The Standard, Miami
Hugging the calm waters of Biscayne Bay in a peaceful neighborhood of sweet little bungalows, the Standard is one of Andre Balazs's most unusual—and aesthetically accomplished—efforts. Amid the stylistic exuberance of South Beach, it's a pared-down Scandinavian-inspired spa hotel that's quiet and serene in every quarter, including the pool, where music is not permitted. The smartly designed spa includes a mod marble hamam, features singular acupuncturist Lori Alexandra Bell, and offers such arcane indulgences as facials done during certain phases of the moon. The tone is set in the lobby with a studiously polite receptionist and a complimentary carafe of chilled tea. It continues in the contemplative courtyard garden, and is established irrevocably by the lulling expanse of Biscayne Bay. Wake up in one of the simple and restful rooms, all white-painted walls and spare natural wood furnishings, and begin the day at the Lido restaurant with fresh fruit and a plate of Eggs Lido—salmon, asparagus, and poached organic farm eggs. Then take your après-breakfast coffee out to one of the baby-blue pool chairs on the slatted wood deck overlooking Biscayne Bay. With any luck, you can spend all day there.
Tip: To jump into the South Beach nocturnal maelstrom, take the free hotel shuttle bus that goes back and forth to the Raleigh.
Room to Book: Go with one of the Wet rooms—Room 33 is the most perfectly situated—facing the rear garden. The outdoor bathtubs have a way of breaking down inhibitions.