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Hotel SLS South Beach Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
1701 Collins Avenue Miami, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This is Philippe Starck's second opus in Miami, following the Delano designed in the 80s. By a strange twist of fate the SLS is the building next door. The SLS is THE place to see and be seen. It is the latest addition to its Los Angeles namesake. SLS is expanding across the country. Soon it will be possible to travel across America from one SLS to another! And life will be designer! Hats off to the artist for this magnificent work of art! It would take just one tiny adjustment to make this a superb hotel - bigger guest rooms.

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    Location 7.36 /10

    In just the right place: on Collins Avenue and 17th Street. Bearing in mind that the Art Deco district goes all the way to 13th Street and that Lincoln Road, the epicentre, is the 14th. What else? The beach in front of the hotel of course. You just need to cross the Miami Beach boardwalk and you're there. As for Miami International Airport, it's a mere 30 minutes away. Don't forget there's also the smaller and more cosy Fort Lauderdale Airport just 45 minutes away.

    Accommodation 7.45 /10

    140 guest rooms and 13 suites, including one decorated by Lenny Kravitz. But despite that, this is where things go slightly downhill. Admittedly you come to Miami to party not to sleep, but the first room category, the 'crashpad' is just 14m2. At these prices that's pretty expensive per square metre! The large bed takes up 95% of the bedroom area. Bring a pair of underwear and a t-shirt: there's no wardrobe. There's just one rail to hang your clothes on. The concierge will look after your suitcases during your stay. The walls and the headboard are covered in imitation Toile de Jouy fabric but in black and white. The bathroom is minuscule, with a shower, toilet and wash basin squeezed in to less than 2m2. Everything is very pretty and well done, but it's not for claustrophobics!
    The next size up is the Deluxe guest rooms at 22m2. Not huge by American standards, but better at least. That said, a day bad in front of the window, a work by the master, takes up the little space that's left around the large bed. The 'closet' has expanded: several rails form an open wardrobe. Suffice to say that there's room for a little black dress and a pair of jeans. As for suitcases, ask the concierge... The bathroom is slightly larger with a sexy shower for two people. All of the guest rooms have a city or ocean view, no side views.
    You have to shell out for a Villa suite to get the 60m2 at an inflated price, with a balcony above one of the swimming pools, a huge bathroom with an Starck oval bathtub and, at last, separate toilets.

    Overview 8.65 /10

    Philippe Starck is a genius when it comes to designing communal areas. And the SLS is no exception to the rule. The hotel, formerly the Ritz Plaza, built in 1938/39 at the peak of the Art Deco period, is listed, which meant some parts of the old building had to be preserved. Which is just as well. As such, the large colourful fresco in the lobby still dominates; the friezes on the ceiling, the granite floor, the old grey-green reception desk, and the large columns supporting the structure all remain. Starck has covered them in Arabic calligraphy and photos from the 40s. A colossal shell chandelier hangs from the ceiling of the restaurant. A screen displays images of the beach taken by a webcam on the roof. A Japanese restaurant has taken up residence in an exquisite beautiful semi-circular dining room with 8-metre high ceilings, vast windows concealed by tropical Venetian blinds. It'll leave you speechless. All except the Americans who shout rather than talk even in a Zen restaurant... On the first floor there is an enchanting Geisha bar, pictured on the walls. A lounge and a mezzanine library provide a hideaway for a moment of solitude and somewhere to type, but there is no smoking or vaping allowed. For that you have to go outside onto the veranda overlooking Collins Avenue. Two superb swimming pools and the fully-equipped beach complete the inventory of facilities at the hotel.

    Food and drink 9.20 /10

    The Bazaar restaurant is remarkable both in terms of the decor and the cuisine. This is THE place to meet if you're passing through Miami Beach. As usual Starck has asked his daughter to paint the ceiling here. The Japanese is just as good. The bar upstairs is simply fantastic. The poolside restaurant has a Hawaiian theme with surf boards on the ceiling and good looking guys photographed in sepia. Snacks are served on the beach.
    The concept of the SLS is to make it a nightclub?in the day and at night. You can come to the SLS without being a resident of the hotel. One swimming pool is open to visitors. With the surrounding cabanas, it's the last place you'd want to be seen unless you're built like an athlete or a Miss pageant girl. Another long swimming pool is private and reserved exclusively for guests at the hotel. Here of course you don't go to bed before 2:00am, when the bar closes. Don't panic: that's early for South Beach!

    To know

    Parked in front of the SLS is... an SLS, the divine Mercedes with its gull-wing doors. But it's the hotel's BMW that will transport you around Miami Beach free of charge, all the way to Bal Harbour for a spot of classy shopping.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      beauty salon, spa, massage

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, water-polo

    • Animals allowed
    • Non-smoking rooms

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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