Q: What is it? A: A rather tall, very stylish, tasteful and… elegant lady on Miami’s Ocean Drive.
This is the Diva of Ocean Drive.
If you look ‘art déco’ up on Google, it won’t take you long before you’ll find Lawrence Murray Dixon. He’s the architect behind many of the classic art déco buildings in Miami South Beach. When the Tides opened in 1936 and in no time it became the playground for the Britneys and the Justins of the Thirties. In 1997 the hotel was in serious need of a total makeover. When it was bought by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, 115 rooms quickly turned into 45, all of them with a view of the ocean and a voyeur’s dream – pair of powerful binoculars on a tripod, so that hotel guests could keep an eye on who was wearing a bathing suit and who was not. Just remember to book the 6th to 8th floors if you want to have an unobstructed view of the ocean (the pic above was taken from the 6th floor).
It’s good. In fact it’s very good.
This hotel means very good, very competent and swift service in a classic hotel environment. The guy in the bar knows how to mix anything that contains hard liquor. The restaurant is hardly exciting but still… competent. The people manning the reception knows how to treat a guest. The bell boys carry my 35 kilogram trunk with a smile. That’s the way it should be, because The Tides is not a cheap accommodation. Not even during the less busy season.
Stay here. Party elsewhere.
This is a hotel that is aging with dignity. It’s not a place for celeb-spotting (even though comedian Damon Wayans is checking in at the same time as me). It’s not crowded and busy and loud as the Victor or the Pelican next door. But to stay at this noble establishment and walk half a block to rub shoulders with the loud crowd is not a bad option. Not at all.
NOTE: Those who visited the Tides before will recognize the outside but the inside has been remodeled completely. The new lobby/restaurant designed by Kelly Wearstler. Is it any better? Well it’s definitely a more cosy atmosphere these days but… it’s not the same. I really liked the old Tides. Maybe it’s just me getting old.
King & Grove Tides
(formerly known as The Tides)
1220 Ocean Drive Miami Beach, FL 33139