THE SLS HOTEL SOUTH BEACH
Miami has been turning up the heat for decades, but on my recent visit to stay at the SLS Hotel South Beach, I can honestly say I was truly impressed by the perfect combination of sunshine chic meets urban beach.
If you happen to be a city dweller – or even if you don’t – The SLS South Beach provides just the right amount of ‘chill’ to unwind in one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The hotel features an artistic blend of Latin, Asian, contemporary and art deco influences; with its rooftop design depicting a lantern reaching toward the sky, the old queen (originally built in 1939) is the tallest art deco building in South Beach.
In the rooms, modern decor meets a twist on French flair, where designer Philippe Starck has channeled the ghost of Madame de Pompadour with naughty nods such as mirrors on the ceiling and a box marked “sinners” keep things historically accurate.
Exterior wise, pass two glittering pools on your way to the turquoise waters of South Beach, where flamingo pink beach chairs await you. However, you won’t do so without passing a magical garden that plays host to the famous Hyde Lounge; a playground of day and nightlife, boasting the artful mixology and José Andrés cuisine, all inspired by the flavors and culture of the local community.
THE BAZAAR BY JOSE ANDRES
Located in the SLS hotel, the world famous Bazaar by José Andrés, provides a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine and a playful indoor-outdoor environment, blending Andrés’ Spanish heritage, tradition and ingenuity with influences from South Beach’s local Latin flavors.
Set between the glowing patio of Bar Centro, and the indoor glamorous space of the hotel, this AAA Four Diamond Award Winner, does not fail to please on any level in ambience or cuisine.
Start off the evening tapas style with mouth watering highlights like the Traditional Sui Mai (mouthfuls of pork, shrimp, peanuts, water chestnuts) Japanese Tacos (composed of grilled eel, shiso, cucumber, wasabi, pork chicharrones) or truly unique Frozen Blue Cheese Sandwich (featuring lemon marmalade, walnut bread.)
After grazing through these exceptional dishes, you cannot go wrong with their Dragon Fruit Ceviche (that seamlessly blends tuna, pecans, lemon, hibiscus) or their Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes, spicy tomato sauce, alioli.) Then there’s the meats, such as the exceptional Jamón Ibérico de Bellota ‘Fermin’ (hand carved acorn-fed, free-range Ibérico ham) which I would recommend pairing with the Pà amb Tomàquet (Catalan-style toasted bread brushed with fresh tomato.) Still have room for more? Finish up with the Black Rossejat (a tantalizing paella-style pasta, featuring squid ink, shrimp and aliol.)
Paired with a smooth glass of Malbec, or really your drink of any choice, the above is a soaring explosion of flavor and artful cuisine. Oh, and be sure to top the night off outside at Bar Centro with a Salt Air Margarita; a drink that always seems to throw a little magic in the air…..