What’s the best thing about the W South Beach Hotel’s annual summer camp weekends for adults? That would be the adult drinks served all day, starting in the morning and continuing through to the 2am curfew of the late night after parties. This isn’t Camp Know Where, that’s for sure.
The basics of Camp WSB
Camp WSB takes place in June, July and August, each month with a different campy theme. In 2022, June had a focus on music and July was fashion, specifically the fashion that made Miami famous: the swimsuit. The August 2022 session will take place August 5-9, with more womenswear on deck and retailer Love Shack Fancy hosting a summer social.
On the weekends from Friday night to Sunday night (plan to check out on Monday) there’s loads of other camp-style stuff. Expect a Friday night Camp Mixer cookout with a clubby disco after-party, workout classes and weekend morning tennis lessons, cabana crafts and a screening of your favorite summer camp-themed movies outdoors.
Given that July’s camp overlapped with Miami Swim Week (mark your calendars for mid-July 2023), the centerpiece of our July WSB experience was camp a sports illustrated Swim Runway Show, held above the W South Beach swimming pool, featuring performances by several of the models who appeared in the last one S.I Swimsuit theme. This crazy, uptight scene nearly threw some of the wall-to-wall viewers into the pool, providing a respite from the scorching, humid 90-degree nighttime situation. July in Miami is not for the faint of heart.
Unlike kids’ camps, there’s an abundance of booze (and other) sponsors, meaning you’ll find a swag backpack in your hotel room. Inside you may find a collapsible plastic ‘canteen’ for Sipsmith Gin drinks – a handy vessel for refilling the camp’s signature WSB ‘Basil Smash’ gin cocktail. (You’ll also find silly white tube socks branded “Happy Camper” designed to give your weekend look that Napoleon dynamite Mood.)
Drinking the signature Courvoisier berry punch, developed for the cabana-crafting segment, made this activity more palatable, because the Sunday afternoon pastime is pathetically lame — think threading cheap, multicolored plastic beads into a cell phone accessory. However, after the sun went down on Sunday, the crowd gathered to drink more gin and eat truffle popcorn. The Screening on the Green featured the ever-popular adult-themed summer camp film: Think Wet hot American summerthat they showed at July camp and are hoping for meatballs or moonrise kingdom for Aug.
Join the W South Beach Adult Camp Experience
Camp WSB begins with a two or three night reservation (Friday through Monday gives you the full camp experience) starting at $790 per night depending on the room or suite selected. This includes all camp activities including the welcome mixer with oyster shells, cocktails and DJ music, as well as a camp cookout, disco parties, a limited brunch (with the crafting segment) and the movie on the lawn. Most drinks and meals you order in the restaurants, bars and on the beach are at your own expense unless stated as included. And spa treatments cost extra at the recently renovated Away Spa on the fourth floor. A deep tissue massage was a spectacular and happily free way to while away a Sunday afternoon.
Suites at the hotel are particularly luxurious and spacious, with expansive balconies overlooking the sea and large bedrooms with beds that cocoon you into a cocoon of comfort. It’s so good in these beds that you may not want to get out, even though the camp activities are calling. No camp beds and tents in Camp WSB! (But bring bug spray for those outdoor parties and apply liberally if mosquitoes love you.)
The W South Beach is located on Collins Avenue on a beautiful sandy beach; Their beach service is impeccable, with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean just steps from the pool area. The whole hotel has a great vibe, with original work by Warhols, Basquiats and other cool artists adorning the walls – plus plenty of private nooks where you and your favorite person can hide from the camp counselors for as long as you like.
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