Moxy South Beach, Miami: the party starts here

(David Williams)

The party starts even before you arrive at the Moxy South Beach lobby, right on the sidewalk, sorry ‘the sidewalk,’ as the ‘welcome’ music blasts through the heavy glass doors.

Inside, the beat never falters, with fun, fun, fun on the agenda almost around the clock: free sodas on arrival, buzzing rooftop bars, loud DJs, louder guests, big cheeky street art-style murals and then when it finally dawns. A living room is coming: stylish yet compact rooms to share with a friend or two. It is the place you go to see and to be seen. Exhibitionists will love it, watch out for shrinking violets.

Where is it?

Conveniently located just a short stroll from Miami’s dazzling South Beach, with its miles of clean, sun-kissed white sand, warm (kind of) sea, and impossibly retro pastel-colored lifeguard stations. You’re also minutes from the sultry Art Deco Historic District with its amazing architecture: all verticals, ‘eyebrows’ over the windows, fun metal studs, and nautical themes. It is seldom quiet; this is where, it seems, the rest of Miami comes to party, to do burnouts in their Ferraris and Lamborghinis, rev their custom Harley-Davidsons, or strut their stuff.


Carefully eschewing the local look (Art Deco, Streamline or MIMO), the newly built Moxy South Beach is unabashedly contemporary and all the better for it. Glamorous, inviting, sunny, tiered rooftop terraces, complete with pools, bars, a restaurant, cabanas, loungers, and more raucous music, adorn the main building, an attractive, white, partially glazed block, greened with palm trees, lush tropical vegetation. strong, upright window plants and columns.

    (moxy south beach)

(moxy south beach)

To top it all off, floating high above the stylized ‘Moxy’ ‘handwritten’ script on the wall and offering stunning panoramic views of the ocean, is the 8th floor rooftop terrace, ‘Upside’, all cool lighting , shaded canopies, small circular swimming pool, beautifully decorated with almost Moorish tiles, plus thumping music, hard-working waiters and, several nights a week, a DJ. 

Playful, sometimes goofy humor in the bright, stylish, and welcoming lobby sets the tone for this sparkling clean hotel. Images of a bikini-clad ‘Mean Girl’ on the wall (repeated on her key card) compete with a women’s foosball team, a flashy Coney Island-style ‘Horoscopes’ phone booth, cheesy Ring pops and Slap Bracelet vending machines. , even a three-wheel delivery bike cart.

Look up, and through a porthole in the ceiling, the unsuspecting will find themselves peeping voyeuristically at the swimmers in the 72-foot pool overhead, or catching the phone number mysteriously emblazoned on the ceiling of the exclusive Moxy Bar. (The number belongs to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite Havana bar, El Floridita. I’m sure he’d approve.)

Even elevators are not immune: they are made like swimming pools inside, with “waves” over your head…

food and drink

    (Food Like Like)

(Food Like Like)

This is weird. The hotel’s four main dining outlets are managed independently, so they cannot be charged to your room; you have to pay as you go which is annoying. Still, the main restaurant, the exquisitely Mexican Como Como, is a must-see, with brilliant service, an intriguingly novel menu (bitter orange-marinated grilled octopus or grilled Alaskan crab leg with jalapeno-cilantro butter, anyone? ?) and delicious. Very well presented dishes.

Cocktails, particularly mezcal-based ones, send your taste buds into orbit. Ditto for prices, which, like most of Miami, are high.   Serena, the attractively designed open-air rooftop restaurant and bar with lush plants, serves more s classic “mixed with a modern take on traditional Latin and Mexican cuisine” (still pricey compared to London), while Los Buenos, a taco stand and lobby bodega, serves hand-pressed tortillas; burritos, burrito bowls, salads and freshly squeezed juices, along with ‘breakfast quesadillas’ a bit too heavy for some, first thing in the morning.

The other in-house grab-and-go breakfast option is Bar Moxy, where offerings are limited, including prepackaged cereals, granola yogurt, or fruit bowls, all (disappointingly) packaged in single-use plastic. We were looking forward to weekend brunch, starting at 11am at Serena upstairs, so we looked for a local cafe that served oatmeal, tastier yogurt, better tea, and crunchier granola.”


South Beach itself (Moxy South Beach has its own complimentary lounger section) is a must-see, as is the leafy 10-block Lummus Park with Beach Walk and the impressive Art Deco Historic District on Ocean Drive. The Art Deco Museum, near the beach, is a good starting point. They are all just a short walk from the hotel.

No one should leave Miami without taking a cab to The Wynwood Walls, a former storage district occupied by brilliant street artists, with mind-blowing murals so dazzling they are now preserved and on permanent display. The bustling Broad Street Market next door is also worth a visit, but check the (sometimes unannounced) prices before shelling out for a snack. Without realizing it we spent $70 (including tip) on two lobster rolls and lemonades.

    (moxy south beach)

(moxy south beach)

Back at the hotel, for something different, book in advance to sample the intimate atmospheric ‘hidden’ Mezcal bar, with 200 different types. Moxy South Beach also has a gym, bikes for free use, and runs classes in jogging, yoga, boxing, salsa and shots, mat Pilates, Glute Check, etc. Don’t leave it too late; you have to be young, or young at heart, to keep up.”

What room?

There are 202 to choose from, all similar, stylish, themed, and intended to echo the ‘liner’ feel of the overnight ferry service between Miami and Havana that operated in the 1940s and ’50s. Aside from the two suites , compactness is the order of the day. Rooms come in one king or two queen formats, with quadruple rooms featuring bunk beds. While the quads have a (small) closet, the others have ‘peg walls’, with extra storage under the bed (including a slide-out safe, which is too small for a DSLR camera) for items like shoes. Storage space is limited.

    (moxy south beach)

(moxy south beach)

The playful theme continues, with designer bed trays, a chic tote bag filled with brightly striped beach towels, neat wall storage pods, and headboards upholstered in Shore Rug, a woven outdoor material reminiscent of soft furnishings. old beach There are built-in charging stations, large “rain” showers separated from the room by luxurious curved Art Deco frosted windows, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of light, and large custom wall art depicting iconic artists. With the push of a button on the retro-style telephone, guests can listen to a 60-second bedtime story with a choice of themes (“chill”, “swing out”, or “swoon”). All rooms are bright and cool, with large curtains that block out light, though soundproofing between rooms could be better. Some rooms have an ocean view, but others, like ours, face a rear service area.

Better for…

Groups of friends under 35 looking to party and have the time of their lives in Miami. Showcasing the latest fashions (beachwear and evening wear), tan and sip cocktails by the rooftop pools. The older patrons are in evidence, but they seem a little bewildered.

how to get there

It’s valet parking only. It’s probably best to take a taxi from the airport.


Lead rates from $159 (approx. £117), book at

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