Palihouse Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Hip, $$ (From $200)
On an overbooked flight out of New York, a bunch of us art enthusiasts said bienvenidos a Miami en route to sunnier skies, open-toed shoes, a $120,000 duct-taped banana, and lots and lots of traffic. Yes: Art Basel Miami Beach. It was my second time attending the brief and dizzying extravaganza, making my way through the various art fairs with hundreds of galleries and artists, museum soirees, fashion pop ups, and guest DJ appearances, all while trying to soak up some sun. Rough life, I know. Aware of the forthcoming exhaustion (and inescapable hangovers), I knew I wanted a place to stay that was laid-back and conveniently located, with good vibes, strong coffee, and outdoor space to recharge and boost my vitamin D between the madness.
Cue Palihouse Miami Beach, the hotel brand's first East Coast outlet in a dazzling restored Art Deco building in the most prime area of Miami Beach. Bringing the California spirit to the Atlantic, the 71-room hotel offers stylish residential-style guest rooms with retro kitchenettes, a secluded yet lively garden and outdoor pool, and a social club offering monthly cookouts and BYO-pup parties for you and your favorite plus one. I took advantage of the hotel's Beach Butler service, wherein friendly staff packed chairs, umbrellas, and picnic lunches into a vintage Moke and shuttled me to the beach. At night, I browsed through the extensive list of mezcal-based muddles at the lobby bar while live artists painted the town neon.
Location: A quieter corner of the Sunshine State's party capital, Miami Beach, specifically, Mid-Beach on 31st Street.
The Vibe: California cool with boho Mediterranean flair.
This Place Is Perfect For: Art fair-goers who want a laid-back retreat from the madness, freelancers "working from" Miami, and couples escaping East Coast winters.
But Not So Perfect For: All ages are welcome, but the hotel isn't exactly family-friendly.
What's On Site: Greenbrier Swim & Social is the hotel's palm-lined outdoor pool, counter bar, creek-facing patio, and lobby lounge all in one. Vintage-inspired parasols and striped day beds line the kidney-shaped pool, where mezcal and tequila sippers get the party started. To access the beach, beach butlers will drive you across the street in the house Moke and set up chairs, umbrellas, and picnic lunches (with a bottle of rosè, of course). Once you've had enough sand and sea, the butlers will return to collect you and can drop you off in any nearby neighborhood on the strip (if you ask nicely). Bikes are also available for the boardwalk.
Food + Drink: The lobby serves an all-day menu of tried-and-true American classics: club sandwiches, lobster rolls, and healthy breakfast bowls. Food is served all day until 11 p.m., with breakfast from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (hello, snooze button). There's a counter bar in the lobby and one by the pool where friendly bar wizards shake up spicy margaritas and smoky night caps.
Rooms: Like all Pali properties, guest rooms are packed with charming details like striped headboards, terracotta walls, vintage rugs, and the letter P proudly branded on cushions and chic Turkish bathrobes. Studio Queen and King rooms offer apartment-style kitchenettes with Smeg fridges, bar accoutrements, Nespresso coffee machines, and a fully-stocked snack bar. Request a balcony room with a classic Floridian view of the Indian Creek waterway and its speed boats. Nighty sunsets are an added perk, as most are conveniently Western-facing.
In-Room Amenities: Tablets feature curated neighborhood guides to the Miami area, all-day room service, coffee and tea kits, and plush Egyptian-cotton bedding to sink into after late Miami nights.
Drawbacks: There's no spa or fitness center, however the hotel can arrange for spa treatments at nearby hotels that also allow access to their gyms.
Standout Detail: The community spirit and welcoming staff who appear to enjoy the space just as much as the guests. You'll see the concierge staff hanging at the communal lobby table for meetings, and bartenders sharing a post-shift beer together. After a few hours, all the guests are on a first-name basis.
What to Do Nearby: You can see great art year-round in Miami without the Art Basel frenzy. The newly-relocated and renamed Rubell Museum (formerly the Rubell Family Collection) debuted during Art Basel in a new home in Allapattah, less than a mile from its Wynwood location, housed in six large-scale industrial buildings. The inaugural exhibition includes 300 works from 100 artists, including highlights from longtime Rubell favorites Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Oscar Murillo, and Richard Prince, along with such younger, buzzed-about artists as Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Cy Gavin, and Allison Zuckerman. Another must-see is the Perez Art Museum's Teresita Fernández: Elemental exhibition showcasing a comprehensive view of Fernandez's career and her use of natural elements such as graphite, onyx, mirrors, glass, and charcoal, to create experimental landscapes that speak to the fiery and politically-charged landscape of the U.S.
What to Pack: Swimsuits of course. Particularly retro-style to match the hotel's decor. It can get windy at night in Miami, so pack a light sweater or jacket.