Miami hotels might be known for a plethora of high-end luxury brands, but its boutique hotels are no less glamorous, contemporary, and service-oriented. Located all over the city from South Beach to Brickell, and Little Havana, these boutique properties include desirable amenities like on-site pools, cultural programming, and rooftop bars. We selected the best boutique hotels based on personal experience, Trip Advisor and Booking.com ratings, and budget. In Miami's summer off-season, expect prices between $95 and $468 per night, depending on how posh you want to go. Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.
A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you'll be eager to explore the world again. Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we'll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions. Personal attention, intimate settings, and little risk of encountering large-scale conventions and crowds are just a few reasons many folks love to stay at boutique hotels. In Miami, boutique hotels also typically boast historic architecture in renovated Art Deco or Mediterranean Revival buildings, intriguing design and style aesthetics, and an approachable ambiance that feels far from corporate. Many are located in popular South Beach, though they're quickly popping up all over the city. Urbanica Hotels, which specializes in boutiques (see Urbanica The Meridian Hotel below), will debut new venues in Edgewater in 2020 and North Beach in the coming years. The Brickell/downtown area and region of South Miami, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables are all starting to see more polished small properties developed. And Little Havana, too, is becoming a place to stay as its cultural resources are increasingly recognized as the citywide treasures that they are. For more Miami area hotel recommendations, click on a link below to jump directly to all our coverage of the best hotels in Miami.
The best hotels in Miami The best hotels in South Beach The best hotels in Fort Lauderdale The best hotels in Key West
As a longtime Miami local and travel writer who has reviewed countless hotels, I curated this list based on my experiences staying at and reviewing these properties. I also consulted reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com, and Hotels.com, where they received at least 4 stars out of 5 stars, or 8.1 out of 10. Additionally, in Miami, pool or beach access is a must, and every hotel includes fantastic places to take a dip or soak up some sun, in addition to offering high-end food and beverage options, excellent spa and fitness amenities, and impeccable design. Prices range between $95 and $468 to start in the summer off-season, and you can expect all of them to hike rates by a few hundred dollars starting around Thanksgiving, until after spring break. Resort fees vary widely but often include bicycle rentals, barre or yoga classes, happy hours, or breakfast. These are the best boutique hotels in Miami, sorted by price from low to high.SEE ALSO: The best hotels in South Beach SEE ALSO: The best hotels in Miami The Plymouth South Beach
Book The Plymouth South Beach starting at $95 per night One of only two designated Small Luxury Hotels of the World on the Eastern seaboard, The Plymouth South Beach is a design lover's dream. From the dusty pink quilted headboards to the robust selection of antique armchairs in the lobby, the decor will surely inspire a few homeowner daydreams. Standard rooms start at 250 square feet, and many strategically placed mirrors try to disguise the fact the rooms and single, marble-vanity bathrooms are diminutive in nature. The retro country French styling adds the requisite allure, however, and it's completely worth the extra $60 to upgrade to a Terrace King, which offers 375 square feet, subway-tiled bathrooms with steam showers, and an outdoor space ideal for dining. The excellent Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill in the lobby is as popular with locals as it is with hotel guests, and might require a reservation in advance. And don't miss a selfie at the original 1940s Art Moderne pool, one of the prettiest in Miami – and that's saying a lot. Trip Advisor ranking: 20 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.2 out of 10 Pros: The Plymouth has dibs on a private slice of beach located between the W South Beach and The Setai. Grab a ride on the golf cart to get there, or stroll on over. Cons: Guests complain about indifferent customer service and lack of food and beverage amenities during the daytime hours. Circa 39 Miami Beach
Book Circa 39 Hotel starting at $109 per night Located in the Normandy Isles neighborhood of North Beach, the 97-guestroom Circa 39 is a colorful, Caribbean-styled retreat. It comprises two connected buildings with a lush courtyard in between that's ideal for relaxing, reading a book, or sipping a tropical cocktail. Rooms start at 200 square feet, which is smaller than most, but they're also consistently cheaper. And what they lack in size they make up for in character with plenty of blues, greens, and oranges accenting teak furniture, plantation shutters, and hardwood floors. Bathrooms are simple and even smaller than the room might indicate. Upgrade for only $50 more and a whole new world opens up on higher floors, including better views. The public spaces, including WunderBar and Jules Kitchen give top vacation vibes as well, with lots of bright, layered textiles, wicker shades, and cane-back and cast iron furnishings. There's a refreshing pool in back, and the beachfront here is frequented more by locals and less by tourists. Trip Advisor ranking: 29 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.5 out of 10 Pros: Guests with cars can access a private parking lot via remote for the length of their stay. Cons: There is little soundproofing despite a 2014 renovation that allows traffic, guest, and staff noise to seep into rooms. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of Circa 39 Miami Beach The Marlin Hotel
Book The Marlin Hotel starting at $119 per night One of the smaller hotels on this list, The Marlin Hotel was also one of the first to be renovated in South Beach's late 1980s/early 1990s renaissance. Continually updated in keeping with the times, the 33-room-and-suite hotel is a glam destination for leisure and business travelers of all kinds, including musical celebrities who record at the in-house studio. Hardwood floors, modular furniture, and sandy hues accented by some primary colors in the pillows and rugs make for streamlined but groovy digs. Contemporary bathrooms with vessel sinks and rainfall showerheads wow, as do little luxury touches in rooms like Mistral Verbena Collection products, Astor "Sleep" pillow chocolates, and Nespresso coffee. Do make plans to dine at the award-winning northern Italian Osteria Del Teatro, which debuted on the beach in a different location in 1987. It seems only fitting that The Marlin houses it now. Continental breakfast is offered from 8 to 10 a.m. Trip Advisor ranking: 12 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 9.1 out of 10 Pros: Sure, hairdryers are an expected fixture but Babylis flatirons? Oh, we like this amenity. The makeup remover, too. Cons: The Marlin Hotel has no pool, but you'll find a packed beach bag with two towels awaiting you for a short walk to the beach. And, as a consequence, the resort fee is only $15, which is far cheaper than most comparable hotels. Novotel Miami Brickell
