Chic Suites Steps from the Ocean, Nightlife, and Shopping
Tanned rollerbladers zoom by along Ocean Drive on a palm-lined path bordering an endless blanket of velvety sand. The water, crystal clear up close, sparkles emerald from afar, tempting those nearby to wade into its warm expense. Two blocks west at the Clinton Hotel & Spa South Beach, water performs a similar seduction, this time from within the hotel’s cabana-lined lounge pool and burbling hot tub.
The retro neon sign gracing the front of the hotel belies the Clinton's contemporary interior. In the lobby, glass-bead chandeliers and white cube ottomans contrast with dark floors. Sleek classic queen rooms also boast elegant, minimalist décor with crisp white and dove gray walls and linens.
At the hotel's X/O Restaurant, travelers enjoy the mojitos included with this deal from a glassed-in dining room opening onto the Clinton's lounge pool area. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m., X/O serves sandwiches, wraps, pastas, and casual American fare such as avocado burgers topped with buffalo mozzarella. Wavy, wicker chaise lounges and curtained cabanas surround the hotel’s small pool, where X/O’s complimentary gin and vodka drinks pour out from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. nightly.
South Beach, Florida: Sultry Clubs and Pristine Beaches
The Clinton lies in the heart of South Beach's historical Art Deco District—a cluster of more than 800 preserved structures dressed in sherbet shades of purple and turquoise. At night, dozens of clubs sprinkled throughout the area pulse with the tunes of live DJs and crowds of beautiful people from all over the globe. The scene runs the gamut from the posh oceanfront cabanas of Nikki Beach to the cavernous and frenzied Mansion throbbing with house and techno beats.
Heading north from the hotel, travelers wander through the Mediterranean-revival blocks of Española Way, filled with quaint cafés and artisan vendors. Around the beach, residents and tourists pack the shores to sunbathe, practice yoga, and splash in the spa-like surf.
At the convivial Haitian restaurant Tap Tap, adorned with vivid, wall-to-wall murals, regulars who all seem to know each other feast on fried plantains, whole fresh fish, and other traditional Haitian dishes. The amiable manager, Gary, points out-of-towners toward 14th Street, where a haunt favored by locals often goes unnoticed. Open-air corner stand La Sandwicherie slings exceptional fresh sandwiches served alongside a squeeze bottle of house-made french vinaigrette.