miami beach Travel Guide
At long last and a few delays, the Metropolitan by COMO in Miami Beach has opened its doors (on March 3rd to be exact.) And it wouldn't be a hotel opening without a Facebook page showing off some opening photos.
For starters, we're loving the elevator lobby with its bold lighting fixtures. We're also drooling over the fare from the Traymore restaurant and the serene pool scene. Oddly, the Facebook page doesn't have any photos of the guest room. You'll have to head over to the hotel's website for those.
All in all, the beachfront hotel has just 74 rooms with interiors done by Italian designer Paola Navrone using "pastel pink and sea-foam green" which sounds like it could be terribly wrong but actually looks so perfectly right. Simple but definitely stylish.
The last time we saw a crowd of this size flock to South Florida was for Art Basel. While both events draw a champagne-chugging, hors devours-loving bunch, the vibe at SOBEWFF was so much more relaxed (read: not snobby) and we found people to be a lot friendlier to their fellow SOBEWFF attendees.
Maybe it’s the beach. Maybe it’s the booze. Maybe it’s the fact that no one attending SOBEWFF is a grouchy, starving artist. Not for long, anyway.
At times, the crowds can be a claustrophobic cluster and the humidity deadly, but we enjoyed the excuse to day drink, wander about some of SoBe’s coolest hotels and reveled in the many opportunities snap selfies with some of our favorite celebrity chefs. After four days spent in Miami living on small bites and booze, we discovered that the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the bucket list item we never knew we had. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit:
Nothing gets a raver’s vacation rolling like a hotel themed around one of the world’s most celebrated DJs.
Avicii, Grammy-nominated electronic dance music producer (and Swedish hottie!), is teaming up with SLS Hotels to bring The Avicii Hotel back to South Beach for this year’s Miami Music Week , where he’s headlining at the Ultra Music Festival for the third year in a row.
From March 26-March 30, guests of The Avicii Hotel at SLS South Beach will be treated to an “EDM-meets-luxury hotel featuring world-class programming and events, exclusive room packages…” the hotel said in a statement.
We’re all for exclusive performances and events just for hotel guests, but what exactly does "EDM-meets-luxury" mean?
Once an airline loses your luggage, it won’t be long until you lose your mind, too.
While wanderlust stems from a love of experiences over objects, even the most unmaterialistic person could throw a fit over having to go hours, or worse, days without their personal belongings. It’s a helpless feeling, waiting at baggage claim, for what seems like forever, to only discover that your luggage didn’t make it, and whats to follow is a string of headaches and phone tag.
Vulnerable, tired and probably smelly, you begrudgingly arrive at your hotel wanting to do nothing but wash off the road, when you remember all the little things that make you look/feel human again are lost, too.
While the iconic South Beach staple won’t replace your entire wardrobe, it has put together a thoughtful package of toiletries to help guests freshen up while an airline searches for your things. After assisting countless guests buy the sundries they need most, Fountainebleau introduces the Lost Luggage Care Package. It includes underwear, a toothbrush, a razor, mouthwash, facial wipes and a comb. The care package is available at Fontainebleau’s gift shop, Morris & Co., for $70.
The best thing a hotel could do for its website is to make everything easy. Easy to book. Easy to look up hotel photos and information. Easy to view on a mobile device. The new website for South Beach’s Raleigh Hotelgets all these right.
The Miami hotel opened in 1942, and with the help of old Hollywood starlets like Esther Williams, it became one of the hotels that encapsulated the South Beach allure we know today. Fast foward 60 years later to 2012, when hip hotelier Sam Nazarian of sbe bought the historic hotel for $55 million (previously, Andre Balazs had managed The Raleigh.)
Since then, the Raleigh has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. And, though the hotel and website have undergone some major changes, neither has lost any of its vintage glamour or charm.
Nobu Hotels / Hotel News / Hotel Rebrandings / Robert DeNiro / Nobu Matsuhisa / Miami Hotel Mambo / → All Tags
It's official--Nobu Hotels will install itself inside the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, which was previously a Marriott before the brand fell out of favor with the hotel owners.
But let's be clear-- The Nobu Hotel will be a hotel within a hotel, not entirely a Nobu Hotel. The arrangement will actually be very similar to what the original Nobu Hotel has done inside Caesars Palace in Vegas. Word is it's the Eden Roc's South Tower which will get the Nobu upgrade.
Here's what else is in store, straight from the press release:
The strategy with the Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc is centered upon underscoring and showcasing the Eden Roc name with the Nobu Hotel as an additional offering within the Eden Roc property. The Nobu Restaurant at the Eden Roc and other core food and beverage facilities are in the process of being planned and shall involve all stakeholders. David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group has been selected as the designer to ensure the proposed design shall be respectful to our stakeholders, the Morris Lapidus design and the renowned name of the Eden Roc Miami Beach.
Looks like Nobu is keen not to mistake the same mistake as the previous brand, with the multiple
bow-downs references to the "stakeholders."
For a while, it looked like Nobu Hotels had left us impatiently waiting for our next reservation. Since Nobu Las Vegas opened last March, we've been waiting for the Riyadh hotel to open in Saudi Arabai as well as other locations. But so far, no sake, although Nobu did recently announce a new hotel for Manilla. But today, this happened.
