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South Beach, Miami is a haven of Art Deco buildings and gorgeous oceanfront resorts. The architectural style is marked by symmetry, curvilinear forms, pastel colours, offset façades, “eyebrow” windows, chrome accents and neon signs combined with the bonus of breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding landscape.

Although many Art Deco gems have been engulfed by a recent wave of modernism, there are still a few iconic hotels that stay true to their architectural roots. It’s no wonder The National Hotel is considered an iconic part of Miami Beach. The moment you step through its doors, you’re greeted by a nostalgic charm that transcends centuries.

Vintage glamour

Built in 1939 by the visionary architect Roy France (credited for much of the Miami Beach Art Deco skyline), The National Hotel played an active part in attracting celebrities of that era and still stands as a testament to the golden age of travel.

Fully restored in 2021, the resort has been recognised by “Historic Hotels of America” for maintaining its architectural authenticity and sense of place, while capturing subtle and sophisticated elements of contemporary design. For example, Timothy Oulton’s signature furniture brings a fresh face to vintage antiques of the hotel with a bold, aviation-themed unique perspective.

Guests can choose to stay at the historic 14-storey tower or one of the more modern 37 luxury Cabana rooms and suites, including the Penthouse and Artist Cabana Suite overlooking the pool area.

Longest pool in South Beach

The colossal pool at The National Hotel is an attraction in its own right, holding the title of the longest pool in South Beach (62.5m/205ft) and lined with palm trees. The water is a refreshing temperature perfect for some long laps to wake you up in the morning. If relaxation is more your thing you can opt for the smaller but comfortably heated back pool with a cocktail. We spent all day in that pool until dark and still didn’t want to leave!

Who wouldn’t want to experience this harmonious setting? Food at the nearby Aqua Bar and Grill is fresh, delicious and served right to your sunbed with your very own tray table so you don’t need to move a muscle. After sunset both pools are illuminated with a spectrum of colours, making it even more enjoyable to swim at night.

An elegant sunshine escape

Another huge advantage of the hotel (at least for us) is that it’s adults only and the difference in atmosphere is crystal clear when you pass the nearby family-friendly Loews Miami Beach Hotel which had the constant sound of screaming kids. So if you value peaceful swimming pools, hammocks swaying in the garden and a sophisticated drinks and dining scene The National Hotel would be a safer and much quieter option. Dogs, on the contrary, are allowed on site!

The hotel extends beyond the poolside bliss to a private beach area. With exclusive beachside sun loungers and umbrella service, it’s the ideal retreat for those seeking a calm escape amidst the vibrant spirit of Ocean Drive and Collins avenue.

For those wanting to stay active, there are yoga classes and retro-styled bikes guests can borrow for a fun excursion in South Beach.

Miami Beach wedding venue

It’s no wonder The National Hotel is a popular destination for weddings. Between the Art Deco decor, legendary pool and old Miami Beach feel, it’s understandable to be smitten by the place. Still, there’s no need to wait for a lifetime event to enjoy its hospitality. For those craving a quick and easy getaway that’s steeped in Miami history and simmers with flavour and fun, this is the spot to be.

Pool day pass

A day pass for the pools and outdoor space is well worth it for $45 (plus tax), which includes a comfortable sun lounger, towels, umbrella, changing room facilities, poolside food and drink service and complimentary WiFi. In other words, the cost of admission basically pays for itself. What’s the catch? Trust us, after spending a whole day at The National Hotel we will be back for sure.

Bookings and more information can be found here.


Image credits: © The National Hotel