What It's Like To Run The Best New Hotel Of 2012, The SLS South Beach

sls south beach pool

Photo: SLS Hotels

SLS Hotels opened its fourth property in South Beach to much fanfare in June, and the hotel quickly became a hotspot on the Miami party circuit.Now, the Philippe Starck-designed property in the heart of Collins Avenue’s art deco district has been named the best hotel opening of 2012 by Condé Nast traveller Network blog HotelChatter, thanks to its stylish and well-equipped rooms — each comes with a complimentary iPad, and suites were designed by Lenny Kravitz — and gorgeous public spaces and restaurants.

They include eateries from culinary giants José Andrés and Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and the latest iteration of Hyde Lounge, SLS’s nightlife brand.

The 140-room SLS Miami Beach also made a splash during this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, hosting several major VIP events.

Presiding over the property is general manager Albert Mertz, who oversees a staff of 500 and makes sure everything from the poolside fare to the concierge service is up to snuff. Earlier this year, he gave Business Insider an inside look at his typical day so we could see what it’s like to run one of the hottest hotels in Miami.

General Manager Albert Mertz arrives at the SLS at 7am every morning. Before arriving he's already spent an hour checking email.

Here he is greeting the lobby staff. 520 people are employed by the hotel, one of four SLS properties.

There's also a daily check-in with the concierge, to keep tabs on house VIPs.

Soon, Mertz is off on a walk around the property. The hotel, designed by Philippe Starck, has 140 guest rooms.

The chefs at The Bazaar by José Andrés, one of two restaurants at the SLS, show Mertz some new dish ideas they've come up with.

He gets to taste them—this has to be a highlight of working in the hospitality industry.

A paleta (popsicle) made with Mexican chocolate is the perfect treat to beat the Miami sun.

In the hotel business, it's the little things that count. Mertz hides a trash can at the hotel's outdoor bar out of view of guests.

Next it's time for a stop at the SLS' other restaurant, Katsuya, where Mertz catches up with the chefs. The menu here is modern Japanese with a twist.

Mertz heads down to Hyde Beach, an indoor/outdoor lounge with pools. Even non-guests can hang here, for a fee ($50 food and drink minimum for chairs, $100 for day beds).

Mertz greets guests having lunch at Hyde Beach.

At a major hotel property, the maintenance never ends. Mertz checks up on an engineering project near the pool.

After lunch, it's time to oversee an architectural photo shoot in one of the property's 10 villas. Between fashion, press, and marketing shoots, this scene is not uncommon.

Not all parts of a manager's day are glamorous. Mertz cleans a table after guests leave.

Even a GM has to get his hands dirty.

A brief run-in with the chief of security. In addition to the security chief, 25 employees deal with hotel safety.

Prior to dinner service at The Bazaar by José Andrés, Mertz stops by to offer a few words of encouragement to the staff.

Now walk through Miami's hottest event

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