FL Travel Guide
Miami. Remember when it used to be "God's Waiting Room?" Or perhaps more relevant for the pop culture obsessed--the place where "Golden Girls" was filmed (and where the girls once ran their own hotel?) No longer.
We've just got the official opening date for one of the several anticipated openings of 2015--the upcoming 150-room AC Hotels by Marriott Miami Beach.
Opening in April, the hotel will be the third AC Hotel for the U.S., after New Orleans and Kansas City, which opens next month. So far it looks like it will have all the same amenities as the AC New Orleans--from the AC Lounge to the AC Kitchen to the free WiFi. However, it will be the sexiest AC thanks to its rooftop pool. Not to mention, the beach is across the street. #bringyourflipflops
If you're slacking on your New Years Resolution to eat well, stay fit and be of sound mind, don't head to the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach to help you maintain your fitness goals.
The Real Deal reports that the Canyon Ranch franchise will be shed like water weight, thanks to the soon-to-be new owners, Z Capital Partners, who are expected to finalize a deal for the property this week. The new name for the property, which is a mix of residences, guest rooms and fitness facilities will go by...The Carillon Hotel & Spa. Eh. Apparently, it's a throwback name.
Here are the nitty gritty details on the deal as reported by The Real Deal:
There's a reason why you should spend a little extra for a room with a view at the Four Seasons Orlando at Disney World, and it's because you won't just get one killer view, you'll get a few different killer views.
Here are just three perspectives we snapped during a recent stay in November in a Park View King Room:
1. EPCOT: If you crane your head to the left from your private balcony, you'll see the iconic golf ball shape of EPCOT.
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Pop singer and royal wedding entertainer, Ellie Goulding, recently wrapped up a stay at the new Miami Beach Edition and like most jet setting travelers, took to Instagram to show off a snapshot. But while she definitely enjoyed herself, she had a burning question--what is that smell in the lobby?
When we were there in November, we didn't really smell anything in particular, except maybe the goodness wafting out of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Market. However, we do know that Edition carries custom-created, faintly masculine scented Le Labo toiletries in their guest rooms. So perhaps it was a variation of that? Eh, we still think it was coming from the Market. That place is gooood.
It seems like the tony beach towns found along the nearly 30-mile stretch of scenic Highway 30-A in Northwestern Florida’s Walton County are a sort of well-kept secret. Outside of Florida and select southern states like Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, this area doesn’t seem to be on the radar of many travelers, especially those from the East Coast.
But it should be.
Gleaming white sand beaches -- better than those in many Caribbean destinations -- and coastal dune lakes are a beautiful setting for the hip towns they occupy. In areas like Rosemary Beach, Watercolor and Seaside, funky beach bars, oceanfront eateries and cool boutiques dot the coastline. A bike path runs along 30-A, and for many visitors biking is the main mode of transportation.
Gorgeous beach houses are available for rent by the week, but if you prefer a hotel or your visit will be a short one, these are three favorites:
The Setai, a seriously sexy and swanky hotel in Miami Beach, received their Christmas present a little early the other week--a big box of Jordache Jeans!
Kidding. But The Setai did get snapped up by The Nakesh Family, who started the cheesy "designer" jeans company in the late 1960s, and which hit their peak in the 1980s.
The New York Post reports that the Nakeshes are purchasing the hotel for close to $90 million. They apparently already owned 15 of the 163 luxury residences attached to the 80-room hotel. The same family also owns Gianni Versace's old mansion which goes by the name Casa Casuarina, as well as the adjacent Hotel Victor.
Just two years ago, The Setai had a major shakedown where the owners kicked out the General Hotel Management group who was running the property and replaced them with Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group.
The Redbury shuttered Tony Mantuano's Lorenzo restaurant a while ago to install the newest outpost of Cleo, a Mediterranean-style restaurant found at The Redbury in Hollywood as well as the SLS Las Vegas.
Aside from Cleo's staple dishes of flatbreads and tanginess, Chef Danny Elmaleh has created a few plates especially for Miami like the Lamb Shawarma, Wagyu Tongue Kebabs, Potato Latkes and Monkfish Tagine. And of course, this being Miami, cocktails are abound on the menu. We recommend the Mediterrean margarita made with Avion Tequila, a housemade fig-almond syrup and fresh lime.
Looking to make a night of it? Rooms at The Redbury, which have a hip apartment feel, start at $329 a night. For just $334 a night, you can add a little brekkie to go.
Retro right down to its window frames. That’s the verdict on The Marker, which just opened in Key West – in fact, it’s the first new-build hotel to open in the Old Town in 20 years.
Yes, new-build. Not that you’d know from the photos. Coffered, whitewashed ceilings, art deco-style stucco around the windows, rattan sofas and leopard print armchairs. It’s deco meets 1950s meets the present day, and the result is 100% delicious. In fact, can we say Kimptony?
