Popular Miami Airport Hotels for Cruise Passengers

Miami Airport Hotel Map

Cruise Hotels Near Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport hotels are popular with cruise enthusiasts and business travelers alike, often for similar reasons. In this article I discuss the most popular cruise hotels at or near Miami International Airport.

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Most airport 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.

It is busy around Miami Airport!

Do be aware the airport is always expanding and construction never stops around its perimeter. For example, in 2020 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.

Nothing interesting nearby

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.

VERY IMPORTANT – Miami Airport Hotel Pickup/Drop Locations

Hotel shuttle vans have designated areas for pick/drop operations at the airport and it is your responsibility to go these areas. The vans cannot stop everywhere!

The pickup/drop location is downstairs on the Arrivals Level (1), at designated zones outside of baggage claim across from doors 1,2,3,4,7,15,20 & 23. Please follow signage at curbside to the “bus zones”. You must use the crosswalks and walk across to the bus zones.

Miami Airport Hotel Shuttles Map
Miami Airport Hotel Shuttles Map – note the purple crosswalks (click to enlarge)

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 taken to show the areas and neighborhoods and sidewalks and roads! It is about what you will experience when you walk outside!

Also, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, many standard and expected hotel amenities are restricted. No airport shuttles in many cases, no restaurant service, etc.

Miami International Airport Hotel

This popular airport hotel is located right before the security checkpoint on the 2nd floor in Central Terminal Concourse E. A great choice if you arrive late the night before your cruise!

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 .

Blue Lagoon Hotels Map
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 - Miami Airport
Hampton Inn – Blue Lagoon Shops – Miami Airport

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.

Lake Mahar Hotels Map - Miami Airport
Lake Mahar Hotels Map – Miami Airport (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 - Lake Mahar
Extended Stay America – Lake Mahar (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-Cambria-Lake Mahar
Springhill-Cambria-Lake Mahar

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 - Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel – Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel - Lake Mahar
Doubletree Hotel – Lake Mahar (Mart to the right)
Days Inn - Miami 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)!   I mention this because folks often want hotels within walking distance of local favorites.

The Hotels

Returning north to the very busy corner of Palmetto and NW 36th St, you will 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. I 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 Shops in Doral - Miami Airport
Boykin Shops in Doral – Miami Airport

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

Courtyard by Marriott - Doral
Courtyard by Marriott – Doral
Quality Inn - Doral
Quality Inn – Doral
Wingate by Wyndham - Doral
Wingate by Wyndham – 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 by Sheraton - Doral
Four Points by Sheraton – 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 Miami Airport - Doral
Aloft Hotel Miami Airport – 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 - Miami Airport North
Candlewood Suites – Miami Airport North
Clarion Inn - Miami Airport North
Clarion Inn – Miami Airport North
Days Inn - Miami 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 - Miami Airport North
Holiday Inn Express – Miami Airport North
EB Hotel - 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 East Hotels Map
Miami Airport East 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 East
Element Hotel – Miami Airport East
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 East
Sheraton Hotel – Miami Airport East

The Marriott Campus

Marriott Campus Map - Miami Airport
Marriott Campus Map – Miami Airport (click to enlarge)

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.

Marriott Hotel Center - Miami Airport
Marriott Hotel Center – Miami Airport

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 I will 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 - Latin Cafe is in front
Marriott Hotel Area – Latin Cafe is in front
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Virgin Brightline Train – West Palm Beach Airport – Fort Lauderdale Airport – Miami Airport

Unfortunately the Virgin Brightline train does not operate to or from Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) or West Palm Beach Airport (PBI). The trains operate between stations near, but not directly at, these airports.

Transfers are needed between MIA and the Brightline Miami Station, FLL and the Fort Lauderdale Station and PBI and the West Palm Beach Station.

If you need less luxury and easier train access, I suggest you consider Tri-Rail.

