Beachcraft not open for lunch; only open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday
The luxurious, 426-room 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach opened in March 2015 after a complete renovation (it was formerly Perry South Beach, and the Gansevoort Miami Beach before that). The 1 Hotel brand is extremely eco-conscious and the entire hotel has environment-friendly features including salvaged wood, hemp mattresses, and take-home socks instead of disposable slippers. Top-notch amenities include direct beach access; four pools, including one on the roof; three bars and fine-dining restaurant; fitness center; event spaces; and Tesla car service within a three-mile radius. But the spa isn't opening until 2016. The property is relaxed, so if you're looking for a bigger party vibe, check out the nearby Delano or Thompson Miami Beach.
Luxurious and beautifully decorated hotel with eco-friendly features
At one time the Gansevoort Miami Beach, and then the Perry South Beach, the 1 Hotel South Beach opened in March 2015 after extensive renovations. The 1 Hotel brand incorporates eco-friendly practices whenever possible, noticeable immediately upon arrival; the building's white facade is decorated with lush greenery and potted plants line the entrance. Inside, the decor scheme of beachy whites and beiges coupled with wooden accents and greenery create a luxe but comfortable setting. Clusters of couches, tree stump tables, and a wall mural made of patches of grass dominate the large lobby. A concierge desk made of one large piece of wood, wooden ceilings, white rock walls, energy-efficient elevators, and large plants behind the check-in desks continue the green vibe.
The high rates and eco-conscious practices appeal to well-heeled travelers who are primarily couples, though families, business professionals, and solo guests will feel welcome. With four pools, direct beach access and service, a kids' club, multiple bars and a restaurant, there are plenty of spaces for guests and the atmosphere is relaxed. The more party-oriented crowd is likely to frequent the adult-only rooftop pool and bar, which opens to the public at 6 p.m.
In Miami Beach with direct beach access, about 10 blocks north of the main South Beach hot spots
At 23rd Street on Collins Avenue, the 1 Hotel is at the northern tip of South Beach. One of the main features of the hotel is its direct beach access, where guests can enjoy 600 feet of sandy beach on very comfy loungers under umbrellas. But the 1 Hotel is a bit cut off from the more iconic Art Deco architecture that South Beach is best known for -- you're about a seven-block (10-minute) walk from the famous Delano or Raleigh hotels, and it's a relatively interesting but not particularly short 15- to 20-minute hike from the outdoor cafe and people-watching circuit along Ocean Drive at Lummus Park. Likewise, you've got a long walk (or short cab ride) from the dining or shopping along the Lincoln Road Mall. And Collins Avenue, this far north, turns from a quaint two-lane road into much busier four-lane thoroughfare with empty lots, yet-renovated condos, and relatively little retail. For the all-night vitality that South Beach is known for, you'll have to head at least five blocks south. The hotel does have Tesla cars available to take you within a three-mile radius of the property. Additionally, the Bass Museum of Art is only a couple blocks away and the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Botanical Gardens, and the Holocaust Memorial are all within walking distance.
Gorgeous, large rooms with eco-friendly features and modern amenities
The pretty design scheme of whites, beiges, and wood continue into the rooms and suites. The guest rooms -- which start at a whopping 700 square feet -- are stacked with eco-friendly features at every turn. They have comfortable beds featuring hemp mattresses, organic sheets, and soft blue blankets; oblong wooden desks; HEPA air filters; and glass terrariums with cacti and succulents. Bathrooms are sleek and spacious, including both showers and bathtubs; hairdryers; and bulk toiletries. A stocked minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, yoga mat, and triple filtered water system are also in every room. Modern technology features include free Wi-Fi, a 55-inch flat-screen TV, bluetooth wooden speakers that connect to mobile devices, and a Field Guide on Nexus phone where guests can order in-room dining, concierge service, and control the TV and thermostat. (Note that some guests have complained about the Field Guides not working properly.) Other unique touches include nightstand chalkboards instead of paper notepads, take-home socks instead of disposable slippers, and cotton jersey robes. Rooms are either City, Ocean View, or Ocean Front, and many have spacious balconies complete with tables and chairs.
Top amenities include four pools, beach service, fitness center, and meeting spaces, but there's no spa (yet)
Guests at 1 Hotel have direct access to a 600-foot stretch of sandy beach where staff will set up comfortable lounge chairs and umbrellas; food and drink service, a VIP section, and kids' play area is available on the beach as well. But guests have to descend a steep set of stairs to get to it, which could pose a problem for those with limited mobility. If swimming in pools is more your thing, there are four to choose from -- a large pool on the main deck; a sleek rooftop pool; the Cabana Pool, which converts into a hot tub; and the South Pool, which is the largest and closest to the beach. The pools are outfitted with extremely plush loungers and cabanas can be rented.
For business travelers, there's a business center and several spaces available for meetings or events. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Valet parking is pricey, but the hotel provides a Tesla car service that will take guests anywhere within a three-mile radius. Guests that have electric cars can charge them for free. The fitness center is spacious and consists of multiple rooms, including cardio and strength-training machines, and free weights. The spa isn't set to open until 2016, but guests can arrange for in-room massages. A kids' club is also available.
Fine dining at Beachcraft Restaurant; a daily lobby farmstand; and three chic bars
Helmed by renowned chef Tom Colicchio, Beachcraft is the hotel's only full restaurant. It serves upscale farm-to-table fare, with an emphasis on fresh seafood, for breakfast, brunch on weekends, and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. The two-level space has a beach-chic vibe, an open kitchen, brown leather booths, and wooden tables. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Other farm-fresh fare can be purchased at the Lobby Farmstand, which takes place during the afternoons daily; fruits, vegetables, nuts, and more are all present.
The hotel is also home to Tom on Collins, the lobby bar with eight counter seats and ample plush couches and chairs extending into the main lobby area; the seasonal cocktails, wine and beer on tap, and menu of small plates is also overseen by Colicchio. Live music, ranging from Cuban to jazz, takes place here on select nights. Down by the Main Pool, The Sandbox is a covered area with a bar and arrangements of plush white couches and ottomans. Guests can order drinks and cantina-inspired dishes like tacos from 11 a.m. to dusk. The more happening bar scene can be found at the Rooftop Bar, as it opens up to the public in the early evening.
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