On Miami’s South Beach, the ultimate luxury has to be the ability to emerge out of the ocean and simply walk a few metres to your hotel room. And W South Beach’s absolute waterfront location delivers that. The 20-floor property welcomes guests with a swank, high-ceilinged lobby, awash with natural light, then takes the relax factor to the next level with two outdoor swimming pools and a world-class spa. A handful of exquisitely designed restaurants and bars are also part of the draw. But the real attraction is the rooms and suites – particularly the sea-facing ones on the upper floors that offer staggering views of the Atlantic, all the way to the horizon.
W South Beach is an easy 30-minute drive from Miami International Airport and located close to some of the city’s biggest drawcards for both business and leisure travellers. Miami Beach Convention Centre is just 10 minutes away, while the South Beach boardwalk showcasing some of the city’s best Art Deco architecture, beachside parks and alfresco work-out zones are right at its doorstep.
There are 346 guestrooms in total and, at 53 square metres, even the smallest ones (Splendid Studio Suites) are quite spacious for South Beach. Featuring striking artworks, lighting fixtures and separate living areas, these are perfectly comfortable lairs, complete with gleaming en suites and private balconies. But if your budget allows, upgrade to Marvelous Oceanfront Suite, which offers almost 100 square metres of real estate, with a huge balcony, living room, fully equipped kitchen and a sprawling en suite with twin sinks and oversized bath. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer staggering ocean views, while 350-count Egyptian cotton sheets sweeten the deal come bedtime.
Food and drink
Wooden floorboards, white exposed-brick walls and zinc bar lend a relaxed vibe to onsite restaurant The Dutch, which has little to do with the food of the Netherlands. Instead, chef Andrew Carmellini’s excels in classic American fare – from cheese-laden burgers to creamy lobster rolls. Or, if you’re after something more eclectic, make a beeline for Mr Chow which combines Asian flavours with Salsa beats, under a 125-foo-long gilded chandelier with Swarovski crystals.
For business travellers
W South Beach offers plethora of options of corporate events – from dedicated halls and customisable outdoor spaces to suites that can be transformed into private business lairs. Free high-speed internet and an excellent concierge desk are icing on the cake.
For wellness traveller
There’s a 24-hour gym, basketball and tennis courts, plus a 7000-square-metre spa where treatments range from skincare services (facials, waxing, et al) to therapies such as massages, rubs and scrubs. If you want to step out, grab one of the hotels bikes and explore the nearby Art Deco District, or simply sign up for one of the water-based activities (such as kite-surfing and jet-skiing) on the beach.
The wow factor
The concierge desk. Super-smart and switched on, with excellent local insights.
Best for: Beach lovers, families
Number of rooms: 407
Wi-fi: Free and fast; paid premium option available
Parking: Plenty of self-parking in front of the hotel; valet parking costs $46 + taxes
Address: 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach (Miami)
Telephone: +1 305 938 3000