Miami magic on a journey along Collins Avenue
The Hedonist: What to see and where to be seen
Saturday 22 February 2014
Here we are, in the headiness of it all, at The Palace (001 305 531 7234; palacesouthbeach.com) at 1200 Ocean Drive. Girls and guys are pouring sugary $5 cocktails down their necks like they're going out of fashion. It's as much a part of Miami's fabric as Art Deco and Don Johnson.
Three rounds in, my friends and I walk the 30 seconds back to the hotel to power-shower our sins away. We're staying at Lords South Beach (001 305 674 7800; lordssouthbeach.com), a temple to retro kitsch at 1120 Collins Avenue. There's a plastic polar bear in the lobby pawing a beach ball suggestively, a wall of gold tiles in the bar and an over-sized print of Cleopatra above my bed.
Hair slicked and bodies buffed, we head along Collins Avenue for a coveted table at Catch in The James (001 786 224 7200; jameshotels.com) where we sit against bare brick walls, among botox'd beauties and steroid-pumped studs. The seafood that's served at lighting speed from the kitchen is stunning, but we're here more for the drinks than the dinner. We're soon spinning into a frenzied bar crawl that starts ankle-deep in chlorine at the Delano (001 305 672 2000; morganshotelgroup.com) just down the road. Suddenly, there's a scuffle by the pool; a slip of a thing throws her flute of Billecart-Salmon over her smooth-dude date, storming up the steps with nothing but the flash of a red-soled shoe for a goodbye.
We can only do Delano drama for so long, though, and we're off along Collins Avenue again, heading for the legendary Bleau Bar at Fontainebleau (001 305 674 4760; fontainebleau.com). This is the hotel where Bond and Goldfinger played a game of gin rummy. We try the pricy Dragon Fly – a potent, blueberry-flavoured party drink that really gets us in the mood.
Before long we're falling into a cab for the short drive to our next stop: Story (001 305 479 4426; story.wantickets.com), the newest superclub on the block at 136 Collins Avenue. Face-control is tight at the door, but we make the grade and slip inside to discover 27,000sq ft of party playground.
Finally, we hit 11th Street Diner (001 305 534 6373; eleventhstreetdiner.com) at 1065 Washington Avenue and collapse into a booth. Mine's a corned beef hash washed down with Chocolate Fudge shake. And then? Then, it's time for bed.
A Hedonist's Guide to ... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com
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