National Hotel Miami Beach is a Historic Gem!


As I step into the timeless embrace of the National Hotel on Miami Beach, I find myself transported to an era of architectural splendor and coastal allure. This original Art Deco landmark, crafted by architect Roy France in 1939, stands proudly as the exclusive adults-only retreat along the sun-drenched shores of Miami. Recent renovations have seamlessly woven modern comforts into its historic fabric, preserving its allure.

The National Hotel beckons with the South Beach’s longest infinity pool, a captivating 205-foot stretch of liquid serenity. I swam every day and enjoyed this unique opportunity to swim outside in a pool longer than a long course which is normally hard to find.

Inside, the hotel unfolds as a tapestry of history and eclecticism, offering 137 individual guest rooms and suites. I loved the design elements like the push button phone by the elevator and the giraffe inspired carpet design. The lobby lounge exudes a comforting ambiance, the Mareva 1939 Spanish restaurant boasts award-winning culinary delights, and the newly opened Martini Bar adds a touch of sophistication. Meanwhile, the Aqua Bar and Grill allow guests to savor the ocean breeze. Join me in a journey where the past meets the present at the National Hotel, promising an exclusive Miami Beach experience that marries elegance with contemporary luxury.

We loved the acclaimed Spanish cuisine at Mareva 1939, which is recognized as one of Miami’s finest dining establishments. Flavio took incredible care of us and we loved every course from the Los Classicos tapas of Spanish Cheese Platter with quince, almonds and toasted bread and Patatas Bravas, with aioli and spicy tomato sauce to the Principales of Braised Short Ribs with boniato puree, pickled mustard seeds & mushrooms and the Pan Seared Branzino with potato cream and bilbaina sauce. We loved each course made with spectacular ingredients and served with panache! We could feel the heart and soul that executive chef Sergio Chamizo, who was born in Barcelona and raised in Madrid, brings to the hotel’s Spanish concept restaurant, which features dishes he grew up with at home in Spain. While I had rum from Venezula, Nola enjoyed two beautiful and tasty libations one called the Endless Passion made with Don Julio Blanco, passion fruit, agave, fresh lime, orange blossom and Bells ON with Contraluz Cristalino Mezcal and home made Bell pepper cordial, clarified lime, oregano. For dessert, we shared the caramelized torrija brioche with coconut ice cream and pink guava. Sitting outside near the pool made the entire experience even more spectacular.

From the two pools, you are steps away from a walk on the gorgeous sand beach. You can choose to lounge poolside in a cabana or oceanside in a cabana. I strolled along the water taking photos of the unique lifeguard stands and loved the way the colors changed at sunset. I would highly recommend this property and definitely stay here again. I cannot wait to swim in the long pool again and again.

In November, I was in Miami at the Arlo Wynwood which was walking distance to the Business Traveler Awards where I was a judge. I swam in their rooftop pool, enjoyed an art opening in their galley and the Wynwood Walls. I knew when I came back to Miami, I wanted to stay along the sea so I could walk with my toes in the sand every day.

This visit to Miami in Jan 2024, I stayed before I sailed on the brand new Icon of the Seas. Whether you are staying in Miami or setting sail, I know you will love your stay at the historic adults-only National Hotel.

Icon of the Seas by Bobby Laurie

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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