Quora asks: Can you suggest a cool place to stay in Miami Beach?
[Uh, yes. With one hand tied behind my back and half my brain doing something else entirely, no less.]
It all depends on your definition of "cool." Because of my position, people are forever asking me where to go, and I’m always a bit amazed that people don’t realize the proper suggestions aren’t always as elementary as they think.
For example, with all due respect to Casey Fraites, in my personal opinion, the Delano hasn’t been "cool" since 1997. That’s not to say it isn’t "cool," of course. I’m sure it’s quite cool if you’re a New Jersey suburbanite who simply doesn’t know any better, or gay, or European, or a European gay— who may arguably be the coolest people of all, but again, it’s all subjective.
In any case, my particular sentiment is: right now the coolest places in Miami Beach are the Setai, Soho House, The W, The Standard, and SLS (because it’s new). They’re all "cool" in different ways, though.
My all-time favorite is the Setai, hands down. It also happens to be the most expensive. I find it cool, because I’m verrry discerning. But just to delineate my point, I stumbled upon an article in a local Miami magazine on my most recent visit, and it stated something along the lines of the Setai being "stale." Other people might take this to heart; I happen to be that possibly rare person who’s sagacious enough to understand that Ocean Drive magazine (published by Niche Media) is just totally fucking tasteless.
And it would appear that Michael Eisner, Vera Wang, Hamish Bowles, and John Utendahl all agree with me, all fellow guests whom I’ve spotted during my latest stays. Sorry for the name dropping, just trying to make a point.
Which is to say: perhaps all that is a bit too bourgeois for you. Maybe you’re more a bohemian hipster type, and being around all those old people making all that money just gives you a rash. Then The Standard is for you. Be forewarned though, it’s on the bayside, not the beach side. If it’s a super fierce poolside scene you seek (and your hair and face and swimsuit are too sexy for the sea), then the The Standard is right up your alley.
Soho House: it’s private membership only, forget it. It’s too far away anyway.
The W: Young bankers and ballers and Wall Street types who are all making money but haven’t quite graduated to the Setai (not enough babes there) level.
SLS: It’s new! OMG, it’s new! Very "hot," very "cool." If, ya know, that’s your thing. Your red-soled peep-toe pumps will fit in quite nicely here.
Other sorta "cool" places to consider that won’t make "cool" people raise an eyebrow too zealously when you tell them you’ve stayed there: The Shore Club, the Raleigh, the Mondrian (also bayside), the Tides, and maaaybe the Ritz Carlton.
Hope that helps.