Arriving from the airport, discontentedly late on a Friday night I was forced to head straight into the throngs of women with tropically hued, impossibly tight dresses on and heels that could double as stilts–a veritable multicolored flock of flamingos. At the grand entryway of The Gansevoort Hotel on Miami Beach the drama was high and the night was still young. And though still at ground level, you could already hear the rooftop throbbing,18 stories high, in its full Friday night party scene glory. When it comes to Miami Beach, to say the nightlife is notorious is a vast understatement. It follows then, to say the Gansevoort is an epicenter of the nightlife scene is a similar understatement. The Gansevoort Hotel is the godfather of Miami Beach nightlife.
I recommend not arriving on Friday at midnight. If such misfortune befalls you, however I do recommend sneaking away from your room immediately to soak the travel right out of your bones in the secret jacuzzi that is open at all hours. Oh yes. As anyone visiting from “The City that Never Sleeps” will appreciate: the Gansevoort is the “hotel that never sleeps.” And that definitely has its advantages.
Don’t dismay, however, if you associate staying at a hotel with tranquility and solitude: Your soul will instantly be soothed by the very sincere and accommodating staff as they deftly guide you, beyond the velvet ropes, to your gorgeously appointed (fabulous mid-century decked out) room. There you can immediately forget that there’s a party raging somewhere overhead and sink blissfully into the billowing sweetness of a giant bed. Awake to the brilliant light streaming in, white sands positively glowing next to the iridescently blue waters–all part of the vacation icon that is Miami Beach, and at your fingertips in the “backyard” of the hotel.
After a day of lounging–alternating shifts in the sand and by the pool–be sure to check out the hotel’s on site restaurant, none other then any New Yorker’s favorite STK. Though the initials are familiar, the deeply Miami Beach vibe that embodies this version is not to be missed. Likewise, the menu’s indulgent seafood dishes (and oh my! their signature gorgonzola bread is so unbelievably satisfying after a day in the sun) embrace the location with sumptuous zeal. The restaurant’s staff is as hospitably charming, gastronomically knowlegible and warmly welcoming as the Hotel’s impressive precedence warrants.
The sincerity and straightforwardness of the entire Gansevoort staff must certainly be the result of its history as a party hotel institution. A place where you’re sure that they’ve seen it all and worse. Asking for three towels on your way down to the beach is nothing, why not have 4?
They do come by it honestly: this structure has been a party palace for a long time. After all, Miami Beach itself has that settled in kind of pleasure play pen feel. Originally built in 1926 as the Roney Palace, the building now known as The Gansevoort, was the first hotel on Miami Beach that offered amenities like a pool and beachside cabanas. During the 1950’s it was awash with Hollywood glamour, and the guest list roster read like a dream of a cast list.
Today, the Gansevoort capitalizes on its legendary persona, at the heart of which is its fabulous Mad Man-esque style. The rooms are a mix of mid century elegance and pop art whimsy, with fuscia and purple accents singing brightly amidst deeper greys and whites. Photographs of staged scenes with pin up girls and gents in suits getting ready for a “night out” adorn the walls, putting the final touches on their very carefully crafted, delightfully executed mood.
A mood that resonates long after you have changed your rental car for a yellow cab and oranges for apples (though, hopefully, you take some oranges back with you, too).
– Ava Fedorov
Photographs by Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative