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The Ritz-Carlton hotel in South Beach, Florida, was the deliciously sophisticated answer. A restoration of the DiLido Hotel, designed by the flamboyant Russian-born architect Morris Lapidus in the 1950s, the resort is a fusion of its glamorous Art Deco past and its sleek, trendy present. "I felt like I had the best of both worlds," said fashion editor Jenny Capitain. "You can get dressed up at night and spend the day relaxing by the pool."
Or at the 16,000-square-foot La Maison de Beauté Carita, the first spa of its kind outside Paris, guests can revel in distinctive treatments like Le Renovateur Body Polish, which exfoliates with French-grown sunflower seeds. In addition to the 376 guest rooms and 41 suites, the hotel's interior has an art collection that features the works of prominent Latin American and European artists like Juan Lecuona and Joan Miró. There's Mediterranean food at DiLido Beach Club, which overlooks the Atlantic and is one of three dining areas on-site. And swimming is also available as a spectator sport, with a water-ballet performance every Saturday at 5 p.m. Rooms from $309 to $5,500. For more information, call 800-241-3333 or visit ritzcarlton.com.