Baroque-Style Boutique Hotel Steps from Beach
In contrast to the usual art-deco pastels found at Miami Beach hotels, the baroque interior of the Riviera Hotel South Beach incorporates dark-colored walls, espresso hardwood floors, and ornate, scroll-framed mirrors. The look pays homage to Dorothy Draper, the influential 20th-century decorator famous for her anything-but-minimalist aesthetic and rococo flourishes. Inspired by Draper’s sumptuous interiors, the Riviera’s designers have mixed and matched styles and eras, finding a way to use both gold-accented paisley prints and black-and-white cowhide rugs.
Consequently, the place feels less like a hotel and more like the posh mansion of an ultrastylish bohemian. In keeping with this residential vibe, king studio guest rooms resemble one-bedroom apartments with organic pillow-top mattresses and plasma TVs.
Outside, there’s a courtyard pool surrounded by private cabanas, cushioned beach chairs, and potted plants and palms. The hotel sits just steps from the beach and Collins Avenue, where you'll find many of the high-end fashion stores and rooftop ultralounges that have helped make South Beach world-famous. For drinks, check out Catalina Beach Club, where complimentary cocktails are served nightly from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Miami Beach: Sunny Shores, Stylish Crowds, and Buzzing Nightlife
South Beach and style go hand in hand, a fact that’s apparent everywhere you look—from the designer swimwear worn on the beach to the trend-setting crowds filling up the dance clubs. A lot of the shopping is clustered on Lincoln Road, where some especially fashionable boutiques restrict access to high-end wares using velvet ropes and mannequins equipped with karate-chop action. For a less intense experience, head 15 minutes north of Riviera Hotel to Bal Harbour Shops, an open-air mall built on the site of World War II barracks. In addition to offering two stories of designer shops and retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Versace, the complex has a plant-studded courtyard with koi ponds and fountains for a tranquil rest stop.
But staying in SoBe proper definitely has its advantages, including easy access to Ocean Drive, which boasts views of the Atlantic on one side and historical art-deco architecture on the other. Come nightfall, this is also where club-goers gather, having been lured by the beats of celebrity DJs. Though most bars are on the swanky side, you can also find a few low-key piano lounges and dives hosting live bands.
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