Playful (and Colorful) Thompson Miami Beach

The hip and playful poolside.
The hip and playful poolside. (Photo: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

Quirky, colorful, playful, and yet very sophisticated, oceanfront Thompson Miami Beach, one of the coolest properties to debut in mid-Miami Beach in the last couple of years, should be on your target list for clients who want a laid-back, welcoming stay…and no, it’s not just for millennials. Yes, it’s hip and funky, and home to the very trendy TALDE Miami Beach restaurant (more on that later), but all guests—from multigenerational families to 20-somethings—are welcome into an inviting ambiance. Actually, that’s one of the nicest things I found about Thompson Miami Beach—how exceedingly welcoming, gracious and attentive each and every staff member, from the front desk to the poolside staff, is.

The attention to detail in the decor also caught my eye—from the stunning lobby chandelier to the pops of color—blue, red, yellow, coral—sprinkled throughout the property by way of chaise lounge cushions, decorative pillows, beach umbrellas, and singular art pieces. The hotel keeps its historic identity intact, as well, with a 1940s & ’50s glamour feel, although it’s jazzed up by lots of modern touches. In our room, such details as a light fixture with a design detail that resembles goldenrod-hued bird feathers, and a flirtatious painting play up the hotel’s playful character.

In-room decor details.
In-room decor details. (Photo: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

Room categories—there are 380 rooms with 30 suites—come in all sizes: there’s the spacious Deluxe guestroom, with more-than-ample bathrooms (a plus when you have two people staying in a room); the Premium King; the Partial Oceanview with Balcony; the Oceanview with Balcony; the Oceanfront Grand Balcony King; the Balcony Suite; the Thompson Suite with Balcony; the Carmen Miranda Suite; and the Penthouse Suite. I point the various room categories out, because it says something about how varied this hotel is and how well it knows how to cater to the diverse group of travelers that travel to Miami Beach—as I mentioned, the hotel is truly inclusive of all sorts of guests.

The hotel's casual backyard.
The hotel’s casual-style backyard. (Photo: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

Then there are the restaurants and bars. First stop is TALDE Miami Beach (at least that was our first stop because I’d already eaten there once before and couldn’t wait to dig in again). Stylish, trendy, cool, hip—call it what you want, this place has delicious food. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. The Asian-American dishes are made for sharing—from the Kung Pao Chicken Wings to the Lobster Tom Kha, with coconut milk, rice noodles and corn, topped off with a charred salmon dish—with black bean brown butter, edamame, and clementine—as the entree. I did, however, keep the Green Lightning cocktail I ordered all to myself—are you ready? It’s house-infused green tea vodka, with green tea, cucumber and lime (the perfect drink to top off a day at the beach). The following evening I detoured it over to Seagrape, a classic Floridian brasserie by local celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein, where I FEASTED on one exquisite item after another, including Grilled Swordfish, which melted in my mouth, and one of my all-time favorite menu items ever—Stuffed Squash Blossoms, with shrimp mousse, sweet corn grits and spiced shellfish reduction. Oh my, oh my…after that decadent meal there was nothing to do but take a long walk under the moonlit sky. The evening, by the way, should start off at the historic 1930s House, serving handcrafted cocktails (think drinks with names like Ceviche Sour, Jalisco Mule, and Hemingway Royal and they’re known for The Belmonte), located in the hotel’s backyard where guests can also play a game of life-sized Connect 4.

Beachside at the Thompson Miami Beach.
Beachside at the Thompson Miami Beach. (Photo: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

For playtime, the resort is home to two heated pools and more than enough chaise longues and cabanas to accommodate all guests. It also has the spectacular Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop, and the boardwalk that runs between the hotel and the stretch of beach is a must for early morning walks—or runs—with coffee in hand watching as the sun rises over the horizon. There’s also an intimate spa that I did not have the chance to peek into, but that only means I’ll have to go back, because I can always go for a 60-minute All About You spa treatment. And I’ll also have to hang with the late-night crowd for the Late Night Noodles event that takes place at TALDE Thursday to Saturday from midnight to 4 a.m., featuring hip hop sounds, as well as noodles and tots for $5.

Like I said, playful and quirky, and stylishly wrapped up. For more information, visit