by Casey Bressan

Freehand Miami

Hostel energy with hotel amenities.

Absolute Highlight

Coming back from the beach to read poolside before lazily moving to the restaurant for outstanding local flavor.

In a nutshell

No. of rooms
80
The design aesthetic is...
living room comfortable in a 1930s Art Deco building with handcrafted wooden details and deep vibrant decor
The typical guest is...
On an extended trip and staying for a week or more before going north into the US or South to the islands, Mexico or Central America.
The sustainability features (ie. plastic free, recycling, green wall, garden) are...
local food and an on-site vegetable garden, along with organic fair trade bath products.
The location is...
in the heart of Miami Beach, one block from the sand.
Interaction is encouraged by....
Ample public space and a community atmosphere! Beyond the availability of shared rooms, encouraging community areas fill the hotel with local and tourist life including a restaurant, pool and cocktail bar in a welcoming courtyard.
You should stay here because
It’s one block from the beach, and bills itself as the first luxury hostel in the US, meaning you get hotel goods with hostel prices and personality.
What took you there?

I came to Miami with my husband for one night before heading to the Bahamas for a wedding. I like popping into Miami while en route to the islands because the energy, food and people are so vibrant here. Miami has never felt like a ‘fly-through’ town to me. We were definitely not alone in this thinking as we discovered a few familiar faces headed to the same wedding on our stopover.

What was your room like?

The room we had was a King Suite and it was large! For $137 we had a bedroom, sitting room with a desk, and a large bathroom. I loved being able to spread out without feeling cramped. The design felt intentional but basic. For example the bathroom is one room, with no separation among the shower, sink and toilet.

What about the venue

When I walked into Freehand Miami I could distinctly tell it was Freehand, and immediately recognized it must be the first in their portfolio. Every other Freehand seems to build on this one. The feeling of community was so authentic and with a true hostel energy, I soon learned that the outpost considers itself the first luxury hostel in the US. The lobby is housed in a 1930s Art Deco building, filled with handmade wooden features, and colorful pillows reminiscent of Native American or even Mexican decor. Large tables and comfortable air conditioning bring a few people in to work or relax, but most of the action is in the courtyard, where a tiki bar, pool and restaurant exist among colorful seating areas arranged for relaxing and catching up. It is no wonder both locals and tourists treat Freehand Miami like home, because it truly feels like an extension of your most relaxed and artistically inclined friend’s living room.

Tell us about the destination

Miami is a U.S. hub influenced by Cuban, Mexican and Central and South American culture, and as vibrant and multinational as cities get. Sparkling beaches of Miami Beach offered us respite from day party tunes at hotel pools, big spenders at luxe shopping and art centers, and bustling bars and restaurants. I am a member at Soho House and absolutely love the relaxed chic vibe of the expansive SH Miami. We spent a day at the pool, bar and front beach here moseying back to Freehand for a poolside read and drinks to dinner.

Who did you meet there?

I met a solo female traveler from Oklahoma on a mission of self discovery, a family getting away from big city life on a budget, and a French couple en route to the Carribean islands for a true luxury holiday.

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