The Delano often gets the credit for launching the South Beach boutique hotel boom, but this bird actually took wing a bit earlier, launched in 1994 by Italian clothing/accessories brand Diesel. With a company whose motto is “Only stupid can be truly brilliant,” you wouldn’t expect conventionality. Each of this green triple-decker Deco landmark’s 25 themed rooms is a cheeky original, often with names to match (“Me Tarzan, You Vain,” “Bang a Boomerang,” and of course “Best Whorehouse”). No pool, but hey, the Atlantic is a boomerang’s toss away. The main amenity of note is a 30-seat sidewalk restaurant specializing in Italian seafood (try the salmon with porcini mushrooms).
- David Paul Appell