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When restaurateurs and founders of Serafina Restaurant Group Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato were lost at sea, the friends made a promise to one another that if they eventually saw land they would open the best pizza and pasta restaurant they could think of.
Years later, they’ve launched close to a dozen locations of Serafina everywhere from New York City to São Paolo – and now in Miami in the Art Deco and super swanky Dream South Beach.
The new location, which focuses on northern-Italian cuisine, features family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Plus, it boasts a traditional wood stone oven to make the more than 24 varieties of pizza on the menu.
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Built in 1953 and considered one of the only two "Art Hotels" in the area, the Ritz Carlton South Beach is in the midst of completely renovating its original Morris Lapidus-designed landmark in the city’s historic Art Deco district. Here are a few pics of what's in store:
Welcome to another hotel dispatch from our special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he spends about 70 percent of his time on the road, staying in all the hot hotels and checking out their restaurants and bars to see if the social scene and rooms are up to snuff. If you're deciding whether or not to take a chance on that hip boutique hotel in the city, read The Smooth Operator for his opinion first. (Or send us an email and we'll have him answer it for you!)
Last week he happened to be in Miami and we were curious about The James Royal Palm, which was supposed to open on October 1. We've been giving this hotel tons of pre-opening love, so we're disappointed with the recent turn of events. We asked the "powers that be" at The James if we could take a look around since we were under the impression (given our last report) that it would be open on time. Let's just say the response was less than pleasant and we don't dig that, especially when we've been good girls and boys. But, HC has NICE friends out and about, we asked Smooth and another pal to find out what was going on and what was behind all the hostility? Turns out, it's coming from a few directions. Read on for the report of The James Miami's progress thus far.
We don't know what's the deal, but lately we're seeing a fair share of luxury hotel packages that make us question some things. Just exactly who can afford these OTT extravaganzas? Why aren't they related to us? Is it too late to become a Real Housewife or one of the Basketball variety?
Apparently someone can foot the bill for these blingy buys because they continue to roll out. But if nothing else, we're dreamers here at HC and like to look at pretty things and share them with other desk jockey's, so here's a super glam offering--a partnership between W South Beach Hotel & Residences and Magellan Jets.
Yesterday, the pair launched a "Jetsetter" package that allows those staying in the hotel's seven new VIP suites charter flight on one of Magellan's private jets! The decked-out one-to-three bedrooms suites, which have names like "Sensational", "E-Wow", and "Marvelous" begin at 1,054-square feet and come with a tons of extras from full kitchens and laundry rooms (though we scoff at this--who is gonna do laundry?) to as well as the brand's Bliss bath products. But, the plane! The plane! What about the plane?
There’s something about hotels that have their own screening rooms and movie theaters that say “schwanky”, so it’s no surprise that beginning today, South Beach’s luxury Delano is partnering with The Weinstein Company and presenting the "Weinstein Screening Series" in the hotel’s brand new 20-person Media Room which opened last month. It will be the location where some of the company’s most popular movies will be shown on an 85-inch screen.
On the agenda for the next few months:
The King’s Speech: October 8th
My Week with Marilyn: October 22nd
Nowhere Boy: November 5th
Our Idiot Brother: November 19th
Undefeated: December 3rd
Vicky Cristina Barcelona: December 17th
Admission will be offered to Delano guests and by invitation only. Invitees will sit in the intimate, 800 square-foot lounge on earth-toned leather couches, and enjoy free movie candy and popcorn (that is sooo sophicated!) Movie-themed cocktails, like the "Dirty Girl", made with Jack Daniels, blood orange and ginger beer, "The Artist", a concoction of Grey Goose Cherry Noir, Amaretto, and Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and "Inglourious Basterds", a mixture of Bacardi Oakheart, St. Germaine, lime and mint, will be available for purchase.
Rates at The Delano begin at $299 per night.
[Photo:Morgans Hotel Group]
The last time we’d talked about the Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Miami’s Coconut Grove section, things weren’t faring well. To be blunt—it was becoming a downright dump. In fact a friend who stayed there this past April told us that the previously named Mayfair House Hotel still hadn’t looked that great.
Well, it seems things have changed and the hotel has undergone a major renovation and will relaunch as a luxury property on September 21st. And if the images we’ve seen are any indication—they’ve put in major work.
The 179 suites, spa, and rooftop deck have all been overhauled to a South Beach sleekness that has us well intrigued. They’ve added Amazon ironwood fixtures, stained-glass windows, and sculptures plaster ceilings crafted by talented artisans.
Now that summer is unofficially over, no doubt you have some stories to tell from romantic picnics and breezy getaways to bangin' beach barbeques. Perhaps there was a little summer lovin' that had an interesting twist or ended with a broken heart? Either way, now is the time to share that tale for all to read, in particular, the folks over at The Standard Miami who'll reward the best story with a free stay!
The Standard wants to read your Summer themed stories and they're making a contest out of it. For those of you that have a knack for putting your feelings down on paper, or have dreams to be published, now is your chance. Just make it short, as the limit is 1000 words. Goes without saying, but it has to be about the hot season, summer!
The grand prize winner can see their story for themselves at The Standard Miami for 3 nights during the Miami Book Fair in November. If you'd rather stay at the LA or NYC properties, you can opt for that too, but we think Miami, the book fair, and beautiful weather is the better deal.
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Yup, today is National Pancake Day—always kinda sneaks up on ya, doesn't it?
In an effort to raise awareness for Children's Miracle hospitals, IHOP is offering a free short stack to every customer that walks into the restaurant today. Which is awesome. But, at the same time, it's IHOP, and we like to think our palates are slightly more refined.
Instead, consider a pancake breakfast at a hotel today. Not a guest? Not a problem. These hotel restaurants are all open and accessible to non-guests—trust us, the food is so good, they're worth the trip. And yes, we've managed to come up with more suggestions than just the pancake machines at Holiday Inn Express hotels. If we wanted to make our own, we'd just have stayed at home!