Bunk beds from $23; private doubles starting at $102; plus an additional, $22.80 resort fee per room, or per person in a shared room.
Europe’s hip hospitality brand, Generator, made its stateside debut in Miami Beach last October. A hybrid between a hostel and a boutique hotel, the pocket-friendly property has 344 beds spread across four categories: female-only shared accommodations, mixed bunk quarters, private rooms and suites housed in a revamped, 1940s-era condo building and an adjacent former villa. An eminently Instagrammable lobby (neon selfie signs included) is stocked with iMac computers, a billiards table and photo booth, and connects to a spacious solarium with Moroccan-style seating. Two restaurants offer surprisingly sophisticated cocktails and elevated comfort food both indoors and out. And what Generator Miami lacks in beachfront property, it makes up for with a palm-studded pool setting that serves as a melting pot for international solo travelers, couples and families content to mix and mingle.
Set 100 feet from the beach on Collins Avenue, Generator Miami joins a cluster of high-profile hospitality projects in the Mid-Beach area like Faena Hotel Miami Beach, The Freehand and The Miami Beach Edition, en vogue for their buzzy restaurants and night-life haunts. Nearby, Citi Bikes and free trolley loops traveling along Collins Avenue are affordable ways to explore South Beach sights like Ocean Drive in the famed Art Deco District, Española Way, Lincoln Road Mall and South Pointe Park. Culture hounds are a 20-minute walk from The Bass museum, Miami City Ballet and the New World Symphony.
Arriving before the 3 p.m. check-in, we were lent free towels to use at the pool or beach. We reserved a private-king room, and our request for an upper floor was granted; the view did not disappoint. The sun-drenched corner unit overlooked the downtown city skyline, the Intracoastal Waterway and a scenic slice of ocean. Minimalist Art Deco-leaning décor consisted of an iron-frame canopy bed with a midnight-blue leather headboard, a three-seat sofa under graffiti-esque artwork, a TV, and an Eames-style desk and chair. Candles and plants provided a homey touch. With no closets and one open shelving unit attempting to function as a wardrobe, expect to live mostly out of your suitcase on the floor. A Smeg mini-fridge stocked with craft beer comes topped with a tray of goodies (price list was missing), including snacks, liquor, a travel adapter, cheekily named playing cards, a dental kit and a racy “love bag” highlighting the brand’s playful English wit.
The sparkling bathroom flaunted a white-on-white industrial motif with subway-tile walls, a hexagon mosaic floor, a simple mirror and a wash basin that could have used a hand-towel rack. A three-tier utility cart provided ample storage for his and her toiletries, and four wall hooks were ideal for drying wet bathing suits and pool towels. The shower area had a square window, a chrome-plated hand shower and woodsy-scented Guild + Pepper toiletries from London-based Gilchrist & Soames.
Generator Miami is chock-full of entertainment provisions. Fun games like Shut the Box, a traditional pub dice game, are scattered poolside, and a long lineup of conveniences is available for purchase behind the 24/7 front desk, including plastic ponchos ($5.35) and flip flops ($7.50). Guests can also rent bikes, skateboards and electric scooters for roughly $12 per day; off-site car parking is $25 daily. Luggage lockers are available for shared rooms ($7 to $10/day) (bag storage is free for private rooms); there’s free Wi-Fi; and dogs up to 25 pounds are welcome in private rooms ($50 fee). In lieu of a gym, there’s free beach yoga for guests every Saturday morning.
“Our cocktail program is backed by an even better kitchen,” said our waiter at The Jim and Neesie, Generator Miami’s low-lit anchor restaurant. Our meal commenced with a perfectly chilled Negroni Supreme ($13), featuring raspberry-and-pistachio infused gin, bell pepper Campari, vermouth, lavender mist and a block of ice carved with the Generator logo; melt-in-your-mouth Hamachi tartare ($16); and hearty citrus-roasted carrots ($13). An entree called Crackling Salmon ($28) with sunchoke hash and pork belly is outstanding. The Driftway pool bar serves up delicious achiote-spiced chicken tacos ($8), inventive cocktails ($12) and original frozen drinks like the guest-favorite “Friesling” ($12). À la carte breakfast is offered daily, but don’t miss Driftway’s Sunday Brunch with local kombucha ($6), brioche French toast ($13) and Tostada Chilaquiles ($14). (An 18 percent service charge is automatically included on all checks.)