This pink-hued princess is the tallest art-deco building in South Beach. Originally built by renowned Miami architect L. Murray Dixon in 1939, the SLS South Beach has been suitably sexed up by the people at SBE. Interiors by Philippe Starck blend Latin, Asian, contemporary and art-deco influences. It's a lot - in the best of ways.
The design brief for the bedrooms at SLS South Beach reads: "Fit for Louis XV's legendary mistress." Suitably stylish (think old French aristocracy) with some naughty nods - mirrors on the ceiling and a minibar box marked "sinners" - collide, backed by baroque trompe l'oeil. A subdued colour palette (white, black, soft pink) compliments dainty coral-like chandeliers and wall etchings that could make heads roll and toes curl. The wardrobes are exposed, the coffee is Lavazza and the bathrooms (while compact) are French fancy with a modern twist. For something moderately more subdued, the villa penthouses overlooking the pool are a good fit.
What's for breakfast?
Tuck into a Spanish-inspired breakfast buffet served at the outdoor terrace. À la carte items are also available - try the olive-oil pancakes - but then again, it's hard to bypass a cheese and charcuterie spread at 8am.
How about lunch and dinner?
Enjoy lunch al-fresco poolside or in the hotel's Mediterranean garden. At Katsuya, master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi has rustled up a menu of innovative sushi and robata dishes. For the VIP treatment, inquire about a private dining experience in the Dragon Lounge (it's unlikely to be the flashiest thing you do while you're in town). The Bazaar by chef José Andrés serves creative Spanish tapas - we recommend the Cuban sandwich in a lighter-than-air pastry with dijon mustard - alongside a broader menu including a scrumptious ceviche. And whatever you do, don't pass up on the Japanese peaches. An edited in-room menu by José is also available 24 hours a day but you can't beat the surrounds of this place, where interiors are a real talking point: think shell-encrusted oversized chandeliers and art-deco seating.
Is there a bar?
When a hotel is known for its nightlife scene it kind of goes without saying that there's a bar. For a relaxed drink, head to Bar Centro adjacent to the Bazaar and peruse Andrés's menu of creative cocktails. Up the ante at Hyde and take your drinks inside, outside or in the pool. Make ours Miami Mule and meet us at the metalicised gigantic rubber duck.
SLS has two pools - one for revelry and one for recovery. For the former head to Hyde Pool, which is open to non-guests for debauchery and pool partying until late. Spend the morning after the night before recuperating in an expansive daybed or cabana surrounding the guest-only pool. For those who prefer the sea, two beach chairs are included under a general $40 room charge - if you're fair-skinned and need some shade after 15 minutes, ask for a beach umbrella at an additional charge of $20.
Things you should know
If Miami has got you feeling flasher than Liberace you might find yourself sporting around South Beach in a Lamborghini after opting-in for the Mph Club, an exclusive car rental service available for self-drive or with a chauffeur. Those who are easily persuaded should avoid temptation by averting their eyes when entering and exiting the SLS' driveway.
Within a short walk you'll find…
Grab a branded coconut (peak merch circa 1990 has returned) and chill out on the beach. Aside for the compelling call of the waves, guests looking for some retail therapy should head to The Webster, a trendy boutique just off Collins Avenue selling high-end designer wear in a sunlit art-deco venue.