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Hotel Victor, Miami Beach 

1144 Ocean Drive, South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 428 1234
view web site ›'s insider take:

The Hyatt Corporation made a big gamble when it opened the Victor in 2004 as an outpost of hip on sightseer- and weekend cruiser–besieged Ocean Drive, South Beach's original main street. The company manages the property but decided to remain anonymous, so as not to pierce the aura of cool designed by Parisian style icon Jacques Garcia, the man behind the Hôtel Costes in Paris. Garcia has certainly lived up to his end of the bargain: The 89 rooms are plush and lush with red satin headboards; lacquered ebony furniture; and light fixtures that look like crystal jellyfish (continuing a theme from the lobby, where a tank is filled with them). The pool area, with its views right over the beach, is compact but energetic. And while Ocean Drive is becoming slightly more tolerable—the reopening of the Tides up the block helped—as soon as you open your window or step outside, the perpetual spring-break scene interrupts the hotel's contrived cool. Speaking of contrived, the concierge goes by the title of Vibe Manager. But if you want to stay on Ocean—and be just steps from the busiest slice of the beach—this is a good place to do it.

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