The party starts before you even reach the lobby at Moxy South Beach, right there on the sidewalk – sorry, ‘sidewalk’ – as the ‘welcome’ music reverberates through the heavy glass doors.
Inside, the pace never falters, with fun fun on the agenda almost 24 hours a day: free effervescence on arrival, throbbing rooftop bars, loud DJs, louder guests, big, sassy street art-style wall murals and after. – when daylight finally comes a creeper – stylish yet compact rooms to share with a friend or two. It’s the place you go to see – and to be seen. Exhibitionists will love it, beware of shrinking violets.
Very well located just a short walk from Miami’s stunning South Beach with its miles of clean, sunny white sand, warm(ish) sea, and incredibly retro pastel-hued lifeguard stations. It’s also minutes from the sensual Art Deco historic district with its striking architecture: all the vertical elements, ‘eyebrows’ above the windows, fun metal poles and nautical themes. It is seldom silent; this is where, it seems, the rest of Miami comes to party, to splurge on their Ferraris and Lamborghinis, rummage in their custom Harley-Davidsons or show off their stuff.
Eschewing the local look – Art Deco, Streamline or MIMO – the newly built Moxy South Beach is unabashedly contemporary and all the better for it. Glamorous, inviting, sunny, tiered terraces — with pools, bars, a restaurant, cabanas, lounge chairs and more pulsing music — grace the main building, an attractive, white, partially glazed, green block with palm trees, lush plants and strong window columns. and vertical.
Crowning it all – floating high above the stylized ‘Moxy’ ‘handwritten’ writing on the wall and offering stunning panoramic ocean views – is the eighth-floor terrace, ‘Upside’, all cool lighting, shady canopies, small circular pool, tiling almost Moors with beautiful patterns, most pulsing music, hardworking cocktail waiters and, on several nights of the week, a DJ.
The playful, sometimes silly mood in the bright, elegant and welcoming lobby sets the tone for this clean and bright hotel. Images of a ‘Bad Girl’ in a bikini on the wall (repeated on her keycard) compete with an all-female table football team, gaudy Coney Island ‘Horoscopes’-style phone booth, cheese pops and vending machines Slap Bracelet, even a three wheel bicycle cart.
Look up and – through a porthole in the ceiling – the unwary find themselves glancing voyeuristically at the swimmers in the 72-foot pool above, or picking up the phone number mysteriously stamped on the ceiling of Bar Moxy (the number belongs to Bar Moxy’s favorite Havana bar). Ernest Hemingway, El Floridita. I’m sure he would approve).
Even elevators aren’t immune – they’re made like swimming pools inside, complete with ‘waves’ over your head…
Food and drink
This is a stranger. The hotel’s four main food outlets are independently managed, so they cannot be charged to your room; you have to pay as you go which is exhausting. Still, the main restaurant – the exquisitely Mexican-themed Como Como – is a must-see, with brilliant service, an intriguingly innovative menu (charred octopus marinated in sour orange or grilled Alaskan crab leg with jalapeno cilantro butter, anyone?) beautifully presented dishes.
Cocktails – particularly mezcal-based ones – send your taste buds into orbit. The same goes for the prices, which, as in most of Miami, are high.” Serena, the open-air restaurant and bar with lush plants and attractive design, serves more classic dishes “combined with a modern interpretation of traditional Latin and Mexican cuisine” (still pricey compared to London), while Los Buenos, a taco stand and bodega in the lobby, serving handmade tortillas; burritos, burrito bowls, freshly squeezed salads and juices alongside ‘breakfast quesadillas’ a little too heavy for some first thing in the morning.
The other breakfast-to-go option is Bar Moxy, where offerings are limited, including pre-packaged cereal or yogurt with granola or fruit bowls, all (disappointingly) wrapped in single-use plastic. We couldn’t wait for the weekend brunch, starting at 11am upstairs at Serena, so we looked for a local cafe that served oatmeal, tastier yogurt, better tea, and crunchier granola.
South Beach itself (Moxy South Beach has its own complimentary lounge chair section) is a must, as is the adjacent leafy 10-block Lummus Park with Beach Walk and the stunning Art Deco Historic District on Ocean Drive. The Art Deco Museum, near the beach, is a good starting point. All are within walking distance of the hotel.
No one should leave Miami without taking a cab to the vibrant and lively The Wynwood Walls, a former storage district taken over by brilliant street artists, its mind-boggling murals so dazzling that they are now preserved and permanently on display. The bustling Broad Street market next door is also worth a visit, but check prices (sometimes unannounced) before heading out for a snack. We inadvertently spent $70 (including tip) on two lobster rolls and lemonade.
Back at the hotel, for something different, book ahead to experience the intimately atmosphere ‘hidden’ Mezcal bar – with 200 different types. Moxy South Beach also has a gym, free bikes and organizes jogging, yoga, boxing, ‘salsa and shots’, mat pilates, butt check classes and so on. Don’t leave it too late; you have to be young – or young at heart – to keep up.
There are 202 to choose from, all similar, elegant, themed and designed to echo the ‘transatlantic’ feel of the night ferry service between Miami and Havana that operated in the 1940s and 1950s. day. Rooms come in either one king or two queen sizes, with ‘quadruple’ rooms with bunk beds. While the quads get a (small) wardrobe, the others have ‘pin walls’, with additional under-bed storage (including a sliding safe, which is too small for a DSLR camera) for items like shoes. Storage space is limited.
The fun theme continues, with designer bed trays, an elegant bag stuffed with glittery striped beach towels, wall storage pods and headboards upholstered in Shore Rug, an outdoor woven material reminiscent of vintage beach furniture. There are built-in charging stations, large ‘rain’ showers separated from the room by curved, luxurious Art Deco-style frosted windows, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of light, and large custom wall art depicting iconic artists. At the push of a button on the retro-style phone, guests can listen to a 60-second bedtime story with a variety of themes (“relax”, “leave”, or “pass out”). All rooms are bright and fresh, with great light-blocking curtains, though soundproofing between rooms could be better. Some rooms have an ocean view, but some, like ours, overlook a rear utility area.
Groups of friends under 35 looking to party, looking for the time of their lives in Miami. While showing off the latest fashions (beach and evening wear), sunbathe and sip cocktails in the rooftop pools. Older customers are in evidence, but they seem a little confused.
How to get there
It is valet parking only. Probably best to take a taxi from the airport.
Lead at rates of $159 (approx. £117), book at moxysouthbeach. with
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