Nearly hidden behind a tall row of hedges is Delano South Beach, a landmarked hotel built in 1947 and renovated by Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck in 1995. Schrager and Starck wanted Delano to feel like a home; to that end, Starck created a series of discrete “living spaces,” with mismatched furniture, in the hotel’s common areas. Each of the spaces is intended to evoke specific images and experiences from his childhood, such as a wall of nightlights. The Delano’s backyard and pool area are an extension of the lobby’s “living room,” and that’s why a table and two chairs sit in a shallow section of the pool, and why the hotel’s veranda features the kind of comfortable furniture usually found inside a building, rather than outside it. In rooms, guests will find oversized marble bathtubs, said to be a favorite among NBA players because of their seven-foot length, along with Malin + Goetz toiletries.

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Miami Vice: Chef Curtis Stone on the Delano South Beach Hotel

Australian TV-chef personality Curtis Stone, who recently opened his first U.S. restaurant, Maude, in L.A., says he jumps at a chance to visit Miami just so he can stay at the Delano in South Beach. “I might even go as far as to say it’s one of my favorite hotels in the world,” he says of the 194-room property from the Morgans Hotel Group. “They have a fun and sophisticated bar there called the Rose Bar. It’s the perfect place to dress up a little and unwind with a cocktail in a classy, beautiful space. And the pool! Oh my gosh: crystal clear, huge, and surrounded by gorgeous, towering palm trees.” The pool even has an underwater soundtrack. Guests who can pull themselves away from the poolside cabanas have a private beach with grey and white tents to lounge under.

Grandmama of Miami Beach Design Hotels

is recovering quite well from her little nip/tuck (sorry - refresh). Often copied (all white rooms) but never duplicated, the Delano has retained her role as the reigning queen of South Beach “see and be seen” hotels. Even after all these years, the pool scene (ahhh that pool), the bar scene, the lobby scene is as hot as ever. Sure you’ll pay $30 for a mojito but you might, just might get a glimpse of J. Lo and friends....

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