FL Travel Guide

/ / / / /

The Four Seasons Miami Used This Much Chocolate To Make Their Easter Display

April 18, 2014 at 6:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

What you're looking at is nearly two thousand pounds of chocolate. Ok, 1,700 pounds to be exact. But that's how much chocolate was used for the new "Easter Wonderland" display at the Four Seasons Miami.

Created by the hotel's new pastry chef, Keith Wallace, the display is meant to capture both the playful and colorful scenes of "Alice in Wonderland" and the playful and colorful side of Miami. Aside from the massive amounts of chocolate, the display and its 30 chocolate eggs, along with some chocolate mushrooms, took 20 hours to build.

Wallace and his team will have even more chocolates and other desserts on display at the hotel's Easter Brunch, happening on Sunday at the Edge Restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $99 for adults and $25 for children ages 5-12. Make your reservation by calling (305) 381-3190 or book online at www.edgerestaurantmiami.com.

[Photo: The Four Seasons Miami]

/ / / / /

5 Reasons To Get Excited About The Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 10100 Dream Tree Blvd [map], Orlando, FL, United States, 32836
April 14, 2014 at 3:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World won't open until August 3 but they keep teasing us on their Facebook page with photos of the property.

And even though we'd normally stay away from the humidity of Orlando in August, we find ourselves practically crossing the days off on the calendar. Here are five reasons why we're hoping the Four Seasons Orlando will make all our dreams come true.

1. The Adult Pool. The adult pool (separated from the family pool) will have cabanas, cocktail servers and specialty services like "sunglass cleanings." We hope massages are on that list too. #serenitynow

2. Firework Chandeliers in the Lobby. Night time is ruled by fireworks at Disney World but we're loving this cool chandelier of "fireworks" above the lobby's grand staircase.

more ›

/ / / / /

Freehand Miami to Get More Hands, er, Rooms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2727 Indian Creek Drive [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
April 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Freehand Miami won over HotelChatter contributor JetSetCD last year with their "funky fresh" hostel rooms and amenities, all at a very reasonable rate ($21 a night for a shared bunk room when JetSetCD was there) And it looks like other folks have been equally impressed because the Freehand just expanded its property.

The hostel acquired the building next door and has opened it up as the "Guest House" with nine Private King Rooms, five King Suites (a new room type) and one private Bungalow which can sleep four.

The Guest House is accessible through the existing Freehand courtyard so the lobby, the Broken Shaker bar and the pool aren't very far away at all. It's also across from the building that will house the Freehand's restaurant, which still hasn't opened but we're hearing it should debut later this year.

Rooms in the Guest House start this weekend at $60 for a dorm room and $224 for a private king room.

[Top Photo: Freehand Miami; Gallery Photos: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]

/ / / / / / /

'Magic City' Costume Designer is Making Over The Shelborne Uniforms

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1801 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami is in the midst of some major renovations (to the tune of $150 million) but when it re-opens in June, the staff might be looking like they came off a movie set.

That's because the iconic Collins Avenue hotel has enlisted Hollywood costume designer, Carol Ramsey, to create 1950's-inspired uniforms for all front of the house employees. Ramsey has a bit of experience in the realm since she worked on the show, "Magic City", which is set in a Miami hotel in the late 1950s.

Here's what she has in store for the Shelborne (heads-up to Shelborne job applicants, you are gonna need some fit legs.)

more ›

/ / / / /

The Opposite of Zen: Justin Bieber Stays at The Mandarin Oriental Miami

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 500 Brickell Key Drive [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33131
April 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Despite nearly everyone hating on Justin Bieber these days, the kid is still shacking up in expensive luxury hotels and bringing all his faux-thug drama with him.

Take a look at this photo which made the rounds on the internet over the weekend. This sums up in one picture why you don't want to ever be staying at the same hotel as Bieber (He's in the red backwards hat.) Making it even worse, we discovered the hotel to be the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, one of our favorite hotels there.

Judging from the balcony dividers, Bieber and his crew were clearly in a suite near the top of the hotel. The largest suite at the MO Miami is the Oriental Suite which has over 2,000-sq.ft. of space and a balcony that runs the entire length of the suite. This is probably where Bieber was kicking it. But still, it can only sleeps three people with just one master bedroom and a living room. Let's hope all those people on the balcony had rooms of their own.

In good news for Bieber, the suite does come with complimentary car service to and from the airport, so at least he won't have to drive while high in Miami again.

[Photos: Daily Mail and HotelChatter]

/ / / / / /

There's a New Water Slide in Town at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios

March 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

As we told you last fall, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios would be opening on March 31st and today, the property lived up to its promise as the resort's first guests began checking in.

You can learn more about what the guest rooms have to offer here but for now, check out this dive tower water slide that drops you out into the 10,000-sq.ft. zero entry pool in the Cabana Courtyard ("Castaway" is the name of one of the guest room towers.)