Book Novotel Miami Brickell starting at $119 per night Designed for the convenience of the business traveler – but without leaving out the staycation community – the Novotel Miami Brickell offers a fusion of boutique hospitality and efficient function. Located downtown, it's less than a half-mile to the Metro station and 3.5 miles to Brightline Virgin MiamiCentral Station. Standard rooms are less modestly sized than competitors, with room enough for a lengthy bureau/desk, bench, table, and chair in addition to beds with oversized, geometric wood headboards. If you don't want to stare out at the great city views, the 50-inch LCD televisions offer plenty of entertainment, as do UVA bar and Lima restaurant in the soaring lobby. The rooftop pool is the biggest draw of staying here. A DJ mixes music while guests of all ages mingle poolside with drinks and fare procured from Vista Roof Top pool bar. While the seating is competitive and the pool bar sometimes understaffed, the scene has that appealing Miami vibe. Trip Advisor ranking: 7 out of 134 hotels in Miami Booking.com rating: 8.7 out of 10 Pros: Brickell City Centre and The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, which have outstanding dining and drinking options, as well as upscale boutiques and live music venues, are only just over a half-mile away. Cons: You can hear the trains from the rooms, and even during prime time service, the staff is often missing from the bar and host stands. The Redbury South Beach
Book The Redbury starting at $139 per night A perennial favorite, The Redbury South Beach is a 69-room bohemian charmer that attends to every detail. From rooms with record players and curated collections of vinyl to custom hemp-blend mattresses, this boutique gem delivers on the promise of its premise. Rooms start at an unstinting 375 square feet and feature natural hues that reflect Miami's famous light. Updated bathrooms with triple filtered-water, oversize steam showers, and bathtubs, complemented by all-natural bath products, are ideal for washing off the salt from the nearby Atlantic or the chlorine from the 12,000-square-foot rooftop pool. That pool, by the way, with its terrific sight lines, is a social hot spot day or night. Also a community darling: Cleo Mediterráneo, with its extensive menu of fresh, shareable mezze. Partake in any meal here before you depart for the day, or ask the attentive concierge team for ideas about other local spots to indulge. Trip Advisor ranking: 14 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.8 out of 10 Pros: While the hotel is not located on the beach, guests have access to the sand as well as towels, chairs, and other accouterments via The Delano. Ask the concierge. Cons: The 17th Street and Collins Avenue location makes The Redbury eminently walkable to all the prime South Beach locations, but noise and tourist unpleasantness can be a factor, especially during some of the wilder festivals and party weekends. Life House, Little Havana
Book Life House, Little Havana starting at $149 per night Founded by Rami Zeidan, Life House Hotels is a boutique brand offering alternative lodgings to big-brand hotels. And this Little Havana edition is different indeed, supplying a "bespoke narrative" along with its digs. Every room and public area, from library and courtyard to rooftop bar, is designed as if a global traveler had collected decor from around the world. It's an interesting concept, resulting in rooms that all feel unique, well-appointed, and attractive – but astoundingly small. They start at just 140 square feet. Guests complain that they are darker and not as clean as they should be, although the hotel only opened in January, 2020. That said, other guests have had positive experiences exploring the hotel's Parcela Café in the landscaped courtyard, meant to evoke Hemingway days, and Terras Rooftop bar, which offers a terrific view of this culturally vital area of Miami. Trip Advisor ranking: 66 out of 124 hotels in Miami Booking.com rating: 8.1 out of 10 Pros: The location is prime for exploring all Miami has to offer, especially if you don't want to bother with a car. If you love Latin music and dancing, you're in the right region. Cons: Because this is a refurbished urban mansion in a Little Havana neighborhood, guests say the neighbors make them feel unsettled. In addition, while there's sunbathing on the rooftop, there's no pool on the premises or beach nearby, so this is a pick best for urban dwellers. Urbanica The Meridian Hotel
Book Urbanica The Meridian Hotel starting at $149 per night A restored Art Deco building originally from the 19303, The Meridian fits right in on South Beach but stands out with its more sedate, high-end South of Fifth location. Run by Urbanica The Hotels, a brand that specializes in boutique properties in Miami and Buenos Aires, the three-story Meridian features 71 rooms designed in minimalist style, with beds that have slatted wooden headboards and luxurious white duvets. The rooms themselves are small but are clean and bright with floor-to-ceiling windows. Some of them are over Minibar, a colorful speakeasy that gets its share of pretty people business, however. If you're retiring early, ask for a room away from these amenities. An attractive plunge pool is located on the rooftop, and plants abound in the outdoor public spaces. For fare, the famous New York City deli Regina's Grocery offers Italian eats, and vending machines, a microwave, water, coffee, and tea supplement whenever the bar and cafe aren't open. Trip Advisor ranking: 7 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.8 out of 10 Pros: Bicycles are included in the resort fee, and the location is accessible to bus and trolley stops. Cons: Guests have few complaints, but they usually relate to billing practices and documents. Read the fine print and check your statements. Greystone Miami Beach
Book Greystone Miami Beach starting at $149 per night Charming, chic, and eco-conscious, the 91-guestroom Greystone debuted at the dawn of 2020. Owned by VOS Hospitality, the Greystone occupies a 1930s building, originally designed by famed Art Deco architect Henry Hohauser. Designated a Historic Hotel of America, its facade sits on Collins Avenue, but the property also includes another building next door on the side street, as well as a contemporary, beautifully lit courtyard between them. Adults-only and pet-friendly, this is a hotel for folks who only have fur babies to worry about. The rooms, with white-on-white decor, interrupted only by splashes of pastel pink and blue, are sleek and high-tech. Every room includes an INTELITY tablet, which you can use to order extra ROIL bath products. A smartphone app also controls everything from keyless entry to towel service at the rooftop pool. The food and beverage options are top-notch and impressive. Chef Pawan Pinisetti leads Sérêvène, a restaurant that fuses Japanese, French, and Indian flavors with luxe ingredients, and the fast-casual KOBO, which features Japanese sandwiches. Sebastian Dubonet handles the mixology at UISCE, an upscale whiskey bar, and Golden Gator, an underground Champagne lounge that's open until 5 a.m. When it starts pushing on toward morning, snack on Caviar Push Pops and Foie Gras & Pop Rocks Lollipops, and then tumble onto your Felicity Plus Mattress for a few blissful hours of sleep before hitting the beach across the street. Trip Advisor ranking: 178 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: Not listed, too new Pros: The location is extremely walkable, with the beach right across the street and Lincoln Road only a few blocks away. Cons: Guests from a few early reviews had trouble with housekeeping, and noise from Collins Avenue, especially exotic sports cars gunning their engines, which can be disturbing. Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove
