balharbourBal Harbour, Florida is South Beach’s upscale cousin. This glamorous little beach town sits just minutes from the hopping club and hotel scene in South Beach. It’s close enough to enjoy, yet you don’t have to explain why “that lady in the pool isn’t wearing a top” or try to get the kids to sleep with the bass thumping through your hotel room floor.

Bal Harbour is conveniently located between the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami airports; this makes finding frequent and inexpensive flights easy.

balharbour-shopsWhile Bal Harbour might be best known for its swanky shops, with the addition of the brand new St. Regis, it will soon be known as the go to family destination.

Though Bal Harbour is only one square mile, it offers very different hotels that cater to families with budgets both large and small.

The St. Regis

stregissuiteI’m not playing favorites, but the brand new St. Regis truly re-defines luxury. This $800 million dollar dream come true has pushed the New York property aside as the flagship.

Don’t be intimidated by the Versailles-esque mirror lobby and one of a kind artwork, they really do welcome families. Even rowdy ones. Their standard rooms are the largest on the eastern seaboard; each one has an ocean view and balcony. If you book a suite, you even get your very own butler.

You can read my review and tips on why this is a great spot for your family on Luxury Travel Mom

ONE Bal Harbour

balharbourkitchenViews from ONE straddle both the Atlantic Ocean and the intracostal waterway. This luxury property loves families. Currently they are offering a connecting room at 50% off when families book a one bedroom suite.

vipkidONE Bal Harbour can also provide a variety of services to suit every family’s needs including nanny service and pre-shopping so that the suites are stocked with every “must have” item from a specific brand of peanut butter to Pampers. Kids even get their own VIP card that will score them ice cream with every meal. Sweet.

Quarzo

quarzoroomA crazy little hotel next door to ONE, Quarzo is a former apartment building that’s been turned in to a funky resort. Dollar for dollar, Quarzo offers the best space for families.

The suites are large, bright and reasonable. Guests can use Use all of the ONE pool and spa amenities. One bedroom suite (holds max of 5 people) runs $260-$420 depending on the season.

Sea View Hotel

seaviewpoolThe Sea View was the first hotel in Bal Harbour, built in 1947 shortly after the Delano in South Beach. This classic Florida beach resort has been home to some of the most important families in the country (think Bob Dole, but don’t quote me). About half of the rooms are privately owned.

cabanaKey West style cabanas ring the Olympic size pool and can be rented by the day, week or month. The Sea View offers great rates for families; a junior suite averages $350 per night. The Bal Harbour Village Kids Camp is based at the hotel. Guests at neighboring hotels can also take advantage of the only Miami Children’s Museum-designed Kids Camp.

I was the guest of Bal Harbour Village and all of my accommodations and meals were sponsored. I stayed at both ONE Bal Harbour and the St. Regis, I only toured the other properties. My opinion however cannot be bought with fancy hotels and good food.