Good thing we live here, because if we wanted to visit Miami, we'd have to shell out some pretty big bucks. In an Index compiled by Bloomberg, Miami rated the priciest city in the U.S. for lodging, and top fifth in the world. That's after Geneva, Dubai, Kuwait City (really?), and Zurich.
According to Bloomberg, Collins Avenue and all its ritzy hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs are to blame for the sky-high prices guesthouses charge for a night in the Magic City.
You'd think perhaps San Francisco, America's most expensive city to live in, might too be the most expensive to vacation. Or maybe that New York, which never sleeps, might be overcharging people to do so. But Miami has both metropolises beat; with an average nightly rate setting travelers back $245.
We did a bit of research and called up some hotels to gauge rates for this weekend (today and tomorrow). Granted it's short notice, but we actually found Miami isn't on the higher end.
The Mandarin Oriental in Brickell Bay was charging $279 per night, while their counterpart in New York City was fully booked this weekend, so we inquired about next weekend. Almost a grand -- $955 to be exact -- for a city view room for one night. That's pretty ludicrous and triple the rate of the oriental oasis down here.
The Fontainebleau is a Miami landmark. It's been around since the '50s when Miami Beach was dubbed the American Riviera, seducing celebrities like Frank Sinatra and public figures like John F. Kennedy down for a stay at the famed resort. In 2008, after a $1 billion renovation, the FB reclaimed all its prior glory. So what does it cost to sleep in some Miami history and have LIV, Scarpetta, Hakkasan, and the beach just a short walk away? Around $449 with taxes and fees for an oceanfront balcony room.
We reached out to a handful of Miami's most elusive resorts, including the Fontainebleau, W South Beach, Setai and Mandarin Oriental, on whether the rates are appropriate and whether they have gone up since the index was conducted. None would comment on the subject.
The SLS, however, does offer rates on the lower end of the scale of the resorts we called up, especially when compared to its Los Angeles counterpart, which room rates for this weekend for a superior room on a low floor are $479. At the SLS South Beach, $205 gets you the room they've dubbed "Miami's Crash Pad." It's basically the kind of room you get when you want to stay in a nice place but have that whole "we're not even going to be in the room" mentality. And you won't want to be, because this room is only 169 square feet. A premier ocean room is $385 (still lower than the SLS Los Angeles).
W South Beach actually has the highest weekend rate out of all the places we called, with a marvelous studio room rated at $479. Should you want some ocean views from your bed, be ready to break the bank because that room rate is a whopping $1,379. Yep. Walking a few feet and looking at the ocean is free.
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These prices are pocket change for the kind of visitor who frequents Miami, which include celebrities and DJs make appearances at megaclubs and events like Art Basel and Ultra. But what about the regular run-of-the-mill tourist who wants to scratch Miami off his or her bucket list?
Turns out the best things in life aren't free. They're actually pretty effing expensive.