This blog post brings you a partnership Visit Florida
Miami Beach needs no introduction – and especially for me. I was good 10 times, but in the last few years I stopped. I needed a break.
But in 2018 I decided to go back to Miami Beach – and if I can be honest, I'm glad I expected to come back. Why? Because I was really excited when the date of departure was approaching and the planning of this trip was also very strange. There were so many new hotels to choose from – things were a bit obsolete, and if they did not want a "pool and beach" it was not that easy. But now … you were scraped off and I was, too.
I had 3 nights at the beach in Miami Beach and most of them I did – it's like going on a "long" weekend and how you can plan a luxury weekend in Miami Beach.
Click here to watch this video on YouTube.
How to Get To Miami Beach
Easy peas. From London Heathrow you can fly directly with British Airways, American Airlines and Virgin. I decided to get my ticket from British Airways and really fly with the American. I like the set up American business class (a few years ago I reviewed it and the experience was quite similar) and on this flight I could not ask much more. I followed the readers' advice and ordered "Hindu vegetarian food" that was not bad at all.
If you are Sapphire oneworld or Emerald (I'm the latter), you can play a beautiful little game called salon hopping on T3 now. Find a quick look (and cry) in the American lounge, then the BA lounge and make sure you also head to the new Qantas lounge. Where can you find me? The Cathay Pacific First Lounge, which is truly an oasis of peace and excellent food and service.
Note that if you do not have status with oneworld, you can only access American or BA salons (which will soon be reconstructed from what I've heard).
Flight entertainment was very good and when we left London at 9:45, we landed slightly ahead of the scheduled drive at 14:00, which gave me the right half in Miami.
And then … there was one of the most exciting landing views from the plane. Welcome to Miami.
Arriving at Miami Airport
I am not a big fan of Miami airport – actually, I was interested in flying to Fort Lauderdale (BA is flying to 5 destinations in Florida and you have the opportunity to go and come back from another without any price differences). However, things were a bit better and we were lucky with our timing and what … and I was out of the airport, with luggage and around immigration within one hour of landing (my personal record is JFK in 37 minutes, so it was nice good).
Since I was alone (and if I was not), I advise myself to meet the car at the airport, and the next day, or if I really need it, I'll get a car hire. After a long flight, this is the last thing I needed, and I had a couple of glasses of champagne on the flight (which was almost OK), so the ride really was not an option.
I used Blacklane again – I think they are very good and much easier in the US than Uber (for $ 100 from airport to hotel, in a business class car like I had 3 suitcases) and got to the hotel within 30 minutes.
Where to stay
As I mentioned earlier – oh were my choices! There are more than a handful of brand new luxury hotels, but my decision was not so difficult. Why? Since our last visits to Bal Harbour, the city that is located 10-15 minutes north of Miami Beach, home of Bal Harbor Shops (probably the best luxury shopping experience in the area) and St. George Hotel. Regis. We've always found this area to be better – it's quieter, there is no beach or beach scene, and it's super easy to get to Miami Beach or Miami Beach.
I'm sure why Four Seasons chose Surfside (literally the city before Bal Harbor) to find its latest addition to its Miami portfolio: the stunning Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club.
The hotel uses the original building, which was for the main public areas of The Surf Club – is also home to the La Sireneuse restaurant, which is the first international station (and is excellent). We loved the atmosphere of the hotel – how quiet it was (on the beach or in the pool – the hotel has only 70 rooms, but then has private housing in the adjacent buildings) and then as a lively bar and restaurant in the evenings.
I'm reviewing the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club soon, so I hope you'll leave it for more.
I really can not fault the hotel – the service was really friendly and efficient, the place was really good for us and the bar was great. We went out for dinner, but we've always decided to go back to La Sireneus where he'll have a drink, as it was written everywhere.
The rooms were really well equipped and came up with what might be called a "decent look". You can see a video with some more detailed information in your Instagram.
Where to eat and drink around Miami Beach
It was not easy to choose where to eat – a handful of old timers and then some new options … and only 3 nights that changed to 2, as I explain a bit.
I decided to go "something old but different" and "something similar but new" because it was hard to choose with great honesty.
On our first night we went to Leyna, the new Argentine concept of SBE at Delano Hotel. It was the perfect first meal for my friend Kirstein (who flew from Los Angeles) and for me, who was a little tired of flying to London. The cocktails were great and we decided to share a few starters and steaks among us, which was more than enough. Dinner for two is around $ 200 – $ 300 + (depending on the wine you choose). Whatever you do, order their signature for a dessert sorbet and you are for kindness.
The next night we had to go to Estiatoria Milos, but my friend K had drinks with her client, who then turned to dinner. These things are happening, and I'm really glad to have done this, because now I can make first-hand recommendations about a restaurant that is a few blocks from Four Seasons in Surfside, where I would never go. Her clients and family were Jewish and invited to join them in the popular Kosher, Backyard BBQ. I have one photo of the evening that is on the mat – it's not nice and I do not care.
