MIAMI BEACH — If luxury is the name and hotels are the game, then there's no bigger player in South Beach than Gansevoort South.
This behemoth of a resort — complete with a city block of high-end boutiques, a tropical rooftop retreat and a 50-foot shark tank — is slated to open in January, following the success of its flagship Gansevoort property in Manhattan.
The newly redesigned hotel, originally constructed in the Sixties, now boasts a private beach club that is just a cabana or two away from a 40,000-square-foot Infinity-edge pool. Luxury staples such as lounge-friendly circular beds, teak decks and tented nooks abound, along with a bar and restaurant, volleyball courts and a Jacuzzi.
If the main level isn't enough to satiate guests' appetites for luxury, the rooftop oasis should do the trick. At 18 stories, the 26,000-square-foot space overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami and houses an elevated swimming pool and the Plunge bar and lounge. And tropical flora isn't exclusive to the beach club: Palm trees are scattered across the rooftop as well.
The 334 guest rooms (from $595 to $6,500 a night) are decked out in hot pink, charcoal and yellow and get even more visual interest from kitschy pinup photos and custom furniture. A massive spa and gym by David Barton, Miami incarnations of trendy stores like INCA and Big Drop and two restaurants, including one by Philippe Chow of New York's Mr. Chow, should successfully keep cabin fever at bay.
For guests looking to set up a more permanent camp in South Beach, 259 condominiums are available for purchase at Gansevoort South, starting at $600,000.
Gansevoort South Hotel, Spa and Residences, 2377 Collins Avenue; 305-604-1000; gansevoortsouth.com.
— Elizabeth Thurman
LOS ANGELES — The 125-bottle wine cellar, cheese counter and raw bar may make David Myers' new restaurant Comme ça sound pretentious, but the restaurateur best known for his restaurant Sona and patisserie Boule has created a warm and welcoming environment on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.