Freehand Miami is a hip hostel-esque stay for sociable millennials. Rise and shine for morning yoga on the beach, then spend the rest of your day swimming with (inflatable) dolphins in the palm tree-lined pool and sipping craft cocktails at one of Miami’s most popular bars, the outdoor Broken Shaker. The hotel comes alive at night with poolside pop-ups and parties into the early hours of the morning. You’ll wake well rested after a night in one of their grown-up bunk beds (or more private accommodation if that's what you prefer), followed by brunch at 27 Restaurant . This free-spirited, social stay has a real community feel that we’re happy to be a part of – and think you will be too.
Double rooms from $75.00, excluding tax at 14 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $28.50 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include a buffet breakfast of Cuban pastries, toast with butter and jams, fresh fruits, tea, coffee and freshly-squeezed fruit juices.
After a night at one of the pool parties or pop-ups at Broken Shaker bar, join a Mantra Monday or Saturday detox yoga session on the beach.
At the hotel
Full access to the hotel’s daily activities and events, on-loan bicycles, an outdoor ping pong table, a guest kitchen with fridges, drinks coolers and beach towels, free WiFi throughout and air-conditioning. In rooms: private rooms have a TV, an iPod dock, a minibar and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Shared rooms have lockers; padlocks are available at reception ($5 each).
Our favourite rooms
Bagsy the top bunk of one of the private Bungalows. These spacious 630-square-foot suites offer extra privacy and lots of living space for families and friends travelling together. Like all rooms at the hotel, they’re decorated by New York interior designers, Roman and Williams; they have a laid-back beach feel with simple furnishings in cream, blue and red, plus works by local artists.
Surrounded by tall palm trees, colourful cushioned sunloungers and vivid yellow parasols, the pool is a hive of social activity. By day, it’s filled with eye-catching inflatables and lined with millennials on Macs; by night, it plays host to regular pop-ups, pool parties and happy hours.
Make sure you’ve got international roaming on your phone – you’ll have plenty to tweet, vlog and insta about.
Although none of the bedrooms are specially designed for wheelchair-users, the hotel has lifts and ramps, so all rooms, the restaurant and bar are easily accessible.
Children of all ages are welcome, but as the hotel has a lively bar/party scene, it’s best suited to older teenagers.
Sit outside to soak up the sun and Miami atmosphere; if you’re with a big group, choose one of the large picnic benches.
Embrace your inner hipster and throw on a fedora to match your summery dress or t-shirt ’n’ shorts combo.
What could possibly beat a good meal with great friends? That’s the thinking behind the hotel’s communal-style restaurant, 27. Much like Miami, the menu is a melting pot of cultures and flavours, and uses the highest-quality produce Florida has to offer – much comes from the hotel’s on-site garden. Take a chair (or a bench) and tuck into the catch of the day, an all-American double cheeseburger with bacon and secret sauce, or a large bowl of green shakshuka. For lunch, stop by Café Integral for a cup of Cuban-style coffee, and pick up a turkey-and-brie wrap or a grain salad from the grab’n’go menu. The backyard bar, Broken Shaker, also serves lunch and light snacks such as beef jerky, charred shawarma broccoli, chicken with rice noodles and fish tacos.
Award-winning Broken Shaker is the heart and soul of the hotel. Located next to the pool, below fairy lights and palm trees, the bar always has a buzzing atmosphere; likely due to the fruity punch bowls, tall pitchers and handcrafted cocktails mixed with elixirs, syrups, herbs and spices from the hotel’s gardens. The menu changes monthly to showcase seasonal flavours, but always includes the finest spirits, craft beers and a long list of wittily named cocktails.
Breakfast: 8am-10am. 27: 6.30pm-2am (11am-4pm on Sundays). Café Integral: 8am-4pm on weekdays; 8.30am-4.30pm on weekends. Broken Shaker: opens at noon on weekdays (1pm on weekends); closes at 2am Monday–Thursday and Sundays; 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Freehand Miami is located on Indian Creek Drive, between Mid- and South Beach in Miami.
Miami International Airport is a 20-minute drive away; taxis to the hotel cost roughly US$35. You can fly direct from the UK and cities across the US. Our team of travel experts are on hand 24/7 to book your flights and transfers; just give them a ring.
The Metrorail runs through most of Southern Miami and has an airport link. Trains run regularly from Miami up and down the east coast to nearby cities; Fort Lauderdale is just over an hour away.
Hiring a car will make getting around Miami quick and easy. There’s no parking at the hotel, but nearby street parking is available at $3 an hour, from 9am to 3am (free at other times).
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel is just two short blocks away from the golden sands of South Beach. In the summer, the beach is lined with beautifully tanned bodies soaking up the sun; if you’re more of a water baby, there are lots of watersport rental shops nearby. Stop by Boucher Brothers at the Fontainebleau hotel on Collins Avenue to hire jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards (they also offer parasailing and kitesurfing). If you don’t take like a duck to water, book a surf or a paddleboard lesson with SoBe Surf – they’ll have you hanging 10 in no time. Miami has a thriving arts scene: watch live music concerts at New World Symphony on Lincoln Road, pirouette your way down Liberty Avenue to watch prima ballerinas at Miami City Ballet and be utterly confused by the conceptual artworks at Bass Museum of Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami and Art Basel, held in December.
