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Colour and luxury hotels on Miami Beach

Classic car parked on Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Parked on Collins

Oh the colour of Miami Beach.  The gal loves it.  Take this amazing car, on Collins and 12th. It looks as if it is parked here fulltime.

Talking of which it is time for a bit of retail. The Webster, at 1220 Collins, is another of the amazing 1940s luxury hotels, all Art Deco, that give the whole Beach area its unique character.  It is a contemporary of the gorgeous The Raleigh, and so many others.

Shoes at The Webster - Miami Beach

Shoe at The Webster

But The Webster is now a shopping emporium.  What was its lobby was turned into a champagne and caviar bar but it is now a general snack bar, a kind of upmarket Borders (sip and browse one of the esoteric tomes laid oh so casually around).

The rear of the main floor, and upstairs, are now display areas.  Outside every label you can imagine, from Dolce & Gabbana to Mark Jacobs and more, are listed on banners on the street.  Inside every label is hidden so how do you know what is what?

More shoes at The Webster

More shoes at The Webster

The display is just divine, even if you dare not touch the items in case you dirty them and have to buy them.  The owners of this concept are long-time Gucci specialist Frederic Dechnik, plus former Balenciaga staffer Laura Heriard Dubreuil and a creative ‘genius’ called Milan Vukmirovic, whose past includes creative director of both the Gucci Group and Jil Sander.

Apparently there is a new on-site manager and I must admit I thought the entire place a little less characterful than on my previous visit six months ago (if you want REALLY great and addictive retail, check out the boutique in the lobby of W South Beach, sensational, and the place is designed by Yabu Pushelberg).

The Victor Hotel, morphing into Thompson Ocean Drive

The Victor, morphing into Thompson Ocean Drive

Best retail at a hotel anywhere in the world, according to the definitive World Travel Awards announced in Doha, Qatar, last night, is at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

I agree with that assessment.  This is the hotel that adjoins a real, live, indoor ski slope, plus, at ambient rather than freezing temperatures, a three-floor mall with every designer stores you can think of.

Back to Miami Beach, gal. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, who divide their time between New York and Toronto, are two of my favourite designers.  Am thrilled that they are going to re-do the former Victor, which is currently morphing into Thompson Ocean Drive.

Looking down at the Victor's Arabesque-shaped terrace pool

Looking down at the Arabesque-shaped terrace pool

The hotel (this one is 1937 vintage, and also L. Murray Dixon, like The Raleigh) now belongs to Jordache, the jeans company founded by the Naskah (Naccache) family, originally from Syria.  Right now the interiors are Jacques Garcia in an early stage, with too many different colours and far too many beaded and tasselled hangings, some falling from faux jellyfish shapes. It will be good to see what Yabu Pushelberg does.

Love the seven floor hotel’s two Penthouse suites, one with a360-degree view private terrace and view down to the arabesque pool far below.  Love the people here, led by German Nico Hallwass, and the French fries, which, with merely a salad, and some guacamole to start, made an ideal lunch. Love life, gal.