One of Miami Beach's newest -- and hottest -- beachfront properties, the SLS Hotel has been seducing guests with its sexy Art Deco-meets-California-cool decor, a pulsing lounge scene and two of Miami's most stunning pools since it opened in June 2012. The brainchild of LA-based nightlife guru and hotelier Sam Nazarian and designed by architecture icon Philippe Starck, SLS Hotel incorporates a medley of design details unique enough to set scenesters' hearts aflutter, like outdoor floor tiles set to look like throw rugs and a whimsical "summer camp chic" lobby complete with a light fixture (made from a kayak) and camp photos on the walls. While the rooms and amenities are top-notch, what's got every cool cat in town buzzing are perks like a bungalow and penthouse designed by musician, actor and designer Lenny Kravitz and dining and drinking hot spots from celeb chefs like Jose Andres.
Plus, check out the hotel’s posh poolside lounge. Quickly gaining momentum as Miami Beach's sexiest place to party, SLS Hotel's Hyde Beach features more than 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a pool -- complete with a giant, silver rubber duck sculpture – as well as beach and cocktail bar, which mixes up sultry concoctions like “The Love Unit,” a mix of Belvedere, Absolut Vanilla, Thai basil, fresh lime, grapefruit and red bell pepper. The scene you can expect is perhaps best described by Philippe Starck himself, who calls Hyde Beach "a sexy hell where beautiful bad girls and bad boys are dancing on the chairs, on the tables, drowned in the music, in the heat, in the sweat." No doubt, it's one steamy scene.
Delano South Beach
If you only have one chance to understand what makes Miami a mecca of sexy, let it be by visiting the landmark Delano. Setting the pace for sexy on the South Beach strip since its opening in 1995, the Philippe Starck-designed Delano Hotel helped make Miami the scenester beach enclave it is today. The striking white Art Deco building suffers no shortage of quirky urban-chic design elements, including white-on-white guest room interiors and a collection of artwork by brilliant icons of odd like Man Ray, Dali and Gaudi. It makes sense that Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland served as inspiration for the decor, and as you make your way from the simply furnished lobby, past billowing curtains, you'll enter a vortex of lounges teeming with whimsical furnishings.
After wandering through, you'll find yourself startled by the sunlight -- and by the equally intriguing garden area, or "orchard," outdoors. There you’ll find oversized chessboards and pieces on the lawn, Moroccan-style lanterns and hammocks. And yes, those are indeed dining tables placed in the middle of the shallow pool -- the ultimate hangout for attention- (and sun-) seekers. The party never seems to stop at the Delano, and you'll find a constant parade of celebs, scenesters and the merely curious prancing about its nooks and crannies. Head to the atmospheric Rose Bar for a game of pool, or the subterranean FDR club, though you'll need to get past some velvet ropes and a long line of sexy scenesters to enter.
The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach
For the ultimate sensual, luxe vacation, head to The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, where the Ritz's classic glamour will impress even the most stoic of travelers and where couples can enjoy steamy moments for 2 at the hotel’s Eau Spa. The Ritz property is set on 7 lush, waterfront acres, with rooms and suites featuring decadent amenities such as Egyptian cotton sheets and towels, goose down pillows and comforters and private terraces. Ask to stay in a terrace guest room or suite and you'll be situated on the hotel's lower level, in easy access to a romantic starlit stroll on the Ritz's exclusive beach -- located steps from your patio. Book a private poolside or oceanfront cabana, and enjoy an ice bucket with chilled waters, seasonal fruit bowl, towel service and upgrades such as iPod docking station, premium alcoholic beverages and even 2, 60-minute cabana massages.
While that should be enough to fuel the fire of any romance, the Ritz ups the ante with a number of sexy spa services, including the “Perfect Champagne and Caviar Couple's Journey,” which allows you and your partner to personalize your spa experience, including the color of your treatment room and style of music. You'll sip champagne and enjoy Beluga caviar in a private garden, then unwind under the hands of highly trained massage therapists with a 60-minute massage, 30-minute facial, 60-minute mani-pedi, followed by time in your own villa to bathe and enjoy some … private moments.
With slick design details, world-class entertainment and top-of-the-line room amenities like Bliss body products, W hotels have earned their reputation as havens for the hip and trendy. The W Fort Lauderdale is no different from the rest of the pack, and brings an element of uber-trendy to the Fort Lauderdale beachfront, which has in the past suffered a complex as Miami's wannabe-cool kid sister. While the hotel lies mere steps from the beach, we suggest getting your groove on poolside, an epicenter for many of Fort Lauderdale's rich and fabulous.
When you're not ogling the scene-setters in their itsy-bitsy bikinis, take a dip in the glass-bottom pool, set directly above the lobby -- which gives arriving guests quite a bird's eye view of any shenanigans. Sip a cocktail like the Guava Sin or Miami Vice at the poolside WET Bar while grooving to the sounds of the adjacent DJ spinning tunes. When it's time for a nap (because yes, all that ogling may just get you tired), head to your deluxe room, where you can admire your bathroom's see-through glass walls, the bed down on one of the W's signature comfy mattresses.
The after-dark scene is no less tantalizing here. Make a reservation at famed restaurateur Stephen Starr's STEAK 954, where you'll equally enjoy the dry-aged steaks and the 15-foot-long reef aquarium filled with jellyfish. Save room for a nightcap at the hotel's Whiskey Blue lounge, where you can dance as a DJ spins tunes, or stargaze on the patio as the evening grows steamy, all the while sipping a cold cocktail.
il Lugano, Fort Lauderdale
A more soothing respite than the over-the-top scene that permeates so much of nearby Miami, Fort Lauderdale's luxe il Lugano hotel offers a subtler but no less sultry appeal to travelers seeking an under-the-radar getaway. Tucked along the sparkling waters of Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterway, il Lugano's location is convenient to the city's action (water taxis stop at the property), but removed enough to guarantee an intimate escape. The all-suite hotel oozes sleek, modern style, with rooms sprawling from 500 to 950 square feet, dark-wood furnishings and private terraces that feel even larger -- perfect for escaping with a private moment under the stars and a bottle of wine.
By day, indulge in a trip to the beach via the hotel's exclusive buggy service, or lounge by the waterfront pool or along the hotel's private, landscaped stretch of the Intracoastal, in a cabana chair built for 2, sipping champagne from your plush chaise. Spend the evening enjoying a delectable dinner at the hotel's signature Italian restaurant, da Campo Osteria, indulging in lobster tagliatelle or risotto di stagionale, made with butternut squash risotto, prosciutto, mascarpone and toasted pumpkin seeds. The restaurant even offers a mozzarella cheese-making class on Thursday evenings, a fun and intimate activity for 2.