I spent a lot of time at the Standard yesterday. It's one of those beautiful and mysterious places that manages to be both of the moment and steeped in nostalgia. Andre Balazs is the uber-hip hotel guru behind it. He dated Uma Thurman so maybe he's got a handle on the duality of hipness vs. authenticity.
A couple details about the place:
It features an indoor hamam (like a Turkish bath) except this is one co-ed and you must wear a bathing suit. This means you're bathing while still clothed. Contradiction? Perhaps.
Another curious feature - the building is an oldie from the 50's and the designer has left all these remnants of the building's former life (old bathroom tiles, metal-encased swinging doors, old-timey signs, etc.) while incorporating super-stylish furniture from the like of Roche Bobois and Hamptons-esque white painted benches. So you're sitting in the neo-hippie lobby on a Indian-style square cushion staring at restored Terazzo flooring. It all might be too precious to handle.
The pool is filled with salt water. It borders Biscayne Bay which is filled with salt water. It is a salt-water body of water within another. This begs the question, why bother going in the pool? Is the pool enhanced by its proximity to the orginal salt-water source? It's a beautiful pool nonetheless.
Locals have embraced the place such that it's more like a yogi-filled clubhouse rather than a high-end hotel.
An image from yesterday that I can't seem to erase from my mind: A guy with an expensive mullet-type haircut sits on a lounge chair by the crowded pool. On his lap is an open magazine with a two-page spread on actress Ellen Page. Meanwhile he taps at his iPhone. Is he a DJ? A global citizen of the world? How can he afford the $500 + room rate at the Standard and an iPhone? Does it even matter?