Missing your connecting flight home is never an enjoyable experience, but there are worse places to do it than Miami. There are also worse places to be put up than the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport & Convention Center, which is much less boringly corporate than it sounds. Waking up and looking out of our window, I was surprised to see a palm-fringed outdoor swimming pool shimmering in the Florida sunshine. It was tempting to not leave the confines of the hotel, but there was no way we weren’t going to check out Miami Beach itself.
For speed, we took a taxi, although you could catch the free shuttle bus back to the airport and public transport from there to the beaches to save money. Within 15 minutes we were at the iconic South Beach, where we spent several hours playing on the sugar-soft white sand, breakfasting on classic hotdogs from a stand, admiring the brightly painted lifeguard stands, and watching the colourful seabirds and the seaplanes with their advertising banners flapping across the bluest of skies. We also had a gander at Miami Beach's gorgeous, world-famous Art Deco Historic District. If we’d had longer, we’d have liked to check out the Children’s Museum or the Science Museum & Planetarium, but those will have to be for next time…
Then it was back to collect our luggage from the DoubleTree by Hilton. It may not be the sexiest option in this glamorous city, and you wouldn’t want to stay there if you were actually holidaying in Miami. But if you need to stop over, by design or accident, it’s a great choice.
Having checked in tired and frazzled after our various delays, we were greeted by staff providing warm cookies and welcoming smiles. Though it was very late and the restaurant itself was closed, the lively bar came up trumps with a fantastic burger menu and a charmer of a waiter who showed real kindness with a hideously overtired seven-year-old in need of a quick meal and bed in our spotless, spacious and comfortable room.
See more on family holidays and breaks in Florida.