within the city; it's just a matter of knowing where to look.
Miami Beach is, in many ways, the quintessential vacation destination. This strip of land, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, offers miles of gorgeous beaches, a wide variety of lodging choices and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options. It is connected to the mainland by six causeways. Families and international travelers often frequent mid-range hotels such as the Golden Sands or the Dezerland Miami Beach Resort, while honeymooners, convention-goers and anyone wishing to splurge can wallow in luxury at resorts such as Loews Miami Beach Hotel or the Fontainebleau.
South Beach lies in the southernmost section of Miami Beach. If you're wondering where the best parties are, look no further - they're all here. The only question is, how close do you want to be? If you stay in a place like the Clevelander, you won't even have to leave the hotel to find yourself in the center of the action. However, at some point amid the shopping, dining and general revelry that constitutes a stay in South Beach, you may want to sleep. If so, make sure you choose a hotel that allows for it. The Blue Moon Hotel and the lushly landscaped Hotel Impala offer pockets of serenity within the busy rush of central South Beach.
Bal Harbour is on the northern end of Miami Beach. It is the most exclusive district in South Florida, and offers only a few accommodation choices, all of them expensive. While some of the world's finest shopping can be found at the Bal Harbour Shops, the main appeal of the district is its stately seclusion. Luxury accommodations there, including the Alexander Hotel, offer every imaginable amenity, including the intangible but priceless one: privacy.
Central Miami is the home of some of the largest, most imposing hotels. Business or leisure travelers who wish to be in the center of the city will appreciate the convenience of the Hotel InterContinental or the Hyatt Regency Miami. Located only minutes from the Port of Miami, Bayside Marketplace and the Metro-Dade Cultural Center, these hotels can be found in the center of the Financial District, near the Design District.
Coral Gables is a charming gated village crisscrossed by canals and covered in lush vegetation. Here you'll also find the The Venetian Pool, an enormous swimming pool shaped by a coral formation. Another attraction is the Biltmore Hotel, a good home base for visitors who like to combine sightseeing with other activities. Another venerable hotel is the Omni Colonnade, located a block away from the Miracle Mile shopping district.
Coconut Grove is a bustling little arts district, chock full of shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. The Grove is second only to South Beach in energy and activity. Accommodation choices are numerous, and most of them are pricey. The Mutiny Hotel offers great service in beautiful surroundings. The Mayfair Hotel & Spa, located just across the street from the Streets of Mayfair shopping center, is a study in stately elegance.
West Miami offers safe, clean, budget-friendly lodgings, as well as more expensive ones. If people choose to stay here, it's either to save money or to be close to the airport. If you're trying to save money, however, note that the only way to get into central Miami is by automobile — and a cab costs about USD20 each way. Most of the quality inexpensive hotels are recognized chains such as the Holiday Inn or the Days Inn. One of the most expensive hotels is the Miami International Airport Hotel, located inside the airport terminal. While the noise of planes flying overhead might be a distraction, this hotel is quite pleasant in all other respects. It's elegant, comfortable and ever so convenient.
The choices above are just a few of the best options in the most popular districts. There are hundreds of other accommodations to choose from, ranging from rock-bottom to five-star. Whatever you're looking for in a hotel, there is no doubt that if you look long and hard enough, you'll find it here.