Book Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove starting at $167 per night If you observe the 100-room Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove from a distance, you might mistake it for a posh midcentury modern yacht. Art Deco influences include portholes and hairpin stilts, while the design inside leans heavily nautical with lots of glossy lacquered wood, rich blue tones, and sailing maps and photos. Lodgings begin on the second floor with built-in bar carts and gem-tone headboards that seamlessly blend in with the deep blue walls. Everything is designed to feel like you're on a sleek Italian superyacht cruising around Capri. The white marble and blue-tiled bathrooms and balconies separated from each other by sailing tarps heighten the oceanic impression. On the rooftop, the indoor-outdoor Bellini is a dining destination and gathering place for the community as well as the hotel. It's revered for Italian pastas, seafood, and the signature drink for which it's named, all served by white tuxedo-clad servers. After all, Mr. C is owned and run by the fourth generation of the Cipriani family, which also owns Harry's Bar in Venice where the Prosecco cocktail was invented. A small but serene rooftop pool and an idyllic courtyard round out the tranquil offerings. Trip Advisor ranking: 65 out of 134 hotels in Coconut Grove Booking.com rating: 9.1 out of 10 Pros: A rooftop pool is a view-worthy, refreshing place to hang out with plush cabanas available to book. It's a short flight of stairs away from the outdoor dining, so there's some separation of church and state. Cons: The positioning of the hotel is smack in the middle of the busiest part of Coconut Grove, where shops, plazas, schools, parks, and festival grounds collide. When everything is in season, the area can be a logjam of traffic and construction. Also, the gym is quite small. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of Mr. C Miami - Coconut Grove Prime Hotel Miami Beach
Book Prime Hotel Miami Beach starting at $200 per night Prime Hotel is something of a secret. It's an extension of Myles Chefetz's luxury Prime brand that includes Prime 112, Prime Fish, Prime Italian, and Big Pink, which are all some of the highest-earning restaurants in the nation. The hotel is equally sweet, chic, and a celebrity-frequented boutique. It's not unusual for rooms to be leased by high-caliber athletes and actors who only eat at Prime restaurants while in town, and for no one to know where they're staying. That said, the hotel is open to everyone, and is especially ideal for honeymooners, couples celebrating an anniversary, and travelers who enjoy privacy. It's also surprisingly family-friendly, given that there are only 14 custom-designed rooms. The front desk offers 24/7 service and an on-site concierge can arrange anything from babysitting to beach activities. Rooms are modern and chic with white and chrome decor and look out on South Beach's upscale South of Fifth neighborhood through floor-to-ceiling windows. Many also have balconies. In addition, if you don't want to walk the half-block to the beach, a rooftop pool is perfect for a spot of sunbathing or resting under the shade of the cabana. Trip Advisor ranking: 158 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.6 out of 10 Pros: Room service from Prime 112, Prime Italian, or Big Pink is a big perk. If you're not in the mood for any of them, the location offers access to plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Cons: Noise from Prime 112 and the neighborhood, in general, can trickle up. The Betsy South Beach
Book The Betsy South Beach starting at $239 per night The Betsy South Beach comprises two renovated and connected buildings: The Betsy Ross, a Florida Georgian hotel on Ocean Drive, and The Carlton, an Art Deco hotel from 1938 that stands directly behind it on Collins Avenue. The main entrance is on Ocean Drive, just across from the beach. Owned by the Plutzik-Goldwasser family, The Betsy is an epicenter for the literary, visual, and performing arts. The Lobby (with bar and restaurant), The B Bar, The Library, The Gallery, The Carlton Room (with bar and gallery), and rooftop spaces all host poetry readings, musical performances, academic lectures, visual arts displays, and more. Programming every day and night of the week allows guests up-close-and-personal meetings with artists-in-residence. Also, meet the CEOs – Canine Executive Officers – at golden (retriever) hour on Fridays. One of the larger boutique hotels on the list, The Betsy offers a wide variety of rooms and suites. They start at 250 square feet, which is small, but the art-filled public spaces are generous and vibrant. Food and beverage offerings are under the direction of Laurent Tourondel; don't hesitate to luxuriate in the dishes at LT Steak & Seafood – especially the noteworthy popovers. Trip Advisor ranking: 6 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.4 out of 10 Pros: Beach towels, loungers, and umbrellas are included in the resort fee, so pop across the street to the Boucher Brothers concession and they'll set you up near the landmark Art Deco lifeguard stand. Cons: If you're looking for the kind of beach hotel that promotes parasailing and jet-skiing, you'll be disappointed. But you can always inquire with the concierge about how to participate in those activities. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of The Betsy South Beach The Villa Casa Casuarina
Book The Villa Casa Casuarina starting at $468 per night Gianni Versace's storied former mansion is a Miami Beach landmark, and now, an intimate hotel. While prices are usually sky-high, weekdays in the off-season offer a relative bargain in this all-suite, elaborately decked-out hotel. Originally built in 1930 by wealthy architect Alden Freeman as an apartment building, the Spanish-Mediterranean property is now a 10-suite hotel, thanks to Versace's $32 million investment and that of various owners over the years after his murder. Staying at The Villa Casa Casuarina affords you access to the historical statues, columns, fountain, and the absolutely stunning Thousand Mosaic Pool, which is made out of 24k gold tiles. The suites themselves are absolutely lavish with murals on both walls and ceilings and tapestries, carved rare wood furniture, objets d'arts, and more. Marble bathrooms include oversize double showerheads and double sinks, and every suite has a balcony or terrace; some even have two. It may be hard to leave these quarters for even a second, but do head up to the Rooftop Lounge for a sunset drink. Trip Advisor ranking: 15 out of 151 specialty lodging in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.4 out of 10 Pros: Daily breakfast is included in the room rate, and other food and beverage options include Onyx Bar and the poolside Restaurant Gianni's At The Villa. Cons: The Ocean Drive location and famous history means this place is not only subject to the typical tourist action, but a busy photo opp for lots of tourists too, due to its notoriety. Also, the design includes a lot of slippery stairs and no elevators or ramps, so it is not accessible for everyone.
