Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where to Stay: Kimpton Surfcomber


When I was a kid growing up in Arizona, there was this really amazing person called an ice cream man. No matter where I was or what I was doing, I never let those melodic bells pass without begging my parents for a five-spot to buy a treat (and occasionally some Saved by the Bell trading cards - does anyone else remember those?!).

Sometimes (OK, most times) they obliged. So, I'd sprint to the sidewalk and join the hoards of neighborhood kids at the window and, without question, the experience would go something like this:

Ice Cream Man: "What can I get ya?"

Me: *Crickets*

I'd freeze. Tweety-Bird pop with bubble gum eyes? Ice cream sandwich? Flinstones Push-Up? What's a kid to choose?! There was too much sugary deliciousness on that board for my own good!

Rooms at Kimpton Surfcomber are comfortable and quaint.
Mix-and-match patterns add style.
That's how I felt on my recent trip to Miami's South Beach. Except instead of ice cream, I was bouncing back and forth between hotels. Now, I'm normally a pretty decisive person but deciding on a favorite South Beach hotel was nearly impossible. Though, maybe that has more to do with me being a travel glutton than anything else.

But there's no doubt that the Kimpton Surfcomber belongs on that list. While the simple rooms are clean and bright, it's the Surfcomber's public spaces that stole my heart. In the Living Room lobby, a modular design of cozy nooks with stylish and comfortable furniture encourages you to stay a while. It's a great spot to socialize during the morning coffee breaks or afternoon wine hour.

For a very split-second, my mom and I thought this was real.
An example of the come-hither and stay a while decor.
What's really cool about Surfcomber's lobby is the Docking Station. Post up in the mobile work space and just text the word "Lantao" to 77948 for direct service of handcrafted drinks and Southeast Asian bites from Lantao Kitchen + Cocktails! (What do you think is the likelihood I could setup a similar system at home?)

Something I really appreciate about Surfcomber is that it's trendy and sexy, but not alienating. (Sometimes, in a destination such as South Beach, hotels can take the "cool" factor a little too seriously.) At this hotel the mood is more about playfulness than exclusivity, with fun porch-style furnishings and quirky life-sized animal sculptures adding to the experience.

We visited just before the holidays - and this cow helped us get in the spirit.
On a nice day - and, in Miami, most days are nice days - The Pasture at Surfcomber is packed with sun-seekers. This green space doubles as a lounge spot and sand volleyball court. Grab a street taco from the poolside Sand Bar and then cruise the boardwalk with one of the hotel's complimentary Deco bikes. You won't regret it!

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