Review: A Beachfront Miami Hotel That, For Once, Won’t Bleed Your Budget

The Confidante has been around in various forms since 1940. In the 21st century, it's a rare vacation gem indeed.

May 24, 2022 7:20 am
Exterior of The Confidante, a beachfront hotel in Miami that we reviewed and found to be a great chic and affordable vacation destination in Florida.
Welcome to The Confidante.
The Confidante

Whether you’re looking for an in-town beachfront spot to chill out for a few nights or you’re weighing the best option for a south Florida splurge, The Confidante is a mid-beach staple for a reason. 

Originally built in 1940 as the Lord Tarleton Hotel, this three-tower oceanfront property sits right on Collins Avenue. As it’s been around for over 80 years, the hotel has changed hands several times before it was acquired most recently by Hyatt in 2016. Now it’s decked out with Art Deco touches, leading to a retro, glamorous feel (plus the requisite colorful cabanas and beach umbrellas, befitting its location). The Confidante offers direct beach access, a flourishing daytime pool party and a fine-dining restaurant on the grounds, all without breaking the bank.

Think you can’t cobble together a great Miami getaway on a budget? We’ve got the game plan that says otherwise.

King Bed Suite with Balcony
A King Bed Suite with a balcony.
The Confidante

Spring for a deluxe suite with an ocean view

As group trips are a common occurrence in Miami, The Confidante knows its audience well and has planned accordingly. Maybe you’re traveling with young children who need their own sleeping space; maybe you just need another bed for several adults bunking together. Either way, the suite layout is clutch for small groups traveling en masse. Instead of spending the extra money on adjoining rooms, opt for a deluxe suite — and yes, you should spend a little more for one with an ocean-view balcony — which comes with a separate bedroom, a good-sized pullout couch in the living area and, most importantly, a second bathroom. This suite is big enough for three or four people to squeeze in for a few days, keeping the overall cost of the weekend down. Besides, most visitors spend more time at the pool than in their rooms anyway.

Pool Carts and Cabanas
Go ahead, get the cabana.
The Confidante

Private beachfront or poolside bungalow?

Like any Miami hotel worth its salt, The Confidante has its own private beachfront area, which is reserved exclusively for guests. At check-in, guests get their own wristband, which grants them access to the pools and beach area; a keycard is required to get back into the pool area when returning from the beach. If you’re not crazy about sand between your toes, the daytime party scene at the pool is a great way to spend an afternoon. With a live DJ, fresh coconuts as a vehicle/mixer for your favorite poolside booze and cabanas available with minimum spend, the property’s adults-only pool is one of the main reasons guests come to this hotel. A second pool for families means the area is also quite large, and The Backyard, an adjacent outdoor lounge, serves food and drinks all day long.

Beach Hut
You’re here for the beach, and The Confidante will save you a chair.
The Confidante

The dining destination that happens to be on-site

In December of 2020, the hotel welcomed a brand new on-site restaurant, Ambersweet, named for a southern fruit that’s similar to a grapefruit or tangerine and grown only in Florida. Helmed by Executive Chef Armando Diaz, the kitchen is focused on celebrating seasonal produce while also honoring the distinctive cultures that have gathered in Miami and help define the city’s diverse cultural heritage. Tuna crudo and grilled octopus are excellent starters. If they have the sea bass, half of the staff will recommend that dish to you — and they’ll be right. But there are plenty of steak, pork and pasta options to round out the menu. Complete your meal with a key lime cocktail and a key lime pie.

A bird's-eye view of the pools at The Confidante Miami Beach, an affordable but chic oceanfront hotel
You can’t stay at the pool all day, every day (or can you?).
The Confidante

Tired of lounging? Experience Superblue Miami’s interactive exhibits.

Take a break from the water (and the hotel) to see some of the art that has made the local scene famous. Superblue Miami is an interactive museum that takes guests on a journey through “large scale immersive installations” which artists have been commissioned to create. If you’re familiar with the Van Gogh exhibit in L.A. or other immersive art experiences like Meow Wolf, then you have a sense of what Superblue Miami has to offer. Using light, textures, mirrors and sounds, each interactive exhibit will challenge your expectations in a new way — and quite possibly lead to better vacation photos than those taken from your beach chair.

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