Your Hostel Starter Guide to Miami Beach, FL

I spent a good portion in Miami hostel hopping, beginning with the desire to see what South Florida had to offer and ended up discovering the magic Miami makes for those who let it in. A word of caution: Miami can be heaven or it can be Hell. It all comes down to who and what you allow and the experiences you look for. Especially at hostels, you can get yourself into trouble, but on the flip side, Miami can provide pixie dust that you can’t find anywhere else.  Below is a list of a handful of hostels in Miami Beach that worked well for me. Reservations can be made through the hostel’s website or on Hostelworld.com for more information and easier bookings.

With clubs for every walk of life, people under every color of the rainbow, and experiences that will leave you wondering why you’re leaving.

This is Miami…

 

Miami Beach Hostel:

I found that this hostel is more about community and creativity more than the business side of things. The hostel is geared more toward making connections that turn into friendships. The atmosphere is relaxed, the walls are decorated with art by a Brazilian artist who captured both nature and unique aesthetic that reflects Miami. Somehow, this gives it a vibe that is inviting and inducing of an environment that exhibits friendliness & openness to interact with other hostel vacationers and workers alike. I made friends with multiple staff members while I was there, including the live-in cat, which made my stay more enjoyable. The kitchen is well stocked with necessities including multiple huge refrigerators, a freezer, two sinks, and a fully-equipped stove.

Rooms are clean and secured with coded entry and numerous lockers. There’s a pool table available for free next to the bar & encourages socializing to make the best of your stay and comfortable seating arrangments are everywhere.

The breakfast runs from 8-10 am and includes a bagel and apple juice. Not the healthiest of options, but it is a hostel we’re paying for here. I considered myself lucky to be getting a breakfast at all, even if it increased my gluten-gut by a millimeter or two during my four-night stay. They also include free hot dogs on some nights!

HI – Miami International Hostel:

HI Miami International Hostel was not only affordable but well done. The hostel has everything down to a science. One of the cleanest hostels I’ve had the pleasure of going to, and the staff is super friendly. They also provide drinking water next to the front desk which was something I haven’t seen in any other Miami hostels. It comes with a fully-stocked kitchen (though the stove wasn’t really a stove, more just two separate plug-in burners). Key cards and in-room lockers make it a secure spot to place your bags and rest your head, and the Mexican-themed café/restaurant, Taquiza is convenient and popular. Delicious food!

The beds are comfortable and most of the people I met in and around this hostel were friendly, adventurous, some wild, and all seemingly happy to be there. Overall HI Miami does it well. Bonus points for the eco-friendly recycling signs and multiple bins for recycled waste, something I didn’t see so encouraged in other hostels I’ve stayed at. Breakfast is from 8-10 and includes coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, and a granola bar. Again, nothing too fancy but there are plenty of other options, including the café/restaurant downstairs, along with endless options outside the hostel if you are so inclined. The hostel is on Collins Avenue which makes it a perfect location for late night partying and stumbling safely back, Walgreens bag full of munchies in hand, only to continue the night exchanging stories with more friendly faces in the dining area downstairs.

Ocean Blue Hostel:

Ocean Blue hostel was nice not only because of its proximity to the beach and all the great parties on Ocean Drive, but because they have an upper-scale bar & restaurant and provide a 50% discount, which made lots of sense since there is no kitchen to use by guests. I asked the restaurant manager downstairs to use his fridge so I didn’t lose the perishables I had brought and he had no problem with it. A little smile and I’m sure you can get the same deal J No kitchen was a bit of an inconvenience, though I took advantage of the 50% off at the bar upstairs. The staff was friendly, the site is secured with key cards and lockers, the rooms are affordable, and it’s a great location if you like drinking, dancing, and the beach. Don’t expect to get a lot of alone time here, though, unless you come during off-season. Things on Ocean Drive get crazy during almost all hours, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on your mindset.

Bikini Hostel (+ Café & Beer Garden):

I had heard mixed reviews about Bikini Hostel since coming to Miami, which drove me to find better options, but in the end I think it was a good choice. I won’t go as far to say that they had the nicest and cleanest rooms in Miami Beach that they seemed to picture in their HostelWorld & Booking.com ads, but the staff was friendly, the price is admirable, and the conveniences are there: a café restaurant downstairs, a Jacuzzi & pool, ping pong table, pool table, coded-entry rooms, and in-room lockers.

The breakfast, from 8-10 includes coffee, cereals, boiled eggs, & toast and is one  of the best among South Beach hostels. The staff was friendly, the people the hostel attracted were unique and respectful, and their selection of beers is expansive.

The location is supreme if you’re looking for a respite from the craziness and/or you like your alone time. Just a short walk away, the surrounding area is luxurious yet quiet, the views of the bay from across the street are breathtaking…

…and clubs are within safe walking distance. I found it a good place to mix tranquility and fiesta.

Bikini Hostel offers a work exchange program of which I took advantage by helping at the bar in exchange for a shared room; highly recommended for two reasons: you’re able to get your foot in the door in the bartending industry, waitressing, or even front desk experience. Also recommended if you wish to party for next to nothing in a pricey yet magical city filled with any type of a good time you can’t even imagine, meeting people with perspectives you’ve never dreamed of. Talk about mind expansion. Just be careful with the beer. Mind expansion with new friends over a drink is fun and all, but beer belly expansion is not. Contact me if you’re interested and would like more details on the work exchange.

Beds & Drinks:

Though I only booked a night, I liked the hostel because of how spacious and clean it was. Beds & Drinks has their own bar and comfortable hangout area downstairs, and the staff was friendly. I didn’t stay for long, though, because I knew there was something better for what I was looking for a few blocks away. This is a great hostel, don’t get me wrong, but really it’s nothing overly special compared to the rest of Miami, though keep in mind I only stayed two nights. If you like clean & lots of open space with a convenient bar downstairs, this is the hostel for you. The location is quiet, yet still within walking distance to anything you could want or need, including the beach.

Miami has it all. It could have you traveling the yellow-brick road or you could be playing in Satan’s South Beach playground. Whichever type you prefer, it’s expected to dabble in both the light and dark sides of one of the most popular coastal cities in the USA. Just visit Miami and you’ll see for yourself: the city can give you everything you didn’t know you wanted & more.

 

 

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