If Hyde Midtown were a food, it would be the sliced roast pork and sweet ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickle and yellow mustard found in vibrant South Florida staple the Cuban sandwich. And representing the two fat slices of bread? The street art-splashed Wynwood, just to its south, and Miami fashion and architecture mecca the Design District, a couple of blocks north. In a country known for being notoriously walker-unfriendly, this is a locale that those who prefer to get about on foot will fall in love with.
Colourful and packed with local flavour, the 60-key all-studio-and-suite hotel occupies the first six floors of the 32-storey Hyde Midtown building, with the seventh floor's amenities shared between guests and the permanent residents of the tower's upper reaches. Want to find out who the hottest new chef in the 'hood is? Strike up a conversation with the pink-haired young woman swimming a few leisurely laps in the glittering, cabana- and palm tree-flanked swimming pool. Looking for an inside take on the juiciest stories from the latest edition of Art Basel Miami (beyond the cab drivers' complaints about the gridlocked streets it caused when it hit town in December)? Ask the man with the matinee idol good looks and natty, head-to-toe pastel ensemble getting in some practice on the putting green. And don't worry about putting him off his swing. If he's not already distracted by those panoramic, skyscraper-studded city views, nothing will phase him.
The lobby, left, and exterior
But for soaking up the vibe of this lesser-known area of the Magic City, the hotel's lobby is really where it's at. Thanks to a partnership with Manolis Projects, one of Florida's leading, and largest, fine arts galleries, the light-flooded space - all modular tan leather seating, floor-to-ceiling windows and bare-brick walls - is home to a multidisciplinary contemporary art exhibit, Miami Dreams, that showcases a covetable collection of edgy works by acclaimed pop artists and street-art pioneers from around the world. From a mesmerising fauna-filled mural by colourist Hunt Slonem (whose coffee-table book, Bunnies, is also on display) to sorbet-hued abstract paintings by J. Steven Manolis and Chuck Fischer (not forgetting the grafittied grand piano or life-sized gold-leafed shark), the overall effect is a life-affirming celebration of Miami's multicultural identity.
While our budget didn't, sadly, stretch to the $60,000 price tag of the bold geometric letterscape by American artist Ron Burkhardt that hangs above the reception desk, we didn't need to go to the nearby clairvoyant offering psychic readings to know that a return visit to Hyde Midtown is in our future. Touch (Wyn)wood!
A studio suite, left, and the pool terrace
Be prepared to want to move in permanently. All 60 studios and suites are furnished by NYC-based designer David Rockwell, with an emphasis on clean lines, splashy carpets and choice artworks. You also have a kitchenette complete with fridge, microwave and Alessi tableware, plus a tempting minibar stocked with everything from cocktail fixings to gummy bears. Beds are king-size and super-comfortable - with the intricate towel swan arrangement perched atop it being an unexpected delight - and bathrooms are huge, with MALIN+GOETZ toiletries aplenty. Arguably the best thing about our Corner Suite, though, was the wraparound balcony, which offered bird's-eye views over the cityscape below. We'll never grow tired of watching palm trees swaying in the breeze at sunset.
What's for breakfast?
Whatever you want to whip up in your well-appointed kitchenette, with coffee coming courtesy of your Lavazza pod machine. Or you can venture out. Our top recommendation? Little Hen, a ridiculously Instragrammable "English-inspired breakfast and brunch boutique", where chintzy mismatched crockery and a profusion of floral arrangements form the backdrop to a solid menu that offers everything from rose petal pancakes to egg and pork carnitas tacos. Just come out of the hotel and take the first right; it'll be on your right.
Lunch and dinner
For lunch, you're left to your own devices, but for dinner, there's the hotel's tropical rooftop tenant Salvaje Miami. The wild decor would have surely got the thumbs-up from Gianni Versace himself - think giant sprays of pampas grass and a profusion of twinkling fairy lights and candles - while the menu, by chef-owner Fermín Azkue, is Japanese fusion cuisine cooked with flair. Order up sharing plates of "cauliflower boom" - baked cauliflower with smoked cauliflower coulis, yellow ají and feta-tofu sauce - and Wagyu beef fried rice. A DJ brings the tunes and it's not unheard of for the waiting staff to dance between tables.
Is there a bar?
Yes, in Salvaje Miami. Order the signature Vikingo, a blend of Stolichnaya vodka and Fords gin muddled with passion fruit, fresh ginger, lime juice and peach soda, then served in a horn.
Did we mention the tennis court? Beyond the art exhibition, swimming pool, fitness centre, putting green, spa, on-site private dog park and business centre, there's a rooftop court with killer views. It's a worthy inclusion on Architectural Digest's recent round-up "The World's 28 Most Beautiful Tennis Courts".
The lobby, left, and pool
What about accessibility?
Seriously well considered. All studios and suites are reached via a spacious lift, and the 33sq m VIP King Studio has been designed to work for everyone, with ADA hearing impaired-accessible features, a bed shaker alarm and signalling doorbell.
What's the crowd like?
Miami cool kids and bohemian art lovers from far and wide.
Within a short walk I can find…
Miami big-hitters including Wynwood, with its pop-up art galleries and street art park - a whole block on NW 2nd Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets has been gifted to graffiti artists - and the Design District, an innovative creative neighbourhood populated with high-end designer stores and maker markets. The airport is only a 10-minute drive away.
Things I should know
Hyde Midtown runs a calendar of creative workshops and local community events inspired by its Miami Dreams exhibition, including the city's profound Latin influence and its transformation from sleepy coastal town to cultural destination extraordinaire. Check the website to see what's coming up.
Studios cost from £311 a night. Hydehotels.com