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Sagamore Hotel
1671 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Fl
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
November 25, 2007   Pictures Bookmark and Share

More 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. 

Public Spaces
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 offers. 

Very 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. 

Excellent—for wandering 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.

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