accurately, suites—or rather, apartments. Our city view suite (of
which there are eight) measured 550 square feet—indeed, nearly twice
the size of some Manhattan apartments we’ve frequented. The ample
living room includes a Pullman kitchen alongside a large dining table,
promoting thoughts of a catered dinner party. With porcelain tile
floors (and Philosophy bath products), the bathroom (complete with
whirlpool tub) and water closet (separated by pocket doors) evoke
the sanctity of a spa. As for the bedroom, there’s a second 42-inch
plasma TV—and a massive tufted leather headboard—and enough storage
and closet space to house your entire seasonal wardrobe.
As the Sagamore’s m.o., Picasso’s words, “Give
me a museum, and I’ll fill it,” have direct relevance for the
hotel’s public spaces: large rooms and hallways which have the feel
of a contemporary museum designed by the latest architect du
jour—and curated by wise and provocative eyes. To walk into the
Sagamore’s lobby after a day spent in South
Beach overdrive is to encounter the Zen calm that often marks some
of the more de-luxe galleries in Chelsea or London. The art
speaks—and everything else is hushed.
Outside, there’s a manicured video garden as
well as a dining terrace, and pool bar and grill—and periodically,
visual and multi-media artists creating murals on walls or statuary
on the lawn. Small wonder that Spencer Tunick chose the Sagamore
for his latest group nude portrait—of 500 Miami
residents wrestling with 500 electric pink and green floating
mattresses and popping open 500 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne.
Social Miami is the in-house restaurant, one of the outposts of the
Social franchise run by Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill
Management—and while it’s fine for dinner, the breakfast buffet is
probably somewhat overpriced—and under populated—for what it
accommodating—if also young. For example, the remote control for
the massive 42-inch plasma television in the main room of our suite
was not functioning correctly. We were offered the choice of another
suite—or another television. We chose the latter, and within an
hour, a brand-new television had been installed on the wall—and the
malfunctioning one retired to the dustbin. Accommodating, indeed.
Lincoln Road or the beach. A private enclave secluded from the hoi
polloi—not unlike the Peggy Guggenheim in Venezia.
In short, the Sagamore is a haven of art, an artist’s retreat
(albeit a sanctuary more for the well-heeled than the struggling).
The hotel and its grounds inspire and provoke: the art can be
playful as the hotel’s vibe. To stay at the Sagamore is to be
reminded of the many ways in which the quotidian world delights—and
how artists translate those delights into sensual pleasures.