This Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck collaboration, which launched modern South Beach in the 1990's, offers everything mod all at once: flowing white curtains in the lobby, groupings of excessively cultivated modern furniture, and surreal Alice-in-Wonderland-style grounds with oversize chess sets on the grass. Rooms are done in stark white-on-white fashion, from the white wood floors to the white upholstered leather headboards. In the lobby, around the pool, or at the restaurant, the Delano remains the definitive social scene in town, and everyone from Salmon Rushdie to Madonna has made state visits.
Tip: The patio of the hotel's restaurant, Blue Door, overlooks the garden and the pool and is the prime vantage point for taking in the tsunami of flesh and flash.
Room to Book: Any of the eight poolside bungalows, duplexes with huge soaking tubs suited for jumping right into the glamour. Bungalow 3 is in the middle of it all.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.