When people think of Miami Beach they’re usually thinking about neon-splashed Ocean Avenue in the South Beach Art Deco district. Fewer travelers know about Sunny Isles in North Beach where families flock to hotels like the oceanfront Marenas Beach Resort Miami, which provide some of the best bang for the buck in South Florida.
Located about 20 minutes north of South Beach, Sunny Isles is mostly a laid back residential community one block back from the sea. The beach is the big ticket item in Sunny Isles. That’s why families come here from around the world, because kids love to run around the sand and swim in the warm tropical water that’s never too jam-packed with tourists, even during the height of busy season.
“When you exit the elevator here you’re about a two-minute walk from one of the best beaches in America,” says Dan McDermott, general manager of Marenas Beach Resort. “Our beach chairs and umbrellas are included in the resort fee so you’re never worrying about who’s paying for what. Everything else is really centered around making it very easy to enjoy the beach because it’s always the first thing that families gravitate towards.”
Another big selling point for parents is the 140 large suites with 44 connecting single rooms when mom and dad want a two-bedroom vacation pad. All of the suites come with fully decked out kitchens, which helps save further money, and there’s even a large supermarket directly across the street.
It really couldn’t be any easier for families.
“And it’s not like we just put a couple pots and pans in the kitchens, I mean we have strainers, colanders, frying pans, dishware and everything else that you would expect in anybody’s home,” says McDermott. “That’s a lot more than I’ve seen in any of the other hotels in the area, even the condo hotels.”
The kitchens get so much use in fact, Marenas is pumping up its children menus to attract more families into the restaurants.
Marenas Beach Resort Miami just wrapped a comprehensive 18-month renovation throughout the entire resort. The suites and guest rooms all have new carpets, HD TVs, electronics, high-speed WiFi, A/C, patio furniture and super-comfy luxury sofa beds. Downstairs, there’s a new lobby bar and pool bar with a fun waterfall.
“We consider ourselves a contemporary family hotel, meaning it has a boutique ambiance but with a family-centric atmosphere,” explains McDermott. “I’ll have kids throwing frisbees in the lobby, that’s just the kind of resort we are. That’s why parents love us because we’re a modern resort and they can relax here—it’s not intimidating like other hotels in Miami Beach. It’s just comfortable, it’s easy. We hear that from parents everyday.”
For offsite experiences, Marenas is just one mile from Aventura Mall, one of the best upscale shopping malls in Florida. McDermott says he sees a lot of mothers and daughters coming back with armfulls of shopping bags.
For watersports, the marina at Haulover Beach is about three miles away where you can rent kayaks, jetskis or go deep sea fishing or diving. There’s multiple championship golf courses less than 15 minutes away. And if your kids are teenagers, there’s always the neon lights of South Beach just down the road.