DESIGN BY REBECCA JOHNSON

DESIGN BY REBECCA JOHNSON


  If you’ve ever spent any time in Miami’s South Beach, you know what to expect. Some incredible Cuban and Peruvian cuisine. Strong coffee. Art Deco. Orange tans and neon lights. And during Art Basel in December, the global art and fashion world- all checked into the same three party hubs.
 
On our most recent weekend away, we went for the beach. We stayed at the recently opened Pestana Art Deco in South Beach, a boutique hotel that is the first North American offering from the Portuguese luxury brand Pestana. (The group runs hotels and resorts throughout Brazil and Portugal, as well as in places as wide-ranging as Kurger Park in South Africa and Sao Tome). The space was originally constructed during the 1940s (1940-52 to be exact) and remains true to its name with an asymmetrical, rounded façade and modernist decor. The rooms are almost entirely beige and ivory; spacious, calming, and quiet, with in-suite daybeds and authentic post-war surfer photos as accents. The Pestana is a few blocks away from the bustle of Collins Avenue – but feels much more removed.
 
Maybe it’s the relaxed Portuguese hospitality vibe. Maybe it’s the quaint, neighborhood feel of James Avenue, where the Pestana is tucked away. Whatever it is, the space lacks the frenetic energy of the rest of South Beach, and that is decidedly refreshing.
 
A small restaurant – the Mermaid Bar Bistro – serves up Portuguese-influenced breakfast and lunch items by the outdoor pool. Fresh fish, grilled shrimp, cold beer. Light, simple dishes to eat by the water. Before strolling to the the Webster for Laure Heriard Dubreuil’s curated collection of Alaia and Olympia Le-Tan. Or just heading to the beach, where you can spread out a towel or rent a chair to lounge in from the Setai, located directly across from the Pestana.
 
Think of it as a bit of Portugal in a place made famous for its Cuban connection. Laid-back, removed, but still within walking distance to the art (Tracey Emin is on view at Miami MOCA now), the parties, and if you’re in the mood for something even more relaxed, a hot stone massage followed by a couple of mimosas.
 
~Ashley Simpson
 
June 2013