My husband and I have stayed at a few different hotels in Miami but the Four Seasons Surfside is my hands down favorite. It’s an absolutely gorgeous hotel and I love the north Miami Beach location. Most people think “South Beach” when planning a trip to Miami and that’s fine if you know what to expect in that area. South Beach is definitely the “party” area with lots of nightclubs, tons of traffic and, IMO, a pretty cheesy “see and be seen” crowd. Frankly, I’m a little too old for South Beach and I don’t like coming back to my hotel after dinner to find the lobby and bar has been turned into a disco floor like an Ibiza night club. I know, I’m a cranky grandma.
The Surfside is located about 20 minutes north of that scene and is still located right on Miami Beach. The lobby is the original 1920’s Surf Club building, which used to be a private club and hotel back in the day. Winston Churchill and other notables stayed here during that time. The Four Seasons kept the original 1920’s art deco design and then built a modern glass hotel on top of the historic building.
M favorite part of the entire hotel is the champagne bar, which looks like something straight out of the Copacabana Club from the 1920’s or 30’s. The palm trees and green glass bar are simply stunning.
The hotel also has a few promenades that lead to the beach and pool area that are equally gorgeous. My favorite is the ivy painted promenade out to the pool.
The modern hotel is built directly over the historic building and has amazing ocean views and bay views from each side. We stayed in a corner suite our first stay and a bay view suite our second stay. I loved that the rooms are modern and light filled. Both rooms were huge but I actually preferred our slightly smaller bay view room because it came with a huge soaking tub. The corner suites are lovely but you give up the soaking tub for a slightly bigger bedroom instead – it’s really a matter of personal preference though.
The hotel sits right on north Miami Beach and they offer full beach service, including loungers and umbrellas and waitstaff all day. We spent a wonderful day out here and you get the usual Four Seasons amenities like sunglass cleaning, bottles of Evian, etc… The beach is absolutely swimmable and has a nice sandy bottom. However, if you’re not a beach person, there is also the pool area. It’s not a huge swimming pool but they do have plenty of loungers available next to or around the pool. There was no need to rush out to “get a spot” at the beach or the pool (a huge pet peeve of mine). We usually went down to get loungers around 10:30 or 11am and had no issues.
There is a wonderful walking path right in front of the hotel that goes for miles down the beach. It also takes you past the famous “art deco” lifeguard stands on Miami Beach which are very brightly colored. It made for some great light exercise each morning after breakfast.
We also ate at the restaurants on site, including the pool side restaurant, the bar restaurant and the pricey, reservations only Thomas Keller Surfside Restaurant. Honestly, the food was wonderful at all of them. If you want to try the Surfside Restaurant, you have to call for reservations and they require a per person $50 deposit. As you may expect, the prices there are very high but we really enjoyed it for a splurge dinner on our last night of vacation last April. The restaurant is covered in murals so it’s really beautiful but I didn’t snap any pictures.
Overall, I highly recommend this hotel if you plan to visit Miami and wants something a little more quiet, peaceful and serene. If you’re coming to Miami to party, this definitely isn’t your hotel.