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Hotels, motels, and resorts are never going to be the same. Here's what you can expect the next time you plan a vacation.
Hotels, motels, and resorts will be forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic. Business Insider spoke to...Hotels, motels, and resorts will be forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic. Business Insider spoke to top travel CEOs from companies like Hilton, Club Med, and Aman Resorts about how the coronavirus will change the experience of staying in a hotel. Hoteliers predict that travelers will prefer smaller, less dense hotels and outdoor amenities. Breakfast buffets could become a thing of the past, and room service could come in the form of a bag dropped outside your door. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Hotels and resorts are in a state of crisis. As of May 20, seven out of 10 hotel rooms in the US were sitting empty and thousands of hotels are completely closed, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Hotels have lost more than $25 billion in room revenue since the start of the pandemic, and 70% of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed, per the AHLA. Empty hotels are desperately selling bonds for future discounted travel. But as US states and other countries start to reopen, hotel companies are looking ahead to make travelers feel safe and to entice them into coming back to their properties. Many major hotel brands, including Marriott — the world's biggest hotel company — Best Western, Hilton, and Hyatt Hotels, have pledged to abide by the AHLA's new Safe Stay guidelines for everything from contactless check-in to new cleaning standards and protocols. Here's what you can expect the next time you stay at a hotel or resort. People may seek out smaller, less dense lodging One major change travelers might see in hotels in the future is a change in design. "I think that people are going to migrate towards smaller properties, or perhaps migrate to properties that have larger open spaces and are not as high-volume," Mark Durliat, CEO and cofounder of Grace Bay Resorts in Turks and Caicos, recently told Business Insider's Madeline Stone. Carolyne Doyon, CEO and President of Club Med North America, told Business Insider that she believes "there will be increased demand for resort options that are less dense ... resorts that are integrated in, and respectful of, their surrounding natural environments and are spread out across larger areas." Visually, she predicts a big change to the design of resorts too, with a pivot to "low-rise buildings that blend in rather than traditional concrete high-rises." The humble motel may even make a comeback. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which has adopted the AHLA's Safe Stay protocols and owns brands like Super 8 and Days Inn, is already seeing rising demand for its properties with exterior corridors — also known as motels — per The New York Times. Dave DeCecco, Wyndham's vice president of global communications, told Business Insider that motel owners are finding several benefits to the traditional motel design. For one, motels don't have interior hallways or large social spaces, limiting guests' exposure to other people and lowering the risk of infection. On top of that, the fact that guests can park directly outside their room further limits their exposure to strangers. Contactless check-in and temperature screenings upon arrival Hotels that didn't already have contactless check-in are now offering it via smartphone app to cut down on person-to-person interaction. At Hilton, for example, guests can check in using its Digital Key system, which opens any door a guest would normally access with a key card. That includes guest rooms, elevators, side doors, and fitness centers. Many brands, including Club Med and Loews Hotels, have said they will screen guests' temperatures when they arrive at the hotel. No more noisy neighbors: Some hotels will only fill 50% of their rooms Contactless check-in isn't the ony way your next hotel experience may involve fewer people. The next time you stay in a hotel, the rooms on either side of yours may be empty. Some cities, counties, and hotel brands have announced they will operate at no more than 50% occupancy for the foreseeable future. At some of its resorts that are reopening, luxury resort brand Aman Resorts will "skip a key," or only make every other room available for reservation, COO Roland Fasel told Business Insider. California's San Luis Obispo County is limiting hotel and short-term lodging occupancy rates to no more than 50% — and only for essential travel — in an order by the county health officer that went into effect May 17 and will be reevaluated every two weeks. And Pensacola Beach in Florida limited its hotels to half-capacity back in March, keeping them open throughout the pandemic. No more daily housekeeping Your hotel room itself may look a bit different than it did before the pandemic. The Four Seasons will place "Lead With Care" kits in each guest room that include masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitization wipes. Best Western, which has more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, said it will remove "unnecessary items" like decorative pillows from guest rooms as part of its enhanced sanitization procedures. And Hilton is doing away with the pen, paper, and guest directory normally provided in each room unless specifically requested. Another major change travelers can expect to see is the frequency of housekeeping. The standard that guests have come to expect in hotels is daily housekeeping unless they request their room be skipped. That's an expectation that's about to invert. For those hotels abiding by the AHLA's Stay Safe guidelines, housekeeping will no longer enter a guest's room during their stay unless specifically requested. Rooms will continue to be cleaned thoroughly after check-out. The new room service: a bag outside your door, or a server in full PPE Travelers who frequent high-end hotels may be accustomed to room service delivered straight into their room by a dapper server pushing a white tablecloth-clad cart. But in the time of coronavirus, the AHLA recommends that traditional room service be replaced with a no-contact delivery method. Gregg Fracassa, general manager at Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, recently told Business Insider that in-room dining service will come "in the form of a market bag left at the door." Aman Resorts said it has seen increased demand for in-room dining during the pandemic. Staff is still delivering meals into rooms — while wearing full PPE. "All in-room dining is served with food and drinks covered, and staff wear PPE [personal protective equipment] upon delivery," Fasel said. "If guests feel comfortable with us dropping the food off in their room we do so, however we can also place it on a table in the entrance." Say goodbye to the traditional hotel buffet The beloved continental breakfast buffet may be a thing of the past. Traditional buffet service should be limited and prepackaged foods and "grab and go" items should be the preferred method of food