5 Hotel Lobby Bars To Visit During Miami Art Week
The world is set to descend on Miami at the start of December for Miami Art Week. In a frenzied week of art fairs and installations, parties and happenings, concerts and events, there's perhaps no better retreat than inside the plush lobby bar of a glittering hotel. Fortunately for everyone on the art circuit, this is something South Beach has in spades. The decor of these lobbies are often deemed works of art unto themselves with superstar designers leaving their signatures on the environments they've created, not to mention that some even boast their own collection of contemporary art. Whether it's a respite from the crowds or an intimate opportunity to rub shoulders, here's five of our favorite hotel lobby bars perfect for recharging — cocktail in hand — before the next big event.
1. Living Room at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences
Located next to Collins Park where Art Basel's Art Public installations will be on view, the W South Beach is uniquely positioned by one of the most exciting attractions during Miami Art Week. Outside the entrance to the hotel, notice a trio of bronze sculpture fountains by Tom Sachs rendering an ironic take on Sanrio's characters Hello Kitty, Miffy, and My Melody. Inside the lobby, works by contemporary masters Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Richard Prince hang. Slip into Living Room, one of the 50 best bars of 2012 according to Food & Wine magazine. It's set to unroll a brand new cocktail program just in time for Art Basel under nationally-renowned, San Francisco-based mixologist Scott Beattie. Lounge on cozy Mongolian alpaca chairs, Italian sofas, or velvet armchairs while sipping artistic artisanal cocktails, like the Crimson Cooler, made with Buddha's Hand citron vodka infused with ginger, shiso, and galangal, along with marinated blueberries, and mint.
2. Bar Centro at the SLS South Beach The dazzling new kid on Collins Avenue is a Beverly Hills transplant. Enter the playful, yet sleek lobby of the SLS, designed by South Beach darling Phillipe Starck, complete with whimsical touches, such as a mounted bull's head donning a lucha-libre mask and an oversized chandelier made completely of white seashells. The space is designed as an indoor/outdoor wonderland where food and drink are the main attraction. Outside, Bar Centro's expansive shaded patio overlooks two pools and the Atlantic Ocean. Slump into a cushy, pastel-accented rattan chair and order one of Lucas Paya's avant garde molecular cocktails. Think, margaritas topped with frothy salt air, a daiquiri named for Hemingway's mistress accompanied by a cocoa and maraschino cherry-flavored lipstick, and caipirhinas created tableside with liquid nitrogen.
3. Rose Bar at the Delano South Beach
The Delano's place as an iconic South Beach hotel has remained unshakable through the years. Its Phillipe Starck-designed lobby went through renovations this summer helmed by Sam Robin Inc., but still boasts furniture and objects curated by Starck, including work by Antonio Gaudi, Man Ray and Salvador Dali. An infusion of energy from Las Vegas-based The Light Group has also brought new excitement to the hotel's nightlife and culinary options, as well as a focus on mixology at the Rose Bar. This intimate lobby bar is nestled behind a picture frame, wooden proscenium with Venetian glass chandeliers and a marble bar. Cocktail offerings range from a classic bellini to a tequila-based cocktail featuring passionfruit and fresno chilies. Order your cocktail of choice at the bar or get cozy in the lobby on a chaise lounge draped with a faux fur blanket.
4. Bleau Bar at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach
From the iconic Morris Lapidus-designed bow tie tile floors, to the glamorous "stairway to nowhere," and the golden Ai Weiwei chandeliers seemingly dripping from the heavens, the expansive lobby of the Fontainebleau offers a modern reference to the glitzy bygone era of the 1950s and '60s in Miami Beach. At the centerpiece, is the massive and always-buzzing Bleau Bar, complete with sleek white lounge furniture and floors that change color from pink to blue, and every shade in between. Sip on signature cocktails like the Bramble, made with Plymouth gin, muddled black berries, and créme de cassis, all set to the beat of a nightly live DJ set.
5. Club Bar at the Soho Beach House
When it comes to hobnobbing with celebrities and VIPs during Art Basel, there may be no better place than at the members-only Soho Beach House. A haven for media and creative professionals, expect a host of private parties and dinners throughout the week. Gain entry to the second floor Club Bar and sip a Honeycomb Caipirinha inside the rustic, yet plush bar complete with Italian-tiled floors, white-washed wood details, and a tufted purple banquette with throw pillows. Outside offers terrace seating overlooking the ocean. While the Club Bar is only accessible to members and their guests, Cecconi's patio bar on the first floor, reminiscent of a shady Venetian piazza, is open to the public and just as pleasant.