Family-friendly hotel/resort in Miami
November 18, 2018 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Our family (two parents, one nearly-2-year-old) wants to plan a relaxing week-long Miami vacation in late January or early February. We're looking for recommendations of low-key baby-friendly hotels or resorts to stay at, where we can have a decent trip just hanging near the hotel with our kid.

Our plan is something like: breakfast at the hotel, activity in/very near the hotel (pool/beach/playground), nap (while parents relax at hotel), afternoon excursion, bedtime (while parents eat at restaurant on site or relax in other room of suite). So we obviously want a place to stay that will be fun for everyone!

Our ideal place to stay would
* offer baby- and kid-friendly features: rooms with separate sleeping space, cribs, high-chairs, free meals for under 2
* include pool and beach access (bonus for baby-friendly) and other activities on site
* have one or more decent restaurants on site (both casual/baby-friendly and a little fancier), or at least good casual/delivery options nearby
* not be super expensive/"luxury" -- and Trump properties need not apply

Dream features include
* boutique or indie-type hotel (not a huge corporate chain)
* on-site childcare or babysitting
* walking distance to playgrounds/parks/walking trails
* nearby baby-friendly activities: children's museums, zoos/aquariums, libraries, etc.
* a waterpark? in-room hot tubs?

Last year we stayed at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, which was perfect with an infant but not necessarily something we need to do again. Looking for one step less packaged than that, without doing a ton of planning or research.

(We picked Miami because we want domestic travel, very warm January weather, and a major airport with direct flights from Boston and limited transit time, but willing to hear feedback if somewhere else would be much better. Not Tampa, though, as we have a family trip planned there.)
posted by teditrix to Travel & Transportation around Miami, FL (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I have stayed on Miami Beach, I've found it to be the opposite of low-key and family friendly. Consider looking at beachfront resorts in Palm Beach County. Often they are places that double as condo properties, so you can get apartments with kitchens and separate living areas. Here's an example: Marriott Ocean Pointe. You can get JetBlue nonstop from Logan to West Palm Beach airport.
posted by Daily Alice at 10:58 AM on November 18, 2018

Have you considered going on a cruise from Miami? The cruise ship will check off a lot of boxes. I consider Miami a “seen and be seen” type of place and cannot think of a family friendly resort there.
posted by vivzan at 12:07 PM on November 18, 2018

A few of the.megahotels on the mainland do have child friendly entertainment options. There's a couple not far from the Frost Science museum that I'd expect would be accommodating.

The problem with staying farther north that time of year (and even now!) is that there's around a 10 degree temperature difference between Miami and West Palm Beach in the winter. When it's 72 degrees at night here it's in the lower to mid 60s up that way. Even in Lauderdale it's usually noticeably colder.

That said, if you don't actually mind light windbreakers and such, February is a great time to do Disney. Sometimes you'll get lucky and it'll be actually warm(ish), but daytime highs in the 60s are most likely in January/February. Not bad when you're used to Boston, but it sure seems cold to me. ;)
posted by wierdo at 5:40 PM on November 18, 2018

I'd pick Naples over Miami for low-key baby-friendly, but that may not fit your direct flight requirement. I have Naples recommendations if you'd like...

But if it has to be Miami, take a look at Sunny Isles Beach. It's north of North Miami Beach (south of Hollywood), and it's low-key compared to Miami Beach, especially South Beach.

My family and I often stay in Hilton properties and enjoyed the DoubleTree on Sunny Isles Beach. The hotel is fine, the pool is fine, the beach is fine. And it's close enough to plenty of your desired afternoon excursions. This property checks all your boxes on your ideal list and maybe half of your dream list.
posted by glenngulia at 7:38 AM on November 19, 2018

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