Also in attendance were Sam Nazarian (CEO of SLS' parent company, SBE), Philippe Starck, who designed the hotel, and chef Jose Andres, whose Bazaar restaurant (and accompanying Bar Centro) kept guests well fed and watered throughout the evening. LA-imported Japanese restaurant Katsuya served sushi, sashimi, and Japanese-inspired cocktails.
Nor was there any lack of visual attractions, either. A light projector showed monkeys climbing up the side of the building and swinging on chandeliers. Some cocktails were being served out of shoes. And at one end of the pool, a clock was projected onto a curtain of water, making a sort of waterfall timepiece. Cool!
Philippe Starck supposedly wanted to create a "dream world" effect with this hotel, and from what we saw, that mission was accomplished.
To help the dream along, liquor flowed freely. Though as wild as things got, we don't think the uniqueness of the hotel's design, nor its stellar food and beverage offerings, were lost on anyone.
Least of all us: at one point, we asked the bartender to 'whip us up' something fruity but not too sweet. In a flash, she returned with a vodka-lemonade-strawberry concoction that she nicknamed "the Alex" in our honor. And, man! Not only was it delicious, but when we went back for another, she told us ten other guests had already requested the same drink. The Alex was a hit!
We're not sure what the moral of this story is (make friends with weirdos in hotel lobbies? try to get a drink named after you?), but we can tell you we'll be back to SLS South Beach as soon as we get the chance. If not for the fairy dancers, then definitely for the awesome pink-accented rooms.
Want to read our official review of SLS South Beach? Click here.
[Photos: HotelChatter; Seth Browarnik/ WorldRedEye.com; HotelChatter]