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SLS Hotel South Beach, Miami

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 21 01:01 PM

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Just when we thought the food truck craze had peaked, star chef José Andrés is rolling out his own version poolside at the SLS Hotel South Beach. This Miami counterpart to the Los Angeles glamour spot opens mid-April with 142 rooms designed by Philippe Starck.

Andrés's fancy food truck has also been designed by Starck, as is the hotel's restaurant, a reprise of Bazaar's rustic-molecular mashup. Complete with some colorful touches by a graffiti artist, the truck will dispense haute grub to guests who like a side of street with their South Beach. We think this calls for a road trip.

Photo: Courtesy of SLS Hotel South Beach

The Shelborne, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, November 29 01:27 PM

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It's all about grand entrances in Miami. And tomorrow's unveiling of the Shelborne South Beach, a 70-year-old Art Deco/MiMo masterpiece reimagined to the tune of $20 million, is no exception.

The big reveal starts when you drive up to the Morris Lapidus-inspired floating porte cochere (the robotic garage will take it from there). Check into one of the 200 beachy-pink guest rooms, then sashay down a glass-railed catwalk from the infinity pool to a new elevated sundeck. The approach from the beach is just as stylish, in a more laid-back way: Grab a taco and tequila at Lucy's Cantina Royale before settling in for some sandy people-watching. In a place as over-the-top as South Beach, sometimes simplicity is the grandest gesture of all.

Photo: Courtesy of Add Inc.

The Dutch, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 23 12:10 PM

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When New York City's arty set flies south for Art Basel Miami Beach next month, it'll feel right at home at the new South Beach outpost of the Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's Soho restaurant. Located in the glitzy W South Beach, this cool spot combines driftwood beams with white brick and vintage photos of old Florida to create a homespun cocoon of class.

As at the Soho original, the focus here is a cross-cultural stew of culinary influences, from Morocco to Italy and the coastal South, sourced locally and tweaked to a Miami Latin palate. Think Florida avocado and citrus smoked pepper salad, lobster in a spicy coconut sauce, and sour orange pie for dessert. Cocktails nod to SoBe with pineapple-infused mezcal, house-made jerk bitters, and fresh-squeezed cantaloupe juice. A perfect toast to the avant-garde.

Photo: Courtesy of The Dutch

Legoland, Winter Haven, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, October 26 01:08 PM

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Build it and they will come. That's the theory behind Florida's newly opened Legoland theme park. Spanning 150 acres, it's the world's largest Legoland and is positively stacked with attractions, including rides--try the junior roller-coaster that dips and loops through a jungle populated by animated and Lego brick dinosaurs--and a section called Fun Town, where you can see how those ingenious bricks are made.

The can't-miss attraction, in our book, is Miniland USA, featuring intricately detailed scale models of cities and landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Las Vegas Strip, and Washington, D.C., complete with mini replicas of the First Family (hi there, Bo!) plus tiny cherry trees that blossom every spring. Move over Harry Potter, there's a new (plastic brick) kid in town.

Photo: Courtesy of Legoland

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Miami, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, October 18 01:09 PM

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It may be in the South, but Miami has always chosen hard bodies over barbecue, bottle service over bourbon shots. That's all about to change, thanks to former Top Chef-er Jeff McInnis. The Panhandle native's new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is putting the deep-fried South into South Beach.

Within the cozy confines of the reclaimed barn-wood walls, you can throw calorie counting to the wind with sweet tea-brined ribs, skillet-fried chicken and waffles, and pimento cheese jars. Wash it all down with one of 51 bourbons, including house-made infusions such as peach or bacon. McInnis and crew are currently serving lunch and dinner, with brunch coming soon. Because nothing cures a bottle service hangover like beignets and buttermilk biscuits.

Photo: Courtesy of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, June 03 07:00 AM

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Putting on the Ritz is generally a pricey proposition. But on June 10, ten lucky travelers will be able to reserve a room at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne for a mere tenner. That's right, for less than the cover charge at your average Miami club, you could be curled up beneath Frette linens, soaking in a marble bath, or lounging by one of two oceanfront pools.

Interested? The offer--to celebrate the resort's tenth anniversary--is available for stays on July 5-7, 10-13, 18, and 25-26. If you want to keep the $10 theme going while you're there, try a $10 spa treatment, enjoy a $10 three-course dinner in the resort's Italian restaurant, or toast your good luck with a $10 bottle of Champagne.

Have your phone at the ready at 10 am ET on June 10, because the bargain rates are first-come, first-served. The all-important number to have on speed dial is 305-365-4582. Competition will be fierce, but who knows, sometimes life's a beach.

Photo: Courtesy of Kikor Photography / The Ritz-Carlton

Sagamore Hotel CEO Package, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, May 27 07:00 AM

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From interactive wine lists to loaners in the lobby lounge, iPads are becoming de rigueur in top hotels. Only problem is, those shiny toys aren't yours to keep. Not so at the Sagamore in Miami Beach. Through September 30, the hotel's Chief Entertainment Officer package rewards penthouse stays with more than marble floors, sweeping ocean views, and bragging rights. South Beach CEOs also score a free iPad2 on checkout.

In the stylish suite, accessible by private elevator, crisp white-on-white decor is offset by framed curiosities from the hotel's lauded Cricket Taplin Collection of contemporary art. Three bedrooms and two baths offer enough space for you and five friends, while the whirlpool tub, 42-inch plasma TV, gaming systems, and fully stocked kitchen bar invite partying like it's your job. Being top brass comes with other perks, too: There's executive dining on an 1,800-square-foot terrace, corporate limo (complimentary from the airport), and an expense account (bottle of Moët on arrival, free breakfast buffet, daily beach chairs). Leggy interns? That's on you.

Sagamore CEO package starts at $1,300, two-night minimum. Book via e-mail or phone by May 31.

Photo: Courtesy of Sagamore, The Art Hotel

Waldorf Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, April 15 03:14 PM

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Leopard-print thongs, rollerblading grandmas, body-painted dancers...Miami's South Beach scene may be known for a lot of things, but cheap Art Deco beachfront living ain't one of them. Until now: Welcome to the waterfront, Waldorf.

Room Mate Hotels' latest budget boutique, opening this spring, was renovated from the bones of the 65-year-old Waldorf Towers (no relation to Astoria). The 44 Art Deco rooms have been given a funky overhaul, with an airy Miami vibe that hits the right balance between comfy and sleek.

The spunky Spanish chainlet attracts a young, hip set willing to trade large rooms for prime location, free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and comfy beds at affordable prices (from $139)--kind of like crashing in the (very cushy) guest room of a savvy friend. And like a good friend, Room Mate is giving you a break: 25 percent off Web rates on five standard and five deluxe rooms from the hotel's opening through October 15, 2011 (minus Memorial Day weekend). Book using code rmwaldorf, and tell 'em we say hola.

Photo: Courtesy of Room Mate Hotels

Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, February 04 03:21 PM

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The most surreal experience in Florida these days isn't the flying wizards over at Universal Orlando, it's behind the walls of a new museum in St. Petersburg. The Salvador Dali Museum houses more of the surrealist's masterworks than any gallery in the world.

The 2,140-piece collection sits in a concrete fortress that appears under attack from a curving crystalline blob (Dali would have approved). Though the structure, designed by renowned architectural firm HOK, appears fantastical, there is an element of the practical to it. The building's 18-inch-thick walls are designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, to protect all those melting clocks and Dada dreams. And that is something to twirl your mustache at.

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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