Bal Harbour Travel Guide
Ever since we saw this view of the pool deck at the St. Regis Bal Harbour we've been daydreaming of staying at the high-end resort. So, with its January 19 opening date fast approaching, we thought we'd see if the hotel was offering any opening specials to bring down that initial starting rate of $809 a night.
Here's what we saw when we opened up the hotel's website yesterday...
Hotel Openings / Sneak Peek / St. Regis Hotels / Bal Harbour Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / → All Tags
The hotel, opening on January 19, is still under construction, but allowed us a walk through recently, to see how things were coming along. As you can see from the shot above, even on a windy day, the pool deck is the place to be for postcard killer views.
The good news is that these views are on tap throughout the hotel. The exterior shot below demonstrates how the hotel rooms--in the center building (the other two are residences)--are angled so that every single one has ocean views. Seriously, even the entry-level room here has a patio with these views--one measuring 210 square feet.
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Just the other day, we compiled a list of the Shiny New Hotels Coming to Miami. Now we have more intel on the most exclusive of the bunch, The St. Regis Bal Harbour. But before we tell you the news, you'd better run and grab the most elite credit card in your wallet... You ready?
The new St. Reeg is now taking reservations from March 1, 2012, with rates starting at $809 a night.
Of course, that's $897.99 when you add tax. And it's for the lowest-category room available, a Deluxe Ocean View room on a lower floor. But, this being a St. Regis, it does include a 210-square-foot balcony, and the room itself is a whopping 650 square feet.
Tudor House's Geoffrey Zakarian isn't the only restaurant man shaking up the Miami hotel restaurant scene. No, sir. Today, Miamians--and Gucci-clad visitors to Bal Harbour--get to meet Mister Collins, the new restaurant at ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.
As you can see from this photo snapped by The Feast, the restaurant's most exciting feature is its huge outdoor patio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Baker's Haulover Inlet.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour may still be months away, but just like its South Beach cousin down the road, Bal Harbour has some new toys to show off in the interim. The latest hotel to hit the ritzy beach suburb is Quarzo Bal Harbour, an all-suite luxury hotel that opened quietly in December.
Some of the room photos on the Quarzo site look a little too beige for our tastes, but we dig the tropical feel of this room above, and the way it kinda says "a weekend getaway at chic grandma's beach house."
Obviously, staying in Bal Harbour is not for the party set, but it does make for a more serene getaway than you'd find in South Beach or Fort Lauderdale.
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We already told you that the work on the much-hyped Cipriani Miami had stalled. When we drove past the construction site in May, it looked like a sad, hollow shell. Guess what? It still does. (We drove past it again yesterday but were unable to snap a picture from I-95--road safety and all that...)
But further north on Collins Ave, the construction fairies have been hard at work on the St. Regis Resort & Residences, and this picture from Miamism makes us think that the super-posh property may just make its planned July 1, 2012 opening date.
The Regent Hotels has a problem picking and sticking with hotels. Today, tipsters sent us word that the hotel management company has effectively stopped managing the The Regent Bal Harbour in Florida. The hotel will now be known as The Bal Harbour Hotel.
The Regent brand dismissal is actually due to the bankruptcy of the hotel's owner, WCI Communities. Regent Hotels has put forth this statement:
Regent Hotels & Resorts is proud of its tenure managing The Regent Bal Harbour since its opening, having achieved strong positioning in the South Florida luxury hotel market. For example, the hotel was ranked by Travel + Leisure magazine among "15 hotels to watch" in the most recent "World's Best" issue. The brand is continuing to expand globally, including the opening of eight new hotels over the next three years in locations that span the world, from Puerto Rico to the Maldives.
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The long-awaited Regent Bal Harbour (which was supposed to open on New Year's Day then in February) has finally opened this week.
And guess what? Those of you who are watching your disposable income, in these worrisome days of a possible recession, will probably rule this hotel out of your vacation plans.
For instance, we looked at dates for today March 11 through March 13 figuring that weekday rates might be a little lower. Nope. The hotel is offering opening rates for a Premier Deluxe Room at $775 a night. However, you do get a panoramic view of both the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay along with several high-tech room amenities.
A lower categories of rooms--the Superior rooms--were found to be about $200 cheaper but not available on the dates we selected. Go to the opening exclusive page to fiddle with the dates and rates.
Sources have assured us that Miami's The Regent Bal Harbour, first scheduled to open January 2, then February 1, is really, truly, opening March 1. Indeed, we were able to make an online booking for the hotel's opening weekend (not so when we last checked in January). There even are a few opening rates available for bay-view Superior Rooms, panoramic Premier Deluxe Rooms and ocean-view Deluxe Spa Rooms--in some cases as much as $100 off regular room rates.
Why all the fuss? Well, The Regent Bal Harbour is said to be the first major property to open in Miami's famed Bal Harbour Village in nearly half a century. Plus, the hotel also was supposed to be the first to feature a Guerlain Spa here in North America, until New York's Waldorf Astoria beat them to it by opening theirs this past December, way ahead of its spring 2008 schedule. See what happens when you dilly-dally?
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Never, ever plan your vacation around a hotel that promises it's going to open right at the start of said vacation. Our experience here tells us more and more that very few hotels hit their opening day. We've been excited about the Regent Bal Harbour having a New Year debut for a few months now--anticipating just how relaxing that Guerlain Spa was going to feel--and dumbly believing that their promised January 2 open date would take place.
Alas, January 2 has now come and gone, and you can no longer make online reservations for January. These days the website says (in small print, after you try to make a booking) that the Regent Bal Harbour is now accepting reservations for arrivals from February 1, 2008. Let's hope they didn't make a small typo and mean 2009. Because we don't want to have to rely on these hotel photos with weird airbrushed clouds in the windows for much longer.
· Hotel Opening Rates: Regent Bal Harbour Plans New Year's Debut [HotelChatter]
· Coming For Winter: Guerlain Spa at Bal Harbour [HotelChatter]
· Florida Hotel Stories [HotelChatter]
Lovers of luxury take note: there's a new spa a'coming. Down in Florida, the Regent Bal Harbour is about to get a "new generation" Guerlain Spa, which should be opening ready for the winter season of 2007.
Next to the Bal Harbour Shops in North Miami Beach, the Spa will be open both to hotel guests and outside visitors, but it's designed to keep it all private anyway, so it doesn't matter who else is there - each of the 15 treatment rooms even has its own ensuite bathroom, so you don't need to socialize at all. But if you want to, then you can relax on the waterfront terrace before your treatment, and afterwards get ready for "real world re-entry" in their "reflecting room" (healthy stuff like juice and tea provided).
There are a number of Guerlain Spas located around the world, and they all use the Spa Therapy Questionnaire to design your treatment: and if you travel to another Guerlain Spa, even on another continent, the staff will be able to access your questionnaire results and treatment records and continue your program exactly how you want it. Not bad.
You can get full-day packages with names like "Totally Transforming", or half-day, three-hour treatments like "Jet Lag" and "Pre-Flight". But the most impressive-sounding service is just a facial: the Exceptional Orchidée Impériale Treatment. For those with imperial qualities, of course.
· Bal Harbour Hotel Reviews [HotelChatter]
· Travel Stories in Florida [Jaunted]