Yeah, it's another where to stay in Miami question
April 3, 2009 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a not too expensive (hopefully under $100) place to stay in Miami for one night. I have an overnight layover in Miami coming up. I'm getting in at night and am leaving early the next morning, won't have a car, and am hoping to find a decent/cheap place to stay that is walking distance (or a short cab ride) to places to get some food and drinks.

I know that there are already a bunch of where to stay questions in Miami, but none of them seemed to hit what I'm looking for. I'm up for staying in almost any area of Miami since I won't have time to sightsee. All I want to do is get in, get a tasty bite to eat (not at a chain restaurant), have a few drinks, and sleep.
posted by toddst to Travel & Transportation around Miami, FL (6 answers total)
A quick search of TripAdvisor shows that you're mostly going to find generic airport hotels for that price.

If it were me, I'd probably try out this Holiday Inn Port of Miami Downtown. The reviews say it's in a good, central location, with outdoor shops and restaurants within walking distance.

Or if you're feeling more adventurous, there's a hostel right in the heart of South Beach where you can get a bed in the $20 range. They may have private room options if dorms aren't your thing.
posted by nitsuj at 7:45 AM on April 3, 2009

Yeah, you ain't gonna get much near downtown for under $100, and for a decent hotel room anywhere on SoBe, you're gonna have to stay way up on the northern tippy top of it. The HI mentioned above is on the end of the pretty dead downtown, right by the water, and you have a big marketplace / restaurant hub on the water there in real close walking distance (but little else nearby).

There's another HI on SE 2nd Ave (here) that is a lot longer walking distance to the bayside market, but just across a bridge from the very nice Brickell / Southside park area. That's very walkable and a bit less touristy than just the bayside market as your only option - plenty of nice little restaurant options, a grocery not too far away, even a couple half-decent bars. The HI on SE 2nd will probably be even a bit cheaper than the above mentioned one.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:05 AM on April 3, 2009

Is there any reason that you don't want to stay at a hotel actually at the airport? ( shows several chain hotels with airport locations under $100 per night, which are probably going to be a quick 1-mile shuttle ride away from the terminal.) In my experience, hotel rooms in the hotels directly adjacent to the airport--which usually target business travelers who have one-night layovers--tend to be reasonably clean and well-maintained, which definitely is not the case for sub-$100 hotel rooms in more touristy areas, which cater to college kids or party-ers. I haven't specifically stayed at an airport hotel in Miami, but I'd be surprised if it didn't hold true there as well--and I'd be extremely leery of staying at the cheapest hotel available in the South Beach area, because those are going to be run-down and probably not too clean.

If you hate the idea of grabbing some fast food at the airport to take with you to the hotel, I think nitsuj's suggestion of the Holiday Inn Port of Miami isn't a bad one. It's about a block away from Bayside Market, which has a ton of restaurants (higher-end sit-down places as well as cafe-style and a food court to boot). That area can be a wee bit sketchy--as I recall, there's a couple of shelters and food kitchens in the general area, which means during the day you see a lot of homeless men standing on the street, waiting for things to open--but the block-long walk to and from Bayside would be no problem. (I would just *not* recommend wandering around the neighborhood in the other direction at night, is all.)

If you stay near Bayside, definitely grab dinner at one of the marina-facing cafes there (they have pretty decent Cuban food at several of them) and enjoy the salty air and the views of boats coming and going. It's a pretty pleasant place to sit for an hour or so and have dinner or a drink, plus they often have live music on the weekends.
posted by iminurmefi at 8:16 AM on April 3, 2009

Thanks for the tips so far. I am hoping to stay away from the airport since I would like to walk around a neighborhood or two of Miami (it will be my first time there) and also because of my obsession with food (both hole in the walls and nice restaurants).

I'm about to look into the Holiday Inns mentioned above since that sounds exactly what I am looking for, especially the one on 2nd Ave.
posted by toddst at 8:55 AM on April 3, 2009

Keep in mind that you'll spend about $30+tips to get there and back again on SuperShuttle, and be sure to call at least the day before. (Or spend $32+tip each way by taxi.) The airport hotels usually have a free shuttle.

That's not to discourage you - I like SoBe and think it's worth it, but the lack of cheap transport is a big pain when you're on a budget.

As for location, if you want to walk around and have good food, I'd recommend South Beach over downtown Miami. A bit more touristy, but more fun, and less sketchy.

If the Holiday Inn options don't work out, you might also try the Clay Hotel. Not the most modern or lovely, but they usually have some cheap rooms. And it's right by Lincoln Road, so you'll have super-easy access to nice restaurants, bars, walks along the beach.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 9:41 AM on April 3, 2009

I just wanted to post an update. Much to my surprise, I decided to book at one of the hotels near the airport. For under $100, I got a night at the InterContinental West. I realized that with a more pricey hotel away from the airport and the cost of cab fares to and from the airport, it would be cheaper to stay near the airport and take a cab to an area of Miami in the evening. I would do different if I was staying for more than an overnight layover. Thanks so much for the tips since they were a huge help.
posted by toddst at 9:04 AM on April 11, 2009

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