Cruise editor Rebecca Tobin took a peek at some of Miami
Beach's hottest hotel properties while traveling through the city.
Her report follows:
he Island Outpost hotel chain
doesn't shy away from being fresh and funky. That's the image it
In hip Miami Beach, the chain's three art deco hotels, all
within a block of each other, fit right in, although each has its
own personality, according to an Island Outpost's spokesman.
"The Tides is our high-priced [offering]; the Marlin is our rock
'n' roll hotel; and the Kent is hip and affordable," he said.
The Tides, at 1220 Ocean Drive, is the company's flagship Miami
hotel, and you know it when you first walk into the sophisticated
All of the 45 guest rooms are spacious and decorated in neutral
shades. The hotel originally had 150 rooms. The rooms were
reconfigured, making them larger and giving each an ocean view.
Each of the hotels has "toys" in the rooms, and the Tides' rooms
come equipped with Aveda products, CDs and a telescope (for optimal
beach viewing). And what's that minty smell in the air? It's a
soothing scent that's piped into each of the rooms, the spokesman
The Tides also has an upscale restaurant, 1220, which serves
"progressive American" cuisine; i.e. American food with a twist --
such as chef Roger Ruch's tuna, salmon and smoked marlin
If your clients make reservations, suggest that they sit at one
of the outside tables, which are perfect for people-watching, but
away from the noisy music of the bar next door.
Up the block, the Marlin is literally a rock-star hangout. The
hotel has its own recording studio.
"We've had Mick [as in Jagger] and Nelly [the rap star] coming
in for a few weeks at a time," the spokesman noted as we breezed
through the silver-and-gray lobby/bar, which features nightly
entertainment ranging from visiting DJs to reggae and rock
The hotel caters to weekenders but also to clients who are in
Miami for extended stays: Each of the 12 suites has a fully
equipped kitchen. Room rates start at $210.
The coolest room here -- and one favored by the celebs -- is the
Palm Suite. It stretches across the front of the hotel and has a
kitchen with brightly colored crockery, a pool table, plenty of
lounge space, two bedrooms and a bathroom that looks like an
underwater grotto. Rack rates for the Palm Suite start at $1,500 a
After getting enough of that star-power-by-proximity vibe, we
headed to the Kent, which is the budget hotel of the trio. The
rooms here are decorated in purple and lavender. And there was that
barely-there therapeutic scent again.
The Kent doesn't have a restaurant or a bar, but it does have a
private garden (the hotel describes it as an "acid jungle") with
bright orange loungers.
The standout room at the Kent is the Lucite Suite. As its name
suggests, practically everything in the room -- chairs, tables and
bar -- is designed from the see-through plastic material.
At the Kent, however, clients can reserve this room for a fifth
of the price of the Palm Suite: $350 per night, which makes it a
funky alternative for throwing an evening event or a small
Book it: Island Outpost
Phone: (800) OUTPOST