To be fair, the Morris Lapidus-designed landmark on Millionaire’s Row has been a Miami icon since it first opened in 1954 on the site of auto tire magnate Harvey Firestone’s mansion. Who could argue with a 17,000-square-foot lobby that includes a “Stairway to Nowhere,” simply for photo ops (no selfies back then), and six acres of gardens that replicated those at Versailles? Its $1 billion renovation in 2008 put it back on the map after three years under construction, and with the latest update of the all-suite Trésor Tower, the curvilinear MiMo gem is once again the place to rest your pretty head. Standard suites on up come with sapphire carpeting, majestic views and all-marble baths, whose low-flow shower heads conserve water. Bonus: In-room artworks reflect images inspired by Château de Fontainebleau in France. Splurge on the $10,000-per-night penthouse and you gain a host of benefits (two 80-minute treatments at the Lapis spa, daily cabana and breakfast, butler service, $1,000 credit toward yacht rental) plus VIP entrée to LIV, one of the world’s most revered (and hardest to get into) nightclubs.
A sweeter property in Miami you will not find, especially now that the corner cutie has adopted a pink-and-green palette that’s somehow more beachy than preppy. Each of the 118 rooms (some with adorable bal- conies) are now lined in tropical wall coverings or graphic rugs and are furnished with Patagonian wood-paneled armoires and four-poster or high-headboard beds. They all hover above the courtyard pool, heated to just the right temperature for a late-night drink. The whole place is now cheery, vibrant and as charming as your first high school crush. Downstairs has gotten a refresh, too. The restaurant, Ama- lia, is now teeming with smartly dressed professionals poring over laptops during morning meetings, while a newly expanded lounge area doubles as a co-working space and cocktail bar. If you knew it years ago, have another look; the Lennox is one of those Art Deco jewels that finally got its polish back.
It wasn’t really in need of a refresh, but 1 Hotels isn’t a company to rest on its palm fronds. Since October, Miami’s darty gets started at Tala Beach, the 50,000-square-foot spot formerly known as 1 Beach Club. Outfitted with thatch umbrellas, quilted pillows, and lots of sand and shade, Tala Beach’s daybeds, restaurant and VIP lounge promise to keep thumping from noon until dawn — expect DJs and live performers throughout the year. Of course, it’s not all about raging at the 425-room property. This fall, the hotel also debuted renovated rooftop restaurant Watr (below), a modern take on the Japanese izakaya by day, which transforms into a sophisticated party scene by night. Should you be more into chilling with your homies than spraying Champagne, reserve an updated Sky Cabana by the rooftop pool. Or, for a totally laid-back vibe, head to the 18,000-square-foot wellness center, which includes the award-winning Bamford Wellness Spa … and just relax.
The downtown property tapped British interior designer Tara Bernerd, known for her light-flooded take on the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and many, many moody Thompson Hotel projects. Here, she leans a little tropical, with whimsical, graphic carpeting in the refurbished guest rooms and lots of creamy shades of white to contrast with the ocean blue. The real action happens on the seventh-floor rooftop, where a swimming pool and a wading pool studded with royal palms create a cosmopolitan vibe. Grab a cabana or a hammock and refresh after a long day of schmoozing, then dress in your summer finest for dinner at the Edge Brasserie and Cocktail Bar, an indoor-outdoor eatery that’s as festive as it is filling — don’t miss the whole-roasted branzino presented tableside for extra flair.
The Mediterranean-inspired, 98-room resort has been a destination unto itself since it first debuted in 2006 on a stretch of sand between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. New life was just breathed into the escape, from the coffered, barreled ceiling of the lobby (now punctuated by green rugs and rich black millwork) to the over-the-top guest baths (now lined in Italian marble) with views of the Atlantic. All the excitement isn’t only enclosed indoors. Young guests can explore the secrets of the ocean at the new aquatic-themed, educationally minded AcquaMarine kids’ club (it’s complimentary!), while adults can loiter at Greek restaurant Avra Miami, set at the new Estates at Acqualina and connected to the main property by a sky bridge. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the ocean while tables are set beneath a bougainvillea-entwined pergola that will have you singing “Mamma Mia” between your saganaki and sea bass plaki.