Dinner at Smith-approved SLS South Beach’s Bazaar restaurant is a culinary experience to remember. World-renowned chef José Andrés’ menu showcases imaginative dishes inspired by global flavours: start with a foie gras peanut butter and jelly, followed by bone marrow with Caribbean white truffles and capers, then finish with caña de cabra mousse with honey ice-cream, candied orange, caramelised croutons and crème fraîche. Philippe Starck’s wonderfully wacky interiors with a seashell chandelier and hot pink bulls’ heads on the walls – more than lives up to the creative menu. Rustic Argentinian recipes are transformed into sophisticated dishes by grill-master Francis Mallmann at award-winning Los Fuegos. The mouth-watering steaks and ocean-fresh seafood are cooked on an open fire. For a more down-to-earth dinner, seek out Mandolin, across the bay on NE 2nd Avenue. Sit inside by the white-wood bar, or take one of the blue-and-white tables in the courtyard. Inspired by classic Aegean fare, the menu includes vegetable- and fish-filled dishes, such as grilled octopus, or aubergine, almond, feta and kasseri-stuffed courgette.
Get your morning caffeine-kick at Shepherd Artisan Coffee in South Beach. If the sea air doesn’t wake you up, the intensely flavoured espressos and bold cappuccinos will. Have your five-dailies in one dish at Pura Vida on Washington Avenue. Start with shots… of vitamin-rich fruits, then pair a wellness smoothie with one of the organic ‘green machine’ bowls, or a kale Caesar salad – even the waffles and cookies are guilt-free. Forget kids in a candy store, Chez Bon Bon in the Fontainebleau hotel is an adult’s sweet dream. The elegant pâtisserie has beautifully-decorated cakes, fruit-filled tarts, creamy éclairs and a rotating ice-cream carousel (expect to make return trips).
The third outpost of the award-winning New York-based bar, Employees Only is proof that good things come in threes. Nestled in the Art Deco Coral House at the Washington Park Hotel, this speakeasy-style bar retains the property’s 1920’s flare with polished wood panelling, an embossed metal ceiling and glass lighting that casts a golden glow over the space. Try one of their original concoctions, such as the Lazy Lover, made with cachaça, jalapeño-infused green Chartreuse, Benedictine liqueur, lime juice and nectar. The mother of dragon bars, Drunken Dragon is a tiki-themed bar on Alton Road. ‘Dragon hour’ is from 6pm to 8pm daily: enjoy a discounted Buddha’s Belly-ni (a spin on the bellini) or a Cucuzaki cocktail made with sake, gin, elderflower and yuzu; line your belly with a few sharing plates from the Korean barbecue. 40 storeys up, rooftop bar Sugar has breathtaking views of the Miami coastline. Take a seat at the ornately carved bar and enjoy Asian-influenced tipples such as the Sesame Sling (gin, mango, lime, hibiscus and sesame) and the green-tea, ginger and gin-infused East of Miami.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this trendy hotel in Miami and smoasted about their trip, a full account of their beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Freehand Miami in Florida…
Freehand Miami is a hostel-esque stay for the next generation of travellers. No more untouchable interiors, stuffy bars or formal dining – this is a hotel for the free-spirited millennial. Whether you’re riding solo or travelling with a large group of friends, the hotel has a room to suit; from two-person suites to whole bungalows and dorms with bespoke bunk beds. Grab a coffee at Café Integral before heading to South Beach for an early morning yoga session. Punctuate your days with ping pong matches outside Broken Shaker, dips in the pool and trips to Miami’s contemporary galleries. As the sun starts to set, it’s back to the bar for happy hour and disco frisbee: there’s a tight schedule at this free-spirited stay and we’re happy to stick to it – eat, sleep, pool party, repeat…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Freehand Miami’s Guestbook below.
I reserved a private room that was perfectly adequate in accommodations. Unfortunately I was right off the courtyard that had loud music and gatherings until midnight or later...I believe those rooms should be reserved for people sharing a room for less money. The wonderful piece is the location – next to the beach!
Peace and quiet or luxury.
Stayed on 23 Jan 2018
The food and drink outlets on the property; excellent cocktails at Broken Shaker and the killer burger at 27 restaurant; good vibes at both. Walk down the block to Shepard's Coffee Shop in the morning to avoid the sadness that is the complimentary breakfast. They have delicious coffee and simple, delightful breakfast options.
Anything fancy as far as accommodations. It's inexpensive and it has the vibe of a hostel. Complimentary breakfast is really disappointing, considering the in-room material says it's provided by their chef. It's sugary cereal, terrible coffee and not appealing bread and muffins. Not sure why they want to say this comes from their chef. Definitely not a cozy room you'd want to spend time in.