A&E District Hotel Guide for Cruisers

A and E District - Miami

The Arts and Entertainment District in Miami is growing in popularity and is best known as the cultural center in this vibrant city! Anchored by Adrienne Arsht Center and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts to the south, visitors are advised to plan ahead to ensure their visit coincides with major entertainment events.


The area is not as vibrant as Downtown or Brickell and fine dining is missing but cruisers will find solid eats and panoramic views in the hotels overlooking Biscayne Bay.

And if you want to venture out, you have easy access to the Biscayne Route of the FREE Miami Trolley as well as a Metromover Station at the Art Center.

But folks love to stay here for the views of PortMiami from the high floors of the hotels listed below.

NOTE – these are large hotels with rooms facing in all directions! Some views are blocked by other buildings. Please ask for a room with a clear view at time of booking!

Three Hotel Views
Three Hotel Views!

Hotel Map

Map - Arts District Miami
Map – Arts & Entertainment District Miami (click to enlarge)

Port Views

Here is a selection of port views from the hotels in this area!

Hilton Views of PortMiami
Views of PortMiami from the Hilton Miami Downtown
Marriott Views of PortMiami
Views of PortMiami from the Marriott Biscayne Bay
Doubletree Views PortMiami
Views of PortMiami from the Doubletree by Hilton Grand Hotel
ME Hotel Views of PortMiami
ME Hotel Views of PortMiami


Downtown Miami Hotels

Downtown Miami

Downtown Miami Hotels for Cruisers

Cruisers looking for Downtown Miami Hotels will love the hotel choices and proximity to the Port as well as the views of the cruise ships!

Holiday Inn Miami - 7th Floor View
Holiday Inn Miami – 7th Floor View at 6am

Downtown Miami is 2nd on our cruise hotel recommendation list after Brickell.


The hotels we recommend are either close to the Miami River or across the street from Bayside Marketplace. At night, most visitors head to Bayside!

  • Bayside Marketplace is a very popular waterfront entertainment/shopping/restaurant complex.
  • Miami River separates Brickell from Downtown. The north bank is home to several hotels and highrise condominiums with shops and restaurants.

Downtown Miami near the hotels is a very safe and walkable area with easy access to the:

  • Miami Trolley.  Free
  • Metromover. Free. The map below shows the routes that are of most interest to visitors. The short Inner Loop (blue) travels clockwise and the Brickell Loop (yellow) travels anti-clockwise.
Miami Trolley
Miami Trolley
Metromover Miami
Metromover Miami

The Metrorail Orange Line to/from Miami International Airport stops Downtown (Government Center Station) where you can transfer to Metromover.

MetroRail Miami
MetroRail Miami

Other transportation options include rental cars from several Downtown locations- please read our dedicated page called Miami Car Rental for Cruisers.

For shopping and more upscale restaurant options we recommend you use the Metromover (Yellow Line) to visit Brickell (just 15 minutes or so, exit at City Centre station).

We recommend Whole Foods for grocery shopping and CVS, Chandi Liquors or Xtra Liquors for wine. You can also go to Publix in Brickell.

After dark, you may find the panhandlers get more aggressive as you wander away from the waterfront areas. We suggest you do not walk futher west than the Metromover stations.

Map - Downtown Miami
Map – Downtown Miami (click to enlarge)


Brickell Miami Hotels

Brickell Miami

Brickell Miami Hotels for Cruisers

Brickell is our top choice for pre-cruise stays at PortMiami.


The area is safe and very walkable with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, shops and cruise necessities such as grocery stores and pharmacies. It has two fabulous shopping centers.

The towering modern skyscrapers are visually stunning at night and your senses will immediately feel the energy of this fast-growing district.

You have many wonderful hotels to choose from as shown on the map below. The Hampton Inn, Marriott, SLS Lux and EAST are the most centrally located.

In our opinion the Homewood, Atton, and Extendend Stay are somewhat isolated in terms of public transport and the area is not as vibrant as the rest of Brickell shown on our map. The Aloft Hotel is also a bit further away.

