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Despite its name, Skybar (1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-3288) isn't a star-kissed rooftop lounge. Located inside the Shore Club hotel, the place is actually at ground level, with a rather elusive entrance around the corner from the resort's lobby. But the lounge does meet one expectation: lots of bling and SoBe types in nice threads.
On a swampy Friday night, darkness engulfed the outdoor pool area, with points of light emanating from cigarette cherries attached to shifting human silhouettes. Around the garden, groups of people sprawled out on large couches and beds, chatting, making out, or sipping premium alcohol. The DJ played mostly hip-hop — even dropping a bit of Wu-Tang — but only the billowing white cabana curtains moved in some kind of rhythm with the beat, for most patrons were content not dancing or mingling.
Away from the pool and behind velvet ropes, the Red Room vibrated with life, but only hotel guests were allowed in. Given the packed room, the Shore Club seemed to be brimming with out-of-towners. Perhaps that's what prompted a man wearing a glimmering wedding ring to ask me if I "live around here." The question was about as original as the vanilla party at which I found myself. Why do people come here? I posed that question to Nick, a real estate agent, who replied with Zagat-esque zeal: "It's a nice place for professionals who want to relax in a low-key environment."
In other words Skybar, with its attractive clientele, commercial mashups, and classy ambiance, is the conventional club-hopper's utopia: a place for people who are impressed by sheen rather than character. Sensing my boredom, a stranger leaned over and said, "You know what these people need? A good push in the pool."