“Welcome to Miami.” Like Will Smith’s song, Miami can easily be seen as a destination with a whole lot of bling, both sophisticated and a tad vulgar. At least, that’s what Fancy Oli expected when he headed there to escape from the Parisian cold. A week after setting foot at Soho Beach House, his opinion made a 180-degree turn. It’s hot, the ocean is crystal clear (with little to no jellyfish this time of year), people are fit and there’s a real artistic vibe that’s developed over the years, namely in the Wynwood Art District. True, you will see a lot of women, and men, who just got out of the plastic surgeon’s office. But who cares? You quickly get used to this sunny lifestyle.
Ideally located in a more northern Miami Beach area, Soho Beach House is close to the major shopping street Lincoln Road without being located in the touristic center. The building, built in 1941 by Roy France, previously hosted the city’s last art deco hotel, The Sovereign. In 2010, it was completely renovated by British interior designers Martin Brudnizki and Nick Jones. Today, Soho Beach House has eclipsed, no crushed, the hip 1990s-era hotels surrounding it. Yes, Delano, that’s you I’m talking about.
Like other Soho Houses around the world, you have to be a member or a hotel guest in order to enjoy the amenities. Here, you will find everything you could wish for: a movie theater, two swimming pools (including a rooftop pool), a private beach, four restaurants, a gym, a huge spa, a barber shop, a library that can be reserved for your party and a signature photo booth.
From 9am, ripe time for those rays of sunlight to give your skin that desired golden hue, you can enjoy your breakfast on the beach loungers of the hotel’s private beach. The service is quick — so long as you tip well — and the meals come straight from the main restaurant, Cecconi’s. Fancy details abound, but here’s a nice one: you get your own cooler so your beverages can stay cool even under the hot sun and heavy humidity.
The hotel’s 49 rooms are each decorated and furnished with antiques, presented in an art deco style. Soho Beach House has a London post-war feel mixed Cuban style. On hot nights, turn on the fan, pour yourself a glass of whisky and let yourself get whisked away to 1930s Miami. All rooms are equipped with Cowshed bath products, bath robes, free Wi-Fi access and iPhone docks.
The hotel’s four restaurants each has a distinct atmosphere. The main one, Cecconi’s serves at all times of the day and provides room service. On the eighth floor rooftop, there’s the Ocho taqueria bar with a stunning view of Miami and the beach. The Club Bar on the second floor serves lunch, cocktails and pre-dinner drinks in a decor that harkens back to 1940s Cuba. And the Mandolin Beach serves a Mexican and Mediterranean menu at lunch. Enjoy your meal with the feat in the sand. The dishes are fresh and delicious. It’s probably the best spot to be when the sun gets a little too strong on the beach.
This hotel does nothing half-way. On Halloween night, October 31, the hotel hosts the fanciest party in town. The common areas are rearranged along a horror movie theme. It’s a totally bizarre and crazy night where Miami’s hip and cool converge. Don’t miss it!
Here’s a little tip: city bike rental stations and car rental companies are just steps from the hotel.
Soho Beach House is a guaranteed hit for your first visit to Miami. It’s way fancier than the W hotel, The Setai or SLS. You feel at home here. Simply put, it’s just the place to be!