S. Beach v. Key West

Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:11 AM
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S. Beach v. Key West

Single females uppers 20's and mid 30's trying to decide where to go for 3 days in October!! Professional women looking for a nice beach w/ lots of nightlife. Also any suggestions on nice hotels close to shopping and the clubs???
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:46 AM
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There's lots of nightlife both places, but if you want a beach, you should stick with South Beach. All the beaches in the keys are man-made and most are tiny.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 11:54 AM
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I think I agree with that.

Assuming you want night life, drinking, partying and dancing, and MEN stick to South Beach - you cant avoid it there!

Key West is certainly an active party-ish town but my observatin is that the age average is higher as well as the 'couples' thing is too.

I never thought about it until I heard two very different men say the same thing so maybe there's something to it: a lot of single men tend to stay away from KW especially in multiples in fear of being perceived as gay!

The only place I stayed in SOuth Beach was fabulous and 3 of us shared a room so it was worth the price. Wonderful being in the lagoonlike beachside pool at 3 am just talking, and their beach is huge - its the Loew's . Five star. Great (Brazilian?)(Argentinian?) churrassco/steak rest and 300-martini bar there too. You can walk to all the hot spots from Loew's ..

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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 12:26 PM
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South Beach is definitely the better choice if you want beach time. And the nightlife is its stock-in-trade-- almost desperately cutting-edge, frankly. The people in South Beach also tend to be good-looking, a bit image-conscious and maybe not the brightest bulbs on the Xmas tree; keep the conversation light and superficial.

The Loews is a good choice for lodging, and it's certainly centrally-located-- clubs are a quick walk down Collins or Washington. The Argentinian eatery at the Loews is, I heard, gone-- to be replaced by, you guessed it, an Emeril's outpost. Hopefully better than his universally-panned Tchoup Chop in Orlando. The Royal Palm Crowne Plaza is another good mid-level choice, with all those big-hotel services people want. If I had to go for a "big" hotel, I'd go for the National or Delano (they'd give you a more unique lodging experience), but it's entirely up to you.

Me, I always stay at a small boutique hotel across the street from the beach: the Cardozo (rated "Best Boutique Hotel on Ocean Drive" by "South Beach Magazine"). You forego beach services (other than beach towels) for a cozy, sexy hotel that gives you a slightly spicier, much more "South Beach" feel than the big hotels. But if you're traveling with friends, the big hotels would probably suit you better.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 01:33 PM
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thanks everybody! i appreciate the great responses..so it looks like i am leaning towards s. beach. any additional hotel and club recommendations anyone has would be greatly appreciated! we only have 3 days and want to make sure make the best of our trip!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:07 PM
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The only place I've stayed in South Beach is the Tides...it was wonderful and in a great location, but very pricey.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:16 PM
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Here's a website that will give you a little taste of lodging and nightlife choices in South Beach. Its style will also give you an idea of the priorities of South Beach society:

http://www.southbeach-usa.com/

Their hotel faves tend to reflect ideals such as "pricey", "swank" and "attitude-filled" (except for MY fave, the Cardozo-- no attitude allowed at Gloria's little pastel-and-leopardskin palace!), so you might take a look, do some price comparisons and then come back with a short list.

BTW, the Tides is pretty incredible, but you pay for the luxury. Phenomenal restaurant (1220), by the by.

