The Raleigh - Miami Remarkable Raleigh Misses the Mark in South Beach

94 top rated
  • The Raleigh - Miami

  • 1775 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, Florida 33139 USA (305) 534-6300
reviewed by
Michael Martin Editorial Review Author
  • Who's Going:

    Pharrell Williams, Jay Jopling, Jeffrey Deitch

  • Reason to Stay:

    Historic Hotel, Hip Pool, Beach Club

  • Hotel Type:

    Beach Hotel

  • Preferred Room:
    Ocean View Suite
  • Special Features:
    Resort Setting, Trendy Clientele, Beach-Location
  • Amenities:
    Restaurant, Lounge, Swimming Pool, Bar
  • A thickly planted driveway leads from Collin's Avenue into the compact valet area of Andre Balazs' Miami Beach hideaway. A front patio furnished in vintage rattan sofas and chairs is populated with nervous models toting their 'look books' and Polo-crested guests yet to acclimate to the local fashion scene. The interior lobby is better preserved than most deco hotels along Miami Beach, with period furnishings surrounded by a small counter café and curved-reception attended by laid-back staff. The man in the suit is the manager, and he will call your room if you're later than 12:30pm on checkout day. The woman at the concierge is Crispy, with her long hair and surfer-cool style, and knows almost everything about South Beach. A cute one-room gift shop sells Nicole Fahri creations and Dior sunglasses.

    An elevated dining room opens-up to a rear terrace area planted tucked under large shade trees with curved-wooden couches and cozy setting overlooking the pool. And what a pool it is, a regency-shaped classic made famous in Esther William films with converted waterfall diving board. A mixed clientele of pale New Yorkers and loud-talking Californians sprawls-out on upholstered mattresses and an elevated sundeck under lacey umbrellas and plastic cocktail tumblers. A rear garden with painted-white club chairs and cabanas connects to the beach club with its retro red-canvas loungers and tanned staff in all white. 

  • The Room:

    A vintage mahogany elevator opens to a dark common area with oversize mirror and exposed ceiling. Garden View room #309 is no more than two steps from the elevator and opens to a square-shaped room with queen size bed and small rattan love seat shoved under a well-shaded window. There is no garden, and the view is of three concrete terrace and neighboring hotel. The housekeeping staff can be heard in the neighboring doorway, rattling metal keys and cackling with laughter. The closet is more of a cubbyhole with fabric shoe rack that could use a good washing. The wheel-chair accessible bathroom is the biggest part of the room, with oversize limestone shower and Kiehl’s bath products that ease the trauma of the actual room. With no place to stow an Etro overnight case, a call to the front desk results in a room upgrade (with a hefty fee). Ocean View Room 615 facing the pool is better, but not really bigger, with larger closet area painted Hermes orange with exposed air-conditioning hemorrhaging from use. A black-laquer ceiling fan has the power of a tornado, but also moans like old dental equipment. The bathroom seems like product of a Ford Models, who occupy on office on the second floor, with compact sink and retro-shape toilet crammed against the wall. Something never seen before even on an EasyCruise, the toilet paper roll is actually under the sink. A limestone shower has the power of a ‘Silkwood scrub’ with ill drainage that always pours out onto the bathroom floor. The mini-bar is the newest thing about the room, stocked with high-end beauty products and Patron at prices that are respectably affordable. To its credit, the hotel’s bed linens are fluffy soft and all rooms feature wall-mounted flat-screen TVs as well as an i-Pod docking station. We suggest booking into one of the hotel’s suites, either Ocean Front or Sunset, offering separate living areas and eclectic ‘50s décor.

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