By: Shayne Benowitz
Here’s your guide to the best of Miami’s nightlife during Art Basel.
The global art scene descends on Miami during Art Basel with world-renowned galleries, cutting edge artists, deep-pocketed collectors and a slew of celebrities and socialites flitting through town. That means one big party!
From the infamous Le Baron pop-up nightclub (where will it be this year?) to A-list VIP fêtes, Art Basel is an exciting week for Miami nightlife. If you’re hoping to rub elbows with the “it crowd,” here’s your guide to some of Miami’s hottest nightlife destination during Basel.
WHERE TO DANCE ALL NIGHT
Basement at The Miami Beach EDITION
Strong out of the gates and only gaining momentum, Basement at The Miami Beach EDITION promises to be the hot spot for Art Basel after parties this year. With the intimate Discobox dance club, hosting everyone from Questlove to Soul Clap, an ice skating rink and a four-lane bowling alley, Basement knows how to throw a serious party with a light-hearted spirit.
FDR at Delano
A South Beach classic, the Delano is always buzzing during Art Basel, whether it be an exclusive soiree by the pool, an installation in the lobby or an impossible-to-get-into pop-up club at FDR. Yes, they’ve hosted the Le Baron pop-up on more than one occasion. Tough door aside, the Delano is an essential stop during Art Basel—and who knows? You might get lucky at the velvet rope.
Pearl Champagne Lounge at Nikki Beach
A lounge dedicated exclusively to bottles of bubbles and VIPs, Pearl at Nikki Beach tends to have a strong lineup of swanky private parties during Art Basel. With an oceanfront South of Fifth address and iced out décor, it’s a posh spot for a pricey party.
Rec Room at The Gale
Celebrating its third Art Basel this year, Rec Room at The Gale has solidified its status as a perennial South Beach hotspot. Expect a stellar DJ lineup, exciting collaborations and strong parties every night in this hip and intimate subterranean lounge.
WHERE TO SCHMOOZE WITH THE GLITTERATI
1 Hotel Rooftop
With a sexy rooftop lounge 17 stories high jutting towards the Atlantic Ocean boasting sweeping 360 degree views, the 1 Hotel Rooftop will no doubt host its fair share of Art Basel shindigs. The space, with an infinity pool, bar and restaurant, is a chic place for sunbathing by day and cocktail clinking after sunset.
1930s House at Thompson Hotel
The Thompson was an Art Basel hotspot during its 2014 debut and with impressive entertaining venues like 1930s House, the forecast is good for this year. Found in the hotel’s sweeping backyard, 1930s House is literally a house from the 1930s acquired by the former owners of the hotel. Today, it hosts a pop-up restaurant by chef Michelle Bernstein who also helms the hotel’s permanent dining destination, Seagrape. One can only guess what might occupy the kitschy digs come Art Basel.
With a whimsical poolscape overlooking Biscayne Bay and a design scheme inspired by Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the Mondrian always delivers strong Art Basel programming. Whether it’s a pool party featuring a Friends With You installation or evening parties with New York’s Saturdays Surf, the Mondrian is committed to an artful good time.
WHERE TO HANGOUT IN THE WYNWOOD SCENE
For a party without the pretense, venture to Wynwood. This mural-splashed neighborhood filled with galleries is the heart of Miami’s cutting edge, contemporary art scene. Gramps is the neighborhood’s laidback, rock ‘n roll bar with killer cocktails and an eclectic crowd. Chances are they’ll be co-opting some chill parties with under the radar spirits or beer brands for fun times in Wynwood during Art Basel.
For music lovers, Bardot is the hot ticket during Art Basel, hosting shows by acts as wide-ranging as Neon Indian and Janes Addiction. While the vibe of this midtown club is more laidback than the South Beach scene, it doesn’t necessarily mean the door is more relaxed. The good news is, most of these parties are open to the public. Just purchase a ticket online ahead of time.
Your best bet for a crazy underground electronic dance music party paired with trippy performance art is the Electric Pickle. The space is dark, sweaty and surprisingly cavernous with an outdoor patio, often crammed with party people. This is the place to get down and let go of inhibitions during Art Basel.
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