delivery, per the AHLA. Best Western has said that some of its breakfast rooms could be closed to avoid unnecessary guest congregation, and some of its hotels may switch to a pre-plated breakfast to minimize guest contact. If a hotel does choose to offer a buffet, it should be served by an attendant wearing PPP and food displays should include sneeze and cough screens. Expect to be wearing a mask during your spa treatments That brings us to amenities: Hotels love to tout their amenities, from pools and saunas to gyms and restaurants. But during a pandemic, shared spaces where groups of people gather can be cause for unease. The good news for amenity-seekers is that AHLA guidelines allow for fitness centers, pool areas, and meeting spaces to stay open — as long as they are configured for social distancing and disinfected multiple times per day. However, some amenities will take on a different look. Luxury spa treatments will continue, but they might take place inside your hotel room rather than at the hotel spa, and your massage therapist may be wearing full PPE. At Aman Resorts, which is known for its wellness offerings, all spa therapists will wear masks, as well as gloves if the guest requests them, Fasel told Business Insider. Therapists will change their PPE between each treatment and treatment rooms will have a minimum 30-minute turnover time to ensure proper cleaning and sanitization. Aman recommends that guests wear masks during treatments. Aman has also expanded its in-room spa services. In the spa area, only one person is allowed at a time inside shared enclosed spaces like steam rooms and saunas. These changes could also be accompanied by a growing demand for outdoor amenities. "When social distancing restrictions are lifted, we foresee our guests wanting to be outside, rather than confined indoors," David Bowd, CEO of Salt Hotels and operator of The Asbury and Asbury Ocean Club in Asbury Park, New Jersey, recently told Business Insider. "Catering to this expected demand, we'll be focusing on outdoor programming, such as outdoor movies and pool events." Aman Resorts will expand its nature experiences, such as offering a new foraging trek combined with a kitchen garden tour and outdoor cooking class at its Amankila resort in Bali, Fasel said. Ramped-up cleaning protocols and social distancing rules Hotels have vowed to boost their cleaning procedures and train employees in proper safety protocols. Per the AHLA's Stay Safe guidelines, hotels will offer employees COVID-19 safety and protocol training and require that workers frequently wash their hands and wear proper PPE based on CDC recommendations. Common spaces like lobbies, gym equipment, pool seating, and dining surfaces, as well as other high-touch surfaces like elevator buttons and door handles, are to be disinfected multiple times per day. Many hotels have said they're installing hand sanitizing stations throughout their properties. Marriott is rolling out new cleaning technologies, like electrostatic sprayers that use hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces, with the help of its new Global Cleanliness Council that was created to develop enhanced health and safety guidelines for Marriott's 7,300 properties, Business Insider's Melissa Wiley reported. Per the AHLA guidelines, hotels will advise guests to practice social distancing and stay at least six feet away from people not traveling with them. Hotels will make certain areas for appropriate distancing and, where possible, encourage one-way walkways. In some cases, lobby furniture and other seating areas, such as pool chairs and cabanas, will be spaced far enough apart to promote social distancing.SEE ALSO: An empty lot on Miami's 'Billionaire Bunker' is listed for $32 million, and it shows just how valuable land is on the high-security island with its own 13-person police force DON'T MISS: Staying in a hotel will be very different post-pandemic — here are the new safety and cleaning plans and precautions being implemented by every major hotel brand Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
The Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland boasts a modern look, a notable library of signed books, and surprisingly affordable rates — though standard rooms start small
The Heathman is an iconic, historic hotel in Portland, merging classic architecture and postmodern works...The Heathman is an iconic, historic hotel in Portland, merging classic architecture and postmodern works of art with updated interiors and a great downtown location. The hotel underwent a major renovation in 2018 leaving rooms and public spaces fresh, stylish, and airy. Especially notable is the soaring two-story library lounge with an excellent collection of signed books. I stayed in a King Suite after being upgraded at check-in from an entry-level Deluxe King, and found the hotel to be an excellent value given its style, personal service, and location. Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here. A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you'll be eager to explore the world again. Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we'll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions. When I was invited to read from my new book at the Portland Book Festival recently, I chose to stay at The Heathman Hotel in the heart of Portland's cultural district. Built in 1927, the Heathman is a recently-renovated boutique hotel well-suited for art lovers. Restored in 1984 and updated again in 2018, the Heathman is a terrific example of an older, unabashedly classic hotel that's been lightened and brightened to feel stylish and elegant, while still retaining its quintessential Portland spirit. One of the city's last grand hotels, the Heathman has long been a hub of the city's cultural life (from the 1930s to the 1950s, its mezzanine was home to the studios of Portland radio station KOIN, the main stop for any musician passing through the city). Today, the hotel feels fresh-faced and offers genuinely personal service that isn't stuffy or "grand," but instead, spot-on for this casually trendy city. Entry-level rooms start small but come at prices significantly lower than similarly located Portland hotels, making it an excellent deal. Standard room rates start as low as $128 during off season, but can rise to $322 during popular August and September weekends. Although I originally booked an entry-level Deluxe King room for $146 a few weeks before my stay, I was upgraded a King Suite (which typically starts at $269) at check-in and appreciated the extra space. Bookworms will especially love spending time in the hotel's two-story library lounge that features an impressive collection of reads, many of which have been personally signed for the hotel. The first impression The room On-site amenities What's nearby What others say What you need to know The bottom line Book The Heathman Hotel starting at $128 per night Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by The Heathman Hotel in Portland. The Heathman won me over from the moment I pulled up in front of its classic facade lit by the Art Deco Schnitzer Concert Hall marquee down the block. The Heathman has an ideal