The hotel’s position is on Washington and Espanola Way is the entrance to what passes for Miami Beach’s bohemian Spanishtown, a couple of blocks from the ocean but with a different, more European feel than the rest of the Art Deco buildings around. The fully restored Clay is the crown jewel of the neighbourhood.
You can expect small rooms decorated in cream and white or floral patterned linens, accented with red cushions and walls featuring bright artwork of Miami scenes. Like the hotel in general, they’re basic, but comfortable, and a handful have very small balconies. There are male and female dormitories with shared toilets and four to 12 bunk beds per room. Sure, they’re just dorm rooms, but they’re decorated in bright colours and kept very clean and neat.
You usually have to fight your way over a mass of backpacks and other luggage, and occasionally prostrate backpackers too, to reach the front desk of the atmospheric flagstone-tiled lobby, which features framed photographs detailing the hotel’s rich history. There’s a pretty outdoor courtyard and useful utility area with washing machines and dryers.
Eating and drinking
The hotel’s exterior is flanked on two sides by the street tables of the expensive and unpredictable Oh Mexico restaurant, but there is nothing on site.
Reception staff are very knowledgeable and keen to share their advice. Valet parking is desperately slow.
Who stays there
Backpackers, students, groups and couples on a budget.
Room and dorm rates are among the lowest in town anyway but hotel offers stay three nights, pay for two packages in midweek.
- High-Speed Internet
- Backpackers / Students
- Seasoned travellers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Spacious, clean dormitories
- Budget hotel
- Rich history and beautiful neighbourhood
- Noise, particularly at weekends
- No pool, bar or restaurant