In early December, in that weird social vacuum between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there's no more glorious place to be than Miami. That's when the planet's art-loving high rollers, and the scenesters who follow in their rarefied wake, descend on the city for the annual festival-cum-bacchanal Art Basel Miami Beach. Party central for these seasonal migrants is the hotel scene on South Beach, where late-night revelers repair to the pool bars at the Delano or the Raleigh to toss back mojitos in the name of art. But this year, the epicenter is likely to shift to the $200 million Mondrian in South Beach, which will have its grand opening during the fair. The Mondrian is Dutch designer Marcel Wanders's first hotel-condo commission in the US, and it's a significant gamble for the developer as well, given the broader economic doldrums stifling the industry. Wanders has been building toward this grand US debut for more than a decade.
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