A bile-colored chandelier just brings the whole Phillipe Starck-designed spa together. (All photos by San Suzie.)
If the city of Miami gave a prize for the hotel that most embodies the anything-goes glamor of the December art fairs minus the pretentiousness of artistic content, the winner would surely be the new Viceroy on Brickell Avenue. The brainchild of Miami-based developer Jorge M. Perez of the Related Group, the Viceroy offers Fall-of-Rome narchitectural splendor realized by the design triumvirate of Miami-based Arquitectonica (exteriors), interiors maven Phillipe Starck (spa) and design wunderplaymate Kelly Wearstler (hotel).
Located on the lower 15 floors of the center of three soaring and mostly unsold condo towers, the hotel’s art-inspired grandiloquence begs the question of whether buying pricey originals makes any sense in trying economic times when design-based knock-offs can appear just as ostentatious. Fortunately, guests will have ample time for such contemplation while getting “non-surgical facelifts” at the marble-clad, chandelier-encrusted, 28,000 square-foot spa — a studiously tranquil environment permeated by the pungent scent of excess.
Click on images to supersize. Waaaay more after the jump.
Easter Island meets office tower Modernism, glazed in radiator paint.
The wading pool, part one of three water features in the two-acre pool terrace: ideal for sunbathing topless…to the delight of the hundreds of Bank of America employees in downtown.
The longest infinity pool in Miami, just steps from the 50-person hot tub. Did anyone say H1N1?
Another view of the exterior deck, which boasts a Louis XVI-meets-contemporary flair that just screams ‘nouveau cemetery.’ Again, the penchant for radiator paint abounds.
The all important private cabanas. Empty, as was most of the pool and surrounding buildings during our October site inspection.
When sitting around looking attractive gets boring, there’s always the over-sized chess set. It takes two to move anything but the pawns.
An outdoor bar table worthy of Romulus Augustus, the last Roman emperor. We could not tell why you would want to illuminate your lap, unless the hotel is trying to prevent the local bankers from stealing silverware in their napkins.
Our favorite pieces of pseudo-art were the twin folding screens that blocked the views of downtown from the sides of the pool deck, featuring photos of the developer’s and designer’s friends.
Developer Jorge M. Perez himself, one of the Viceroy’s self-described visionaries. We feel your pain, pal.
A popular pose at the Sears Portrait Studio, too.
Our thoughts exactly.
The jacuzzi room. Three hot, one cold, and two wading pools — the latter just for show.
You cannot tell a book by its cover in this “library.”
Then again, Phillipe is not expecting any readers. (Note: There were not even book holders on the bikes and treadmills.)
But you can lounge in luxury outside the Spinning Room.
At the 15th floor elevator banks, Wearstler’s Death Star dramatique leads guests to the restaurant and pool deck.
More Wearstler: East-meets-wealth-meets-Aventura mall. (We would like to thank Miss September for the spectacular mattresses.)
On second thought, maybe it should be East-meets-Dracula’s castle.
Surrounded by banks — who financed all the empty towers. A fitting epilogue.