The dean of SoBe boutique hoteldom is still very much holding its own 2 decades after Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck remade Robert Swartburg’s 1947 classic, launching an international trend of white-on-white decor, tall billowy curtains, poolside beds, and hipper/than-thou vibe (in fact, it jacked up rates quite a bit in 2014). Much of it is still in place, though the sterility of all the white in the rooms is now relieved by touches of color, especially green, and the attitude dialed back slightly. The Delano very much remains a player, with the Vegas outfit now managing the restaurant and bars—the Rose Bar, FDR, and Delano Beach Club—deploying a nighttime doorman to keep the riffraff out. The Umi sushi/sake bar serves some superlative stuff (love the “big eye tuna pizza”), and under Neapolitan chef Luciano Sautto, the organic Italian menu at Bianca is a revelation. Offerings are rounded out by a sweet little spa upstairs and a state-of-the-art basement gym. And if you’re wondering what that aroma is in the public areas, it’s green tea and lemongrass.
- David Paul Appell