I opened one eye and a full size cow was peering down at me. No joke.Perhaps this was the result of one too many daiquiri’s last night at the Surfcomber Hotel, or maybe this is just a dream. I decide to sit up and refocus. Yes there is definitely a cow in front of me and the sheep accompanying it is looking at me with an expression of pity on her face; as if she was thinking ‘even I feel cooler than this guy and I’m wearing wool!
I focus at last, and realise my two new friends are part of The Surfcombers’ life size herd of model cows and sheep that frequent the hotel. They appear in different places everyday and even sometimes in your room if you’re not careful. Having dozed off by the side of the pool, listening to the rustle of the swaying palms all around I hadn’t noticed someone had moved them next to me.
The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach is one of Kimpton’s latest properties, a fully restored art deco building right on South Beach’s famed Collins Avenue. Kimpton is known for its boutique luxury touches; the free coffee and tea in the mornings and late afternoon wines; the lazy lounge areas with newspapers, books and magazines to browse, the in room amenities where any needed accessory and I mean any, will be sourced and delivered if at all possible and most importantly, a slightly bohemian accent on service. Luxury without the stuffiness if you will. There are free activities every day from beachside yoga and mentored running, to cookery lessons. You can even challenge the hotel staff in a table tennis competition. All in all my kind of place. But better still this is a remarkable building, a fabulous original 30’s art deco property that had been left to fade away, much like most of South Beach, until the Miami Design Preservation League founded by Barbara Capitman in 1976, began to lobby for restoration of these magnificent buildings. Today South Beach is a wonderland of art deco, nearly a thousand building have been restored to their former glory.
The Surfcomber Hotel has been lovingly brought back to life, its once tired motel layout now a trendy boutique luxury property; cabanas line the pool side and a sandy garden area is filled with bean bags and lazy chairs a stone’s throw from the beach and ocean. The guestrooms are not spacious (the result of Preservation League rules on retaining a property’s original integrity) but they are beautifully turned out with crisp linen sheets and an array of in room luxury.
You’ll find The Surfcomber Hotel South Beach unlike many of the large international brands lining Ocean Drive, a true haven of tranquility and understated luxury without all the faceless corporate blah blah. It was love at first sight for me. Particularly the animals.
But that cow is right in my sun.
Main image Surfcomber Hotel Cow (c) Andy Mossack