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The SLS South Beach Opening Party Was Like a Dream, Except Weirder

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  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
November 13, 2012 at 9:03 AM | by | Comments (2)

One afternoon last week, we were loitering in the lobby of the semi-new SLS Miami, when a young man wearing pantaloons and a bandana, dancing by himself and making strange, slow-motion gestures, caught our attention. No, the local insane asylum hadn't reported any escapees—this guy was just part of the Gallim Dance Company, an experimental dance troupe who'd been hired for the hotel's grand opening bash the following evening.

Like any conscientious performer, he was simply rehearsing his moves (he eventually got escorted out to the pool, though, since a few guests complained).

Sure enough, when we showed up the following evening, an ensemble of fairies, geishas and Marie Antoinette lookalikes cavorted near the entrance to the hotel, greeting the 1,000+ guests who turned up to the party. A red carpet was even rolled out along the hotel's side entrance for big-name attendees like Rumor Willis (who performed with her band), Reggie Bush, Emilio Estefan, several cast members from the Real Housewives, and, of course, Lenny Kravitz, who designed the hotel's penthouse suite.

For more deets from the event, click below!

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]

Comments (2)

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Huh?

I thought they had been opened for months? Or was that a soft opening?

Yup

Soft opening since June; now they're official. Kind of an effective way of dragging out the buzz as long as possible.

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