Miami Beach, Florida
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
Gleaming Sea Star
What it is
A just-revamped 1953 Art Deco retreat on the Atlantic Ocean, with 376 rooms, a glitzy spa and an elevated outdoor pool.
What it isn't
Miserly. Your $45 daily Resort Fee per room includes health and wellness classes, daily punches from Lapidus Bar, loaner bike rentals, beach chair and umbrella service, and, yes, zippy wifi.
What we think
The newly redone guest rooms here epitomize timeless beauty: with intricate bleach white woodwork and azure and mustard-hued furnishings, they could easily have been flown over from Paris for a seafront vacances. If you’re celebrating something—even if it’s simply using those vacation days—you can’t do any better than the Lanai Oceanfront King Suite, which is an 1,100-square-foot dream (with a private balcony) perched overlooking the sea, and has marble-lined bathrooms stocked with robes and Asprey toiletries. Time-crunched guests swear by the Timeless Capsule in the spa, where you can indulge in zippy condensed spa treatments (a move that also works if you want to pack three into the calendar slot of one).
You're here because
The al fresco pool scene is as hot as the August air, and flanked by private cabanas that give you the full JLo on holiday experience.
South Beach is not suffering for see-and-be-seen cocktail bars, but something about Lapidus sets it a glam notch above the rest. Perhaps it’s the cinematic Deco-era interiors, or the tipples themselves; just one coupe of Louis Roederer Brut and you could swear you see DiCaprio twinkling as Gatsby across the bar.
Restaurants & Bars
DiLido Beach Club - All-day dining inspired by Spanish, French and Greek cuisines
Fuego Y Mar - Flavors from Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia come together at this ocean-view restaurant
Lapidus Bar - Table side cocktail service and live music
Wynwood Walls is a great family option because there are larger then life murals and street art. The Children Museum and Jungle Island are great fun for the kids, but another option is the Fairchild Tropical Garden which has gorgeous gardens and rainforests.
On storied Lincoln Road set across from the beach, just an 11 minute walk from Bass Museum of Art, a haven for contemporary art since 1964.