I'm also not quite sure what we had – but I remember that the burned ends, something buff, the rib eye and the good knows what else. I can also say that the jalapeño cocktails were great. I think dinner was around $ 75 per person (but I did not pay an account). It was a whole experience and I think we were the only non-Jewish people there, and everyone was very kind to us.
Last night, I really wanted to go back to bazaar Jose Andres – for many reasons, but one of them was because they have this "Ultimate Gin & Tonic", which is a small artwork, and also because my friend K also does Hendricks and that would be a surprise for her. Living in California has enjoyed some European flavors and, as always, Mr Andres did not disappoint. It has a new Miami restaurant that is also highly recommended but we turned the coins and chose South Beach. I'm not saying lies. Dinner for 2 was in the range of 250 to 300 CZK without services. We had wine with a glass and a lot of cocktails.
We dwelt by the pool at the Four Seasons restaurant (beautiful, but I still do not understand why plastic glasses are needed at the meal at the table, but not right by the pool) and La Sireneuse. If you like real Italian food, go. It's a really nice place – and really busy at dinner. For lunch we tried a lunch menu with 3 lunches ($ 52) (it can do 2 courses for $ 42). It was really quiet, so it ended a little more formal than I wished.
Bar, on the other hand, was always busy and was excellent. The entire team is Italian and very feeble. They made great cocktails. Cocktails are about $ 20.
The only other place where we had dinner before dinner was the Soho Beach House. If you are a non-member, you can book a room and also visit Cecconi, which operates its non-member area. If you are a member, you have the usual bar and restaurant and I can not tell you that.
Where to buy
That's a BIG question, and I'll tell you something: I've pre-arranged almost everything I could online and let them deliver to the hotel. My time in Miami was rare and I wanted to add some beautiful time to the beach (which I can assure it existed).
Visiting Bal Harbor is a must – it could be perhaps the most civilized shopping center in the world. Very compact and with very good money you can buy. I had an accident when my flip flops broke and you know Havaianas is not in BH. I find it strange, because there are 100 dollars of Hawaiians and we all know it is time and place for them. I had to buy a beautiful pair of Gianvitto Rossi pictures that I remember forever like my $ 400 emergency shoes. I was able to get a new pair of Hawaiians (because GR really does not see any sand at all) in the Four Seasons Hotel Store (which was by the way fantastic) and later on on my way to Sarasota it was possible to get exactly what I had.
But there is another obvious place to go – Colonnade Scenes of Sawgrass Mills. It is an hour's drive from Miami Beach (and about 90 minutes from Naples where I went to the next), it's the most unique designer outlets in Florida and I hardly ever know about the last visit. Sawgrass Mills is still huge (and there are some high street streets), but luxury brands are now in the same location and really make a nice shopping experience.
I loved returning to Miami Beach and almost every minute we spent in this area. I'm glad I've moved from the last afternoon visit – because it was really interesting to see how I felt at home. I love a mix of cultures (the impact of the South American world really adds more than "je-ne-sais-quois" to this part of Florida) and how simple and relaxed it was.
I even had the courage to have my first solo Flytographer session (which is always a blessing because they are, of course, the only pictures I have from me!)
If you have not been to Miami Beach for a while …. go. I was happy to come back and definitely not for years until I come back.
Disclaimer and Facts Box: This trip was funded and sponsored by a visit to Florida and I was able to organize a trip alone, as I normally did. My collaboration with Visit Florida also included a live social media campaign that allowed those who followed me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to be able to join during a trip. I loved every minute and the views are all mine (and I promise it was great).
Find out more about Florida by visiting the Florida Web site – it has a good resource collection and will help you plan a next trip. Start here with ideas on what to do and see in Miami, of course accommodation and shopping. You can also visit the Miami and Beaches web sites.
I would also recommend visiting Florida to Instagram – it will give you a good taste of what to expect because the state is really so diverse.
How to get to Miami Beach Florida and how much will it cost for Mrs. O Style:
– Fly – I flew AA and BA in business class and fares start at £ 1800 directly from London Heathrow. My flight was 2750 pounds due to the term we chose. You can also fly to nearby Fort Lauderdale from London Gatwick.
– Sleep – I stayed at Four Seasons at the Surf Club in Surfside, Florida. Double room rates start at $ 550 + tax without breakfast. Valet parking costs 42 USD per day.
– Beginning – I used Blacklane to transfer from the airport ($), I used Uber almost everywhere in town and hired a car from day 3 with Avis.
– Capture a moment – 30-minute photographic operation with Flytographer costs $ 250.
A luxury weekend in Miami Beach, Florida, first appeared on Mrs Oround the World – a luxury travel blog by Ana Silva O'Reilly.