Summer paradise? Dining poolside with a strawberry daiquiri in hand.
Though Miami is smoking hot in the summer, it’s definitely where I go to cool off and relax. The Delano is my go-to hotel. The food is solid, but simple and to the point. Dining poolside with a strawberry daiquiri in hand is paradise.
The Locale: 1685 Collins Ave.
The Chef: Cuban-born Maria Manso cooked by her mother’s side, learning family recipes and helping to entertain her large family. Those skills paved the way for a long and solid culinary career, including stints at New Orleans’ Palace Café and several Miami establishments—among them A Mano and Van Domes. In 1995, Manso joined the China Grill team and quickly climbed the ranks to executive chef at the China Grill Miami and eventually Asia de Cuba in San Francisco. After a successful venture on her own, she moved back to Miami to rejoin China Grill as executive chef at the Delano Hotel and Blue Door restaurant.
The Food: The food operation is managed by China Grill Management, started by famed restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. The restaurants range from the chic dining room (Blue Door) to the Euro-casual brasserie (Plat Bleu) to easy, breezy patio and poolside dining (Blue Door Terrace). The menus are casual but detailed, with a French influence and a tropical twist. Once you experience the total package, it’s clear this is not your average hotel food service.
The Vibe: Miami’s art deco, worn-down, beach-town look got an ultrasexy revamp with the introduction of chic, modern hotels such as The Delano. From the moment you step foot inside, you know you’ve entered a whole new dimension of luxury. The sparsely designed lobby is lined with white floor-to-ceiling sheath cloth. Row after row of wispy fabrics blow with the breeze, leading you to the dreamy pool. Every inch of the Delano, including its restaurants, was designed with the same clean inspiration.