Two decades later, the Delano is still as happening, ageless, and quintessentially Miami as it was when it opened on South Beach in 1995.
If you want to truly experience Miami, pick a seat—any seat—in the Delano’s soaring lobby, and sooner or later (although sooner is more likely the case) you’re bound to see one celebrity or another materialize through the billowing, floor-to-ceiling sheer white curtains. Billed as “the hotel that changed South Beach,” the Delano is where Jamie Foxx serenaded guests by personifying Ray Charles on a Lucite grand piano for his 40th birthday. It’s where songstress Madonna launched her 12th album, the controversial MDMA, in the very same place she was once part owner (RIP Blue Door).
In the 20 years since the “Godfather of Nightlife,” hotelier Ian Schrager, made his mark on Miami Beach with the whimsically edgy yet timelessly elegant Delano, the boutique hotel has been a beacon of inspiration for all others succeeding it. But it’s not the revolving and never-ending rosters of A-listers and glitterati that might be enjoying a romantic dinner with their current supermodel girlfriend at Bianca (Leonardo DiCaprio), playing basketball with the staff on a makeshift court during the filming of Out of Sight (George Clooney), enjoying a classic cocktail at Rose Bar (Calvin Klein), launching their latest book, Decoded ( Jay Z), or popping bottles at underground digs FDR (Usher) that make the Art Deco fixture iconic.
It’s the fact that since its debut in December of 1995, the property—originally built in 1947, designed and curated by French visionary Philippe Starck, and brought to life by the works of Man Ray and Salvador Dali (to name a few)—has become a wonderland of fun, glitz, and glamour for both tourists and locals alike who can’t get enough of Miami’s lifestyle. And it’s why, on its 20th year, the Delano continues to be the celeb-magnet it never stopped being. Happy anniversary! 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-672-2000
Photography by: photography by hulton archive/getty images