Beach + Island

Escaping Winter

by Cathay Che

Thrifty types rejoice at JetBlue's rock-bottom fares; the airline lands at the sane and spiffy Ft. Lauderdale airport, where the Airport Express will pick you up and shuttle you to South Beach in about an hour ($18). There, the new Standard Hotel (pictured), André Balazs's minimalist spa sanctuary, is stylish, sexy—and affordable. For as low as $225 per night in high season, you get blond wood beds layered with white Egyptian cotton; low-slung Modernist couches in the lobby; and a Mud Lounge where guests slather themselves with "clarifying" goop. While it's located on the bay, not the ocean, the stroll to the beach along  Lincoln Road, the pedestrian mall where locals go to parade themselves, makes for great window shopping and people watching (though compared to the beach, those people sure have a lot of clothes on). Hungry? Head over to Calle Ocho, the vibrant main street of Little Havana, where the daily specials at El Pub, such as Cuban roast pork and carne asada, are cheap but filling, and where you can sip syrup-thick cafés cubanos ($1) to fuel you for the rest of the day—and night. But the ultimate budget activity is the beach, hombre! Suit up and head for the sand at South Pointe Park—in front of the glitzy Nikki Beach Club—and just try to keep your wandering eyes to yourself.

Tel: 800 538 2583

Airport Express
Tel: 800 244 8252

Standard Hotel
Tel: 305 673 1717
Fax: 305 673 8181

El Pub
Tel: 305 642 9942

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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