At times the areas underneath the MetroRail tracks attract aggressive homeless and we prefer to avoid it after dark. For this reason we prefer the hotels to the east of the MetroRail tracks.

Map - Brickell Hotels - Miami
Map – Brickell Hotels – Miami (click to enlarge)

NOTE – The Brickell area of interest to cruisers is quite small. It is only 0.7 miles from the Four Seasons to the W Hotel (15 minutes walking)! But if you want transport, you have many options!


  • A driver-less experience!
  • The yellow line of the free metromover transport system runs through the middle of Brickell and connects it to Downtown Miami and beyond.
  • It takes only 30 minutes to ride the complete yellow-line loop, meaning you can reach Downtown Miami in under 15 minutes!
  • The City Centre Station is a part of the City Centre modern shopping complex!
Metromover Miami
Metromover Miami
Metromover Station
Metromover Station


  • Did you know you can use the train between MIA and Brickell?
  • As shown on the map, the Brickell station of MetroRail is near the Hampton Inn
  • Use the Orange Line for service to/from Miami International Airport Station. It takes 20-30 minutes
  • The MIA Station is at the Rental Car Center. From the station you take the MIA Mover to the airline terminals
MetroRail Miami
MetroRail Miami – Orange Line

Miami Trolley

If you take some time to study the FREE MIAMI TROLLEY routes you may find it very convenient for sightseeing!

  • The drivers are fun and knowledgeable. Just tell them where you want to go and they will assist you
  • Just look for the bus stops with the Palm Tree signs and flag the trolleys
  • The Trolley Route is displayed above the windshield as it aproaches
  • Once seated, every stop is announced. You can pull a wire to bell the driver.
  • The Biscayne and Brickell Trolley routes are of interest to Brickell visitors
  • FYI – the Coral Way Trolley stops at PortMiami (2 or 3 cruise terminals)
Miami Trolley Stop
Miami Trolley Stop
Miami Trolley
Miami Trolley


Cruisers love to stroll these two modern shopping areas in Brickell! It is all happening between the 10th St and City Centre Metromover stations!

Brickell City Centre – Much more than just an ultra-modern shopping mall. It has office space, residential towers and the EAST Miami Hotel!

Mary Brickell Village – A neighborhood complex with an outdoorsy feel designed to create a “downtown” experience.

City Centre - Brickell
City Centre – Brickell
Mary Brickell Village
Mary Brickell Village


Map-Brickell Shops
Map-Brickell Shops (click to enlarge)


Miami International Airport Hotels

Miami Airport Hotels Map

Hotels Near Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport hotels are popular with cruise enthusiasts and business travelers alike, often for similar reasons.


Most hotels are part of national chains, they are familiar, they are generally more affordable than Downtown hotels, it is easier to use frequent stay perks such as complementary nights and upgrades, airport transfers are free and PortMiami is just under 10 miles away.

Do be aware the airport is always expanding and construction never stops around its perimeter. For example, in 2018 there are plenty of road and building activity on the east side near the MIA Rental Car Center.

TIP – While PortMiami appears to take about 15 minutes by taxi, give yourself about 30 minutes because traffic near the airport can be heavy.

With the exception of the Blue Lagoon area on the south side of the airport, do not expect much in terms of scenery and landscaping. The airport is surrounded by industrial buildings, lower-income housing and busy highways.

The Miami Airport Hotel Clusters

Before discussing the individual hotels and their locations, it is useful to understand the layout of the airport and general hotel areas. In other words, where are the clusters of hotels located?

Please refer to the featured image above as you read the next sections.

IMPORTANT – The photos below are not meant to showcase each hotel! These were shot to show the areas and neighborhoods and sidewalks and roads! It is about what you will experience when you walk outside!

Blue Lagoon Hotels

On the south side of the airport are several lakes in a office park/residental setting. This is the most scenic hotel cluster and if you want a more quiet setting in a leafy area then choose the Hilton, Homewood Suites, Pullman or Hyatt House .

