It appears small from the outside, but Gale South Beach manages to pack a lot into a modest space, including Italian restaurant Dolce, a cocktail lounge, and a nightclub. These attractions, and its prime location on Collins Avenue, just a block from the beach, make the Gale a social hot spot. The landmarked art deco building is, like many of its neighbors, protected from structural changes; as such, the hotel harks back to the golden age of American architecture. Inside, the decor evokes 1940s–1960s style, with throwback typography, black-and-white family photos, newspaper clippings, and mid-20th-century memorabilia providing atmospheric design touches. The rooms are on the smaller side but tend to let in lots of natural light. The color scheme is nautical, with blue carpeting and white walls, and crisp, bright white linens embroidered with the hotel name in blue. Guests can take advantage of an outdoor bar on the fourth floor, and a rooftop pool. An annex of the hotel is set to open just a few feet away in December 2014. The Gale Suites at Kaskades is a 25-suite complex with a focus on luxury and privacy. It features rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and rain showers and has its own rooftop deck with cabanas.
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Gale South Beach sits on the corner of Collins Avenue and 17th Street, which may well be considered the social crossroads of Miami Beach. Directly across the street is the Delano, another popular hotel that attracts the see-and-be-seen set to its nightclub and pool, and a few blocks away is the considerably larger and equally popular W South Beach, which is also a magnet for Miami's beautiful people. During the annual art fair, Art Basel, parties and events abound, and slipping beyond the velvet ropes is an exciting challenge. And don't forget the beach, just one block from the hotel.
Need to Know
Rooms: 87 rooms, from $239. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: On-site Italian restaurant Dolce is popular among locals for its pasta and wood-oven pizzas, which can be enjoyed inside or on an outdoor terrace that fronts Collins Avenue. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as coffee and pastries. Regent Cocktail Bar, also on-site, is headed by Julio Cabrera, who was named the most innovative bartender in the country by GQ in 2013. Spa and gym details: The Gale does not have its own spa, but if that's an important feature, it's only a few blocks' walk to other hotels' spas; both W South Beach and the Setai have excellent facilities. The Gale does, however, have its own gym, albeit a small one, featuring Technogym equipment.
Who it's for: Travelers looking to take advantage of the hotel’s bar and nightclub and the Collins Avenue social scene, and who won’t be fazed by the modestly sized rooms (with few work stations for business travelers). Our favorite rooms: It's not for everybody, but passionate people-watchers will love 301, a corner room with double windows overlooking the comings and goings along Collins Avenue. For light sleepers:Rooms over the nightclub and next to the cocktail lounge can get loud, so guests who value a good night's sleep over socializing should ask for a room away from these two areas, or even across the street in Kaskades.