Sandwiched between the Delano and the Sagamore, The National sits on one of most hotel-heavy sections of Collins Avenue, close to the shops, restaurants and bars and on the same stretch of wide beach as its neighbours.
The hotel has two separate accommodation blocks, each with its own style. The main tower houses 115 rooms, with slightly less than half giving sea views. They’re recently refurbished, brightly decorated and comfortable enough, but suffer from the same unavoidable problem as almost every other hotel of the period – they’re small in size. A 36-room poolside cabana block opened last year, with much larger rooms and suites decorated in colonial African style with animal prints and dark wooden furniture.
From its original marble floor, to the decorative curved balcony railings, giants pillars and period lifts, everything about the lobby takes you back to that first, golden era of Miami Beach’s hotels boom. You’ll hear tinkling piano and jazz music to enhance the experience as you wander through to the restaurant and pool.
Eating and drinking
The Restaurant at The National has both indoor and outdoor terraces and offers a perfectly reasonable Mediterranean-focused menu. The Aqua Bar and Grill is a familiar poolside amenity while the Blues Bar martini and cocktail lounge is another authentic hark back to that bygone era.
Facilities here are limited, with spa treatments available in-room or poolside, while bicycle rentals are available for the more energetic. The swimming pool is striking. It’s a 205-feet infinity pool, surrounded by comfortable loungers and well-appointed cabanas and would be perfect for a relaxing afternoon if only somebody would turn down that blaring music coming from the Delano next door.
Staff are generally courteous, polite and helpful.
Who stays there
Despite appearances and its period ambience, The National also hosts a good number of live music events and attracts a young, party-going set along with older visitors who want to appreciate the hotel’s history and culture.
It’s worth the extra for a cabana room.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Stag / hen parties
- Live entertainment
- People watching
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Wonderful pool
- Heart of the action
- Historic hotel
- Noisy pool area, thanks to neighbours
- Small rooms in tower block