Q: What is it? A: In 2003 it was so hip that it used to hurt. Mucho. Now it’s quite tranquil. Even quiet. Something which is also reflected in the price tag. The garden is still very nice, though.
The northern end of the action on Collins? Sorry, that’s just a dirty lie… Townhouse Hotel, W South Beach, Thompson Hotel Miami Beach and Soho Beach House all have higher street numbers. But the Shore Club is still a functioning marker for less crowded sidewalks. Things get a little more tranquil further north.
It’s like walking into a time machine. Very Ian Schrager Hotel-ish, circa 2003. Well, that’s actually the year it opened. It’s the Delano’s younger, less flashy relative. David Chipperfield (UK) did the design. A guy who was actually big in Japan during the 80s (not kidding or making references to that Alphaville song).
Bathroom on the more minimalistic side. Some quite impractical solutions like no hangers (apart from the rusting towel rack) and a design that could not make up its mind on whether to go with tub or shower (now it’s a bit of both). I don’t always bring up bad bathroom design when checking out, but here I did…
For all of those who have been in the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, this should ring more than a few bells. The garden is actually this hotel’s best feature. It’s the sip-a-drink-and-try-to-look-fabulous-type of garden. But a hotspot at night, it just wasn’t (or maybe those celebrating Halloween were elsewhere).
The Terrazza now occupies the same space as Ago did. Just like the Ago, it is a casual Italian-style place. Unlike the Ago, Robert de Niro doesn’t seem to be an owner/partner (I need to check on that…).
And this is the pool area in the morning. Again, it rings of Jardin Majoqrelle-vibes (especially that almost Klein-blue color). Breakfast was OK but not memorable. But at least I was able to enjoy the weather…
Are the years behind them?
I’m probably staying here at least seven years too late. It used to be a much more busy place. Now, it has fallen into the category described as über-hip in promotional copy, which means that it just is not that (in fact any hotelier or booking site that uses the prefix über- or uber- should be avoided). The clientele isn’t the fashion crowd anymore, although the Nobu is packed with pretty beautiful people. Then there’s also the Skybar, which name is misleading as it isn’t a rooftop thing, but a garden-side bar scene (yes, that place with red windows). So what has happened?
I think the view meant an upgrade, yes? Thanks, Shore Club!
So here I am, in a pretty spacious room that comes with both a view and a balcony. The interior is semi-modern, which should be interpreted as ‘not very special, but at least it doesn’t feel completely outdated despite its 11 years’. The bathroom is a whole different biscuit. Quoting their website: ”Spectacular Mexican sandstone bathrooms feature a unique glass-enclosed wet room”. First, there’s nothing spectacular about Mexican sandstone. Second, there are no hangers, no hooks and the towel rack is made of steel that is far from stainless (the stains from rust are much too present to be ignored). Third, that unique glass-enclosed wet room would have been more useful, albeit less unique, if its functionality had been more defined. Now, it’s an odd hybrid between a tub or a shower.
Its greatest assets: That garden! That pool!
I don’t know how many lanterns that have to be lit up every night, but the little gnomes carrying the matchbox around should get a salary raise and free beers. It’s strikingly attractive at night. Not that it’s an ugly sight when the sun is up. Here, the seven-inch-heels-and-bikini combo is commonly seen, but these days the clientele is way more heterogeneous than half a decade ago. The Terrazza overlooking the aforementioned pool area is where breakfast is served. Breakfast itself is not very impressive; I’m just happy to report that the Nobu at the Shore Club delivers like a Nobu restaurant should (not like their London counterparts, both losing their status as Michelin one-star restaurants just recently).
So why stay at the Shore Club?
A few good things come with this hotel: 1) Location. It’s stellar if you want to stay an iPhone’s throw from the worst yahoo of South Beach. Plus it has its own beach. 2) Price. Prior to arrival I checked rates all around SoBe. The price tag of the Shore Club is often very competitive. 3) The garden. But you did just read that, didn’t you? So while it’s not the most exciting choice in this party hot-spot, it’s a pretty sensible choice. Expectations should be adjusted to that. If so, it may be for you.
Shore Club Miami Hotel
1901 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139