HH Review: The Shelborne South Beach

Wander down Collins Avenue, and you'll find Shelborne South Beach, one of Miami's prized Art Deco landmarks. Built in 1940, and having recently undergone a $150M renovation that re-launched as a “retro-chic” hotel, this classic 200-room property has been a Miami Beach gem for decades. As soon as you walk through its steel glass doors, you'll notice the spacious lobby atrium. It's hard to miss, too—it juxtaposes vintage accents with contemporary chandeliers and bold printed furnishings, making it a striking entrance to an already-fabulous hotel.

After management welcomed us in, we made our way up to our ocean view room… where, much to our delight, we found champagne and a lovely cheese and fruit plate waiting for us. After indulging in some bubbly (and taking in our stunning view of the Miami coastline!), we passed by the lobby lounge—which practically transports you to a New York City jazz club. When you go, grab a drink and enjoy some live music. You may even catch the cabaret show, which runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends.

As for the hotel staff, they were incredibly accommodating. Throughout our stay, they constantly made sure we had everything we needed; and even went the extra mile to make our experience especially memorable. And they really did! When it comes to travel, I always believe that few things stand out more than attentive employees and exceptional service.

Looking to pamper yourself? At the Shelborne South Beach, you really can. The GUYandGIRL spa is located one level below the lobby, forming a serene world of its own, and comes with three treatment rooms and a nail salon. The perfect place for any special occasion, or just an escape from your day, this spa is known for its Spa Pamper parties. 


After you’ve relaxed, head back up to your beautiful room and get ready for dinner. The hotel restaurant, Sarsaparilla Club—a rustic, poolside dining destination with hanging plants, ropes and white-shutter panels—is something you don’t want to miss. Owned and run by Chef Jeff McInnis, who was nominated for three James Beard Awards in two years, and his wife, Janine, this tasty spot fuses Cantonese Dim Sum with American comfort food, coming up with creative plates like Pork Belly Bacon Steamed Buns, Spiced Honey Carrots and Farro, and Tar’d N’ Feathered Chicken Wings, to name a few. The food is tasty, locally sourced, and above all, it’s made with passion. We know: we took cooking lessons with Chef McInnis himself, and that kitchen is always on fire.

During the lesson, Chef McInnis showed us how he makes his famous fried chicken, using lime powder and coconut flakes to make it tease your palate with interesting flavors and textures. Some of our favorite dishes of the night were the Beet & Goat Cheese Dumplings, which are made with red beets, goat cheese, hazelnut, lemon zest and brown butter; or the Short Rib with curry and Jasmine rice. So simple… yet both are so delicious. If you're in Manhattan and craving some southern fare, you can also enjoy his famous dishes (like the chicken!) at his Alphabet CIty restaurant, Root & Bone. Having opened before Sarsaparilla Club, Root & Bone quickly rose to fame as a must-try spot in the restaurant capital of America. As if that weren’t enough, in a city overrun with popular dining options, at Root & Bone, there’s always a line to get in.

The next morning, we spent the day working and lounging by the pool, where we hadour own private cabana and poolside lounge chairs. Enjoy full dining service by the pool, and if you need a little break from the sun, the living room in the cabana offers plenty of seating and a flat screen TV. If you forget a swimsuit or just feel like doing a little shopping, one of the cabanas is home to the boutique My Indie Soul—run by the nicest owner, Tim—where you can buy one-of-a-kind South American accessories and swimsuits. To really enjoy the pool scene, keep an eye out for Shelborne's monthly pool parties, where you can soak up the sun and dance the day away to some of the world’s hottest DJs.