Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club
It’s hard not to focus on big names when you write about the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club. It’s a Richard Meier-designed glass behemoth set atop a 1930s-era private club that included Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra as guests in its heyday. Of its two restaurants, one is the second outpost of the iconic Amalfi Coast hotspot Le Sirenuse, and the other is run by acclaimed chef Thomas Keller. And though it’s technically in the tiny town of Surfside, it’s a stone’s throw from the glitz and decadence of Miami Beach.
It would be easy for all of this to be just a little bit too much, but somehow, it works. Stepping through the front doors and seeing the Surf Club’s iconic Peacock Alley, lined with palm trees and photos of guests of the past, is magical—even if you have to avoid people posing for Instagram photos as you walk through it. Despite the Instagrammers, the Surf Club feels like it belongs in another era, from the cavernous grand hall that used to host parties during Prohibition (now home to a Champagne bar), to the retro-chic, Joseph Dirand-designed poolside cabanas. The hotel, which was one of Four Seasons most hotly anticipated U.S. openings of the past few years, manages to blend seamlessly with the Surf Club, despite the conflicting architectural styles. And even in Miami’s crowded hotel space, the Surf Club, with its warm service and excellent amenities, stands out. 9011 Collins Ave., 305.381.3333, fourseasons.com/surfside