Brightline Train Route Map

You can see a larger map here – Brightline Route Map

MIA Transfer Options

  • MetroRail Orange Line – Board at the Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre Station – 15 minutes – $2.25. A short walk outside over a rough sidewalk. Then board FREE MIA Mover to terminal – 4 minutes
  • Taxi – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $30
  • Uber/Lyft – Choose from two pickup areas outside the station – 20 minutes – estimate $16
Overtown Station - Northbound
Overtown Station – Northbound

FLL Transfer Options

  • Broward County Transit Bus – Route 1 – Board at Broward Central Terminal. This is a short but rough walk in a sketchy neighborhood – Arrive at Upper Level of Rental Car Center – 25 minutes – $2.
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $16
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 15 minutes – estimate $11
County Bus Route 1 at FLL
County Bus Route 1 stop at FLL (across the road from Terminal 1 – use the cross bridge)
County Bus 1 South at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale
County Bus 1 Southbound to FLL at Central Terminal Fort Lauderdale (across from Brightline)

PBI Transfer Options

  • Palm Tran buses are nearby but inconvenient to the Airport.
  • Walk 4 blocks to the Tri-Rail Station and take the FREE shuttle bus (not a good option)
  • Taxi – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $18
  • Uber/Lyft – Pickup area outside the station – 10 minutes – estimate $11
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI
WPBI Tri-Rail Bus at PBI (outside baggage claim across the road)

Brightline Train From West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale

Takes about 40 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train From Fort Lauderdale to Miami

Takes about 35 minutes and cost between $10 and $30 depending on time of day and options booked.

Brightline Train from West Palm Beach to Miami

Takes about 75 minutes and cost between $15 and $35 depending on time of day and options booked.

Link to the Brightline Home Page

Fort Lauderdale Airport FLL to Miami Airport MIA – Tri-Rail

Fort Lauderdale Airport to Miami Airport via Tri-Rail is the cheapest option. It may or may not be the most convenient choice – that depends on you!

At $3.75 one-way the price is right. The question is, can you and your party handle the following challenges:

  • Lifting and pulling luggage into a bus, off the bus, into the train, off the train then into elevators or up and down escalators, into a tram and off the tram
  • About 90 minutes travel time
  • Waiting outside (under cover) in the Florida heat

Map of the Route

Here is a link to a large version of the Map – FLL to MIA Transportation Map

Fort Lauderdale Airport Procedure

You may want to purchase water and/or a snack for your train trip.

Once you claimed your luggage, look for the signs to Ground Transportation then step outside looking for the Tri-Rail bus stop.

Tri-Rail FLL Sign
Sign to the Tri-Rail Bus Stop

There are 3 stops – at west end of Terminal 1, between Terminals 2 and 3, and between Terminals 3 and 4. The bus arrives at Stop 1 then Stop 2 then Stop 3 in this order. See image below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stops and travel direction

You are looking for bus FLA Fort Lauderdale Airport Station as shown below.

Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus Stop
Tri-Rail FLL Bus to Airport Station

The route to the station changes somewhat between weekends and weekdays but the trip takes only 15 minutes or less.

At the Tri-Rail Station, purchase your ticket from one of the kiosks, cash, credit or some debit cards. Your destination is Miami Airport Station. You CANNOT purchase tickets on the train!

Purchasing your Tri-Rail Ticket

For Tri-Rail Schedules, please visit Tri-Rail.

The train may stop 6 times before arriving at Miami Airport and plan for about 45 minutes travel time. Restrooms are available onboard. Do not expect much in terms of scenery along the route! You can take a nap and not miss a thing.

Inside a Tri-Rail Train
Inside a Tri-Rail Train

Miami Station Arrival

Take the stairs, escalator or elevator and follow the signs to the Airport then look for the MIA Mover – a short walk.

Look for the signs to the MIA Mover

MIA Mover is a driverless tram to the Airport Terminal. The ride takes about 3-5 minutes.

MIA Mover
MIA Mover

You arrive at the Airport Terminal on Level 3. Use the diagram below to find your way from there!

MIA Floor Levels
MIA Floor Levels – MIA Mover is on Level 3