United States
Beach Breaks

Destination South Beach

September 2, 2017

Miami is a year round destination.  The summer months are extra hot but it doesn’t slow down the tourism.  Winter Music Conference in March is a week long event that celebrates electronic dance music.  Art Basel in December is an international art fair that showcases contemporary artwork by established and new emerging artists.  Miami Swim Week in July is also a good time to visit with a huge slew of parties and events.  And in my opinion, Miami is the best destination in America to spend New Year’s Eve.  There are tons of things to do, like renting boats, jet skis, water sports, going to pool parties, dining at amazing restaurants, etc.  To see more about the action in Miami, see my post here.

South Beach is sprawling with luxury hotels and resorts that attract people from all over the world.  With so many options to chose from, making the decision can be rather difficult.  Here are my top 5:


1. The W South Beach

Sitting at the northern end of South Beach, the W is a classic and happens to be my personal hotel of choice.  Each of the super spacious rooms in the 20 story building comes with it’s own balcony.  There are two restaurants on site.  One of which is The Dutch, an American restaurant, bar and oyster room where diners can choose between indoor or outdoor seating.  It’s also where breakfast is served daily for hotel guests.  The other restaurant is Mr. Chow, a fancy up-scale Chinese restaurant serving haute Asian cuisine by white-tuxedoed waiters.  Wall Lounge, one of the most famous nightclubs in Miami, is also located within the W.  There’s also a ‘living room’ bar in the not-so-average lobby where guests can enjoy beers, cocktails, and more.  There’s another outdoor bar called The Wet Bar which is usually best for happy hour or poolside cocktails.  Finally, there’s an outside area called The Grove where adults-only can enjoy freshly prepared cocktails while lounging under hanging lanterns.  Oh, and if you’re travelling with a pet, the W has a special “paw program” to pamper your four-legged friend just as much as you at all hours of the day!

The Bliss Spa attached to the hotel specialises in wax services, skin-care regimens, and manicures and pedicures.  They also offer massage and body treatments to hotel guests.  The hotel itself features a 24-hour fitness center, but also has it’s own basketball and tennis courts for guests to enjoy via booking.  They have a ‘bike program’ which allows guests to rent a pair of wheels for exploring the rest of Miami.

There are two pools on site, one main pool with daybeds and cabanas, and one smaller more secluded pool toward the back of the property.  Some of the cabanas even have TV’s which can be rented out privately.  The W beach, with it’s insta-worthy umbrellas and sun beds, is the best part of the hotel due to the impeccable service for food and drinks.  Kite surfing and jet skis are available to rent upon request as well.


2. 1 Hotel South Beach

This beachfront property was newly opened in spring of 2015 on Miami’s Mid-Beach stretch and has become famous for it’s nature-inspired aesthetic of using recycled material for an eco-friendly design concept.  Despite it’s large size with 425 rooms and suites, the hotel manages to maintain a low-key vibe.

There are 4 restaurants on site.  First there’s Beachcraft which specialises in organic food, like locally caught fish, that is prepared in an open kitchen where guests can dine either inside or out.  Secondly, there’s STK, a famous steakhouse with a cool atmosphere and trendy bar for drinks.  Third, there’s The Sand Box, which is an outdoor restaurant at the Center Pool that focuses on a Cantina-style menu.  Finally, there is WATR at the 1 Rooftop, which is an adults only venue that floats high above the sea.  The lively bar is said to be one of the best rooftop bars in all of Miami and is noted for it’s exceptionally fun atmosphere.  There is also a lobby bar on premises, a juice bar, and an organic farm stand selling fresh fruits and veggies as snacks to hotel guests.

The hotel spa offers a variety of treatments and also sells organic ranges of skincare products.  The gym at the hotel is huge and offers complimentary classes to guests.  The gym also features an outdoor workout area, an oceanfront yoga platform, and custom-made obstacle courses to those up for a challenge.  Finally, there’s 3 pools on site, including the adults-only pool at 1 Rooftop, which is probably the hotel’s best feature.


3. Miami Beach EDITION

The EDITION is one of the newest hotels on South Beach located in the Mid-Beach area.  The hotel’s signature restaurant, Matador Room, is influenced by Spanish, Carribbean, and South American flavors.  Diners can choose to dine inside the oval dining room or outside on the terrace with views of the ocean.  The Matador Bar serves hand-crafted cocktails for those who wish to skip the meal.  The hotel’s second restaurant, Market, is a 24-hour cafe with a selection of bustling counters to serve sandwiches and other deli items, an open-air cafe in the center, and an area for take-out that specialises in gourmet pizzas and pastas.  There’s a wide selection of wine and a separate bar for juice and smoothies.  There’s also an outdoor restaurant at the hotel called Tropicale that serves in a lush beach setting.  There’s seating at the bar, by the pool, or in tables surrounding the pool but the waiters can also deliver to the beach loungers.

The EDITION has one of the most expansive beaches in Miami, sprawling with daybeds, umbrellas, and complimentary towel service.  There are two pools at the hotel.  The first pool was inspired by the legendary 1950’s Havana nightclub called Tropicana.  The second pool is a larger rectangular pool surrounded by daybeds and private cabanas.  There’s also a nook tucked away called The Sandbox where guests can lounge on hammocks or low lying beds.  There is even an outdoor movie screen for a relaxing night in.

Alongside a spa and state of the art fitness center, one of the hotel’s unique amenities is it’s multidimensional entertainment hub located on the lower ground floor.  BASEMENT features a mini nightclub with a state of the art sound system, a four-lane bowling alley, and an indoor ice skating rink where skaters can glide to the sounds of the beats and dramatic light shows.


4. Faena Hotel

Opened in December 2015 in the Faena district of Miami Beach, this beachfront property has become known for it’s quirky modernism and eclectic decor.  There are 3 restaurants on site, including one South American cuisine that specialises in live-fire cooking, one pan-Asian cuisine, and a relaxed outdoor restaurant to serve the poolside loungers and beach go-ers.  There are 4 bars on site including an outdoor bar, a cocktail bar, a “Saxony” bar with a live DJ, and a theater bar that showcases highly-acclaimed cabaret performances.  The hotel spa is an impressive 22,000 square foot sanctuary that features one of the largest hammams in the country.  There is also a beauty salon, a yoga studio, and a fitness facility center.


5. Fontainebleau

This is Miami’s largest hotel and probably the most iconic.  With 1,504 room and suites, 12 restaurants and lounges, and multiple swimming pools, this place is sprawling with activities for everyone.  There are a handful of restaurants to dine at, including Hakkasan and Scarpetta, and plenty more low-key joints to grab a quick bite.  There are also a number of bars, including indoor cocktail lounges and pool side bars for guests to grab drinks or snacks.   The world-reknowned nightclub LIV is also located within the hotel.  There are 4 pools on site.  There is a main pool, an Oasis pool, a family pool, and a smaller adults-only pool that features a lively day club with bottle service and the works.

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