With SLS Hotel South Beach, Philippe Starck has come full circle. Located next to the Delano — the designer’s entry into Miami’s hospitality scene in 1995 — his new project is even more decked out with wall-to-wall details.
There are his usual antics, like the pool deck’s 10-foot, 750-pound “rubber” duck, but his approach is much warmer and sweeter this time around. For instance, baby pink accessories decorate guest rooms in honor of his new daughter; Hyde Beach’s Old Florida decor of ceramic flamingos and tropical prints is all around, and a vintage canoe and camp photos surround the check-in desk.
The main dining room’s intimidating shell chandelier resembling an overturned Louise Bourgeois spider lies somewhere in between the two realms. (No comment on the bull head’s iridescent fuchsia Mexican wrestling mask in the lobby.)
“There’s so much expression, because he had nearly eight years to tinker with the concept,” said general manager Albert Mertz of the 140-suite hotel.
Though most mojito-soaked visitors will probably miss the bulk of it, they won’t escape the volumes of food and beverage.
Chef Jose Andres’ Spanish-themed Bazaar grandly unfolds through three distinct and different areas including the front porch and lobby — perhaps a new trend in transforming the traditionally dead zone into dining space. Sushi restaurant Katsuya occupies the splendid, Art Deco former ballroom. A terrace is reminiscent of Le Café Marly at the Louvre, there are secret lounges in nooks upstairs, and refreshments like dry ice caipirinhas eaten with a spoon are served poolside from rolling carts.
“Those sorbets sure beat a chilled towel, but watch out — they’re deceivingly dangerous,” said Mertz.
1701 Collins Avenue, Tel.: 305-674-1701, Web: slshotels.com