Best Hotel Opening of 2012: SLS South Beach
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
If you've been following the ups and downs of the Miami hotel scene this year, you already know that the opening of SLS South Beach was a big deal. Beachfront property on a prime stretch of Collins Ave, dazzling Philippe Starck design (with a little help from Lenny Kravitz), and, of course, those absurd 750lb silver ducks.
But SLS South Beach also managed to assert itself as a key player in the international hotel scene as well, transcending its local celebrity status to become something people all over the world were talking about. It didn't hurt that, several months after opening, it was primed to host VIP events during Miami's buzziest time of the year: Art Basel.
Needless to say, we had some pretty high expectations when we checked into the SLS in June. And the hotel didn't disappoint one bit. In fact, we enjoyed hanging in our City View King room so much, we barely even noticed it was missing the complimentary iPad (which is supposed to be included with all the rooms).
From the cozy day bed to the compact pink-and-white bathrooms to the well-stocked minibar, it was clear that this hotel not only looks good but is incredibly functional too.
Of course, there are some delightful public spaces and restaurants as well: The Bazaar, Katsuya, Hyde Beach, and that glorious pool (pictured). Pretty much everywhere you turn, there's something fun and weird to look at (including yourself).
We paid an introductory rate of $381.36 when we stayed, but these days starting rates hover closer to $450/night, which isn't exactly cheap, but for the service you get here, we think it's worth it.
We're excited, to say the least, about the next SLS, slated to open in New York next year. At the rate these guys are going, you might very well be seeing the letters "SLS" in next year's HotelChatter Awards too!