I did a lot of research into hotels in South Beach for a four night getaway. The National Hotel seemed to meet all of our criteria on paper which included walking distance to the major sights, beach front, and reasonably priced. We were pleasantly surprised that the hotel met and exceeded all of our expectations. Via a cyber Monday sale, we had an ocean front queen for under $200 a night (before taxes and resort fees). I feel that the oceanfront room is better than the more expensive cabanas rooms since I rather have the amazing view of the ocean instead of a view of the lap pool.
The National Hotel also honored my upper floor request and we were situated on the 9th in a corner room. I had read other reviews complain about the corner rooms since they are located in the stairwell instead of the main hallway. However we had no complaints and enjoyed having the extra windows for being on a corner. The hotel is beautifully restored to its art deco elegance. The on-site food, while expensive, was good. A drink will cost you about $18 after the mandatory gratuity and taxes, so it adds up quickly.
The only negative thing about the Hotel is that the adjoining door to the next room is very noisy. Every sneeze, cough, or 6 AM iPhone alarm was heard through the door like our neighbors were in our room with us. But that is really the only complaint we had about the hotel.
While we left the kids home for this 4-day trip, we found the
National Hotel and Miami Beach to be more kid-friendly that we had assumed. There were a few families with children at the National Hotel and there were a decent amount of playgrounds in the area, including a splash area at South Pointe Park.