Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
Chic, beachfront, quiet
9101 Collins Ave. Surfside 305-381-3333 www.fourseasons.com
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At a Glance
Twenty minutes north of Miami Beach on a beautiful stretch of coastline sits the storied Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, which offers the perfect blend of top-notch service and fresh, modern accommodations.
- The intimate spa, which uses the cult French brand Biologique Recherche
- The hotel’s two big-name restaurants: an outpost of Postiano’s famed Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar and Restaurant, as well as an elegant eatery from chef Thomas Keller (of NYC’s Per Se and Napa Valley’s The French Laundry)
- The sophisticated atmosphere, which is perfect for families as well as adult travelers
Review of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club
The holy trinity of luxury, style and elegance has officially arrived in South Florida. That may not be entirely fair to say given that The Surf Club, situated on nine acres of the Atlantic Ocean, was around in the 1930s when it was a famous social club and the holiday haunt of Elizabeth Taylor, Winston Churchill and Harvey Firestone, among others. Its latest incarnation (the hotel reopened in 2017) hits all the right notes for travelers seeking relaxation, delicious culinary options and lush surroundings.
Pulling up to the 77-room Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, guests feel like they are entering into a secret club thanks to the hotel’s minimal, discreet signs. The renovation has kept many of the original elements of the 1930s Art Deco design, including the famous arches and Peacock Alley, which derived its name from when members of The Surf Club used to walk down it and strut their stuff. Mixing old and new, modernist architect Richard Meier designed the glass towers that sit on top of the original structure. Bold contemporary art pieces are also part of the eclectic, but expertly curated, design elements in the hotel’s public spaces.
The rooms are sleek without being cold, a hallmark of Joseph Dirand, the French designer who conceived the interiors. Dirand infused just the right amount of opulence into the six categories of rooms, but without overshadowing the real star of the show: panoramic views of the ocean that give the impression you could see all the way to Portugal. (One-, two-, three- and four-bedroom suites with kitchens are also available, the largest and most exclusive suite being the three-bedroom Marybelle Penthouse Suite.)
The ambience of the hotel has much of the original spirit of The Surf Club, which in its heyday was known for its lively, sometimes over-the-top parties, where drinks were always flowing and people’s creative impulses were unleashed and nurtured. The Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar, located in a former ballroom with soaring ceilings, is now the heart of the hotel and home to the largest selection of Champagne in South Florida.
Antonio Sersale, the owner of the Amalfi Coast’s renowned Le Sirenuse, selected the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club for the second outpost of the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. The Miami version, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, brings a piece of Positano and effortless Italian elegance to the property. The raviolone cacio e pepe and tuna tartar, alone, are worth the trip. For well-conceived beach fare, think red snapper ceviche, mini lobster rolls and crispy Mahi Mahi tacos, the Pool Restaurant and Bar serves food pool- and sand-side from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The third restaurant, The Surf Club Restaurant, is an elegant eatery by famed chef Thomas Keller (the genius behind Per Se and The French Laundry) that serves classic cuisine like roasted chicken for two and lobster thermidor in a beautiful Art Deco dining room.
The retail offerings at The Surf Club are the opposite of cookie-cutter hotel boutiques. There’s Le Atelier Courbet, which curates unique design pieces from all the over world. Haremlique, the Turkish linen brand, chose The Surf Club for its first stand-alone U.S. store.
The Surf Club strikes the right balance between being kid-friendly and a retreat for those looking for a child-free vacation. There’s both a family and adult pool, with chairs available on a first come, first served basis. The Kids Club, where you can drop kids over the age of five for an entire day of programming, has a dedicated space that is reminiscent of a highly stimulating classroom, complete with a pet rabbit.
For guests looking for a more secluded experience, the hotel has five cabana studios with lanais, as well as their own dedicated pool. The Surf Club’s intimate spa has six treatment rooms and draws on global influences but with a European bent. They are the only Four Seasons in the U.S. to carry and use the cult French brand Biologique Recherche. The spa, which includes a traditional hammam, offers treatments ranging from micro-puncture to an Indian-based Ayervedic massage that focuses on the seven chakras.
Who Should Go
Families looking for a sophisticated resort but that still has amenities for kids; couples looking for a chic, romantic getaway.
- Hannah Seligson