Miami beach is always a ball and an easy escape for a much needed break or weekend jaunt.
The number of fabulous hotels and resorts in the area is astounding and with so many new projects in the works, it was high time I paid a visit.
The top luxury hotels including Mandarin-Oriental, Four Seasons are located in Brickell and nearby guests could enjoy The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne but it was not until recent years that the service and hotel offering on the beach has really stepped up its game. Each hotel is unique and, depending on your style, the best fit may depend on what you are seeking for any particular visit.
Here is a brief recap of my Spring Break research, but contact me for more details and to ensure we book you in just the right spot. Of course, you can always count on the many amenities that you only get when allowing Resort to Laura Madrid make your arrangements.
- The Edition
Fun dining at the pool and the beach, El Matador for sophisticated dining indoors and out, and Market by Jean George for fun breakfasts where you can belly up to coffee bar, the open kitchen, the charcuterie station or the bakery.
Great beach and lounge chair service. Two pools. Lawn games, sand box and lots of outdoor seating areas.
The rooms are beautiful. Splurge for an oceanfront for great views or a bungalow for great space!
Unique Selling Point: Ice skating rink, bowling alley and night club called Basement. The skating and bowling are open for families between 5-8pm.
Low Point: Being charged $25 if you wish to have an umbrella at the beach.
This is part of the Singapore based Como group who have special properties throughout the world, but US-based clients may be familiar with the fabulous and luxurious Parrot Key Resort in Turks & Caicos.
I love The Metropolitan for a few reasons and one is its location just north of the madness of South Beach. It has a lovely pedestrian and bike path between the hotel and the pool and then a boardwalk between the pool and the beach.
It is small and personal, with about 75 keys, the design is an impeccable mid-century restoration with many original details from the terrazzo flooring to a charming old water fountain.
The colors and feel throughout is extremely soothing and calming. The food off the regular menu and the healthful Shambala cuisine menu is absolutely delicious.
I love the complimentary roof top wellness retreat featuring hydro-therapy pools, sauna, steam and city views!
High Point: The extremely friendly, polished and personalized service – everyone feels so genuinely interested in your well being, this can be rare in Miami. The team could not do enough for us.
Low Point: Rooms can be a lake view, city view or ocean view all of which have their merits – but most do not have balconies.
The Betsy is a traditional and charming boutique property with a lot of character and warmth.
Guests rooms are decorated and designed to feel like a room in your home. The suites are very comfortable with sitting areas and large bathrooms and walk-in closets.
BLT Steak is located on property with a roof top terrace and bar. A wonderful place for sunset cocktails.
The location of The Betsy Is perfect for those that want to be in South Beach and walking distance to all the restaurants and fun without the noise and chaos of it all. Located just across the street from Lummus Park, The Betsy is in a pocket of calm before the action just north and south picks up. Guests of The Betsy access the public beach by crossing through the park and here they have two complimentary chairs and an umbrella per room, provided by the designated concession.
High Point: The Betsy is a unique design with heart and soul and will feel very comforting for families, couples or groups of friends. They have live music, poetry readings and other cultural offerings.
Low Point: The ground floor pool is in the court yard and is on the small side and very quiet (this of course is a highlight for some!)
SLS is a great option for those that want to be at a hotel that does have quite a scene but are still seeking a more luxurious offering than some of the other South Beach “places to see and be scene”. SLS has a large and fun pool with great places to cocktail and dine al fresco. Located at the SLS, is Bazaar by Jose Andres is one of the hottest restaurants in town.
Beautiful but small guest rooms.
High Point: Pool-side food and beverage scene.
Low Point: Located on a busy portion of Collins drive and the environment is more high energy than relaxing. The Setai is still a fabulous and very sleek option for those wanting to be in a high energy place but not too much of a scene.
- Newly Opened
1 Hotel South Beach This hot socially conscious, sustainable eco-hotel, also happens to be incredibly chic, drop-dead gorgeous and perfectly located between the calm Miami Beach and the happening South Beach areas. Check out the recent article in Vanity Fair – this is one to watch!
Thompson Hotel another newly opened an lovely option in Miami Beach
Faena, the Argentine hotel group from Buenos Aires will open and incredible hotel and complex – will definitely be one to watch!! With these three opening all in Miami Beach we see a huge shift of activity and revitalization coming to this area.
I did take one day to drive up the coast to see all of the development along Collins and the number of cranes is astounding even beyond Miami Beach. North of there we passed the new Four Seasons Surfside opening at the famed historic social club – Surf Club.
A new Ritz-Carlton is being developed in Bal Harbour.
I stopped in for a look around at the St. Regis Bal Harbour located adjacent to the famous designer shopping area. This is an opulent and very busy hotel. Though grand and beautiful, I will admit that it made me feel like I was on a business trip. Yes, I am always on a business trip but I like to pretend I am on vacation!
Finally, arriving to Sunny Isles to the see the Five-Star Acqualina Resort, a Rosewood Hotel. While the high rise feel of Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles is not my personal cup of tea, you really do need to enter through the lobby at Acqualina to get a feel for the fantastic family resort with complimentary kids programing, lovely outdoor dining, great service, and something for everyone! This is the type of resort that you check into and there is no reason to leave. The beaches are absolutely gorgeous and the service is available to provide anything you want, whenever you want it. Getting here is super easy as the resort sits easily between either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale international airports – super easy from to get in and out right from the tiny FLL airport!
Miami has always been hot, but with all of the luxury properties re-inventing themselves or newly opening, the beach is sure to sizzle.
The restaurant scene is to die for. Here is a list of a few good ones along with few of our favorites:
Ola – Best ceviches and empanadas around. Request an outdoor table on the lovely and refreshing terrace
Bazaar – the hot spot at the SLS
Joes Stone Crab – Quintessential Miami!
Michaels Genuine Food and Drink
A favorite for so many years in the Design district, go early for the shopping!
Larios on the Beach – Great Cuban food and best margarita I have ever had
Sushi, where the locals go – Pubbelly Sushi
Casual Sushi – Moshi Moshi