May 8, 2012
The Buzziest Hotel To Book Now: Miami
Get thee to SLS Hotel South Beach for the latest in designer digs by Philippe Starck, Lenny Kravitz & Company
By Nancy Staab
Miami gears up for the debut of an SLS Hotel June 7, featuring the talents of Philippe Starck, José Andrés and Lenny Kravitz—plus a graffiti-splashed food truck!
You will scarcely recognize the old Ritz Plaza building once madcap designer Philippe Starck, Lenny Kravitz and the rest of Hollywood hotel and nightlife magnate Sam Nazarian’s SLS team put their finishing touches on the place. (Unless you’ve been out of country for the last few years, you know that there is already a white-hot SLS in Los Angeles).
The new SLS South Beach may be right next to Starck’s iconic Delano Hotel but, speaking of white-hot, don’t expect a repeat of that hotel’s iconic white modernism when SLS opens later this summer. The always-mercurial Starck is going glamorously eclectic with this new Miami playground (think: surreal French garden entrance, American summer camp lobby with lighting via a vintage kayak converted into rustic chandelier, glam Blowout Bar beauty salon, and a “crazy cantina” vibe with acid yellow accents for top toque José Andrés’ resto). Meanwhile, rocker-turned-designer Lenny Kravitz is tricking out the penthouse and posh poolside cabanas. Nazarian promises to offer up everything heretofore missing on the Miami hospitality scene, and that’s a tall order given the opulence of properties like the recently re-invented Fontainbleau or the brand new St. Regis Bal Harbor with its shimmering, Deco, mirrored lobby and Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant.
The dining options are many, including James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés’ signature The Bazaar restaurant which will serve up Spanish/Latin American specialties inflected with Asian and Florida flavors and a Miami outpost of L.A.’s sleek, celeb-infested sushi den Katsuya. But we are most excited about Andrés' proposed pool and beachside mobile food truck/kitchen which will hawk Latin sandwiches and chocolate hazelnut ice cream sandwiches for dessert in a food truck kitted out by Starck and a Latin graffiti artist.
Belly up to the coral bar at Bar Centro for Andrés' creative libations like a liquid nitrogen caipirinha and his famous salt-air margarita topped off with a delicate, immersion-blended salt water foam.
Sneak peek views of the hotel rooms reveal that Starck has lived up to his promise of a French aristocrat vibe via pretty white rooms with fancy walls of trompe l’oil French paneling, sexy ceiling mirrors placed slyly over the boudoir, and a femme bath with pale, macaron-pink glass accents.
Nazarian promises Miami-style glitz (minus annoying list and bottle-service-only snobbery) with his new beach club Hyde Park. He says Hyde Beach is modeled after the best beach-size destinations of the Mediterranean Riviera.” Or play poolside with two pools options, one dedicated to Hyde Beach’s party crowd, the other more discreet and reserved for hotel guests. Those seeking more privacy can book one of ten, air-conditioned pool cabanas with bungalows above designed by Kravitz. Want something more low key? Chill out at Bazaar’s Saam lounge or Katsuya’s upstairs Dragon Lounge.
SLS South Beach is slated to open June 7, with rooms starting at $350/night. SLS South Beach is located at 170 Collins Ave., 305.674.1701 or www.slshotels.com/southbeach