What is not to love when a hotel is a homage to Sleeping Beauty’s castleJ? Marcel Wanders, Dutch provocateur, designed Mondrian as a surrealist homage. Three enormous chandeliers sway over the porte cochere, offering perfect paparazzi lighting for A-list guests; an important detail that didn’t and couldn’t escape the designer when so many well-placed pillars come here! The snow-white lobby feels like a dream playground, with a floating black laser-cut staircase, lacquered columns that feel like Brobdingnagian chair legs and chandeliers encased in oversize brass bells.
Bed & Bath
Guestrooms are modern and eccentric, with kaleidoscopic black and white wallpaper, blue and white Delft tiles portraying old-school Florida scenes, and funky graphic rugs. Bathrooms feel whimsical thanks to chandelier-like showerheads, gravity defying infinity sinks and trompe l’oeil mirrors. Clean-lined furniture, white-on-white platform beds and such mod cons as 42-inch plasma TVs and Egyptian cotton sheets keep things grounded.
A meal at the grand 20-foot table at the Restaurant at Mondrian South Beach’s American brasserie feels a bit like attending Alice in Wonderland’s tea party (that is, if the Mad Hatter served branzino with charred lemon and Tuscan kale). The pool is equally magical, with a labyrinthine garden, Queen of Hearts–worthy red thrones and towering hedges that curve into cabanas. It’s the best place in Miami to catch the sunset, and you can show up via boat thanks to the hotel’s marina.
In the Area
Sign up for an Art Deco walking tour with the Miami Design Preservation League, or explore the city’s edgier side with a street art tour. All the hip arty types are slumming it at theBroken Shaker bar, in the new Freehand hostel. Grab a tiki-inspired drink by the fountain before heading out for a rib-sticking dinner dinner of fried chicken and biscuits at Yardbird, or haute seafood at the buzzy Juvia, a South Beach It table perched atop the Herzog and de Meuron–designed 1111 Lincoln Road. SoBe’s Frank Gehry–designed New World Center makes high culture hip with a theater that transforms into a nightclub-style venue mixing electronica and classical music.
What we love
The Jetsetter rate includes a guaranteed room upgrade, complimentary WiFi and 15 percent off food and beverages
The only hotel in South Beach that faces west, with prime views at sunset
The automated gift shop, Semi Automatic, could be from The Jetsons, with gifts up to $5,000 at the touch of a button
The adjustable colors and levels of lighting in the guestrooms
What we know
Body-conscious guests, beware: The hot young Euro scene overtakes the pool, and entry to the bar can be selective on weekends
On the water, the hotel does not have direct beach access, only a 15-minute walk to Ocean Drive and SoBe’s most popular beaches