The Delano is in a good spot just to the north of Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, and central to just about everything going on in Miami Beach.
The first thing I reached for entering my room was my sunglasses. The Delano’s inerior designer Philippe Starck likes everything white, pure brilliant bright white, that is, to the point where there’s a danger of snowblindness. It’s worth the extra for the space of a suite because, as with most Miami Beach hotels of the 1930s and 40s, the room sizes are small. But all are stunning in design and décor, with sumptuous bathrooms to match.
There are tall mirrors in the lobby, presumably to allow the rich and the beautiful to be sure they’re looking their best, among floor-to-ceiling drapes. There’s a long walkway past the eat-in Blue Sea sushi kitchen and the cocktail-lovers’ paradise of the Rose Bar leading to the Blue Door (see below), a rather grand orchard terrace outside and the pool area. The funky twin lifts are lit in day-glow neon, which can be a bit disconcerting after a couple of strong margaritas.
Eating and drinking
For me, Miami’s best seafood restaurant is Blue Door Fish, with French chef Claude Troisgros retaining all the elegance and class of its predecessor as he transformed the original Blue Door menu with dozens of new dishes last year. The dining room is elegant but I find the restaurant’s outdoor terrace best for people watching and celeb spotting. Don’t overlook the Blue Sea sushi bar or the Plat Blue brasserie for an upmarket quick bite.
A gorgeous rooftop solarium, with all-round views of Miami and the ocean, accents the Agua spa, which is consistently popular with locals as much as hotel guests. The fitness room isn’t the biggest but most guests are there for the pool scene. Bouncers are keen to ensure the pool deck remains guests only, if only to stop prying eyes from seeing which actor or music star (Lenny Kravitz designed the adjacent Florida Room piano lounge/nightclub) is behind the cabana curtains.
It ranges from adequate to superlative depending on how high up the celebrity ladder you have climbed.
Who stays there
Plenty of celebrities wanting to be seen, and plenty of young trendies wanting to see them. Plus couples seeking a relaxing holiday by day and plenty of action at night.
Be aware that extras here (bottled water in rooms, parking etc) are very much at the top end of the scale.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Live entertainment
- People watching
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Best seafood restaurant in town
- Hotel's class and status
- Top celebrity hangout
- Extra loud music on pool deck
- Hugely expensive
- Small rooms