Your eyes will show you my face, but it’s your mind that will tell you my story.
Imagine an illusion so poignant that it blurs the lines of visual consciousness, outdoorsy interiors, and surreal glamor. The air is a mix of salty sea water breezes, luxury candlelit luminescence, and a voyeur-esque, promiscuous fervor. For now I shall sequentially escort you through a night, and subsequently, a day, in the heart of scandal and rumor.
For on this night, I waltzed into Miami South Beach’s first indoor and outdoor lobby at the Delano Hotel, winner of multiple architectural awards and host to many saucy tales on this part of the ocean. I stretched my neck to see where the ceiling started in the clutches of the night, and wondered where it ended. The oversized argyle walls were layered with faux candles, which give an eerie, yet sexy ghoulish effect when trying to ogle at the model guests that wandered through in tight, short clothing that left little to imagination on the gleamingly polished Brazilian cherry wood floors. The full length mirror magic continued, mandating shameless acts of vanity.
Delano’s Rose Bar had namesake rose colored walls and an entire mirrored wall glimmering with vials of joyfully familiar and intriguingly unfamiliar liquors, giving the long, strip bar a cozy, enchanting feel. A gigantic pair of Venetian chandeliers added the right glamor quotient to a spot that was perfect for a quiet conversation dipped in enigma. Not to mention, a perfect spot for people watching the hotel’s ample glitterati sashaying down the artistically decorated lobby.
I opted for cocktails, obviously. sipped my pepper gin cocktail with grapefruit juice as I gazed at the South Beach night scene. The drink balanced the sour grapefruit notes with a strong, ultra strong rather, flavor of spicy gin. For on the wall was a rotund vial of gin being steeped in bright red peppers, to give its spice factor enough pomp to knock out the senses. Right on trend with the crazy cocktail theme of this year.
In the glitzy dark of the night, my footsteps made me wander the artsy lobby, where the distinct eclectic mix of hip hop, house and rock music were more fit for a club than this spacey, dimly lit lobby. Despite a slight dose of intoxication, I was in awe of the spaces that blended into each other and maintained individual auras about them. Sprinkled with furniture that looked like art, they paid tribute to the art deco history of the city. Eventually I realized that this was a set of crevices that combined to formulate a 250 foot long corridor to the starry night on one side, and the city’s own stars on the other. It was almost like being caught in a middle state of life and stupor, with the likes of designer Philippe Starck’s international collection of furniture, functional art and sumptuous décor, in company of renowned artists like Antonio Gaudi, Man Ray, Charles and Ray Eames, Salvador Dali and Mark Newson. That alone, beckoned me to sip another mind boggling drink as I unleashed the voyeur from within, and made a night out of Miami.
Standing by the candlelit argyle cherry wall was a solitary three legged chair with stilettos as feet and an ivory metallic seating. Perfect for an attention seeker to perch on, as fans or friends draped themselves on the contemporary, elongated single pad orange plush backless divan.
A large, inverted bed-like lilac vouch, made to look more like a corner for indulgent acts with its disproportionately tall arm rests, was atop a plain square carpet, guarded by a silver showpiece and a black rotary phone from the 80s, akin to a modern “Do Not Disturb” sign. I perched myself on the zebra hued blanket on the other end, sipping, watching, and judging those who embraced the pillowy depths of this resurrection.
A red and purple haven boasted of a round table with a five pillar silver bohemian candle stand in the middle, surrounded by an enchanting series of identical women enrobed in luscious red African finery, complete with large earrings and a turban. Mirage aside, it was a four seater and curved sofa table, perfect for meaningful nightly activities like a game of poker or a monetary discussion, or simply a dwelling place at dawn for those whose souls ached from an active night.
Next to the ethereal set up were two rather ordinary spaces, infused with enough sprinkling accents to qualify as art. A communion of grandpa leather arm chairs around equally archaic brown furniture, were upped solely by the tribal music art divider that was behind a cream armchair. The plush throw seemed like a leftover from a party of another era that happened to have now become vintage.
Similarly, a pool table was tucked right outside the rose bar, seemingly unplayed for centuries, with nothing but the dark wooden floors and dim, jive bar style lighting playing off the wood on wood décor. Juxtaposition was clearly the theme, as an endlessly long white linen curtain waltzed in the breeze next to an otherwise masculine setup, like the lady of desire’s ethereal draperies.
And finally, true to my faux furry obsession, was a stark white couch with a fuzzy cover, right next to a reminiscent African stool and a lamp with faux white daisies in a country pot. Despite all the faux-ness, it was a rather appealing chapter from a 90s film set.
The comfy set up reminded me of lazy times bygone, and I seemingly fell into it, artistry bygone and voyeur eyes gazing beyond art. I proceeded to sip up Rose Bar cocktails, meeting new shadows, and creating more memories of the night.
And at such times, its best if the camera clicks shut and the iPhone reverts to being merely a phone.
Behold the guided tour of Delano on the morning after…