Summer’s here and your kids are in sleepaway camp and, well, you’re jealous. Instead of making like an Adam Sandler movie and crashing your kids’ party, consider grabbing your other half and checking into The Freehand, the closest thing Miami Beach comes to summer camp for grownups–minus the curfews, counselors, and bug juice. Yes, The Freehand is a hostel, but there is specifically no “Youth” in front of it. You might feel like that’s a mistake, though, since you immediately feel young or at least youngish when you walk through the doors of this groovy spot on 28th Street and Indian Creek Drive.
The campiness starts in the lobby of what was once the Indian Creek Hotel, where all sorts of area activities are listed as if you were, well, in camp. Whether you do yoga on the beach or not is up to you–one of the benefits of being an adult in camp. While some of you may feel a bit long in the tooth at this hipster haven, even older are the vintage travel ads and Midcentury Modern furniture. So what about the bunks–er, rooms. Both terms actually are apropos here, and because you are taking a trip back to your youth with your significant other, you may want to opt for a private room over the shared rooms.
Inside you will find a lot more than you did at camp: flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations, bathrobes. Bathrooms are retro, but at least you’ll have one. As clean and comfy as the rooms may be, the focal point here, the canteen, if you will, is the in-house bar, The Broken Shaker, possibly Miami’s best example of modern mixology and au courant cocktailing. The drinks here are sublime, but the food is also something that won’t make you yearn for your campfire days of burnt hot dogs and hamburgers.
After a late night and a restful sleep, you and yours should report directly to the courtyard pool and not move (unless ping pong, bocce, and board games lure you up) until your kids return home from camp at the end of the summer. Or whenever checkout is. Cue contagious camp songs here.