1 Hotel South Beach is definitely a new take on the word luxury – and the market like it, to such an extent that the average length of stay in the 426-room property is 3.1 nights. Barry Sternlicht and a New York developer, Richard LeFrak, bought what had opened as Gansevoort South Beach, with residences, and converted it to the vibrant place it is today. Enter the property, at 2341 Collins, and you are immediately in front of a living wall: around you are neutral colours, and purple orchids and their foliage hanging from the ceiling. There is a flower shop right here in the lobby and, says the gal, a to-go kiosk.
I headed up to 340, a spacious suite with balcony – see the video, below, to tour the suite. I especially liked having a supply of thrice-filtered water on tap (see the image to the right), but those who want to can pay $6 for bottled water, in paper containers, from the minibar (or pay ten times that for Taittinger, Brut or Rosé). It is all very thoughtful, but luxury, too. Bedlinens are the finest, unlike in some of the eco-hotels I have experienced in Europe. According to a highly-informative hotel newsletter, 73% of guests recycle during their stay, and 48% say that being here has helped them think differently about recycling back home. I hear from my new friend Shadi Omeish, GM of the hotel, that he personally learns a lot about what he calls Mother Earth from his eight-year-old daughter, who heads her school’s sustainability committee. The commendable overall statement, however, is that there is no hint of deprivation during a stay at this new-look luxury hotel. Dining opportunities, for example, are numerous: as well as that kiosk, there is a fabulous three-meals BeachCraft by Tom Colicchio, who also runs Tom on Collins lobby bar. Rooftop, there is Watr, sic, and on the second floor a fascinating vegan+more concept, Plnthouse, run by Matt Kenney.
I have a made-to-order smoothie called Cacao Green, namely anandamide, avocado, banana, coconut, dates, hemp, kale, metabolism-stimulator moringa and vitamineral greens, with added reishi mushrooms. Did I feel deprived? No way, I felt even more full of energy….
And now SEE MY VIDEO BELOW