More photos after the jump!
An ocean tower suite
We're all about bringing the FUN! back into a hotel stay but sometimes, it's hard to motivate to leave the hotel room, especially after a long day of
shopping travel, partying meetings or Instagramming your feet on the beach exploring.
Eden Roc Miami Beach totally understands how tired you are, which is why they are now offering to bring the fun up to your room, cleverly pairing traditional board games with decadent room service items. Here are the six new additions to the room service menu:
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Art Basel is in full swing in Miami Beach, but we're still admiring the hotel work of art that is the Miami Beach Edition. Today, we're looking at the spa, fitness center and the pool area at the oceanfront resort.
The spa is located in the basement of the hotel, but on the opposite side from Basement, the Edition's recreational area. You have to take a separate staircase from the lobby, just before the Matador restaurant, to access the spa as well as the fitness center. It's not a far walk, but you can't take the elevator directly to the spa, so make sure towel off before you head back upstairs. When returning to your room after a massage, you will just have to be comfortable with your post-treatment face and hair. Or else, shower off in the locker rooms.
There are nine treatment rooms offering massages, body treatments, and facials, along with a Beauty Lounge where you can indulge in a manicure or pedicure, as well as a blow-out. (Not sure that's worth it though because, hello, this is Miami. Humidity will always win.)
However, the co-ed Relaxation Lounge is a large and stylishly serene place to relax, pre and post-treatment, since the spa actually offers mini-treatments here, like the Power Nap, which uses electro-stimulation to give you the benefits of a four-hour nap in 20 minutes. There's also an oxygen treatment where you essentially put on an oxygen mask while lounging on a daybed and flipping through Vanity Fair in the back of the room. It sounds ridiculous and decadent and we want to try it.
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The party floor is accessed through the lobby of the hotel through a staircase practically at the back of the hotel but there is a street-level entrance at Collins, making it very open to all, should this be your kind of scene. And we think it might be, if only for an hour.
Here's what you need to know, if you didn't already know:
· Basement Bowl: Sick of the usual beach and pool routine? You can now bowl for strikes at the four-lane bowling alley which features LED screen displays and interactive light shows, that synchronize with the bowler's actions. There's a small bar that fronts the lane with small tufted-leather booths and leather club chairs. Food is also served here by Edition's resident chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
· Basement Skate: Yes, there's an ice-skating rink here and hotelier Ian Schrager did it purely for the novelty of it all--ice skating in a tropical destination. (#thanksmarriott!) The rink is 2,000-sq.ft. and has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on Collins Avenue. The space is usually lit-up in a cool blue and is surrounded by sheer white drapes, although there is a constantly color-changing LED lighting design in place by Patrick Woodroffe. And of course, there is music. While you can rent ice skates yourself, there will supposedly be professional skaters in bikinis gliding on the ice, or otherwise, models who can skate decently enough. Bonus fact: the rink has its own Zamboni.
̭ Basement Nightclub: Schrager said he wouldn't call this an outright "throwback" to Studio 54 but he did recognize the power of the sensory overload experience that Studio 54 created which was dominated by a killer sound system and performance art shows. So the micro-club at Edition is attempting to recreate some of that with custom-made lighting, state-of-the-art sound systems and hosted party nights. But no one will be able to ignore the giant disco ball above the dance floor. Now, will you be able to get in? That remains to be seen.
Since we arrived at Edition before Basement was fully ready, we weren't able to snap any "official" photos, aside from this stealth shot of the bowling lanes above. Instead, we decided to let the Instagram photos do the talking here. You can find more via @EditionHotels or @BasementMiami or with the hashtag #miamibeachedition. Enjoy!
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We've been teasing you about the items in the minibar at the Miami Beach Edition but you won't have to wait any longer.
Here's a look at some of our favorite items from the minibar tray that's stashed in the closet of the guest rooms (the closet also has gorgeous banana leaf wallpaper.) The goodies are separate from the mini-fridge filled with just as interesting drinks (Cafe Bustelo forever!) so don't be alarmed if you can't find them right away.
Forgot underwear? You can buy that from the minibar. Need a backpack to tote your beach gear around? You can find that here in the minibar too, along with Sun Bum sunscreen, Joe's Kettle chips, Joe & Seph's popcorn, Dang coconut flakes, Sir Richard condoms, Urbanears ear buds, Japanese facial masks, lip balm, the "Where Chefs Eat" book and even, Illesteva sunglasses. All at an additional charge, of course.
Since the Edition London carried a jar of bacon jam we shouldn't have been that surprised by this minibar extravaganza but still, it seemed way more exciting than we had anticipated. Just when everyone thought minibars were nearly extinct, Edition finds a way to bring them back to life. (For what it's worth, the minibar was overseen by someone on the Marriott side, not Schrager's side. #innnteresting.)
Oh, and don't worry, there's a Snickers in there for old times sake.