In Miami we made our home at Casa Claridge, a charming little 3-story bungalow of a hotel that feels like the South Beach answer to LA’s infamous Chateau Marmont. Built in 1930, it is one of Miami’s Historical-Cultural Landmarks, and was recently purchased and restored by Alan Faena, an Argentian hotelier who is developing the area around it into an arts district. ABOVE| Ray-Ban sunnies, Yigal Azrouel shirt, Club Monaco fringed pants (my new most favorite thing ever!), Prada sandalsAlthough open to anyone, it has the feel of a private clubhouse, with artists and writers padding barefoot around its terra-cotta halls ~ legendary photographers drinking martinis on the foyer’s tangerine settee, A-list movie stars sipping espresso behind velvet curtains in the intimate, hand-muraled restaurant or smoking cigars on the ample terrace. Languor hangs in the air. Built so that all the rooms are situated around the perimeter of the structure, the entire hotel looks inward on a large central living room ~ visible from the balconied hallways on every floor ~ where everybody hangs out. Its roof is all windows, imbuing the living room with the indoor/outdoor feeling of a Spanish hacienda. Faena invited Argentinian artist Manuel Ameztoy to hang one of his massive cut-paper sculptures from those skylights; it drizzles all the way down to the first floor and floods the entire hotel in a rosy glow. South Americans sure do understand romance.ABOVE + BELOW| a massive cut-paper sculpture by Argentinian artist Manuel Ameztoy hangs from the triple-story skylights in the lobby living room Outfitted in the epitome of bohemian luxury, the space is thoughtfully filled with deep, cushy couches, quirky 1930’s antiques, an incredible art collection and a boatload of books, carefully chosen for optimal afternoon daydream induction. It’s all terribly delicious, but really Casa Claridge’s greatest gift is its proximity to the sea, just steps outside its cheerful front entrance. Check in and be fed: by culture, by nature, by tradition, by surprise.