location in the midst of Portland's cultural center, and since the night was rainy — not unusual for this Northwest city — a bellman appeared to valet park my car. (Portland is so walkable I didn't need a car the rest of the weekend and was relieved to be rid of it.) I've stayed in lots of small luxury boutique hotels over the years and found there's a certain formula to them. Typically, an older hotel or historic building with great bones is transformed to play up a fresh-faced lobby, with updated rooms, a cool vibe, and ideally, a lively bar and restaurant scene. Unfortunately, the boutique formula frequently misses the mark and disappoints. But the Heathman was a home run. The hotel set itself apart starting with kind and genuinely friendly front-desk attendants. I originally booked a standard Deluxe King but was delighted to discover that because the hotel wasn't full, I'd been upgraded to a King Suite at no extra charge. Every guest is offered a complimentary microbrew upon check-in, but I was also handed a sealed envelope. I opened it in the elevator and was nearly brought to tears. The Heathman is well known for its glorious two-story library lounge containing some 2,700 books — most of them personally autographed for the hotel by a book-lover's lineup of literary rock stars, Nobel, and Pulitzer Prize winners. My letter informed me that the hotel had taken the liberty of ordering a signed copy of my book from a local independent bookstore (how did they even know I was a writer?), and would be honored to add it to their library. I thought this was extraordinary, but from comments gleaned from other guests, discovered the Heathman is known for its uncommon attention to detail. Before unpacking, I rode the elevator back down to check out the striking library, of course, and make the most of my Heathman literary moment. All the Heathman's 151 rooms were renovated in 2018. My upgraded King Suite contained the exact same decor as a standard Deluxe King but included the addition small sitting area. A comfy bed was made up in white linens, a navy throw, and navy-herringbone sham offset by a caramel-leather headboard. Stone-white walls were hung with mirrors and terrific modern art added dimension and lightness to the space. Wood floors were warmed by swirls of navy and a tan floral rug. The 520-square-foot suite featured pocket doors dividing the space from a compact living area containing an L-shaped couch, coffee table, and vestibule with a complimentary mini-fridge and French Press. I greatly enjoyed the additional space and was glad I'd been upgraded since my original room would have run just 230 to 360 square feet. Even in my suite, the bathroom was tight by modern standards. But it was clean and functional, with a white-tiled shower (no bath), black-rimmed standing sink too small for a toiletry kit, and wooden shelves mounted above for my personal items. All rooms come with the same amenities and include an honor bar, 24-hour room service, set up for French Press coffee and tea, a plush white robe, and slippers. I slept well in the extremely comfortable bed despite the fact my room, located on a lower floor, was dark and looked at a neighboring wall. As a coffee addict, I thought the French press and coffee grounds were a nice Portlandian touch but would have preferred the convenience of an espresso machine. Premiere Kings (located on the 5th through 10th floors, most with views of Broadway) and Corner Kings (on the 4th through 10th floors) are the next levels up after entry-level Deluxe Kings and offer better views and more light than even my suite, but I was content with my lower-floor King Suite, though there are additional tiers of suites available including Studio, One Bedroom, and Grand. The Heathman makes up for the entry-level rooms' sometimes small-feeling spaces with abundant verve and style, along with wallet-friendly rates. For future stays, I would book a suite for the additional space despite the higher price point, and would even upgrade to a Corner Suite on a higher floor so I could ditch the dark wall and enjoy views of the city. However, it's worth noting that many reviewers on Trip Advisor were also upgraded at check-in, so it could be worth booking a room at a lower rate and gambling on a possible upgrade possibility slower months. Headwaters is a spacious restaurant and bar conveniently located on the Heathman's ground floor. Headed by chef-owner and James Beard award-winner, Vitaley Paley, it showcases locally-sourced Oregon ingredients and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast menu is fairly basic but offers everything from healthy to hearty (organic oats to Mimosas and Dungeness crab omelets), while lunch gets going with inventive local offerings (steelhead tartare to crab cake BLTs), and dinner sources heavily from streams and the sea, with entrees like local steelhead and Pacific Northwest paella. There is a small on-site gym with Pelotons, weights, and treadmills. Guests also have access to free bikes and in-room wellness kits with yoga mats. Be aware there is a resort fee of $30 per night per room to cover the cost of these amenities. By far my favorite space was the striking library. On my first night, I grabbed a Negroni from Headwaters and settled in for some reading. One quibble: there is no bar service in this beautiful space, so if you want to order drinks you must carry them in from the adjacent bar. As a result, there is little service either and the night I was there, empty cocktail glasses and teacups littered the tables. That said, I loved the soaring, two-story space with sleek sitting areas surrounded by rich wood paneling from the 1920s, and contemporary floor-to-ceiling bookcases lined with books. Most of the books are available for guests to peruse (or check out for in-room use), and I spent a memorable evening pulling out volume after volume, finding my favorite writers, and reading their whimsical notes, drawings, and inscriptions, made out personally to the Heathman. It's a fantastic collection and for word-lovers, worth a stay at the Heathman for this experience alone. The Heathman has a great downtown location and is especially well-suited for art lovers. It's in the midst of Portland's designated Cultural District, just down the block from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and adjacent to the Portland Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Portland Art Museum, which is particularly worth a visit. There are many notable restaurants within walking distance, and coffee addicts will find a Café Umbria right down the street. Shoppers are near a nice mix of flagship department stores and boutiques. A bit farther afield, don't miss Powell's Books, Portland's legendary independent bookstore, or the city's alluring Japanese garden. Check flight prices to Portland on Expedia On Trip Advisor, the Heathman earns 4.5 out of 5 stars and is ranked 9 out of 154 hotels in Portland. However, it is head and shoulders above some of the other budget hotels that are listed above it in terms of decor and amenities. On Booking.com the hotel has an overall rating of 9 out of 10 and is among their top-recommended properties. Feedback consistently