Turns out, you don’t need to head to South Beach for a hip local getaway. Colorfully rising from the heart of the downtown financial district, SLS Brickell is the latest landmark in one of Miami’s hottest neighborhoods. Through its imaginative artwork and design, impeccable amenities and irresistible cuisine, it makes a statement — and a strong case for bypassing the beach in favor of city chic.
The SLS Brickell established its vibe from the outset, throwing a swanky grand opening where Boy George entertained and acrobats filled Champagne flutes while suspended from trapeze bars. In other words, leave the kids at home for this trip and embrace the moment, be it an anniversary, a birthday or a girls’ weekend.
Begin by striking a pose in the lobby, then marveling at the monkeys who mimic you. Not real monkeys, mind you, but digital ones that are part of a permanent art installation conceptualized by Philippe Starck.
The famed French designer’s playful, modern décor is unmistakable throughout the property. Head past a lobby sculpture by Bernardi Roig to the elevators, where mirrored doors present the illusion that you’re among other well-heeled folks, their lifelike images imprinted on the walls. Why? Because Starck believes no one should ride an elevator alone.
Up in the guest rooms, take note of the mirrors, mirrors everywhere (on the walls, on sliding doors, even on ceilings above the beds), or tilt your head and observe the smattering of furnishings left purposefully askew.
The ambiance at SLS Brickell combines the thrills of SLS South Beach, its sister hotel across Biscayne Bay, with a downtown sophistication. “It’s a different vibe than the South Beach property,” marketing manager Andrew Peleckis said. “SLS Brickell has a pulse all its own.”
Unwind on the rooftop deck, where infinity pools and sweeping views of downtown delight. For the ultimate in pampering, make your way to the Ciel Spa, where you can slip into an ultra-soft signature robe, sink into a zero gravity chair and sip tea while waiting for your service.
Choose from options like the So Long, Soreness massage, the Gold Cellular Youth Restore facial and the Marine Floral wrap, carried out in surprisingly well-lighted treatment rooms with warm white tones. After a trip to the steam room or sauna, indulge in the Ciel body products, also stocked in the guest rooms.
Looking for a meal from a world-class chef? You’re in luck. The hotel is home to two gastronomic powerhouses: seafood-centric Bazaar Mar by José Andrés and new Italian concept Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz. An added bonus: Andrés also pleases with room service and pool fare. Work off the indulgence in the tricked-out fitness center, complete with a spinning room.
And while it’s true that you need never leave the luxurious cocoon that is the SLS Brickell, the ever-changing neighborhood beckons beyond the hotel’s sleek walls.
Not long ago, the downtown suits cleared out around dinnertime and left behind a ghost town. Not anymore. Walking distance (yes, people walk in this neighborhood!) to Mary Brickell Village’s restaurants and pubs and to Brickell City Centre’s upscale stores — anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue — there’s no shortage of urban attractions to explore.
If it’s raining, summon the BMW house car for the quick trip. If you want to venture a tiny bit further, hop on the Metromover or call an Uber to whisk you to the nearby Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Frost Museum of Science, opening next month.
And if you never want to leave? No problem. The hotel marks the brand’s first hotel/residential project in partnership with The Related Group. A quick call to your real estate agent could make one of the 450 dreamy condos at this urban oasis your reality.
SLS Brickell, 1300 South Miami Avenue, Miami; slshotels.com.