by Karen Quinn, Feb 04 2019
When considering where to stay in Miami with kids, your first priority should be deciding on the area. Miami is such a busy tourist destination, the city centre is packed with hotels and apartments but it can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re travelling with children. I recommend looking slightly out of town at some of the upcoming suburbs, the mood is more laid back, less party central, more hipster coffee shops and juice bars.
For our recent visit I chose Coconut Grove, the city’s oldest neighbourhood and I think the best area to stay in Miami with family. Coconut Grove Miami has recently gone through huge renovations but has managed to retain the laid back, bohemian vibe it is famous for. It’s just a short drive into Miami but this waterfront neighbourhood feels like a completely different world. On a casual stroll or bike ride around the “Grove” you’ll spot hot pink bougainvillea, towering palm trees and you may even spy a peacock crossing the street as you explore.
The best things to do in Coconut Grove Miami
Coconut Grove Miami farmers market
Open every Saturday from 10am until 7pm the Coconut Grove organic market is a brilliant place for a mooch to discover some delightful vegan and vegetarian food. Grab yourself something delicious and head off to a nearby park for a picnic or just park yourself at one of the outdoor seating areas.
Make sure you take cash and arrive hungry!
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Packed full of opulent antiques and dramatic décor, this is a Mediterranean style mansion built in 1916 by wealthy industrialist James Deering. The Vizcaya museum offers an “Exploring Vizcaya with Young Visitors” tour which will keep the kids entertained as you explore the house and gardens.
Barnacle Historic State Park
Here in Barnacle Historic State Park you’ll find one of the oldest houses in the Miami area, dating back to 1891. Park rangers offer guided tours from Friday to Monday and the views across Biscayne Bay are breathtaking.
The Mayfair Hotel Coconut Grove
Located just across the road from CocoWalk, an outdoor mall with plenty of cafes, boutiques and regular family friendly events is the Mayfair Hotel, our home in Coconut Grove for a few days.
The hotel is a rather strange mix of Balinese design, Spanish style tiling with infamous Art deco touches. It works, kind of.
The 5 floors of rooms are set around an outdoor atrium with plenty of greenery and wooden corridors. We were staying in September and boy did it rain which made everywhere feel a little fusty. There was a pretty weird smell, possibly due to the weather.
Rooftop Pool at the Mayfair Hotel
Probably our favourite part of the hotel was the rooftop pool. It’s plenty big enough to do a few laps. There are cabanas lining the outside and a huge bar area with a daily happy hour all with some lovely views across Biscayne Bay. We loved the outdoor fire although we didn’t spend long up here in the evenings due to the weather.
If you need the shade of one of the cabanas, you’ll have to hire it, worth it if you’re planning to spend a long time at the pool otherwise you can just park yourselves on one of the loungers, sip your cocktail and dangle your toes. The Miami heat can be pretty unforgiving, like most places in Florida which can lead to grumpy, hot kids. I highly recommend factoring some time at the pool – relaxed kids make for much easier adventures!
The Rooms at the Mayfair Hotel
Our room was huge!! I’m not sure if we got upgraded as the receptionist was not particularly chatty when we checked in but the size was plenty big enough for the three of us and our mountains of luggage.
We had two beds, a seating area and a small balcony with a hot tub. We didn’t actually use the hottub as you had to pay extra to get it filled up, I’m never sure of these things in hotels anyway and the Mayfair Hotel didn’t feel as spotlessly clean as I would like.
The room could have done with a refurb, the décor was pretty dark and dated. Housekeeping wasn’t particularly consistent and everything felt like it could do with a really deep clean.
The state of the door locks did make me feel a little nervous to be honest!
Another plus to the hotel is it’s onsite restaurant. Breakfast was not included in our deal so we ate here one morning. The food was tasty and portions very large but it is very much luxury hotel prices.
This cost around $20.
Spartico restaurant is also great for evening drinks and dinner, they have a wood fired pizza oven, fab for a quick snack.
Other restaurants in Coconut Grove Miami
Coconut Grove is a fantastic place for brunch, we found this cute restaurant serving huge portions with healthy and not so healthy options. The menu wasn’t huge but it’s all delicious!
I had this tasty omelette which kept me going till dinner
Whilst Piper got her sugar fix with a huge stack of pancakes, I think she only managed half! Just wander round the neighbourhood and pop in anywhere that takes your fancy.
And for dinner…..
2901 Florida Ave, Miami, FL 33133
We had an absolutely delicious Indian meal here on our last night. It’s just over the road from the Mayfair, is super friendly with a huge menu of freshly prepped dishes.
It gets really busy at the weekends so make sure you book to secure the time slot you’re after.
2550 S BAYSHORE DRIVE, MIAMI, FL 33133
Located next to the Marina with loads of outdoor seating and thatched roofs, this is relaxed dining at its best and just a short walk from the Mayfair hotel.
Mayfair Hotel Spa
There’s also an onsite Jurlique spa, we didn’t get to try it as we were off exploring for most of the day but the pictures do look gorgeous.
Mayfair Hotel, Miami info
You can read more Mayfair Hotel Miami reviews here.
3000 FLORIDA AVENUE
COCONUT GROVE, FL 33133
Mayfair Hotel Coconut Grove Parking
Onsite parking is valet only and pretty pricey. We didn’t find anywhere cheaper to park in the area while we were there so make sure you factor the $30 per night into your budget.
If you don’t fancy driving, you’ll easily get an Uber to take you to the many sights of Miami.
The Mayfair Hotel Coconut Grove is a large, boutique style 4 star hotel but I’d say in it’s current state it’s more like a three star. If you can find a great deal then it’s worth a stay for the location, large rooms and pool. The need for a good refurb and general disinterest of staff let it down – one evening I requested a corkscrew was sent to out room, I waited an hour and a half before heading down to the restaurant myself to borrow one from the waiter – then had to take it back! There’s busy and then there’s just poor customer service!
I definitely think that Coconut Grove is the best area to stay in Miami with family so you could also try:
2951 S Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33133
This is an all suite hotel with one and two bedroom apartment style suites. They all have kitchens, perfect when traveling with kids. It has a lovely outdoor pool and is within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants in Coconut Grove.
2889 Mcfarlane Rd , Coconut Grove, Miami, 33133-6008
Offering gorgeous, modern rooms, onsite restaurant and pool, this hotel is great for the active family boasting a fully equipped gym and squash courts. They also have family sized rooms available and free wifi.
If you’re still looking for family friendly hotels but fancy staying more centrally in Miami, on researching this trip I read amazing things about these:
Slap bang in the middle of the South Beach action this is a luxury hotel offering family sized rooms with balconies, a kids club, private beach and in-room tablet.
A beautiful luxury resort with a family friendly outdoor pool, in-room games and a spa for the grown ups.
If you’re looking for something on the beach in all the action, this lovely hotel has a great outdoor pool, onsite restaurant and offers airport transfers meaning you don’t have to worry about hiring a car.
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Make sure you pin our review of the Mayfair hotel Coconut Grove for when you’re researching the best area to stay in Miami with family.
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