praises the hotel for its beautiful and unique ambiance, its attention to detail, warmth, and hospitality. Negative feedback has to do with the small room and bathroom size, which many reviewers found to be cramped at the entry-level size, as well as lack of sound-proofing, as is often the case with older hotels. Finally, as noted above, there are additional resort and service fees upon checkout that some guests weren't aware of ahead of time and found disappointing. Compare reviews, prices, and book The Heathman Hotel on Trip Advisor Who stays here: A solid mix of savvy tourists and business travelers, well-heeled couples (many with dogs in tow, since the hotel is pet-friendly), and the weekend I visited, an extended family celebrating a wedding. We like: The genuine hospitality and over-the-top personal touches extended to all guests. We love (don't miss this feature!): The stunning library lounge filled with personally autographed books and collector's editions, as well as a notable art collection with 250 original paintings, photographs, and works on paper. The emphasis on Northwest artists, plus a cool collection of Andy Warhol lithographs, are also standout additions. We think you should know: This is a historic-hotel turned boutique-hotel. If you are seeking large rooms and serious luxury, book elsewhere. We'd do this differently next time: I look forward to returning when not on a book-tour budget and springing for a corner room with ample light and views. The Heathman Hotel is an iconic, spirited hotel in the heart of the city with a long history of celebrating arts and culture. Guests will like it for its prime location, chic and inviting public spaces, convenient bar and restaurant, and affordable prices, especially when compared with similar hotels in the area. The hotel is known for exceptional attention to detail and personal touches, which I experienced firsthand. The impressive, cozy library is an excellent place to nurse a cocktail while skimming through favorite reads, and the vast array of personally signed books by noted literary figures is worth a visit alone for book lovers. Entry-level rooms start small, and those on lower levels can be dark and lacking any views, so splurge on a roomier suite or high-floor corner room if you can swing it. That said, it's beloved by many return guests and I look forward to being one of them. Book The Heathman Hotel starting at $128 per night
A penthouse suite at the boutique Henry Norman Hotel in Greenpoint, Brooklyn costs less than some entry-level rooms in Manhattan — here's why it's such a great value
A converted 19th-century warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the Henry Norman Hotel offers bright, spacious rooms...A converted 19th-century warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the Henry Norman Hotel offers bright, spacious rooms at a great value, and a wonderful opportunity to explore another corner of New York. Though the Henry Norman offers no on-site dining, a complimentary shuttle transports guests anywhere within a mile of the hotel — something I repeatedly took advantage of. I stayed in a Penthouse Loft Suite with Roof Deck, which starts at a very reasonable $299 a night. Similar rooms in nearby Williamsburg would easily cost over $800 per night. Alternatively, Standard Studio Loft rooms start at $249 a night in the summer season, but I think the better value is a larger suite room. Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here. A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you'll be eager to explore the world again. Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we'll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions. When traveling to a new city, my first instinct is to stay in the center of town close to all the tourist attractions. But after a few visits, those crowded, busy neighborhoods start to look less appealing — especially if that city is New York. For those looking to go off the beaten path or experience a new borough, the Henry Norman Hotel in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn is an excellent option. Plus, the value is outstanding and you'll enjoy more space for your money than at nearly any hotel in Manhattan or even neighboring Williamsburg. I stayed in a Penthouse Loft Suite with Roof Deck, which is one of the hotel's top-tier rooms with a kitchenette, seating area, and gorgeous skyline views. It was comped for review purposes, but starts at the shockingly low price of $299 per night, rising to a still-respectable $429 in higher seasons. For so much space, including a fold-out couch and room for an additional rollaway bed, it's an outstanding value for families, or anyone looking to maximize their hotel experience at a reasonable price point. Standard rooms, called Studio Lofts, run from $169 in lower seasons to $299, and typically start at $249 in the summer. These rooms still offer significant space, but with such accessible starting prices for the penthouse room or even a mid-tier suite, it's a rare opportunity to splurge while still adhering to a budget. Though, there is a slight trade off. Greenpoint, while a true neighborhood gem, is somewhat isolated with only one subway line that does not provide direct service to Manhattan. Those looking to cross the river regularly may find themselves reliant on cabs. That said, Greenpoint is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of New York with its myriad thrift stores, bars, restaurants, and deeply Polish influence. With large, well-priced suites, and so much to discover within walking distance, you may rethink that Manhattan venture, anyway. For more New York hotel recommendations, read our list of the 20 best hotels in New York City. The first impression The room On-site amenities What's nearby What others say What you need to know The bottom line Book the Henry Norman Hotel starting at $249 per night Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by the Henry Norman Hotel in Brooklyn.SEE ALSO: The 20 best hotels in New York City I'm a Brooklyn resident and like to spend a lot of time in Greenpoint, but I had never heard of the Henry Norman Hotel before my recent visit. Likely because of its location. Greenpoint's main drag is Manhattan Avenue, and many of the streets beyond it are largely residential or industrial. The Henry Norman is situated about a 10-minute walk from Manhattan Avenue, and I'd never ventured that far east. Located on an industrial block, the hotel is surrounded by warehouses and bus lots, which is not surprising considering the building is a converted 19th-century warehouse. It makes for a bit of a solitary trek to the hotel, but the benefit is there's absolutely no street noise. I also never felt unsafe despite the solitude, likely because it's such a welcoming neighborhood. Though it's something to consider if you're not comfortable walking alone in isolated neighborhoods. Once I approached the Henry Norman, I was surprised to find a large carport out front housing the hotel's fleet of shuttle vehicles, which included two vintage cars and a contemporary Mercedes. Stepping into the lobby, I immediately noticed the front desk to my right. There was no way