Last May, I decided to go to Miami Beach for my birthday. I debated between renting a condo or selecting a hotel until I stumbled across Winter Haven on Hotels.com. I wanted a hotel on Ocean Drive that was in walking distance from most of South Beach but I also didn’t want to spend a ton. Winter Haven solved that for me. I booked the hotel, perused TripAdvisor almost every day until the trip, and began the countdown.
When we arrived to the hotel, the first thing I noticed was the boutique, Art Deco decor. It’s a small hotel right across the street from the beach. We checked in without a problem. And we were greeted with a glass of champagne. It was a great way to kick off the trip.
Our room was on the 3rd floor, I think. Not the top floor. It was smaller than most hotel rooms I’ve stayed in, but big enough for two queen beds. There was a cute mini-bar of all the things one might need on a South Beach trip: iPhone lightning pin cord, candy, contraceptives, medicine, tiny bottles of liquor, etc. We didn’t have a use for that though the Apple charging set would’ve been clutch and cheaper than most stores TBH. Our room was enough for sleeping, charging phones, and changing clothes. I mean, it’s South Beach—there’s no need to stay in the hotel.
After putting our stuff in the room, we ventured up to the rooftop patio. This became the backdrop for a brief photo shoot on the second day.
But seriously, the views up there were beautiful. Granted, you had to look on the side of the hotel to see the beach across the street but we didn’t care.
The rooftop also became a nightcap spot as we’d sit and talk after the night was coming to a close. The lounge seating made it a prime sunbathing location too, but I don’t remember ever running into a lot of people up there, if any.
And like I said, the beach was across the street which made up for the lack of a pool. The hotel provided beach towels so we made our way over there for a few hours. It was busy, but not too packed. The heat sent us away but we enjoyed the proximity and access.
The sister hotel, Blue Moon, was about a <10 minute walk from Winter Haven. Blue Moon, another boutique Autograph Collection hotel, had a pool so we spent one afternoon there. The pool was small, but it was ours for the most part. Perfect for our impromptu photo shoot (yea, another one) and drinking under the umbrella.
We were about <15 minutes on foot away from most of South Beach. This allowed us to find several restaurants and sightsee easily. I think that was the biggest perk of staying here. The mere access to any and everything. Even the airport was a 20 minute ride away.
I wish I took more pictures of the actual hotel. It really was cute, yet chic. And though it was on Ocean Drive, we didn’t hear any noise from the street. It made for the perfect place to stay during our lowkey trip and I know the next time I go back, I’ll be staying here again.
If you make a trip to South Beach, remember this hotel. You won’t be disappointed.