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The Standard Miami Beach, Miami Beach 

40 Island Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 673 1717
view web site ›'s insider take:

Owner André Balazs needed to offer some enticement to compensate for his hotel's location, on the bay side of South Beach (15 minutes from the sand). Hence, the on-site, all-access spa that occupies the entire third floor with treatment rooms and a unisex hammam (there's a gym on the second floor). The hammam and sauna provide sybaritic pleasure, even if swimsuits dampen the vibe somewhat: Ask the attendant to run a bath for you in one of the steel soaking tubs in the main room. Around the infinity pool is also a lush place to lounge, but only the brave should dip in the waterfall-fed hot tub then dunk straight into the icy plunge pool. As for the 105 smallish, motel-style rooms, the pale wood and white decor are very Zen; there's even an embroidered cover to tuck over the TV if you want to ignore mod cons. If you forget to mute your cell phone in the lobby, the ubiquitous signs requesting guests to keep voices and beeping gizmos hushed will remind you.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A fashionable makeover of an outmoded 1960s health resort, the Standard, on Belle Isle, a five-minute drive from South Beach, is a water sanctum for sophisticates, created by hotelier André Balazs around communal spa activities. These include lolls in the 90-degree hammam, exfoliation with birch leaves in the sauna, and DIY body painting in a mud lounge overlooking Biscayne Bay. The rooms, simple yet charming blond-wood boxes, have patios—some with claw-foot tubs—made private by gauze curtains. The unassuming lobby restaurant is a visual hybrid of diner and Finnish sauna, with an evolving menu from chef Eric Ripert.—2006 Hot List

When to go: February and March.

Which room to book: Spring for No. 56, which has an outdoor tub overlooking the pool (doubles, $195–$450).

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym, Pool, Spa

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