Miami Airport - Blue Lagoon Hotels Map
Miami Airport – Blue Lagoon Hotels Map (click to enlarge)

The Hampton Inn is nearby but on a very busy street corner however you will be across the street from Airpark Plaza Mall with restaurants, Publix, Starbucks and other shops.

Hampton Inn - Blue Lagoon Shops
Hampton Inn – Blue Lagoon Shops

You can easily walk to this Mall from Hyatt House but Homewood or Pullman (0.5 miles) and especially the Hilton (0.8 miles) will be a bit far in the Florida heat.

Homewood Suites - Blue Lagoon
Homewood Suites – Blue Lagoon
Hilton Hotel - Blue Lagoon
Hilton Hotel – Blue Lagoon
Pullman Hotel - Blue Lagoon
Pullman Hotel – Blue Lagoon
Hyatt House - Blue Lagoon
Hyatt House – Blue Lagoon

Lake Mahar Hotels (marketed as Blue Lagoon properties)

To the west of Blue Lagoon near the SW corner of the airport, this area is being upgraded with new residential apartments. It is also home to several hotels but there is nothing within easy walking distance unless you stay at the Doubletree.

Miami Airport - Lake Mahar Hotels Map
Miami Airport – Lake Mahar Hotels Map (click to enlarge)

You will be traveling away from PortMiami if you overnight in this area, meaning a longer ride from the airport and also to the Port the following day.

Extended Stay America - Miami Airport
Extended Stay America – Miami Airport Blue Lagoon

Springhill Suites and Cambria Suites offer lake views from the south-facing rooms while Extended Stay America has a few north-facing rooms overlooking Lake Joanne.

Springhill Suites and Cambria Suites - Miami Airport
Springhill Suites and Cambria Suites – Miami Airport

The Doubletree and Days Inn are surrounded by highways and airport roads! But the Doubletree is connected to the Miami Merchandise Mart – an interesting indoor outlet-type shopping center. Reviews are mixed so check the website before going!

Doubletree Hotel - Miami Airport
Doubletree Hotel – Miami Airport
Doubletree - Lake Mahar with Mart
Doubletree – Mart to the right
Days Inn - Airport West
Days Inn – Miami Airport West

Doral Hotels

Be aware these hotels are in the “wrong direction” meaning you will be driving away from PortMiami should you stay in Doral. This makes for a longer ride from the airport to the hotel and to the Port the next day.

A dozen or so hotels are located in the Doral area NW of the airport. But first, let’s travel a short distance south along the Palmetto Expressway to 25th Street where you will find an Extended Stay America next to the highway.

Next door to the hotel at The Shops at MICC are pretty good local eateries, especially La Crema De Las Empanada (even better if you enjoy Venezuelan food)!   We mention this because folks often want hotels within walking distance of local favorites.

Returning north to the very busy corner of Palmetto and NW 36th St, we find many hotels.

Miami Airport - Doral Hotels Map
Miami Airport – Doral Hotels Map (click to enlarge)

The Hyatt Place and Hampton Inn are next to Boykin Center, one of the better strip malls in the airport area. We recommend you consider these hotels if you want a decent selection of restaurants and shops within easy and safe walking distance. You may even run into Carnival Cruise Line employees at this mall because their corporate office is a few blocks west.

Hampton Inn - Doral
Hampton Inn – Doral
Boykin Center Shops - Doral
Boykin Center Shops – Doral

You can also walk to Boykin Center from Wingate, Courtyard and Quality Inn but you have to cross busy roads.

Courtyard Hotel - Doral
Courtyard Hotel – Doral
Quality Inn - Doral
Quality Inn – Doral
Wingate Hotel - Doral
Wingate Hotel – Doral

East of Palmetto a bit closer the airport are Four Points, Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in a secluded corner surrounded by highways and industry.

Homewood Suites - Doral
Homewood Suites – Doral
Four Points Hotel - Doral
Four Points Hotel – Doral
Hilton Garden Inn - Doral
Hilton Garden Inn – Doral

Their neighbor the Motel 6 is a bit closer to the West Airport Shopping Centre but you have to cross the very busy NW 36th St., making these hotels somewhat isolated.

