Miami’s South Beach is the spot where hotels vie for style: The Hotel is the most funky, the Marlin the most rock’n’roll, the Tides the most sophisticated, and the Delano the most cool.
Morgans Hotel Group and Philippe Starck have always had a talent for containing worlds within their hotels—seemingly light-years away from the streets on which they sit. The Mondrian is Hollywood sci-fi, the Hudson is Harvard Square and the Delano is an Alice in Wonderland trip: fantasy, indulgence and tranquility in a couture package.
You never have to leave. At the Delano you can go to the movies, play volleyball, swim, sleep, have treatments at the Agua spa and eat everything from sushi to lobster ravioli. And every space within the hotel is its own sphere. The Blue Door restaurant, which Madonna co-owns, is a hotspot, packed with hotel guests, stars, models and locals. A tip: Don’t even think about eating before eight o’clock. The pool table is always draped with hot young things, the bar is small, dark and sophisticated, and the lobby is sexy with its towering columns, oversized mirrors and billowing curtains (despite the sunburned tourists who stroll through around 7pm before heading off to Joe’s Stone Crab). The private beach has peach and white tents stocked with beach balls and fruit. But the pièce de résistance is the pool. You can spend an entire day underwater—there’s music (yes, underwater music), and separate spots for playing, floating around, even snacking.
The poolside bungalows are on Miami’s most wanted list—offering a tasty glimpse of the sea and the pool, plus a decadent reputation that probably derives from their close proximity to the bar. But if total escape is what you’re looking for, all you have to do is shut the door. Delano rooms take quiet to a different level—the white floor planks are lined with cork—and here the discos of South Beach seem very, very far away.
Perhaps not the biggest spa in town, this one enjoys the special privilege of being located on the roof. Once up in Agua Spa’s penthouse, you’ll find an intimate facility decked out in whimsical Floridian fashion, and a commanding view of both city and sea. The bamboo-thatched sundeck is a choice spot for chilling after a rigorous deep tissue massage, or just for spying on the less indulged beachgoers at ground level.
Massage Types: Swedish, sports, stone therapy, reflexology, pre-natal
Open to public: yes
Prices: $120-170/hr. massage
Products: SJAL, Luzern, Somme
Tablet Plus benefit: no
Hair Services: on-call stylist in room