Another Deco building (1936) turned hotel, the Chelsea is intimate and nicely renovated, from the terrazzo-floored lobby to smallish but soothing rooms in beige and dark wood (designed, the owners say, according to feng-shui principles). But probably the main thing is its central location—not on Ocean Drive or even Collins Avenue, but one more block in, on Washington, lined with oodles of restaurants and nightspots (so no on-premises restaurant is no biggie). And although it’s not party central as, say, the Catalina or Clevelander are, the target audience here is similar, so the lobby bar does its best to kick things up a notch at night with the help of a DJ. Before heading out for the evening, some guests grab a cocktail from said bar and hang at one of the tables or orange sofas on the marble-tiled patio out front to scope out the action on the avenue. If this matters to you, by the way: the Wi-Fi’s better the closer you are to the lobby, but the music of course is louder.
- David Paul Appell