The hotel will also unveil a lazy river experience, a first for the Universal Orlando Resort hotels, on June 16th (along with Hideaway Bar and Grill, the Tower family suites and standard rooms.)

Right now the hotel is offering a special opening offer for a family suite at a standard room rate. Rooms were sold-out this weekend but we did find a family suite for $239 a night next weekend. That room can sleep up to six people (it is kind of cramped, you've been warned) and it gives the family early access to Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, along with a few other benefits.

[Photo: Cabana Bay Beach Resort]

/ / / / / /

Avicii Checks Out of The Avicii Hotel Early

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
March 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM | by | Comment (1)

Last night a DJ did not save anyone's life in Miami. But rather, one DJ caused a major inconvenience for a big South Beach Hotel.

A month ago, we told you how superstar DJ Avicii was taking over the SLS South Beach during Miami Music Week by renaming the hotel, The Avicii Hotel. SLS then promised that guests would be treated to an “EDM-meets-luxury hotel featuring world-class programming and events, exclusive room packages…." Indeed, the SLS transformed itself completely into the Avicii Hotel even putting up the name Avicii above silver SLS letters in front of the hotel.

But it looks like Avicii himself checked out early.

TMZ reports that just before Avicii was to take the stage at Hyde Beach at the hotel for his set, he cancelled. Initial word was that he went to the hospital. TMZ later confirmed that Avicii was discharged from the hospital and that he also checked out of the hotel.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Say Yes to The Dress and To Renting Out This Resort for Your Wedding on 12-13-14

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 28500 Overseas Highway [map], Little Torch Key, FL, United States, 33042
March 24, 2014 at 5:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

Calling all brides and grooms: December 13, 2014 is your absolute last chance to have a wedding on a sequential calendar date in this century. You know what we're talking about. It started off with 1/2/03 and moved on to dates like 5/6/07 and 10/11/12 and 11/12/13 and now it will all end with 12/13/14.

As with all sequential dates, and palindrome dates like 7/7/7 and 12/12/12, hotels are ready and willing to help you celebrate your (extra) special day. We're sure to see a flood of offers and wedding packages as the date nears but if you're in the nuptial planning stages now, consider the Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Florida Keys and their jaw-dropping hotel buyout offer.

The hotel's ETERNITY package will give one couple and their guests exclusive use of the private island resort from December 12-14, 2014. That includes tax and tipping.

Marking the last sequential date of the century, privileged guests join the bride and groom for three full days of decadent fine dining, award-winning service and luxury accommodations, as the resort’s dedicated team of wedding specialists ensure all preparations are flawlessly executed. Priced at $195,000, the 12,13,14…ETERNITY package also includes a $5,000 resort credit, to be used toward a return stay on the couple’s one-year anniversary.

Here's the entire breakdown:

more ›

/ / / / /

The B Resort in Orlando to Open This Summer with Special Rate of $159 a Night

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1905 Hotel Plaza Boulevard [map], Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States, 32830
March 21, 2014 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (3)

While we're crazy excited for the Four Seasons Resort at Disney World to open this summer, we're having a tough time swallowing the $645 opening rate. Fortunately, there's a new and more affordable alternative opening this summer as well--The B Resort.

Much like its sister property in Fort Lauderdale, the B will offer stylish and playful guest rooms (with free WiFi!) along with several B Signature services like B Active (fitness center), B Nourished (dining concepts including one by Jeffrey Chodorow) and B Adventurous (excursions outside the hotel.) This resort will also have the very first B full-service spa called B Indulged. Rounding out the services and amenities are a zero-entry saltwater pool, a kids zone, an ice cream shop and courtesy loaner iPads.

The hotel will open its doors on June 1 with a special introductory offer of $159 a night for a chic room which are located near the pool area with a king or two queen beds. There is a $20 resort fee plus tax but the introductory offer is including that as well as self-parking. Blackout dates do apply and reservations are nonrefundable and final. But still, that saves you nearly $500 a night compared to the Four Seasons.

[Photo: B Resort Disney World/Facebook]

/ / / /

The Metropolitan by COMO in Miami Beach is Now Open for Your Wellness Retreats

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2445 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
March 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Tommy Hilfiger Buys The Raleigh; Finally Edges into the Hotel Business

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1775 Collins Avenue [map], Miami, FL, United States, 33139
March 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we were still sobbing into our colorful patterned knitwear over the apparent death of the Missoni hotel brand, came news of another fashion house getting onto the designer hotel bandwagon. Our brief flicker of excitement was extinguished somewhat, however, when we found out it's Tommy Hilfiger.

Actually, the king of prep has been sniffing around the hotel industry for quite a while, though nothing has as yet come out of his hotel opening plans. He even tried to buy the former MetLife clocktower at 5 Madison Avenue (future site of the New York City Edition Hotel) a few years back, but that didn't work out for him.

more ›

/ / / /

A Taste Test: Tips for Surviving The South Beach Wine & Food Festival

March 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last weekend, Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival devoured Miami, bringing in thousands of tourists to the Magic City.

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:

more ›