I am a huge fan of Miami (especially South Beach, where I am currently writing from). It has all the luxury, trend and glamour of New York without any of the high stress, or as it is currently winter, cold weather. So when my girlfriends and I decided to relax after a week long hiking adventure in Peru, Miami seemed like the most obvious choice. But when I logged onto the usual suspects to book a hotel, I quickly became overwhelmed with all the choices this city offers. We wanted something decadant, but the streets here are lined with boutique hotel after boutique hotel and I had no idea where to start. I did not want to end up at a “Insert 5 star sounding name” hotel that actually turns out to be a 2-star (and trust me, there are a lot of those here). So I went with a name that all New Yorkers know well, Hotel Gansevoort, which opened its Miami outpost earlier this year.
The Gansevoort South is a breathtaking oceanfront luxury resort that features 334 huge guest rooms (averaging over 730sq ft each), 3 pools, and some of the hottest names in services and dining. Forget about your average hotel gym, The Gansevoort South hosts the 45,000 sq ft flagship David Barton Gym + Spa, which I was actually inspired to check out while on vacation. Just being in the club like space alone makes you feel beautiful and energetic, but if you need any extra motivation, the gym’s full range of services including personal training and classes are available to hotel guests.
Poolside lounging is more my tempo of exercise, so after I gymmed away some guilt, I spent most of my time by the third floor infinity pool, reading magazines and chowing down delicious food from the Pool Plaza, managed by The ONE Group (STK, TenJune, Bagatelle). When I wasn’t there, I was either at Cutler getting my hair blown out or prancing around in disbelief at how nice my suite was. As TDO readers know, we’re big fans of the Culter salons in New York and when I bumped into Rodney at a party, he invited me to check out his newest creation here at the Gansevoort South. I definitely checked it out all right…in the form of getting a blow out every day. My most difficult daily decision I had to make was round brush or straight?
And the rooms themselves? AMAZING. I’ve been to my share of nice hotels, but our rooms at the Gansevoort South beat any that I’ve stayed at. We got 2 adjacent rooms that opens up into a suite with a connecting living room. We had three oversized bathrooms in our suite – complete with stone showers that let you adjust water temperature to the exact degree, huge tubs, 5 sinks, and a range of hair and body care products from Cutler. My bathroom was bigger than my bedroom in New York and my personal hotel bedroom was about the size of my entire apartment. The space is sleek and playful at the same time: modern design with pops of pink, green, and blue. The bed was the most comfortable thing in the world, beating even the Heavenly beds by far. I must own one some day. Each room is also equipped with large screen LCD TVs, iPod docking stations, free wireless, robes, slippers, and endless towels.
The service here is really top notch – going even beyond what I’ve gotten at other nice hotels. For example, the hotel knew that I was flying in at 5:30 am and they had the room ready and waiting for me! My friends and I were at once unbelievably impressed and incredibly grateful. Housekeeping noticed the tiniest details such as emptying out the wine cooler and lining up our shoes. When my friends were having some trouble opening a bottle of wine, someone even came up to help!
Three years ago, I celebrated my birthday at plunge at the Hotel Gansevoort in New York and this year, I celebrated it at plunge the Gansevoort South. (Funny how things work out sometimes.) This club/lounge is open to all hotel guests and has become the go-to place in South Beach. The line to get up was massive on Saturday night and I definitely felt a little smug when I could enter via the hotel guests-only elevator. The rooftop features a 110 ft long swimming pool lined with palm trees and cabanas over looking the city and ocean. You can eat poolside while watching the sunset, and then get your party on with their delish signature cocktails after dinner. I recommend their white wine sangria. Wilhelmina Modeling Agency has their Miami office on the third floor of the hotel and sometimes, their models hang out upstairs creating immediate beautiful ambience. The only problem? It was really windy when we were there, so we weren’t able to enjoy for as long as we would’ve liked. However, they let guests take drinks down to their rooms. We ended up having our cocktails in our pjs on the comfy couch. It was actually perfect.
The Gansevoort South is truly a playground for adults. Unlike some other luxury hotels, it doesn’t come with any of the stuffiness but brings all the fun. The location is perfect – right in the middle of everything that South Beach has to offer. Starting at $600 per room per night, staying at the Gansevoort isn’t exactly cheap but completely do-able if you’re sharing with girlfriends. However, if staying here isn’t in your near future, get dolled up and go for a drink on your next Miami trip.
More information and eye candy can be found on the official website.
Special thanks to The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) for facilitating our visit.