Townhouse Hotel, South Beach

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Townhouse Hotel doesn’t scream, “look at me; look at me,” but once it’s gotten your attention, there’s really no way to keep your eyes off this South Beach cutie-pie. Tucked around the corner from Collins Avenue on 20th Street, the Townhouse Hotel is just too charming to pass on by. And for your young, trendy clients looking to find a homey property, this 70-room hotel is the perfect place for them to lay their Marc Jacob retro Pan Am bags.

peeking inside “We are a simple and chic property,” says Colleen Graham, the hotel’s director of sales. “Staying here is like staying in your home away from home, hence the name ‘townhouse.’” Adding to that cozy feeling is the young and quite serviceable staff that—unlike some other SoBe getaways—offer a non-pretentious attitude.

The all-white guestrooms are minimally decorated, although splashes of red—including a red-and-white beach ball perfectly placed on the queen-size bed—and baby-blue add a playful and modish touch to the accommodations. Indeed, baby-blue pillows adorn each bed complemented by giant round poufs and rugs in scarlet and baby-blue. The signature red color seemingly swirls about the room coming to rest on the lamp shades in flowered cardinal red, and on the old-fashioned fire-engine red telephones (although your clients will be happy to know that they have modern features like voice mail and data ports and there’s also complimentary wireless Internet). Another fun twist to the accommodations are the L-shaped couches, which, the hotel says, can double as crash pads for overnight guests, who, by the way, aren’t charged for their stay—this is South Beach, after all. Additionally, guestrooms have a flat-screen TV, iron and ironing board, fridge, safe and ample closet space. Another smart touch to the accommodations are the unexpected rain showers in the bathrooms—it’s all in the details, isn’t it?

Accommodation options include standard and superior—a corner room with two sides of windows—as well as two penthouses. One of the penthouses offers such features as views of the Atlantic Ocean, two terraces and a clawfoot tub, while the other offers city views and a jacuzzi.

Slipping out of the accommodations—past the exercise equipment uniquely located at the end of the hall—this “boutique-y” hotel carries on the signature red motif in the rooftop, lobby and beachside. Whether it’s the red cruiser bicycles in the lobby—which can be rented for $9.95 for four hours—the beachside lounge chairs at the hotel’s beach area, or—our favorite—the red king-size waterbeds at the hotel’s rooftop lounge, which is open for all-day sunbathing and then morphs into a chic lounge on Fridays and Saturdays.

Although the hotel does not have a pool of its own, the beach is literally steps away. Tell clients to go down to the lobby early to take advantage of the complimentary self-serve breakfast (a great booking incentive in today’s economy) from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. (noon on weekends) at the Pantry—they’ll find hard-boiled eggs, bagels, croissants, fresh juice, coffee, and tea, among other items. Then take a stroll down the newly enhanced 20th Street promenade that snakes its way along the beach. They’ll see the sun making its way over the Atlantic and share the peaceful morning solitude with a sprinkling of joggers and passersby.

Of course, if guests have woken up early enough to see the sun making its way over the ocean, that means they might have missed the nighttime delights the hotel offers both in the basement and on the rooftop. A magical feast awaits below the lobby at the very fashionable BondSt Lounge, where, the hotel says, guests can savor “insane sushi and cocktails.” Indeed, there are so many delicious items on the menu, all fresh and vibrantly tasty, it’s difficult to make one’s mind up, but a must-try are the sea bass skewers, the lobster tempura rolls and tell clients that the specials of the day are usually a must (items come in tasting-menu quantities and are made for sharing). The waiters are very helpful in making suggestions as most of them have tried everything on the menu at least once. This intimately sized venue is extremely popular—during Recommend’s visit, it went from no patrons to a full house in about half an hour, so recommend clients make reservations early if they want to get a good seat in the house. On weekends, patrons saunter over to the property’s other extreme—the rooftop—for what the hotel calls a “rockin’ party.” There, they’ll find great city views, comfy waterbeds to get cozy on and a great menu of top-caliber drinks. It’s very laid-back and a wonderful idea if you want to feel part of the SoBe scene. In fact, Graham points out, “We are where it is all about. We really are where everyone wants to be.… All the main ‘scene’ hotels are all within walking distance from each other and all the main nightlife venues.”