The hotel that single-handedly made South Beach cool again in the 1990s is still making major waves across the beach as this fantasy resort continues to define the paradigm of South Beach decor and glamour. The style of this now legendary hotel is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland; and as you make your way from the sparse, busy, spacious lobby past cascading white curtains and through rooms dotted with strange, whimsical furniture pieces, you will feel like you are indeed falling down a rabbit hole. Brush by celebrities and expatriates as you make your way to the vast oceanfront gardens and enormous pool outside, where the rich and famous lounge in white cabanas. Like most hotels on South Beach's hottest strip, the Delano boasts glamour and wealth; but there's something special about staying at the hotel that instigated Miami Beach 2.0.
The lobby is ripe with Instagram-worthy photo ops so keep your camera phone at the ready.
Rooms and suites are decorated in white -- white bedding, white chairs, and white furnishings -- leaving the ocean outside your windows and fresh greenery in vases to serve are your main color focus. A desk with Wi-Fi allows you to get some work in between beach sessions and a bluetooth sound system lets you set the mood.
Marble bathrooms feature Ciel bath products and rainfall showers.
Cascading, white drapes blow gently in the breezes as you walk through the lobby filled with oversized and mismatched furnishings. The entire atmosphere is meant to invoke a fantasy for adults. Step outside and walk down stairs festooned with greenery to find hidden areas for exploring.
A long, thin pool continues the fantasy with tables and chairs immersed in the pool's shallows that make a durreal setting for a cocktail. Cabanas and lounge chairs frame the pool -- perfect for sunning or day drinking.
The 3,500 square foot Aqua spa is located on the rooftop of the property. Here, find services that range from massage to IV infusions that soothe hangovers and too much sun.
The fitness center is open 24 hours a day, and is accessible to guests with their key card.
A personal trainer is available on demand.
Leynia features Argentinian grilled items with Japanese and other world influences in a gorgeous setting. If the weather permits (and it usually does), choose a seat on the expansive patio. Enjoy fresh fish at a communal table at Umi Sushi Bar, located in the lobby.
Leynia's Saturday and Sunday brunch offers unlimited trips to several stations and an a la carte entree. For $15 extra, you can get bottomless mimosas.
A Miami Beach trolley circumnavigates all of Miami Beach. It's free for both residents and tourists and operates seven days a week.
Cleo (5-minute walk) offers "Middleteranean" food in a beautiful souk-like setting. Huahua's Taqueria (20-minute walk) is a dog-friendly spot to get fresh tacos and margaritas.
Sweet Liberty (10-minute walk) is a hip, local hangout that offers cocktails and bites until the wee hours of the morning. The Broken Shaker (10-minute drive) has won numerous awards for its cocktail program that features herbs and citrus grown on premises.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Delano is a South Beach classic of a hotel. Sure, Madonna doesn't hang out anymore, but walking through the lobby will make you feel like a celebrity.