33131 Travel Guide
For travelers that like to arrive in style, raise your glass to the new MO Bar + Lounge, now open inside Mandarin Oriental in Miami. (And by arrive in style, we mean you would not make an entrance with sandy sandals -- it was SOBEWFF weekend!--like we did.)
We stopped by five-star hotel during the daytime (before the bar’s official opening) and found guests in resort wear and collared shirts that matched the “relaxed, yet polished” surroundings of MO Bar + Lounge.
Located just down the hall of the hotel’s main entrance, the lounge is partitioned off by tall wooden sticks, with a 14-seat bar in the center, and surrounded by comfy velvet chairs that are easy to sink into after a couple cocktails. The MO Bar + Lounge concept will be joined soon by the new restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio which replaces the oldCafe Sambai restaurant.)
...Miami's Epic Hotel!
When this Kimpton hotel does a pool party--they do it up right, as you can see. Last night, this benefit party, called "A Sound for All The Senses" was for a cause--to support The Starkey Hearing Foundation. The DJ of the night was none other than "That Deaf Dj", aka Robbie Wilde. Wilde, who's been playing clubs for more than a decade, has been 90% deaf since age 11. He didn't let his disability detract him from his love of music, and he has soared to, well, epic heights in the DJ world.
Apparently his music not only inspires people to get on the dance floor, but groove in the pool as well.
So we say "Salute!" to Wilde and his wild, funky style! Looking for a place to party this weekend? Check out the Epic!
Hotel Art / Historic Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Miami Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / For the sake of Hotel Art / Sweet Suites / → All Tags
If you've been keeping up with your Miami hotel mambo, you'll know there's plenty of cool stuff happening at the freshly-renovated InterContinental Miami. In addition to some nifty touchscreen coffee tables in the lobby, plus a giant 19-story digital canvas on the hotel's exterior, we also discovered this gem in one of the rooms.
Adorning one of Venus Williams' two special-designed presidential suites, is this historic newspaper clipping sourced from the local archives. This article has been blown up to thirty times its original size, framed, and placed on a wall in the suite's living room, and details 18 ways to pronounce the city's name.
Take a look above to browse the list of funny-sounding options. "My-ah-my," "Mee-ammi," and, our personal favorite, "My-amma." We wonder which pronunciation Venus is partial to?
What Is This? / Miami Hotel Mambo / InterContinental Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Snapshots / → All Tags
You know those instances when you're in a hotel and you have some simple questions about the area you're staying in, but don't feel like dealing with some peppy concierge who's just going to draw a bunch of lines and circles on a paper map and regurgitate the same tired, old recommendations?
Well, here's one nifty thing about staying at the InterCon Miami. The newly-refreshed hotel has installed an arsenal of giant touch screen coffee tables in the lobby that provide guests with a fun, user-friendly way to plan local outings, make restaurant reservations, or even book an appointment at the spa.
If you want, you can even use the screens to order a cocktail without having to walk over to the bar!
Yes, technically, that's what waiters are for. But this is 2012, and giant touch screens are just so much more fun.
Hotel Design / Hotel News / InterContinental Hotels / Miami Hotels / Florida Hotels / Venus Williams / → All Tags
Venus Williams is quietly positioning herself for the day she decides to retire her tennis racket. Her interior design company, V*Starr, has steadily gained recognition since its inception back in 2002, drawing praise from magazines like Family Circle, Luxury Living, and Homes of Color.
Despite a relatively low-profile portfolio that includes athletes homes in Miami and the set of a PBS television show in Los Angeles, the Intercontinental Miami took a chance on her, contracting the company to redesign its two presidential suites, both of which are now complete. The project was V*Starr's first hospitality gig.
Does it show? Intercontinental calls the two rooms "distinctively different," but we're not really seeing that in the photos gallery below. Outside of the colors and different names, they look like the exact same layouts.
Welcome to the first of several hotel dispatches from our newest special contributor, The Smooth Operator. We can't divulge his identity but we can tell you he's 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 is 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!)
As part of the Icon Brickell complex, the Viceroy Miami holds the front tower leaning over Brickell Avenue. The Icon at Brickell is supposedly designed by Philippe Starck, yet I challenge if he ever even visited this property – it’s one of those Yoo projects where some young things working under Starck’s name have put together a collage of Stark-inspired design arrangements and mash-up furniture. [Ed. Note: While the Icon at Brickell was designed by Philippe Starck, which includes the hotel pool and the spa, the interiors of the Viceroy Miami were actually done by designer Kelly Wearstler.]
