March 22, 2017

Gale South Beach

The Deco tile extends through the patio, bringing a rosy color to the landscape of green beside the restaurant. Palm trees, living moss, and ferns grow thick on the expanse of space flanking either side of the walkway up to the patio, creating a paradise just for the Gale.

The outside has been masterfully refurbished in vibrant Art Deco style; the inside is modern and cool, with an Italian edge and rustic flair. Welcome to the Gale South Beach.

The Gale majestically sits at the corner of Collins and 17th near the northern edge of Miami’s famed South Beach. The hotel’s front entrance is found by following a Deco jewel-toned and rock-flecked sidewalk that leads through the outdoor patio area of Dolce Italian restaurant. On the patio, umbrellas create a shady oasis from the south Florida sun. The Deco tile extends through the patio, bringing a rosy color to the landscape of green beside the restaurant. Palm trees, living moss, and ferns grow thick on the expanse of space flanking either side of the walkway up to the patio, creating a paradise just for the Gale.

Through the double glass doors of this upscale hotel and immediately to the right, is an espresso bar serving classic Italian espresso drinks,  gourmet snacks, and delicious pastries. To the left, separated from the espresso bar by a four-foot wood partition, is some of Dolce’s inside seating and the restaurant’s full-service bar. The Deco tile extends onto this dining floor as well, creating whimsical patterns of three-foot circles that swirl beneath white stone tables and brown leather chairs. This compilation of styling sets the stage for something only Miami, and really, only the Gale, can pull off.

Up a half staircase, next to the bar, is a continuation of Dolce dining space. From the outside it seems as though Dolce is an intimate and luscious outdoor restaurant, but, in fact, it spans across three different dining spaces, making a very accommodating space as a whole. This dining room blends a rustic flair with the perfect touch of Italian style and elegance. Wood floors and walls are warm and inviting, while white table linens spell chic and classic fine dining. Set with delicate wine glasses and gold-colored water goblets, each table awaits guests, inviting them to fill each cozy booth and table with conversation and laughter.

Back down the half staircase and up another that sits opposite to it, you start to realize how spacious The Gale is and how it’s both expertly designed and intelligently utilized. As you walk up the other half staircase you’ll see the front desk and lobby area. Notice it’s uniqueness with curved bright white and chrome stripes that give it a retro zing. This replica of the original 1940s front desk showcases how, in many ways, the 1960s took some of its cues from the 1940s Art Deco movement. The marriage of modern and classic continues behind the front desk where sleek bookshelves are positioned diagonally to form large Xs on the wall. Books sit in the crook of each right angle. Every space you see in the hotel has been carefully thought about; every corner exudes luxury.

Once given your room key, walk past the front desk and over to the west elevators. As you round the corner, notice the wall of original framed photos. The building’s historic semblance is prominently displayed. The property has been in the owner’s family for decades, and the history plays out in the photographs on this and other walls throughout the hotel. To preserve the history of the hotel, as per Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board protocol, the walls of the original structure cannot be changed. So this luxury hotel sits securely inside its original walls from 1941, as testimony and applause to its history and an era past.

Up the elevators and once in your room, take in the clean environment that perfect white walls and bedding bring to the space. The modern lighting is soothing, conducive to both night-time reading or simply relaxing in one’s room. Notice that instead of a “Do Not Disturb” sign, there is actually an electronic notification system inside your room, by the door, where a button lets housekeeping know whether or not you’d like service.

The bathroom is luxurious and is equipped with both a movable and a rain head showerhead. The mirror, that shines “natural light,” helps you ready yourself for your day, unless, of course, you plan to spend an easy, relaxing day, lounging by the pool. Then, forego your makeup and hair. Grab those sunglasses and let’s go up to the roof!

The “roofdeck” pool is just that, an entire roof, dedicated solely to lounging pool-side. Both covered and uncovered lounging beds, as well as singular reclining lounging chairs, welcome sun-lovers. Towels, chilled water, and even sunscreen are available for guest use. When it’s time for a snack or a drink, give your order to the waiting attendant. Cocktails and food are coming straight up from Dolce, so you’re sure to be delighted. Menu items for pool service include wood-fired, brick oven pizzas, salads, and fresh pasta dishes. Drinks are spin-offs on Italian classics like the “Veneto Spritzer,” an upgraded Aperol Spritz made with vodka, Aperol, lemon bitters and tonic water, or the “Barrel-Aged Negroni,” made with Tanqueray malacca gin, campari, and cocchi torino.

