South Beach
Here, there's never any shortage of good company

From the April 22, 2002 Issue of New York

Once a year, my best friend and I like to take a girls' weekend together. Multiple margaritas used to be our favorite pastime, but now that she is married and I've put my party-girl days behind me, we figured the Shore Club in South Beach was a safe bet: Any potential suitors would surely be more interested in each other or in the roster of celebrities (Puffy, Bill Clinton, Madonna) who host private parties in the hotel's private pool, by the private cabana.

The miso cod at Nobu, one of the hotel's restaurants, is as good as the TriBeCa version, but during dinner we noticed something strange: The more we wanted to shut out the world and talk to each other, the more attention we attracted. It was like we were using "The Rules" without knowing it. Waiters wouldn't leave us alone; neither would neighboring diners who wanted to try our sake. (Why, we wondered, didn't we think of using this technique years before?)

When it rained the next morning, we raided the coed Scoop boutique in the lobby and were treated to way too much sartorial advice from boys who were not sticking to their gender's side of the store. Meanwhile, the cough my companion had had in the airport was turning into a full-throttle TheraFlu emergency. But the sicker she got, the more they flocked. The trainers wanted to give us free full-body sculpting. ("Perhaps you need to align your meridians?" they suggested.) Unwanted guests crashed our stealth picnic by the pool bar, a full spread from Joe's Stone Crab complete with Key-lime pie -- refusing to leave until I feigned a breakdown.

The next night, dinner at Rumi on Lincoln Road produced the same result. Afterward, at Tower Bar, two guys straight out of A Night at the Roxbury sidled up. On our last day at the pool, my friend was even sicker, so she wrapped herself in a sarong from head to toe. No matter that she looked like a mummy; a Speedo-wearing, gold-chain-dangling guest glued to his wireless headset still sent a pool boy to ask for her number. Perhaps she should have been flattered. Milla Jovovich was a mere chaise away, and headset man didn't even notice.

The Shore Club (doubles from $160; 305-695-3100); Nobu (305-695-3232); Rumi (305-672-4353); Joe's Stone Crab (305-673-0365). Fly direct from La Guardia.


Photograph: Shore Club