This summer, Recommend is on a quest to find the best hotel poolside scene. We’ve already highlighted three properties—The James Royal Palm, The Setai, and W South Beach—and here’s another on the very trendy SLS Hotel South Beach. And since summer is right around the corner, look out for more hotel poolside reviews.
Set Up: The SLS Hotel South Beach has two pools—one mellow(ish) for hotel guests, and one that bears the name of its hipster nightspot, Hyde Beach. The latter is mere steps to the beach.
At the first pool, guests can laze the day away in somewhat relative calm. However, the Hyde Beach pool is a complete polar opposite. Here, day beds rent from $350-$750, cabanas from $750-$1,500 and luxury cabanas from $1,000-$2,000. Yes, you read correctly, you can rent a room in the hotel for less! What starts out as a promising fun day by the Hyde Beach pool turns dramatically and without warning into a pool-party scene that rivals only those in Las Vegas. Bikinis and stilettos seem to be mandatory attire, and pool guests seem to have only two goals in mind: get drunk and get met. So if neither of those are your clients’ priorities while staying in Miami Beach, you may want to steer them away.
Poolside Dining & Wining: A light variety of items from the hotel’s restaurants are available here. Caution: Don’t come too hungry or too thirsty or you may have to take out a second mortgage—the prices are completely inflated, even by South Beach standards.
Standout Dish: Any of the sushi rolls that hail from the Katsuya kitchen.
Poolside Service: Surprising that they can actually serve the throngs of party-poolers. An automatic 18 percent gratuity in every bill ensures that your server will be there for you to keep ordering.
Who Belongs: Singles who have cash to burn on over-priced everything.
Volume: Bring ear-plugs! Not only is the house music, well, house music—its volume is almost unbearable.
Who’s In: On paper, only guests of the hotel, but if you can pay, you can stay. SLS does protect the privacy of its hotel guests by requiring a room key if one tries to access the hotel from the Hyde Beach pool.
Package it: The Sinners and Saints package includes two chairs at Hyde Beach; pitcher of Sangria and fruit plate; and access to Hyde Beach at night. Call for rates.