Where to Stay in the Miami Area

Heading for a vacation in south Florida? These hotels are especially welcoming to families.

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Loews unites Art Deco design, an oceanfront location, and an extensive array of family-friendly programs and amenities: gift bags for the kids, loaner baby gear, a children's camp that stresses fitness and health, and DVD players with headsets upon request. Doubles start at $249 a night. 1601 Collins Ave.; 305-604-1601;

Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne

If you prefer a mellow island hideaway to the chi-chi bustle of Miami Beach, you'll like this resort on nearby Key Biscayne. The Sonesta offers free children's programs along with resort amenities like tennis courts, an Olympic-size pool, and beach massages. Doubles start at $199; oceanfront rooms start at $259 a night. 350 Ocean Dr., Key Biscayne; 305-361-2021;

The Fontainebleau

Channel the spirits of Sinatra and Elvis in the lobby of the Fontainebleau Resort, the epitome of over-the-top postwar Miami glam (the motto of Morris Lapidus, the hotel's architect, was "too much is not enough"). Kids will gravitate to the giant water-spraying octopus that presides over the kiddie pool and enjoy beach activities and crafts at the children's program. Doubles start at $159 a night. 4441 Collins Ave.; 800-548-8886;

Best Western South Beach

Yes, you can have your Deco and eat, too. This easy-on-the-budget hotel is actually five historic Art Deco hotels in one, located within walking distance of all the Miami Beach necessities: beach, shopping, and nightlife. Doubles start at $127 per night. 1050 Washington Ave.; 305-674-1930;

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