The Hotel is a very cool property on Collins with a restaurant that blows past just about all others in Florida: Wish. Still a favorite of the fashion industry, even after three years since the Todd Oldham remodel.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2003, 03:18 PM
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I stayed at the South Seas Hotel on South beach in March. The price and location were great, but the hotel was a little run-down and teeming with spring breakers. We were disappointed we hadn't chosen one of the bigger hotels down the stretch, like the Loews, or if you have the cash, the Delano. My advice is stick to that neighborhood and pay a little extra for a nicer, cleaner place.
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 03:04 AM
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I highly reccommend the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach. We just stayed there for 10 nights in August and loved it. Every room is a suite, located 3 doors down from the Delano, on the beach with beach staff to bring you cold drinks, food and prepare your beach chair and unbrellas too. Very cool! Don't have to bring anything, because where they distribute your towells, they also sell sunblock.
Have massage services all day right at the pool. Along with a pool bar there's an indoor lobby bar. The rooms sleep two in the masterbedroom, and two on a pullout couch.
Walking distance to Lincon Road, and Ocean Drive. Staff very friendly and the rooms have a kitchen so you can make all your meals if you wanted to. Although Jerry's Famous Deli delivers a huge menu of things. There is Room Service although overpriced.
Great hotel that spent 43 million on remodeling it.
After trying lots in SoBe, found a home we will return to. Ask for a bungalow which is on two floors rather than the same level suites.
Hope you go.. the site is www.thompsonhotels.com
Ciao, Melissa
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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nice beach=SoBe
lots of nightlife=SoBe
nice hotels=SoBe
shopping=SoBe
clubs=SoBe
South Beach = 5
Key West = 0
Do the math........enjoy
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 04:50 AM
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It's apples and oranges but based on your self-described interests - South Beach wins hands down. Key West has a great historic and tropical feel to it, is extremely laid back (one can wear shorts and flip flops to almost any restaurnat in town) and is very mellow. Great town to just relax and hang and drink with your friends. Beaches are almost non-existent.

South beach - great beach, restaurants ranging from very casual; to very dressy and tons of upscale clubs and places to dance all night. KW has just two dance clubs, neither of which looked like serious business to me - it's more of a hanging out and drinking kind of town (I don't drink but I still love it there because of the vibe).
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Old Sep 11th, 2003, 11:06 AM
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Loly, defnitely South Beach! Went there in July and I'm 29 although I chose to rent a car which you don't really need there.

I stayed at the Blue Moon, which was centrally located, quiet, and a very nice hotel with an Italian restaurant on premises. Rates were about 109 a night I believe.

I also still have passes to some clubs if you want them. Lord knows I will not be using them anytime soon. Let me know if you're interested. However be aware I believe most of the clubs play either hip hop and r&b or techno. There isn't too much in between.

And be sure to check out the Front Porch Cafe for breakfast!! A little pricey, but delicious as sin!
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 09:59 AM
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We've stayed at the Park Central Hotel on Ocean Drive. I believe it's owned by the same person as The Hotel (and one other hotel in South Beach - the name escapes me). Anyway, it is conveniently located, well-done, and has a nice front porch where you can sit and people watch. The Tides, the Loews, and the Delano are all great properties, but this one is a little more cost effective. And it is Art Deco through and through.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 10:44 AM
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Lizzie...Tony Goldman who began the refurbishment of SouthBeach in 1985.The Hotel, formerly the Tiffany Hotel, was opened in 1998.Mr. Goldman also recharged the upper west side Manhattan and Soho...several projects in Philadelphia and was named Citizen of the Year in Miami Beach in 1993.
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Old Oct 20th, 2003, 10:07 AM
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Just got back from three nights in South Beach and stayed once again at the Park Central. It has changed somewhat since we were there 2.5 years ago. The front porch where we used to do a lot of our people watching in the late afternoon has been taken over by a restaurant. That was very disappointing; however, the restaurant staff was nice enough to let us use the tables until they opened at 6pm. South Beach has changed a little as well, as some Ocean Drive hotels and eateries were closed down and boarded up. Is South Beach seeing some tougher times? According to our cab driver....things have been a little slow and there have been some bankruptcies. We were wondering if it has become less of a hot spot in recent years (?!). They have also changed the menu at the Tides restaurant (1220). It used to be a formal French menu inside and a more casual menu outside. Now it is the same menu for both and they have stuck with the more "casual" fare. As such, we chose not to dine there as nothing really stood out. Had a nice meal at China Grill, and I cannot say enough about the sushi at the Delano. Breakfasts and late afternoon snacks at the News Cafe were still also great.
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Old Oct 20th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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Lizzie, I agree. Some of the locals told me that South Beach isn't quite as "hot" as it used to be. I recall going club hopping on a Friday night in July and finding some of the clubs fairly empty! Not sure if this was because it was still relatively early (midnight - 1am) or just dead season.

I would ask the concierge at the hotels you choose which clubs are best or simply walk around to get a feel. What I tended to notice was that just because there's a line to get in, doesn't mean it will be crowded or that you'll like it. Sometimes they let people in very s-l-o-w-l-y to give the appearance that the place is more happening than it is. Same thing is practiced here in NYC unfortunately.
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