Next to the Metropolitan sits the 1 Hotel South Beach, the town’s first ecologically committed place to stay. Consisting of 426 rooms, it’s big, but pulls off the legerdemain of intimacy. The white, high-ceilinged lobby may now be a familiar Miami trope, but instead of acres of cut flowers, there is a ‘living wall’ of 11,000 plants. Beyond the lobby, the green initiatives continue: bedroom doors are unlocked with reclaimed-wood keycards; on the bedside table is a chalkboard instead of a notepad; inside the wardrobe, the hangers are made out of recycled paper and by the minibar there’s a tap that gives out fresh, filtered water.
But Miami Beach has always been about decadence and the 1 Hotel provides plenty of that too, with four swimming pools (including one on the rooftop), a fleet of Tesla electric cars to ferry guests around, a gym and a spa.A few blocks further south is another rebuild: Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel. Like the EDITION, it plays with its origins and there’s a New Yorker behind it. Jason Pomeranc, who co-founded the Thompson Hotels brand.
Now with his SIXTY Hotels, he’s restored this 1950s property created by architect Morris Lapidus, the man who reinvented Miami Beach style. Even today, this is still old-school Miami where your stay begins with a drink, as you’re drawn through the lobby past the white columns, grand staircases and curved walls to a gently arched wooden bar. There’s a touch of Mad Men about the rooms too, such as the upended trunk that opens to reveal a minibar.
Speaking of Pomeranc, the Thompson Miami Beach has made its mark on the area as well. Here, three buildings have been stapled together to form a place that’s filled with colour and beats. The poolside 1930s House, with its original scalloped roof and Spanish-tiled floor, gives off a speakeasy vibe – just the spot for the first or last cocktail of the night.