And while plenty of hotel bars do well enough during "the season," it takes some real cojones to open a spot heading into the slow and stormy summer season.
But we've found one that's not afraid to put its set on the table: say hello to Whiskey Blue at the W Fort Lauderdale, an audacious new cocktail den from intrepid nightlife czar (and husband of Cindy Crawford) Rande Gerber.
This is Florida's first and only outpost of Gerber's famed franchise, located on the first floor of the hotel with a massive outdoor patio situated directly on A1A for maximum beach-watching pleasure. The place is sort of a perfect storm of classy nightlife fun, full of expertly mixed cocktails (like the absinthe and elderflower-spiked Absinthe Minded Refresher), comfy seating with world-class design (sexy wood-and-glass Noguchi tables inside, Frank Gehry-crafted pieces outdoors) and lots of pretty girls in small dresses.
After taking in the lay of the land (and maybe meeting a vivacious Floridian or three), you'll want to head up to the third floor "living room," where pool tables, a DJ and more cocktails on the outdoor patio await. You'll also want to stop by the fifth floor pool deck, which offers a firepit and private cabanas.