The Experience

Life House South of Fifth, Through My Eyes: Carla Lores

Life House South of Fifth, Through My Eyes: Carla Lores

A visual diary of a stay at Life House South of Fifth, from the point of view of an interior designer and South Beach local.


I spot the white fringed umbrellas from down the street and can’t wait to go inside. The newly-renovated 1920’s building is a Tudor-Style home, which I think is so cool since it’s unique in the area.

It’s very hot out, so stepping into the cool lobby provides a nice escape. It’s buzzing inside with guests checking in, and everywhere you look there are thoughtful details. The smell of the ocean mixed with the scent of Life House candles adds another layer to the hotel experience. I’m offered ice-cold lemon water and the friendly staff direct me to the self check-in station. Nearby, a curated shop displays items from my favorite locals - Vital Tonics, NST Studio, Tejesta and Vacation.


I find my room and open the door to a cozy and beautifully designed space. The wood wall paneling and woven pendants add just the right tropical-coastal feeling. I raid the snacks from the minibar and take a refreshing cool shower, lathering myself in Le Labo bath products. I hang out in the softest robe and look out the window to admire the colorful bougainvillea growing right outside my room.


I’ve asked my sister to join me for sunset out on the cozy, plant-filled front porch to enjoy the onsite restaurant, Pretty Swell. I’m excited to try the plant-forward and locally-sourced menu. Via the online app, we order the delicious and refreshing watermelon salad (feta on the side please), creamy hummus with seasonal veggies, and the tasty BBQ jackfruit tacos. For drinks, my sister picks the mezcal Mahalo cocktail and I go with a Ghia Ginger Spritz. The server recommends adding pineapple juice to my drink - I love this idea. Everything was so yummy and we plan to come back to try the oysters and, hello, shrimp and waffles.


After dinner, we move back inside and the lobby is buzzing again with a mix of hotel guests and locals. The lights have been dimmed and there’s lively music playing that fills the room. We find a spot and squeeze in by the fireplace. Nearby a couple clink their glasses together and embrace. Groups of sun-kissed friends laugh as they stand around the bar and watch while the bartender energetically shakes up cocktails.


Back in the room, I grab another snack from the minibar and nod off to sleep under the soft bed linens after scrolling through HBO and Netflix. No dancing for me tonight, I want to wake up early for a dip in the ocean.


The next morning, I request some towels from the staff and head out to the beach. It takes less than 5 minutes to walk to there, and it's a laid back section with few people around. The weather is perfect out and I will never get over how clear the water looks.


After packing up my bag back in the room, I send the concierge a text to let them know I’m checking out. I walk home to my SoBe apartment only a few blocks away. The charming and familiar Art Deco buildings along the route greet me like old friends after my relaxing staycation.

See Carla on Instagram at @carlalores.

Latest Stories

NantucketDiscover the House Built by a 19th-Century Sea Captain

Two centuries after Captain Robert Calder built his coastal retreat at 10 Cliff Road, Life House Nantucket is still a celebration of the far-flung destinations he visited and the wild island landscape he loved.

Read more
NantucketA Travel Editor’s Guide to Nantucket

To truly explore Nantucket, venture beyond its pristine beaches and admire its sumptuous hydrangeas and overgrown rose gardens. Former Food & Wine travel editor Gina Hamadey shares her favorite spots.

Read more
Lower HighlandsDiscover the House Inspired by Victorian Industrialists

In 1860, Denver was little more than a campsite on the latest edge of the Western frontier. Then Victorian industrialists transformed the mining outpost into a modern metropolis.

Read more
NantucketWhat to Do With 48 Hours in Nantucket

Break out the Breton stripes and break in your topsiders. It doesn’t get more nautical than spending a few days in Nantucket.

Read more

Life House, Palm Springs


Life House, Lower Highlands

rooms starting at $149/night


Life House, Nantucket

rooms starting at $149/night


Life House, Little Havana

rooms starting at $149/night