to miss it, plus the 24-hour concierge served as a bit of a security measure as well. I also realized it was just me in the lobby, and the concierge confirmed it was the slow season. After check-in, the concierge took my bag and led me around the hallway to the elevator, past an atrium where I peered down into a guest lounge and gazed up to the higher floors above. "Penthouse" is a loaded word. It made me think of stuffy, elite hotel guests who demand the height of opulence. So, I was naturally wary when I first found out I was booked in the Penthouse Loft Suite and felt a bit undeserving. But the Penthouse Loft Suite at Henry Norman isn't as over the top as you might expect. It's actually quite approachable. I walked into a large, open space with a small kitchenette complete with an oven, mini-fridge, microwave, dishwasher, and dining table. To the right was a plush, fold-out couch and television. A dividing wall provided a bit of privacy between the queen bed and living space. Past the bedroom was a private terrace with outstanding city views. The bathroom, though average-sized, featured an amenity of increasing rarity in New York hotels — a bathtub. It's a small luxury I always appreciate. It was a beautifully bright, spacious room with a unique combination of contemporary and antique furniture. The commissioned artwork gave it a distinctly New York vibe, but it didn't hold quite the gravitas I was expecting with the designation of penthouse. It's actually about the size of many lower-level hotel suites I've experienced in Manhattan. Rather than being an opulent display of luxury, it's more like a well-appointed New York City apartment. As such, where it excels is the value offered. The price tag is incredibly reasonable, ranging from just $299 to $429 a night for so much space. If you're traveling as a family, it can sleep two adults and three kids — two on the fold-out couch, and one on an additional rollaway. If you're traveling with more than two adults, the one and two-bedroom penthouses sleep up to four adults and six adults respectively. If you've no need for the upgraded experience or kitchen, the standard Studio Loft still provides a ton of room with the same bright, modern eclectic vibe. Though the space per dollar isn't quite as impressive. The room sizes also vary a bit due to the boutique style of the hotel, so you may get lucky with a larger room, or you may not. Henry Norman is a fairly minimal hotel as far as amenities are concerned. There's a standard fitness center and large guest lounge on the lower level with plush chairs and couches. There are also two 24-hour common terraces, including a larger one on the second floor with several tables and chairs, and a smaller one on the third floor with incredible skyline views. There's also a laundry room, much like you might find in an apartment building, and it's free to do a load of laundry. This is also a nice value proposition, especially for those staying for longer than a few nights or traveling with children who are prone to messes. Most hotels typically upcharge significantly for laundry services. There's no on-site dining at the Henry Norman, which is unfortunate given the fact that it's a bit of a walk to the heart of Greenpoint where most restaurants are. The hotel does have two sister properties, The Box House and Franklin Guesthouse. Each of these hotels has a dining option and the shuttle will happily take you there and back. Franklin Guesthouse's restaurant, MADRE, is a New American spot with Spanish and Italian influences. I had dinner there during my stay and I was bowled over by the quality of the food. It's on the pricier side, so prepare to splurge. The Box House's restaurant, The Brooklyn Lantern, is more low-key and great for breakfast. The surrounding Greenpoint neighborhood is one of the coolest in Brooklyn, in my humble opinion. I often frequent the several thrift and vintage stores in the area. My favorite donut shop, Peter Pan Donuts, is also there, and I recommend checking out Transmitter Park. It's right along the East River and has a stunning view of the skyline. When it's warm out, a bar called The Brooklyn Barge floats on the river near Transmitter Park — yes, the bar is actually on a barge. It's an excellent hotspot for groups and families who want to spend time outside snacking and drinking. Check flight prices to New York on Expedia Henry Norman originally caught my eye because it's the number one rated hotel in Brooklyn on Trip Advisor, boasting a 5.0 rating stemming from 973 reviews. I'm not sure how Trip Advisor's algorithm draws that perfect 5.0 conclusion, however, because there are over 100 4.0 reviews and a small handful of even less satisfied guests. The hotel fairs equally well on Booking.com, with a 9.1 rating, earning "Great Value" and "Guest Favorite" designations. Guests most commonly raved about the unique boutique style of the hotel and the bright, spacious rooms. Many also love the availability of the shuttle, which eases the burden of being a bit off the beaten path. Those who were unhappy with their stay mostly complained about the lack of on-site dining, and I agree that a bar or restaurant would really heighten the experience. There were also complaints about the location being far away from the center of Greenpoint. I agree on that point as well, but I'm used to city walking, so it didn't bother me. Plus, I was able to use the complimentary shuttle to my advantage. Read reviews, compare prices, and book the Henry Norman Hotel on Trip Advisor Who stays here: Repeat visitors to New York looking to explore a new area, and families who value space for their dollar. We like: The 24-hour terrace with gorgeous skyline views. We love (don't miss this feature!): The complimentary shuttle will take you anywhere within a mile of the property. We think you should know: There is no on-site dining at the Henry Norman, but its sister hotels, The Box House and Franklin Guesthouse, each have a delicious dining option and the shuttle will take you both to and from either venue. We'd do this differently next time: Grab some ingredients from a nearby grocery store and cook my own breakfast in the kitchenette provided in my room. Whether your travels take you explicitly to Greenpoint, you're a frequent visitor to New York looking to explore a new neighborhood, or you appreciate value for your dollar, the Henry Norman Hotel is an excellent option. Yes, you'll sacrifice a bit of convenience in accessing Manhattan, but you'll be rewarded with bright, large rooms that cost drastically less than most equivalent Manhattan or Williamsburg options. Families looking for a quiet, spacious place to stay will appreciate the value of the larger suites, as well as guest-friendly touches like free laundry and complimentary coffee and pastries each morning. Though there's no on-site dining, the free hotel-provided shuttle service will save money on Uber or Lyft, and easily drop you off at one of the many excellent nearby dining options. From affordable pierogi to high-end fare at MADRE, there's plenty to love about staying in Greenpoint, and Henry Norman Hotel, specifically. Book the Henry Norman Hotel starting at $249 a night here