Motel 6 - Doral
Motel 6 – Doral
West Airport Shopping Center - Doral
West Airport Shopping Center – Doral

On the mall side of 36th St is La Quinta in a good location if you want to explore the strip mall but frankly do not expect much.

La Quinta Hotel - Doral
La Quinta Hotel – Doral

Aloft Hotel is across the street a bit further east with nothing nearby except for Chipotle.

Aloft Hotel - Doral
Aloft Hotel – Doral

Airport North Hotels

More than a dozen hotels line the busy NW 36th St close to Miami Springs. In general the room rates are lower in this cluster so you may want to start here if you want to stay as cheap as possible near the airport.

Candlewood Suites - Airport North
Candlewood Suites – Miami Airport North
Clarion Inn & Suites - Airport North
Clarion Inn & Suites – Miami Airport North
Days Inn - Airport North
Days Inn – Miami Airport North

Nothing stands out in terms of restaurants or shops. You can buy liquor and wine at Airport Café and Liquors (they do serve good food too!) but it may be many blocks from your hotel. Be careful after dark.

Holiday Inn Express - Airport North
Holiday Inn Express – Miami Airport North
EB Hotels - Miami Airport North
EB Hotel – Miami Airport North
Ramada - Miami Airport North
Ramada – Miami Airport North

The north-facing rooms of Best Western and Sleep Inn overlook a golf course making them a bit more attractive.

Airport East Hotels

This is a popular area on the PortMiami side of the airport – divided into hotels north of the MIA Rental Car Center and hotels south of the Center.

Unfortunately, this area is industrial and does not offer much in terms of shopping, restaurants and activities. Higher floors do have good views of the airport terminals and the Downtown Miami skyline.

On the NE corner of the airport, the Red Roof Inn, Hampton Inn, La Quinta, Hyatt Place, Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn are isolated. Surrounded by busy highways there is nowhere to go unless you walk to the hotel next door!

Miami Airport NE Hotels Map
Miami Airport NE Hotels Map (click to enlarge)
Red Roof Inn - Miami Airport
Red Roof Inn – Miami Airport
Hampton Inn - Miami Airport East
Hampton Inn – Miami Airport East
La Quinta Hotel - Miami Airport East
La Quinta Hotel – Miami Airport East
Hyatt Place - Miami Airport East
Hyatt Place – Miami Airport East
Embassy Suites - Miami Airport East
Embassy Suites – Miami Airport East

Surrounding the MIA Rental Car Center is a Holiday Inn Express, Element, Staybridge, Sheraton, EVEN Hotel and Radisson Red (upcoming). Nothing nearby however and walking is very inconvenient with all the industry, trucks and airport business traffic.

And it feels as if the aircraft is right next door! Exciting actually!

Element Hotel - Miami Airport
Element Hotel – Miami Airport
Staybridge Suites - Miami Airport East
Staybridge Suites – Miami Airport East
Holiday Inn Express - Miami Airport East
Holiday Inn Express – Miami Airport East
Sheraton Hotel - Miami Airport
Sheraton Hotel – Miami Airport

On the SE corner of the airport is a group of hotels commonly referred to as the Marriott Campus with a Residence Inn, Courtyard, Townplace and Marriott sharing a city block.

Miami Airport Marriott Center Map
Miami Airport Marriott Campus Map (click to enlarge)
Marriott Hotel Center
Miami Airport Marriott Hotel Campus

The campus is flanked by a lower-income residential neighborhood and a busy road – 42nd Avenue. There are security walls on the east and south sides. You can walk through the neighborhood to the large Central Shopping Plaza but we advise to avoid walking after dark.

This is a busy area!

Central Shopping Plaza - Miami
Central Shopping Plaza – Miami

Latin Café 2000 is on 42nd Avenue near the hotels and highly recommended!

Marriott Hotel Area - Miami Airport
Marriott Hotel Campus – Miami Airport. Latin Café is in front