1 Hotel South Beach
Miami Beach, FL
With its eco-natural vibe, this Miami hotel is a global leader in sustainable luxury
When hospitality pioneer Barry Sternlicht created 1 Hotel South Beach, the flagship for his new eco-chic concept, he didn’t want to just turn an existing, design-challenged building into a LEED-certified resort. The Starwood Capital CEO—who founded the W Hotels brand in the ’90s—wanted to show that transformation on a daily basis, so guests could experience a new level of sustainable luxury. From the moment visitors arrive, his vision is apparent, from a sculpture in the shape of the number “1” made out of a 7,500-pound slab of Florida coral stone to a huge mural made of green moss depicting a person in the ocean.
Everything was meticulously planned—from the 11,000 tropical plant varieties in the reception area’s modern jungle to the 3,000-square-foot living wall wrapped around the building’s exterior. Every space in the hotel—the 426 guest rooms, the coral-stone lobby bar, the linen-white seating area—was designed with materials evoking the beach. Reclaimed ash and hickory wood were used in the holistic Bamford Haybarn Spa and the Spartan Gym (from the obstacle course company Spartan Race). The corridors and rooms feature millwork and headboards from the salvaged blueish-gray wood of 1,900 trees that were killed by beetles in Colorado.
“I saw this report on television and immediately called our designers and said I wanted to give this wood a second life,” Sternlicht says. More than 7,000 square feet of ipê wood from the old pool deck was also rescued and reused.
Guest rooms feature custom hemp mattresses by Keetsa, organic cotton sheets, and glass terrariums. Room fobs are fashioned from recycled wood, and even the closet hangers are made of recycled paper, with labels identifying their previous life as a map or a love letter.
Now, after opening two more locations in New York, 1 Hotels is launching a members-only Beach Club in Miami in 2018. It will blend in with its surroundings, under shady trees and with items that appear to have just washed up on shore.
“There is nothing like a beautiful room with a story,” says designer and PL expert Tory Burch, who recommends the venerable Parisian hotel that opened in 1925. Occupying a former mansion on fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the property features suites incorporating grand touches such as antique mirrors and French master paintings.
The Oberoi Rajvilas
Constructed around an 18th-century Shiva temple, the resort is set on 32 acres of immaculate gardens. “After a busy day in Jaipur, it is always nice to come back to the tranquility of the hotel,” says PL expert Ann Getty. “I like to stay in the tented rooms and walk through the beautifully landscaped gardens.” Details such as gold-leaf frescoes, high-domed ceilings and the famous pink lime walls create a “welcome oasis in the bustling city.”
Acclaimed designer Tony Chi combined English grandeur with cosmopolitan swank in his redo of the 1914 Edwardian building. The exterior, courtyard and distinctive moldings embody Old World elegance; Cuban mahogany and seven types of rare marble embellish the interiors. Etro throws and Tizio lamps add a modernist flair.