When it came to developing South Beach’s latest trendsetter, designer Marcel Wanders transformed fantasy into reality.
Wanders’s dollhouse wonderland, Mondrian South Beach, comes with an obscure history that involved dredging up a dilapidated tower from the ocean floor and triumphantly resurrecting the building as “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” with the help of clandestine superheroes and their horses.
The heroes then imprinted the sea’s aesthetic on their new home in the form of spectacular baroque seaweed patterns, chandeliers that resemble jellyfish, self-portraits scattered about the hotel and pieces of furniture of Alice in Wonderland proportions.
The snow-white lobby feels like a surreal winter playground, but the effect is challenged by a mesmerizing floating black staircase and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay. The disco-ball-themed check-in area at Agua Spa, the futuristic automated gift shop and the trendy patrons keep the hotel young and fun.
The design fantasy continues in the pool area via whimsical oversize furnishings, red canopies and huge couches among lounge chairs and the pool itself. This is the best pool in town for watching the Miami sunset — but the hot bodies can be enjoyed at all hours of the day and night.
It’s not just the common areas that rock. The guestrooms are modern and eccentric, with ubiquitous sunset-colored glass pieces (inspired by the hotel’s location), blue and white Dutch porcelain tiles (with paintings of old-school Florida), showerheads in the form of chandeliers, and gravity-defying infinity sinks. Balconies feature picturesque views of South Beach’s beautiful bayside.
What to do
Lay: Day or night, people watching is indisputably the most popular activity in South Beach, especially at Mondrian’s pool, at the beach and along Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive.
Explore: Rent a car and visit the awesome gators, birds and other wildlife of the U.S.’s largest subtropical wilderness in Everglades National Park.
Tour: Go on an Art Deco safari and snap photos of the element that distinguishes South Beach all over the world: the foremost examples of Art Deco design.
Dine: Area 31 was just named Esquire’s best new restaurant – and for good reason. The fresh local fish practically jumps on your plate.
View: Visit the Romero Britto Gallery, which showcases the artist’s distinctive portraits, sculptures and prints, which have become a trademark of South Beach and Miami.
Mondrian South Beach is downright awesome. It is totally glam, international, fun and bitchy – everything one desires from a South Beach vacation.
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