1 Hotel South Beach, Miami

Reviews / June 27, 2015

Contributor/ Imran Hussain

Best Known For

Being the eco-warrior within the hotel scene. Although some may claim it, but being environmentally aware is actually baked into 1 Hotel’s brand, ethos and experience. Its founded by the chap that bought you W Hotels, Barry Sternlicht, also who emphatically states 1 Hotels is a cause, not a brand.

The Good Stuff

The biggest differentiator of this hotel is sincerity, in everything they do. The design is honest, sourcing natural and organic materials where possible. They themselves admit that being more environmentally aware is a journey, and that not everything will be perfect on the first outing. That said the room keys are made of cardboard, circular in shape, the front states the 1 Hotel branding and back, a simple message “Recycle Everything” – wise words. The Do Not Disturb signs mention that they had a previous life and soon will have another life. The hangers in the bedrooms claim to be recycled love letters and even their USB sticks are clad in cardboard, and much of the development and operations of the hotel ensures that those green credentials are kept strong. The hotel also features three pools, perhaps the most striking is found on the roof, offering a striking quintessential Miami experience and stunning views over Miami and South Beach. But the element that really makes this hotel stand out are folks like Keston, Ryan and Marc (of course there are others), these chaps at reception and concierge work tirelessly to bring you just what you need, in our case Gypsy Kings tickets, the day of the show. The hotel staff even volunteer to help keep Miami Beach clean in their spare time. The technology-forward aspect of this hotel means that each bedroom has a smart phone, by which you can command everything from temperature in the bedroom to room service and housekeeping. There’s also a two communications link within the phone, allowing you to book health and fitnesses classes at the hotel and speak to concierge, without actually speaking – heaven.

The Vibe

The South Beach scene is riddled with bold statements, extravagant displays and much posturing, but interestingly less so at 1 Hotel. Perhaps as a result of the primary messaging of this hotel being raising and supporting environmental sustainability and responsibility; you tend to find a more soulful character here. Their commitment to Day Life, as opposed to Night Life, means that health and wellbeing are at the forefront of events and cultural programming.

Inside the hotel – 10/10

The interiors are stunning, think beach house in the Hamptons. An open expansive lobby that is guaranteed to make you feel like you are where you should be. Long flowing drapes, white sofas, double height ceilings, everything just the way it should be. Beachcraft serves great honest cuisine by Tom Colicchio, the high profile chef who founded Gramercy Tavern in NYC. But that’s all if you want to leave the bedroom, even the King room at this hotspot is about two or three times the size of a regular Miami Beach hotel, you can thank its previous life as condominiums for that. The bathrooms are just huge, with walk in shower, deep bathtub and amenities to die for – a large window from the bathroom into the bedroom also gives you much natural daylight. The lighting at this hotel is perfect, you’ll never stumble across bad light. 

Outside the hotel – 9/10 

Honestly if this hotel wasn’t in Miami, there’d be little reason to leave. You’re a bit further up Miami Beach than the likes of SLS, Delano et al, however, the hotel’s partnership with Tesla means they’ll take you anywhere you want to go with a mile or two’s radius that includes Lincoln Mall folks. The hotel is right on the beach, so an enclosed gate will take you to the ocean, which is just sublime. The benefit of such a great concierge is that you never feel lost, and you always feel like they’re telling you what’s hot in town. In fact, even the poolside team were saying to stop by the Miami Design District and Espanola Way for a true Miami experience. And at its heart, that’s what 1 Hotel is, a true Miami experience, but with a genuine, well delivered cause.


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Imran Hussain
Current Editor of The Hotel Culture. In previous roles he has worked within the boutique hotel sector for over 10 years including myhotels group & the Great Northern Hotel holding the title Marketing Director at both. He has secured European Hotel Design nominations, best website awards and created cultural marketing initiatives as well as delivering strategic brand partnerships with the likes of Film4, Tiffany & Co., Somerset House, Coco de Mer and A Hedonist's Guide to. Follow Imran @Imran_Hussain Or read more about him at his contributor page

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