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Owned by Gloria Estefan and featuring only 43 rooms and suites, the chic and sophisticated Cardozo Hotel is a superb celebrity hideaway. Among the reasons: a very discreet side entrance, and minimal staff. Terra-cotta stucco and teak wood walls prove soothing, while the hardwood floors and animal prints transport you to a faraway island. We love the deluxe ocean-view king rooms with a sitting area, dark grey and black marble bathrooms, double sinks, Jacuzzi tub, and freestanding shower. No wonder this is a Hollywood favorite.
1300 Ocean Dr.
Check into an Ocean Front Spa Suite at The Setai and be whisked into an oasis. The hallway may be walled off for privacy, separating the double sinks and oversized rain shower on one side, and the bathroom/commode on the other. The bathtub is in the bedroom, across from the foot of the bed and below the flat-screen TV. The sofa settee runs the length of both sides of the room, providing ample space for napping, lounging, or a partaking of a couple’s in-room massage. There’s so much room you might want to hang out here all day, except for the fact that there are also three heated pools and the beach only a few yards from your room.
2001 Collins Ave.
The new beachfront rooms at The Hotel offer amenities so amazing as to satisfy even the most discriminating lover of South Beach. Take the blackout curtains for starters, and soundproofing that keeps out all the outside party sounds of Ocean Drive. The spacious balconies are ideal for enjoying your drink while watching the sun go down, and the extensive recessed veiling lights allow you to customize your setting according to your mood. The rooms are large, and even the shower is big enough to accommodate two — with room to spare. Have breakfast on the roof, then dip into the rooftop pool, where you can do laps comfortably or else sidle up to the Jacuzzi jets.
801 Collins Ave.
The Fountainbleau emerges from its weary former self after an impressive $1 billion facelift. This rejuvenated Miami native — first hatched in 1954 — is once again the talk of the town with its abundant attributes, from 20-inch Apple computers and high-def TV in every spiffed-up accommodation, to the sleek hipster nightclub LIV, one of South Florida’s best sushi bars, and an astounding poolscape that includes VIP cabanas (featuring wooden decks and privacy curtains) and walls of water connected to a freeform pool. All in all, the refreshed grand dame is now just as glamorous as The Fountainbleau was when James Bond’s nemesis, Auric Goldfinger, cheated at poker on a balcony as rugged 007 spied on him.
4441 Collins Ave.
Gianni Versace’s home symbolizes Miami’s high fashion and luxury. Now The Villa by Barton G, this exclusive hotel and club features amenities for which the uber designer would be proud, like a hand-carved king-size bed dressed in sumptuous Frette linens in a suite complete with a plasma TV, and carved marble baths. At rates starting around $800 a night, depending on the season, this haven for celebrities and would-be entrepreneurs also hosts extravagant events from its world-famous Ocean Drive perch.
1116 Ocean Drive.
Waiting for your room to be ready has never been better. Upon arrival at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, simply retire to the rear of the glam MiMo (Miami Modern) building, where a comfort zone of cushy chairs and plush sofas includes complimentary Champagne and soft drinks from white-gloved waiters. A perfect vantage point, too, to take in architect Morris Lapidus’s landmark 1953 building, once the fashionable DiLido Hotel before it was reborn in 2003 as the Ritz.
One Lincoln Rd.
With two infinity-edge pools, 309 rooms with Mexican sandstone bathrooms, a bar with 75 different rums, custom-tufted poolside beds, and a bevy of beautiful people, you may never want to leave The Shore Club. While something of a newcomer to South Beach, this glamorous complex has burst on the scene with top-notch accommodations, two restaurants (Nobu and Ago), a spa and Skybar, the most in vogue of all celeb hangouts.
1901 Collins Ave.
Tried and true, the luxurious Delano Hotel, originally built in 1947, was the first hotel in the United States to boast both an indoor and an outdoor lobby. In keeping with its theme of “going both ways,” the water salon pool features classical music pumped through underwater speakers and furniture in the water. Also available: luxe guestrooms, suites, lofts, and poolside bungalows in case you prefer to stay dry while sleeping.
1685 Collins Ave.
The Angler’s Boutique Resort may be slightly off the beaten path, but spacious rooms with plasma TVs, iPod docking stations, and full bar of top-shelf brands make for a welcome retreat from the mega-resorts of Collins Avenue. Beautifully restored to its Art Deco splendor, interior credit goes to J. Wallace Tutt, who designed for Gianni Versace. Suites offer private rooftops, gardens, and outdoor spas. The hotel’s new dining experience, the lush 660 Restaurant, is conveniently located on property, and its wait staff will even serve you poolside.
660 Washington Ave.
By Paula Conway
My last-minute trip to Louisville was also my very first — guaranteeing one delightful surprise after another.
As a neophyte, I was urged by a friend to try a Hot Brown (an open-faced turkey sandwich, smothered in cheese, with bacon), to sample a Derby Pie (a cookie stuffed with chocolate chips, walnuts, hot fudge, [...]
RUMBAR, inside The Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, lays claims to being Miami’s only live Latin music venue. On weekends, a four-piece band in white dinner jackets will take you back to Old Havana with rhythms of vintage Cuba. Order a rum flight for a vertical tasting of Miami’s largest selection of rums from Trinidad, Barbados, [...]Read More