In the mid-’90s when the Delano opened its doors, it not only welcomed a bevy of A-list celebrities and fiercely-hip jet setters, it also marked the second chapter of development in South Beach. Designer Ian Schrager affectionately called his latest creation “undersigned,” a notion that embodies the “less to see, more to feel” mantra South Beach has become known for. Hidden from the street by a wall of greenery, the front terrace, situated just off the main lobby, has an oversized, stark-white couch and inviting chairs suggesting that there is no distinction between indoors and outdoors, formal and casual, fantasy and reality.
Brazilian cherrywood floors and 18,000 feet of white gossamer curtains set the perfect stage for a mix of surreal furniture that pay homage to the likes of Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali. The lobby’s Rose Bar is the just the aperitif for two of South Beach’s most popular dining destinations. First find UMI Sushi & Sake Bar, an elegant communal dining table in the center of the lobby serving Japanese seafood, craft cocktails and a variety of sakes. At the back of the property, overlooking the garden and pool terrace is Bianca, a modern eatery featuring Chef Jason Bamford’s Italian-inspired menu. Terra-cotta stairs lead the way from the restaurant to the Orchard where one would hardly be surprised to see the Mad Hatter or Queen of Hearts playing with the life-size chess pieces, or Alice herself peering into one of the full-length mirrors propped against the trunk of a ficus tree.
A museum-like gift shop (not a flamingo magnet in site), a well-appointed fitness center, a pristine private beach and rooftop Agua Spa that embodies what sitting on a cloud must be like are only a few reasons visitors ignore the beckoning of the outside world for the enchanting haven of relaxation that is the Delano. Late night guests gravitate to FDR Lounge in the lower lobby where a mixed format of live performers and top DJs sets the mood.
• Oceanfront hotel
• 1 block to Lincoln Road
• 3 blocks to Ocean Drive
• 2 blocks to Convention Center