After a full day of basking in the sun, head back to your room for a refreshing shower and to dress for dinner at Dolce where all the pasta and pizza dough are not only fresh, but actually made-to-order. No matter which of three dining spaces you choose, Dolce is about to wow you!

Try the Caprese salad with Dolce’s house-made mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, aged balsamic, olive oil, and maldon sea salt. The Summer Salad is also extremely fresh and clean, with bibb lettuce, cucumber, fennel, watermelon radish, white balsamic, and mint.

The pizza is a must-try. Once the toppings are assembled on the freshly-tossed dough, the pizza is placed in a brick oven that’s built into the upper-level dining area of Dolce. If you’re curious to see the chefs make the pizzas from start to finish, walk up to the serving bar across from the oven and check it out. Because of the high heat, your pizza will be ready in about two minutes and will have a crisp, wood-fired finish. The Margherita is an Italian classic, but there are others worth a try like the Contadina made with artichokes, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and peppers, and the Pazza made with spicy salami, zucchini, and candied tomatoes.

For pasta, check out the Lemon Ricotta Cavatelli, served with spring green vegetables and pesto and ricotta salata, a bright, yet comforting dish. The Risotto alla Parmigiana is served with spinach and braised short ribs--a beautifully-rich dish. Other entree dishes include a pan-seared salmon, shrimp and scallops, and a beef filet. There’s also an excellent selection of vegetable sides that are classic in light Southern Italy-style. The Wilted Spinach, for example, is served with nutmeg and ricotta salata, while the Jumbo Asparagus is “simply charred.”

For dessert, you’ll find items like Tiramisu, Apple Tart, and Budino alla Nutella--all worthy of a sampling! But it’s the gelato that I’d like to point you to. Flavors include pistacchio (yes, this is the Italian spelling, not a typo), vanilla, salted caramel, and three that you might have to use Google Translate on: “nocciola,” “cioccolato,” and “fior di latte.” Translation: hazelnut, chocolate, and fior di latte meaning “flower of milk” or sweetened cream--the Italian standard gelato.

Feeling alive from all those Italian taste sensations? That’s how I felt traveling through  Italy, and that’s how you know you’ve found a true representation of Italian cuisine in any other country. But the night is young, and this is, after all, Miami. It’s time for the next stop, but you don’t have to go far. Just on the other side of the hotel is Regent Cocktail Club.

“Club” refers more to the era that’s represented. This is a beautiful recreation of a 1940s cocktail club, with all of the modern ambiance that cool colors, barware and dim lighting bring. Leather couches, artistic chandeliers, and industrial light bulbs are combined to bring an upscale speakeasy vibe.

While there, sip on the Regent Punch made with Absolut elyx, raspberry, almond, citrus and “bubbles,” or treat yourself to the Hemingway, made with Bacardi superior, grapefruit, luxardo maraschino, and lime. The full bar also carries a wide selection of wine.

Sit inside with the dim lights in a cozy corner, or head out on the back patio in the always-agreeable weather. Outside, you’ll see a sign for the “Regent Hotel.” This side of the building was a separate hotel called the Regent which backed up directly to the Gale. Today, both the Regent and the Gale proudly function as one connected space, while continuing to preserve and display their historical background.

If you’re up for exploring yet another space, head to the Rec Room--a 1970s-1980s style club in the basement of the Gale. To get to the Rec Room, you’ll head back over to Dolce, and instead of taking the half-stair up to the top level of Dolce dining, you’ll take the half-stair beside it, down, and straight through the wooden doors ahead of you.

This club’s full-length bar lines the far left wall. Leather lounging couches abound. There’s also ample open space between to show off your dance moves, inspired by the disco music. Beyond the bar and couches, there is additional seating. Nearby wooden shelves hold record after record, and memorabilia from the era of “funk.” Somewhat reminiscent of your 80s-obsessed uncle’s basement, this space is electrified by warm lights, rich leather, cool jams, and great drinks.

You actually never have to leave the Gale during your stay. Everything you could want is right there in one hotel. While beautifully boutique, the Gale offers amenities and services comparable to any deluxe resort. All the grandeur and excitement you want can be found at this 5-star location. The Gale South Beach is remarkably the chicest, most luxurious, perfectly-curated spot of paradise that Miami has to offer. Cheers!

Event Capacity

Regent Cocktail Club: 50
Rec Room: 250
Rooftop Deck: 200
Dolce Main Dining Room: 100

Want to learn even more about what Gale South Beach has to offer? Go visit them.

Want to learn about the other properties that Menin Hospitality owns and manages, as well as the restaurant concepts they’ve begun? Go visit them.

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Posted in: Space & Taste

Tagged: Boutique Hotels

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