LAST FEBRUARY, PARIS DESIGNER JACQUES GARCIA remodeled the 68-year-old Hotel Victor, in the heart of South Beach's Art Deco District, to the tune of $60 million, a remake that produced a luxurious assault on the senses: purple and green nouveau-retro furnishings, a custom soundtrack of acoustic "vibe" music, whiffs of Bimbi or Festa (the hotel's "signature scents"), and a six-foot-wide moon jellyfish tank. With a covetable view of turquoise Atlantic waters, the infamous Versace mansion next door, and easy access to the hot nightlife, you'll feel like a VIPminus the paparazzi.
ROOM & BOARD: Ninety-one rooms and suites are situated around an infinity pool overlooking South Beach's thumping main drag and the ocean beyond. Rooms are swanked out with top-shelf minibars and beds framed by elaborate silk-wrapped headboards. A hard run on the beach will prepare you for Vix, the hotel's restaurant, serving a mojito beef salad and salmon ceviche, marinated in yuzu, miso, and sake and served with caviar. Book the Moroccan lava-clay massage at the spa; afterwards, a body rinse and a scalp-and-foot massage will render you clean and cuddly in the confines of your own private steam room.
OUT THE BACK DOOR: Your stay includes a personal "vibe manager," who will arrange anything you want to do in Florida: salsa classes in Little Havana, surfing lessons on South Beach, afternoon outings by seaplane to the Florida Keys. Psst: Everglades and Biscayne national parks are easy day trips.
DETAILS: Doubles, $215$715; 800-720-0051, www.hotelvictorsouthbeach.com