The Golden Coast
Warm up your winter by heading down to Miami and its surrounding beach front areas. Miami has so many nooks and crannies: variety of neighborhoods, designs, vibes, parties, and simply the endless sounds of crashing waves.
The salty and sun burned smell of the air is seductive and captivating. It lures you in, lets you get lost in the shore fantasy, forget about daily routine in a matter of hours. The Latin culture influence is sensual and sexy. The rhythm of live music, the warmth of seafood paella, the chill of tequila or the spice of rum - will deliver dreams.
And even to me, the never fully satisfied, hungry and eager New Yorker, it never gets old to return home, or hotel room, on the verge of a sunrise (that is if your muscles beg for activity and soul for adventure) and go skinny dipping in the cool and refreshing waters of the ocean, or a pool, after a steamy and sexy night out.
So let’s see where we will be indulging ourselves in complete relaxation, letting loose, sleeping in or slipping out this winter down South. Aside from the classics and all-time favorites such as Setai, Delano and the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach, here are our top three picks in no particular order:
The Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club cannot disappoint with its signature top of the line service and attention to details. Spacious accommodations, spa with internationally inspired treatments, ocean front lawn for morning yoga or meditation, and restaurant with a Mediterranean flavor odyssey bring a touch of Amalfi Coast dolce vita to this East coast location.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach, a glossy and over the top property designed by an Australian couple - Baz Luhrmann (award winner film director/screenwriter) and his wife Catherine Martin (Oscar winning costume and set designer), is a trip to an adult wonderland of well curated art and design. The hotel features its own Old Hollywood glamour theater with cabaret performances, along with fantastic Argentinian grill master Francis Mallmann and his open fire kitchen restaurant, sexy crowd at the Living Room and Saxony Bars.
W South Beach has been a staple for the party lovers and to see and be seen crowd, located at the Northern part of the South Beach and home to the Dutch, Mr. Chow, and the Wall. This place is where high heels are de rigueur at all hours of the day.
Month of December is busy in Miami, starting with the Art Base 12/7-12/10, and ending with busy Holiday festivities. The entire month of December in Miami is the Heritage Month. Beyond the glittery nightlife scene and turquoise waters lies deep history of this multicultural city. A few places to see aside from the beach and pool parties.
Visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a beautiful estate filled with art gems which was a vision of James Deering, an industrialist, and completed in 1916. Years later heirs to the estate donated part of the property to the Mercy Hospital and Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine and other to the Dade County to serve as public museum in perpetuity.
Among many lively and family friendly activities such as Miami Zoo, Seaquarium, or everglades airboat tours, there is also the Jungle Island where VIP tours can be setup to spend time and pet tiger cubs, lemurs, kangaroos and fluffy sloths. For the monkey lovers – the Monkey Jungle is not to be missed, where many species can be met in close proximity.
And we have not even mentioned the abundance of museums, from Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, to Rubell Collection, Lowe Art Museum, and Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation and Bass Museum of Art, there is something for everyone.
Now, where to eat? There are so many good places from high end to low key mom and pop shops. With increasing Latin influence, Miami is the place to go for Cuban and other Latin specialties. Our most favorite spots (again in no particular order):
Cecconi’s at the Soho House, yes it does sound familiar, we also adore Cecconi’s in LA and recently the one opened in NYC Dumbo Brooklyn. For some Southern comfort food hit the Yardbird, here their signature fried chicken over waffles and pickled watermelon is well paired with their delicious Bloody Mary. Havana 1957 is a great little spot in South Beach for Cuban cuisine with fresh mint mojitos and juicy Cubano sandwiches, or a classic like Joe’s Stone Crab are great options for casual pit stop. For more elegant affair head out to Cipriani Downtown Miami for lunch or dinner, or to Makoto at the Bal Harbor Mall where former head sushi chef of Morimoto NY and Philadelphia is serving up incredible plates. Another stunner is Byblos, where the food is as gorgeous and tasty as interior.
It is impossible to list all amazing places to eat, see and enjoy because there are too many. Miami is warm and inviting, and yet a very stylish East coast gem. Pack your bathing suits and sexy heels, sparkly dresses for the night out and comfy caftans for the casual day time strolling. Make sure to book your fancy ride with Posh Exotics, the last thing you’d want is to roll up to any of the aforementioned establishments in an old junk.