Just as cold weather starts to settle in the northern parts of the U.S. and much of the (vaccinated) world is welcomed back, one of Miami’s more charming neighborhood hotels—Life House Little Havana—has reopened.
The 33-room property located just a few minutes from the neighborhood’s iconic Calle Ocho is housed in a historic 1920s guava-colored stucco building that fuses Art Deco and Mission Revival styles.
Stepping inside one finds a space that is just what millennials visiting a boutique hotel in Miami would hope to find—leafy plants, sleek mahogany furniture, and ceramics. The hotel intended the space to remind one of the entrance to a Caribbean mansion. Check-in, as with all the Life House properties (Miami Beach, Nantucket, and Denver so far), is done on your own via a tablet.
The rooms (with your choice of a queen bed, two bunk beds, or four bunk beds) start at $189 a night and are designed simply but well, with dark furnishings, subway tile bathrooms, Le Labo products, and even little touches like Galletas María in the mini-bar.
Little Havana lies just west of downtown Miami and the Brickell area, i.e., inland, so this neighborhood might not be the most obvious choice for anyone determined to visit Miami for its beaches. But this Life House’s appeal probably is in part because it isn’t on the beach or in the busy downtown. There aren’t hordes of tourists nearby. Instead, you’re immersed in one of the city’s neighborhoods where the people walking around likely live there full time. Plus there are longtime entertainment staples like Ball & Chain and eateries like Sanguich de Miami, Café La Trova, and Azucar Ice Cream (with its eye-catching exterior).
Plus, the beach, downtown, and tourist sights like Vizcaya or the Rubell are a quick ride away.
But perhaps the highlight of the hotel is its rooftop restaurant and bar called Terras, which serves Latin street food and cocktails. It has a view of the Miami skyline like few other hotels. Laid out before you with the water just beyond is the ever-metastasizing collection of skyscrapers, some better than others (looking at you 500 Brickell), which is something special to see whether by first sunlight or twinkling in the distance late at night.