Flashy and fabulous but also inviting and intimate, the new SLS Lux Brickell is where locals can get away while still in the midst of it all.
Feeling flashy and fabulous? Enter through the S Bar door, guarded by Fernando Botero’s grandiose 10-foot-tall bronze masterpiece, Male Torso, welcoming guests on the corner of Southwest Eighth Street and South Miami Avenue. Shown on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the sculpture interprets the male figure in Botero’s signature opulent style and sets the tone for your stay, as does a nearby 40,000-square-foot block mural by Fabian Burgos.
But if it’s inviting and intimate you’re seeking, make your way to the ground-floor valet entrance. You’ll walk beneath a hanging garden into the marbled hotel lobby, where rich textures and an XOXO theme envelope you in hugs and kisses, and the bellman hands you a bottle of Evian. Even the air carries something sweet, thanks to a custom scent that wafts through the AC system.
SLS Lux Brickell is an urban oasis
Either way, you’re in for a treat. Designed by duo Yabu Pushelberg, it’s the first SLS without Philippe Starck’s thumbprint, setting it apart from its sister property down the street, the SLS Brickell. The oversize guest rooms dazzle with a modern décor (think marble, mirrors, metal and lots of XOXOs), a rain shower that melts away stress and, off the two-bedroom suites, wraparound balconies with views for days. The hallways, not to be outdone, are splashed with style and substance, decorated with museum-quality art and romantic poetry.
Head to the amenity-filled ninth floor, an oasis in the middle of downtown’s skyscraper jungle, and step off the elevator into the Secret Garden, a quiet enclave that beckons with comfortable seating and lots of greenery. Around the corner, the palm tree-lined pool stretches on, and so do the expansive views of Brickell.
Pool then gym then spa
You could get comfy in a lounge chair, but the well-appointed cabanas (with ceiling fans!) are first-come, first-served, so get there early. Order an oversize piña colada from the nearby bar, which also features bites from the in-house Katsuya kitchen, and wade into the beach-entry pool. It’s actually two pools, as they’re separated by a strip of flooring that makes for a perfect spot to rest your drink.
You can reserve some time on the tennis court (BYO racket and balls) or work off those cocktails using the fitness machines. The indoor gym is open 24 hours, but you can also hop on the outdoor fitness equipment or scale the rock-climbing wall.
If the weather takes a turn, either head to the intimate Ciel Spa for a signature massage and rejuvenating facial or walk across the street to Brickell City Centre. If the hotel’s art collection has piqued your interest, you can summon the in-house chauffeured Lincoln Navigator for a ride to the Pérez Art Museum Miami.
And don’t forget to eat
Just make sure you’re back in time for dinner and ready to be greeted with a hearty irrashaimase! (“Welcome to our home!”) by sushi chefs as you enter the inviting and intimate Katsuya Brickell. This location, the 14th worldwide, is the first designed by Yabu Pushelberg and mirrors a traditional Japanese izakaya with modern touches. The sophisticated décor includes a sake-box wall and a Daruma doll-inspired art installation suspended from the ceiling.
Executive chef Denevin Miranda touts an innovative sushi and robata menu, and every dish he sends out looks like a work of art. You’ll still find Katsuya favorites like crispy rice with spicy tuna and 48-hour-marinated miso black cod on the menu. The sommelier, meantime, will help pair your courses with a mix of sake, wine and cocktails.
Though your belly might resemble Buddha’s by the time the check arrives, don’t miss out on a flashy and fabulous nightcap next door at the sexy, sultry S Bar. Sidle into seats beneath a big chandelier and enjoy the scene. Before you head upstairs to crash, don’t forget to step outside and bid goodnight — or offer XOXOs — to Male Torso.
SLS Lux Brickell, 805 South Miami Avenue, Miami; sbe.com.