|The Junior Suite is one of Dream South Beach’s hip accommodations.|
South Beach is not bereft of many things: tanned-and-toned bodies, super glitzy cars, balmy weather. While the chic Miami neighborhood has a plethora of hotels, what it lacks is a surfeit of branded luxury hotels with strong backing—particularly on the heavily trafficked Collins Avenue. Enter the new Dream South Beach, part of Vikram Chatwal Hotels.
The hotel opened last June, right up against the Versace Mansion, now known as The Villa by Barton G. What it shares with that hotel is a perfect view of the Atlantic, particularly when stationed atop the hotel by the pool area and rooftop lounge called Highbar, reminiscent of a 1970s Bain de Soleil ad. Note: At night, the pool area turns into a hot party scene with a DJ and plenty of bubbly.
If you stay at Dream South Beach, understand this about the guest rooms: 2 p.m. feels like 2 a.m. Not that we are complaining; in fact, we rather enjoyed the vibe this creates, which is patently different from the public spaces. Our king room was a study in modern design, with delicately carved French-Moroccan doors that are backlit by striking blue light to create a jewel-box effect. Top Touch: the Swarovski crystal chandelier that hangs over the bed.
The best digs at Dream South Beach are the three duplex accommodations, but none more inviting than the Sun House Duplex Penthouse, which we hear is a favorite of Nicky Hilton’s. Why? Well, besides its own private outdoor area with—get this—a skylight that doubles as a dance floor (a private DJ can be arranged), the penthouse boasts 62-inch flat-screen TVs and a living room that can accommodate 20 guests. The room also has a Moroccan flair to it and can connect to an adjacent king room.
Rooms at Dream are some of the hippest in South Beach; Tudor House might be the best dining experience in all of Miami. Chef and Food Network personality Geoffrey Zakarian presides over the restaurant, which occupies the ground floor of the hotel, so patrons can either dine inside or alfresco.
Stopping by for lunch? Order the Cuban-style press sandwich, pairing it with the bone marrow appetizer. For dinner, the roasted langoustines are a no-brainer to start with, followed by braised beef short ribs. Note: Executive Chef Jamie DeRosa is accessible if you have queries about the menu.