Best Miami Hotels for Cruise Passengers near PortMiami and Miami Airport

Port Miami Cruise Hotel Clusters

Cruise Hotels Near PortMiami (Port of Miami) and Miami Airport

The hotel choices near PortMiami can be overwhelming especially for first-time cruisers who are concerned not only about costs but also about safety. In this article I list the most popular areas in Miami to book a hotel for your next cruise.

Much have changed in Miami in recent years and some of the internet stories about crime are simply not true anymore but visitors should remain cautious and book wisely!

Please open my PortMiami Map to see the locations of these hotels as well as other important information such as public transportation routes (metrovers, Metrorail and trolleys)

The Four Most Popular Cruise Hotel Clusters

Here are the four most popular areas (or hotel clusters) to consider when booking your cruise hotel.

  • Miami Airport Hotel Clusters
  • Brickell Hotel Clusters
  • Downtown Hotel Clusters
  • Omni (Arts & Entertainment District) Hotel Clusters

Miami Airport Hotel Clusters

Miami Airport Hotel Map
Miami Airport Hotel Map

With over 50 hotels to choose from, the Miami Airport area is a popular choice for cruisers for many reasons.

Rates can be more affordable than elsewhere, airport transportation is mostly free and most of the hotels are very familiar to cruisers. Frequent travels can easily use their loyalty perks to secure complimentary rooms or upgrades; not so simple for beach or downtown properties!

Go here for my Miami Airport Hotel Guide For Cruisers

Brickell Hotel Clusters

Map - Brickell Hotels near PortMiami
Map – Brickell Hotels near PortMiami

The urban Brickell District is my favorite location for pre-and post cruise stays!

Known by some as the “Manhattan of the South”, Brickell was once known mainly as a financial district but it has grown into a residential hotspot with spiraling skyscrapers!

I love Brickell’s safe walkability, access to free public transport, outdoor and indoor shopping, vibrant nightlife, fabulous restaurants and proximity to Downtown and PortMiami.

Go here for my Brickell Hotel Guide For Cruisers

Downtown Hotel Clusters

Map - Downtown Miami
Map – Downtown Miami

If you want to stay near PortMiami with views of the cruise ships then look no further than Downtown Miami!

The Bayside Marketplace and areas immediately to its south and west are very visitor-friendly with easy access to sightsee companies and public transportation services.

Some hotels are surprisingly affordable making Downtown Miami my second choice for cruise hotels.

Go here for my Downtown Hotel Guide For Cruisers

OMNI (A&E) District Hotel Clusters

Hotel Map - A&E District In Miami
Hotel Map – A&E District In Miami

The old OMNI district is being transformed into a modern Arts and Entertainment District connecting the Arts and Design District (to the north) and Downtown (to the south).

While the area does not (yet) have the vibrant style of Brickell for example, the hotels are skyscrapers, giving you fabulous views of the Miami skyline and Port.

Go here for my A&E District Hotel Guide for Cruisers

Popular Brickell Miami Hotels for Cruise Passengers

Brickell Miami Skyline

Brickell Miami Hotels for Cruisers

Brickell Miami Hotels are extremely popular for good reason and Brickell is my top choice for pre-cruise stays at PortMiami.

Booking.com

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 my map. The Aloft Hotel is also a bit further away.

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

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!

Map - Brickell Hotels near PortMiami
Map – Brickell Hotels near PortMiami

Metromover

  • 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!
Miami Metromover
Miami Metromover
Metromover Station - Miami
Metromover Station – Miami

MetroRail

  • 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
Miami MetroRail
Miami MetroRail
Miami Trolley Stop
Miami Trolley Stop

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
Miami Trolley

Shopping

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 Miami
City Centre – Brickell Miami
Mary Brickell Village Shops
Mary Brickell Village Shops
Map-Brickell Shops in Miami
Map-Brickell Shops in Miami
Booking.com

Popular Arts and Entertainment District Hotels for Cruise Passengers

A and E District - Miami

Arts and Entertainment District Hotels in Miami are growing in popularity and the area 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.

Booking.com

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 in the Arts and Entertainment District Hotels for the views of PortMiami from the high floors as 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 in the A&E District of Miami
Three Hotel Views in the A&E District of Miami

Hotel Map

Hotel Map - A&E District In Miami
Hotel Map – A&E District In Miami

Port Views

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

Hilton Hotel Views - Miami
Hilton Hotel Views – Miami
Marriott Hotel Views - Miami
Marriott Hotel Views – Miami
Doubletree Hotel Views - Miami
Doubletree Hotel Views – Miami
ME Hotel Views - Miami
ME Hotel Views – Miami
Booking.com

Popular Downtown Miami Hotels for Cruisers Passengers

Downtown Miami Hotels

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 Downtown Miami - 7th Floor View
Holiday Inn Downtown Miami – 7th Floor View

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

Booking.com
  • 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
Miami Metromover
Miami Metromover

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

Miami MetroRail
Miami MetroRail

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

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

I 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. I suggest you do not walk futher west than the Metromover stations.

Map - Downtown Miami
Map – Downtown Miami (click to enlarge)
Booking.com

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.

Booking.com

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
Booking.com