The Miami Herald's Lesley Abravanel reports that Nobu Hotels will actually take over the existing Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach in late 2014. Formerly a Marriott Hotel, the Eden Roc ran into some issues, to say the least, with Marriott and won a lawsuit to boot the hotel brand out.
MH says that "Nobu will head the resort's F&B operations and the south tower will turn into the Nobu Hotel, similar to the arrangement at Caesar's Palace." That means that the Nobu restaurant will also move from its current location at the Shore Club into the Eden Roc.
So far, everything is still unconfirmed but we're inclined to believe it's legit. Boy, Miami's hotel scene is going to be cray cray in the next few years. Even crazier than normal, which we didn't think was possible.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel News / Think Hotel Group / → All Tags
The 51-room boutique hotel is located in Collins Park, just a block from the Miami Beach Convention Center. While its previous incarnation was the similarly-named SBH South Beach Hotel, the rebranded South Beach Hotel has new owners and management--the Think Hotel Group who've opened the nearby Boulan Hotel and Sweetwater Beer Garden.
Their South Beach Hotel has been completed renovated and now features a revamped outdoor courtyard, hand-carved Guatamalan wood furniture in the lobby and minimalist guest rooms with free WiFi and room service from the Charles St. Restaurant.
The hotel is also family-friendly with junior suites that have either a king bed or two queen-sized bed and a kitchenette with cribs available on request. Oh and of course, there's a pool--the ultimate family-friendly amenity.
But above all, we're digging the opening rates which start at $175 a night. While the hotel officially opens in March, it's taking reservation now while in preview mode. The Think Hotel Group is also working on two more hotels in the same area--The Ansonia and The Plymouth. Those are expected to open sometime next year.
[Photo: South Beach Hotel]
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When Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian took Miami back in 2010 they holed themselves up in a top-floor suite at the all-suite Hilton Bentley South Beach hotel which had two bedrooms, a living and dining room, two and a half baths, a kitchen, and a 1,500-square-foot rooftop terrace with a private Jacuzzi. But like Khloe and Lamar's love story, that's all gone now.
The Hilton has revamped the suite to include a rooftop pool, three bathrooms, a stainless steel kitchen with a personal wine chiller and a living room with an all-encompassing Dolby surround sound system (hey-yo!) which can be controlled, along with the electric privacy shades and the room temp, via the in-suite iPad or from the guest's own iPhone. Not to mention, those sick drop-down flat-screens in the ceiling.
Alas, rates for the new penthouse suite will cost about the same as a Kardashian's handbag (not the ones they sell in Sears but you know, the ones they would actually be seen with)--from $2,500-$7,500 a night.
[Photo: Hilton Bentley/Facebook]
Art Basel happened last month and it's taken our resident (Culture) Club Kid Brandy Alxander, and Art Basel Virgin, a while to process all that she saw and did. (Also, we kinda forgot about it in the holiday mix.) Nevertheless, here are some useful observations and tips to keep in mind for next year.
Every year for a week in December, Miami transforms into a city full of galleries and open bars for Art Basel. Thousands of artists and art enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the city, home to the U.S. branch of Art Basel since 2002. The art show originated in Basel, Switzerland in 1970, and last May, Art Basel expanded to Hong Kong.
After I was publicly shamed for not knowing what Art Basel was (I just moved here a few months ago from Vegas), I decided to venture into South Beach and check out the Basel bacchanal. Here's what I learned:
As we all know, Robin Thicke was in Miami Beach on New Year's Eve, performing at the SLS South Beach for their New Year's Eve party. But what we didn't know was that the "Blurred Lines" singer threw a fit over the small size of his hotel room.
According to Page Six, Thicke demanded to pull out of the performance for a bigger room. He reportedly had his travel agent calling other hotels to get a bigger room. In the end, an SLS rep denied all the drama and said, "Robin has been a great guest.”
So which room did Thicke resist so much? We're not quite sure but the Tower Penthouse starts at around 1,000-sq.ft. with a 552-sq.ft. rooftop terrace. Meanwhile, the Villa Penthouse is a little bigger at 1,117-sq.ft with a 360-sq.ft. wraparound terrace. We think either of these options would have been just fine for Thicke, especially given the size restrictions of these older Art Deco buildings (The SLS was formerly The Ritz Plaza.)
But if they tried to put him in the "puny" 700--sq.ft. SLS suite then we think he had every right to complain. "What rhymes with hug me" indeed.
From the outside, The Delano is still the best-looking building on Collins Avenue, built in 1947, at the time the tallest art deco tower in Miami. It was completely renovated on the inside in 1994 by one Philippe Starck. The inside remains largely unchanged since Starck had his way with it. The billowing curtains still dance with the breeze in the lobby and the oversized furniture still greets guests at the entrance. But we particularly loved the back patio of the hotel, just before the pool area begins, which has an interesting topiary arrangement.
The Delano still commands a high rate, especially now as we move into "the season" ($600 and up) but service can be spotty and the white-on-white guest rooms are pretty small, according to recent TripAdvisor reviews. Then again, that sounds about right for a hotel in Miami Beach.