The newest hotels in South Florida are already making a name for themselves.
Open just since March, the Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach has earned the top spot for the city on TripAdvisor, followed in second place by another newcomer, The Redbury South Beach. That hotel, sister to the Hollywood Redbury in Los Angeles, has another designation to brag about: making the Travel + Leisure 2014 "It List," which highlights the world's best new hotels.
Despite those plaudits, the biggest hotel headlines are likely to come over the course of the next year. This fall, the long-awaited Edition Miami Beach - a collaboration between hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott International - is expected to open, followed early next year by the first phase of the massive Faena development in Miami Beach.
While Palm Beach County is welcoming a freshly renovated resort this spring and Broward has a new chain near the airport, the bulk of the recent building has happened in Miami-Dade.
For many travelers, the new options in the area might just make a decision on where to stay even harder, said Juliana Shallcross, managing editor for web publication HotelChatter.
"My feeling is that people always love Miami," she said, adding that visitors are likely to pick their hotel based on location, pool scene or spa.
"Miami just has so many options that it's so hard for travelers to pick the right hotel," she said.
Which is where we come in. For out-of-towners looking to sample what's new on the scene, here is our roundup of the latest additions.
-Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront
What's new: The Art Deco hotel, built in 1940 and expanded about a decade later, unveiled a $25 million expansion in February. The new wing includes a 93-room tower, extended lobby decorated with vintage Miami Beach posters, meeting space, new pool and cabanas.
Bragging rights: Two pools (the large original with an 8 1 / 2foot deep end and a new infinity-like version). The 356-room property is separated from the beach by only a boardwalk. Rooms break out of the Courtyard by Marriott mold in the new tower, with bright, beachy beige and teal palettes. One of the suites we checked out in the new section has a balcony spacious enough to host small parties - and even has a hot tub outside.
Caveat Emptor: The older sections of the 356-room hotel have not been renovated in years, so make sure you know what section you're booking. The location is a few blocks south of the clubs and restaurants at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and a long walk (or short cab ride) from South Beach. Construction on another hotel is ongoing next door.
Best for: Business travelers loyal to the Courtyard by Marriott brand; families who want quality pool-and-beach time.
Details: 3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-3373; hotelcadillacmiamibeach.com.
Rates and deals: Weekend rates for most of June start at $239 a night in the older tower, $289 for the newer section; Florida residents with ID get a 20 percent discount, subject to availability.
-EB Hotel Miami
What's new: The former Wells Fargo bank building just north of Miami International Airport has been transformed into a high-end hotel after a major overhaul (with an attached Wells Fargo branch). The six-story, 133-room property opened last June, the first U.S. location for a company that has several hotels in Venezuela and Argentina.
Bragging rights: From the marble floors in the lobby to smart-room technology that uses motion sensors to know when rooms are occupied, the hotel is unexpectedly posh for its location. Extra-thick windows make for quiet surroundings, despite the proximity to runways. All rooms are set up for business, with free Wi-Fi and desks; business suites have a living room at the entrance, with a TV set that can be used for presentations. Most showers are surrounded by glass walls that allow a view of the bedroom TV (with a screen for privacy).