The 5 Best Hotels to Stay in During Art Basel Miami Beach

Miami isn't exactly lacking in hotels, but picking the right one can get a bit overwhelming.

The Faena Pool. Courtesy Faena Hotel Miami Beach

It’s that time of year again, when the entire art world will soon be descending upon Miami for Art Basel Miami Beach. Of course, in the past few years, the Miami Basel scene has morphed into something that’s not just about the actual artwork—the design, fashion and social spheres are all included in the week’s lineup of events.

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If you’re planning on making the trip to the art fair this year, which runs from December 7 to December 10, you’re going to want to ensure you’ve chosen the best accommodations. Sure, Miami isn’t exactly lacking in hotels, but picking the right one can get a bit overwhelming. And after all, you don’t want to arrive and realize the hotel you’re booked at isn’t quite up to par.

Below, see our top five picks for where to stay during Art Basel Miami Beach this year.

The Setai

The Setai offers an upscale experience. Courtesy The Setai

This oceanfront hotel is known to be a celebrity favorite, and it’s easy to see why. The hotel’s appearance is a combination of Miami’s Art Deco aesthetic with a Far Eastern look—the interiors include Burmese teak, Indonesian bronze and bricks from Shanghai.

There are a total of 134 rooms and suites at the Setai, including the 87 studio suites in the Art Deco Building, which range from 550 to 1,200 square feet, and the 47 ocean suites within the more modern Residential Tower, which are between 900 to 3,400 square feet.

The Setai isn’t quite as overflowing with eager partygoers as some of the other resorts in Miami, but in a good way—it’s an upscale and subdued experience. Outside, guests can lay out at one of the three separate pools and cabanas, and there are three restaurants, plus The Bar and The Courtyard for drinks and music. If you have the chance, try to check out The Spa at The Setai by Thémaé—they offer some very unique, luxe services like the Bali Oriental ritual, Himalayan hot stone massage and slimming massage journey.

Miami Edition

The Miami Edition. Courtesy The Miami Edition

The Miami Edition has drawn eager guests and crowds since it opened in 2014. The hotel is comprised of 294 rooms and suites, including 28 private bungalows, all with modern furnishings, oak paneling and marble bathrooms. The rooms are stocked with Le Labo products, the same fragrance brand that created the hotel’s signature scent. Indeed, if you’ve ever set foot in any of the Edition hotels, you’ve likely caught a strong whiff of the lobby’s fragrance.

The Edition’s “basement” is surely one of its most popular aspects, perhaps due to its extremely Instagrammable nature; the rainbow-hued bowling alley and ice-skating rink are ideal for photo ops, as is the nightclub. Hotel guests also get access to the Beach Club at the Edition, which is typically a private members club—it includes admission to the hotel’s restaurants, beach, two pools and clubs.

Faena Miami Beach

Faena Hotel Miami Beach is a glamorous, retro option. Courtesy Bill Wisser

The glamorous Faena opened during Art Basel Miami Beach two years ago—developer Alan Faena and his business partner Len Blavatnik launched the luxe spot, which was formerly known as the Saxony Hotel, in December 2015.

Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin designed the hotel’s lavish interiors, including each of the 169 rooms and suites, which feature sleek hardwood floors, red velvet accents and blue-tiled bathrooms. Outside, the pool is lined with palm trees and red and white striped umbrellas, giving it a retro vibe, and there’s also the beach club, Faena Playa. The hotel also houses the 3,000-square-foot cabaret-like Faena Theater, which is a natural setting for special performances.

Faena Miami Beach is perfect for the art-obsessed, as it features works by artists like Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Alberto Garutti and Juan Gatti.

W South Beach

The W South Beach is one of the largest hotels. W South Beach

The W South Beach is always a safe bet for a luxurious stay in Miami. There are 350 rooms, including 134 suites, and many have private balconies.

There are two pools to choose from, so if you’re thinking about spending a day lounging and taking a break from the art fair madness, renting one of the cabanas is the right move. Granted, the pool at the W can be a tad on the noisy side, but there’s also the beach, with daybeds and cabanas and the option to go kite surfing or jet skiing.

This hotel is the ideal place to focus on your wellness; there’s a fitness center where you can choose from classes like Beach Yoga and W Boot Camp, or you can get a customized workout with a personal trainer. For those who aren’t in the mood to sit in a gym all day, there are even rooftop basketball and tennis courts.

1 Hotel South Beach

One of the four pools at 1 Hotel South Beach. Courtesy 1 Hotel South Beach

The eco-friendly 1 Hotel South Beach is a unique spot in the area, as it was designed using mostly reclaimed materials, a theme that extends to the actual accommodations.

There are 425 rooms, including 168 suites, and they’ve been outfitted with sustainable items like custom hemp-blended mattresses and driftwood furniture. There are custom bath products with natural ingredients, and even the robes, towels and linens are made from all-natural cotton. Each room also has a terrarium, a motif that is carried on to the living green walls on the hotel’s façade and in one of the two ballrooms. In addition, a gallery in the lobby shows off seasonal displays.

There are four outdoor pools, including the massive rooftop pool and lounge (it’s the largest in South Beach), with the requisite cabanas and daybeds. A bonus to choosing the 1 Hotel is that guests have access to complimentary rides from a fleet of Tesla electric cars—within a three-mile radius of the hotel, that is.

The 5 Best Hotels to Stay in During Art Basel Miami Beach