The room was a good size overall with an extremely large bathroom with shower and enlarged tub. Along with a kitchen and wet-bar area, the room is well equipped for an extended stay.
While the hotel is only a few years old, it’s getting beat up and some of the room’s props were dirty. The sofa in the lounge area of the suite could have been covered in plastic sitting in my grandmother’s cottage – definitely not the Miami pieces you’d expect in a hotel like the Viceroy.
The only thing worse than the sofa was the dilapidated bamboo style curtains that had worn out and provided holes for the sun to peak in and throw weird designs across the room in the morning. They need to be replaced, along with the towels that have expanding holes.
Edge, Steak & Bar is also new, replacing Acqua, a more generally contemporary cuisine/power-lunch restaurant in the same space. As you can tell from the name, Edge is a steakhouse of sorts--although it's referred to as "steak lite"--and it's accompanied with lighter options like salads, sandwiches and lots of seafood.
The space is light and pretty with low-hanging lamps, a shiny, modern bar, and lots of cozy-looking banquettes surrounding the room.
Last week, we finally got a look at a couple of suites (yep, the regular rooms were all booked), located on the 28th and 29th floors of the tower.
Even though they're suites--and pretty sweet ones at that, with oodles of space and panoramic views--you can get a good idea of what the regular rooms look like from scoping out the pictures in our gallery. The color schemes are similar, and the soft furnishings and new-look window seats are the same in the entry-level rooms--also pretty spacious at a generous 500 square feet.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Art Basel Hotels / Andy Warhol / Art Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / → All Tags
We never pictured Warhol as an InterContinental type (perhaps more of a Jane/Bowery/Gramercy Park Hotel denizen or even a St. Regis dude). But we were wrong because the superstar is checking into the Intercontinental Hotel Miami from November 30 through January 1.
Yep, we're following up yesterday's initial list of Art Basel Miami Beach hotel happenings with a standalone item today—because, well, it's Andy Warhol, people. And thanks to Andy, we're all of a sudden looking at the IC Miami through a much cooler lens.
The hotel has been a fixture downtown for 25 years and is on the receiving end of some new renovations.
Ah, fall. Back to school, back to work. And, for hotels, back to the drawing board! The Four Seasons Miami is just one of the hotels in the 305 going for a fresh look, and we have to say: it's looking pretty elegant.
The new room design was conceptualized as an update to the hotel's Art Deco style, and helmed by the original designer of the hotel's interiors, Frank Nicholson. Apparently, he was inspired by the Four Seasons Miami's $3-million art collection when coming up with the new look.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Hotel Chefs / Hotel Restaurants / Miami Spice / → All Tags
With Miami Spice (a two-month long 'Restaurant Week') on the horizon in Miami, we have food on the brain. To prepare for the food-fest, we've been scoping out some of the city's best hotel restaurants to bring you the inside word on where to book your Spice tables. Today: Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Miami.
One of Miami's poshest, the restaurant opened in 2000 but has a breath of fresh air in the form of Chef Joel Huff, who joins the hotel after stints at Mandarins in San Francisco and New York, and at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara.
Despite serving up seriously high-class dishes like Eggs & Caviar and Sake Marinated Black Cod, Chef Huff is totally down to earth, and happy to talk to guests about his recent move to Miami and his love for surfing. OK, so we were at Azul for a media event, but the restaurant has an open kitchen so you'll always be able to spot him and, really, the guy loves to chat. Trust us, this is one time you won't have to worry about awkward small talk when the chef does his rounds of tables towards the end of the night.
If it's summer, there must be a pool party goin' on. Are we wrong?
In Miami, the newest one in town is not in South Beach but downtown in the fancy Brickell Ave neighborhood. Surprisingly, since it's at the Four Seasons Miami, it's also one of the more laid-back pool scenes we've come across in the 305.
Banish visions of those boom-boom dance music fests that dominate the beach hotels all winter. Summer is more of a locals scene in Miami, and while this pool party had a DJ, the vibe was more chill-out than burn up the dance floor.
The crowd was a mix of hotel guests, locals, and members of the on-site Sports Club/LA, with a healthy sprinkling of kids who were happy to share the shark- and gator-shaped inflatable pool toys with the grown-ups.