In the city where the rest of the world loves to vacation, more and more of the local jet-set are choosing to vacation at home. Here in the Magic City, luxury is an ethos, so it’s not surprising that places to stay, play and be pampered, abound, for you to enjoy without ever leaving the ground. Here are a few posh spots where you will feel like royalty in this urban, seaside paradise.
The Mandarin Oriental
The recently renovated Mandarin Oriental is a waterfront, Zen Oasis set in Brickell Key, with 326 dynamic, comfortable, spacious guest rooms and suites, with balconies providing spectacular sweeping views of the ocean, bay and city. The Five-Star, tri-level, Spa at Mandarin Oriental, is the pinnacle in pampering and rejuvenating treatments for mind, body and spirit, along with an exclusive Beauty by Mandarin Oriental line featuring results-oriented treatments. Each spa experience has been created as a sequence of rituals and treatments inspired by the elements of life and the ancient traditions of Chinese, Ayurvedic, European, Balinese and Thai.
The Mandarin Oriental features two outstanding restaurants: Café Sambal, which serves some of the city’s freshest and most creative sushi, and Asian cuisine; and Azul, the signature restaurant, which provides stunning bay views, a vibrant atmosphere and innovative cuisine. The hotel also houses a comprehensive fitness center, Oasis Beach Club providing a private beach, infinity-edge swimming pool, cafe and jogging trail encircling the island, chic shopping experiences at Karma and Shanghai Tang boutiques.
JW Marriott Marquis Miami
The JW Marriott Marquis in the heart of Downtown Miami redefines luxury by adding a healthy dose of recreation to the hotel experience. The 41-story hotel boasts 313 deluxe guestrooms, inclusive of 56 suites, along with a broad array of amenities, including three concierge levels and one of the most unique indoor sports, lifestyle and entertainment complexes of any hotel in the U.S. The 19th floor, 50,000-square-foot, two-story indoor facility includes a 10,000-square-foot NBA-approved basketball arena, where the Miami Heat practice regularly, a tennis court, screening room, Jim McLean Golf School, virtual bowling alley, billiards. The outdoor pool area is sure to give you vertigo. The hotel’s full-service Rik Rak Salon & Spa is the perfect place for relaxing, rejuvenating and beautifying spa and salon treatments. The hotel is home to three time James Beard Foundation winner, French Chef, Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne. More of a dining experience than a mere “place to eat” every dish is on point- actually beyond point. Do what we did- let the chef surprise you, you will not be disappointed. If you are fortunate to visit during White Truffle Season, go crazy- and feed your truffle addiction. Favorites include: the DB Burger stuffed with truffles and foie gras, seafood tower and NY Strip.
You’d never think there could be a hidden treasure right smack in the middle of Washington Avenue in South Beach, yet the luxurious Angler’s Boutique Resort is just that- a European respite in Miami Beach. This intimate yet posh 1930’s Henry Maloney designed treasure would please fans of European seaside bungalows in the Amalfi coast and French Riviera for its exquisite atmosphere, world-class amenities, personalized service and welcoming hospitality. The entire hotel team is warm and accommodating, with a 24 hour concierge and personalized welcome cards in the rooms. It’s no surprise that this iconic landmark, which boasts 45 luxurious suites which include four three story pool villas, complete with private rooftop sundecks has received top honors from Trip Advisor.
The boutique hideaway is home to perfectly tucked away for a romantic and quiet escape is home to award -winning full service restaurant and bar– 660 at the Angler’s. Whether or not you are staying at the hotel, check out 660s magnificent dishes. The restaurant boasts one of the best breakfasts on South Beach and serves the Vieja Burger- at lunch and dinner- a definite “must.”
Estiatorio Milos is a Grecian temple that serves the most decadent seafood feast this side of the Aegean Sea. With the focus on finding the best the world has to offer and an emphasis on fresh fish and seafood- the $50+/pound fish is well worth the price. Try the assortment of Greek spreads and the Milos special, a tower of paper thin zucchini and eggplant flash fried until crispy and served with a refreshing tzatziki dipping sauce and any fish or seafood dish on the menu. The service rivals the unparalleled quality of the food.
Edge, Steak and Bar
Edge, Steak and Bar, at the Four Seasons Miami, is Brickell’s hottest new steakhouse, featuring the freshest seafood, paired with delectable sauces and steaks cooked to perfection. Chefs Aaron Brooks and James King’s dinner menu showcases expertly prepared Creekstone Farm meats charbroiled at 1800 degrees in an infrared grill after being rubbed down with Edge’s signature “Cutting Edge Rub”. Tantalizing seafood fresh from local waters and sides made with the best farm-fresh ingredients round out the dinner menu. Don’t miss the basil crusted corvina, the lobster corn chowder or the bone-in Tomahawk steak- worthy of Fred Flintstone. Diners can enjoy the expansive dining room, sit at the stylish bar or lounge in the gorgeous outdoor terrace, overlooking Miami.
In a hidden corner just south of Fifth Street on South Beach, French traditions meet the vibrancy of modern Miami at La Gloutonnerie, which offers French fare worthy of the name, which means “gluttony.” Exhilarating flavors of nouveau cuisine mingle with the rustic comforts of French home cooking, while guests can dine in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. With the first and original location being in Mexico City, the owners and staff have extensive experience in creating the perfect ambiance combined with the most delectable dishes.
The masterful chefs use quality ingredients and time-tested techniques to create culinary brilliance. In addition to the extensive raw bar, the top-notch starters are the Wagyu Carpaccio- tenderloin, arugula and truffle mayo and the Coquille Saint Jacques- lobster and scallop gratin. The Risotto Montecatini is delicious and the grilled New York strip, which is large enough to share, rivals that of neighboring steakhouses.
This upscale dining casa offers more than just an excellent meal—it’s a culinario experience inspired by the city it venerates. Chef Marco Stabile, the owner of Ora d’Aria in Florence, worked with Toscana Divino’s Chef Julian Baker to create dishes that bring Italian cuisine into a modern light, each enhanced with ingredients sourced fresh from Italy. Dishes are given a dose of brio, whether the signature 42-ounce Florentina Porterhouse (carved masterfully table side) or a bowl of risotto, which will make you weak in the knees.
A seasoned sommelier gladly provides vino suggestions from the mostly Tuscan wine list, as a resident mixologist incorporates fresh herbs and stimulating flavor cocktail components. Should you be celebrating a special occasion and need a last minute gift, peruse the surrounding display of glassware, steak knives with hand-carved handles, sculptures and beautifully crafted handbags bearing the names of the artisans who created them- and secretly purchase one on the spot! By bringing the wares of The Consortium 100% Italiano to light in the midst of an epicurean experience like no other in Miami, Toscano Divino is mai visto—something never before seen.