The legend that is South Beach began at the Raleigh. The Art Deco star—designed by architect L. Murray Dixon in 1940—has been reborn again under the eye of hotelier André Balazs, rehabilitator of the Chateau Marmont and creator of the Mercer. Turning up the volume of chic, Balazs has filled the lobby with vintage Savannah-style wicker furniture, replaced the rusty outdoor gym with a bar, and added thickets of palms that ensure privacy. Not one to overlook the obvious, he has also revamped the iconic pool, where Esther Williams filmed her famous aquacades. In the kitchen, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin is directeur des cuisines: his steak tartare hints of lemon confit, while his stone crabs are touched with lemongrass. And this being Balazs-land, the social scene is abuzz with the glitterati (Anna Kournikova, P. Diddy) clustering around bonfires on the backyard beach. The Raleigh, 1775 Collins Ave.; 305/534-6300;; doubles from $225.
—Tom Austin