Adrian Grenier, Rosie O'Donnell, Gloria Estefan
Reason to Stay
Mr Chow Eatery, Beachfront Address, Rooftop Sports
After more than a decade in the W business, Starwood's iconic boutique collection proves more than able to learn a few new tricks with the unveiling of its South Beach hotel. Located at the north end of what many consider South Beach, but closer than the Gansevoort, an iconic glassy blue fašade faces a prime stretch of beach once associated with '70s high-rises and retirement towers. This isn't the W Hotel of Union Square or even LA, following the chain's latest model proven in Istanbul and Vieques that combine a namebrands like world reknown chef, in this case Mr. Chow, in a spectacular destination restaurant that's as much a perk for locals as it is for hotel guests.
Visitors arrive to a more sophisticated lobby, composed of tumbled stone and distressed woods with evolved design aesthetic by Costas Knodylis, Anna Busta and Paula Hayes that's more than just ultrasuede and mirrors. The hotel is home to the usual roster of W-theme indulgences like its dramatic WET oceanfront resort pool, Bliss Spa and SWEAT gym with rooftop tennis and basketball courts. By night the hotel comes to life with three lounge destinations including the outdoor Grove reminiscent of the nearby Raleigh gardens, Solea with its six bars and all-day tapas menu and nightclub by the owners of Mansion.
Defined by 9-foot ceilings and glass-enclosed ocean or city views, the 20-floors of W Miami are lined in loft-style guest rooms that have evolved from the purple and black party dens of W's past. Lined in natural stone tile floors, rooms reflect a black-and-off white palette of classically modern sectionals and leather chaises in practical living spaces accessorized with Taschen books and playful bric-a-brac. Mirrored dressers and chrome display tables with glass tops don't distract from the head-on Atlantic views framed by floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that send the 6-foot shell chandeliers into a spin. Extravagantly large balconies furnished in teak loungers are even larger for entertaining in select poolside bungalows and 20th floor penthouses with their own plunge pools. Kitchenettes add a make-it-yourself element to a weekend experience, but with a housekeeping staff that shuns doing pots and pans. All bathrooms are laid in Cippolino marble accented in chrome fixtures and cubist mirrors that make for perfect makeup application.
Celebrity Eatery, Beach Club, Gym, Spa
Basketball Court, Tennis, Spa, Pool, Star Chef, BAr, Lounge