Living Large in Miami

Miami Press Story Ideas Living Large

Luxury Hotels, Resorts and Spas Booming

In Miami, you don’t have to be a celebrity to live like one. Miami has always been larger than life, but in recent years an impressive array of luxury properties has moved into this international playground, bringing a whole new meaning to “living large.”  From stylish boutique hotels to luxury resorts, celebrities – or those who are lucky enough to enjoy their lifestyle – now have many options to choose from.

If you’re looking for the “suite” life on a budget, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau offers Miami Spa Month every July and August.  Relax and rejuvenate at some of the best luxury spas in the nation with special treatments for just $99. For more information go to www.MiamiSpaMonth.com.

If you’re looking for inspiration on which Miami luxury property to book, below are just some of the destinations newest and iconic upscale hotels and resorts.  For a complete list, go to www.MiamiLuxTravel.com, where you can also find ideas about over-the-top restaurants, attractions, transportation and shopping you can splurge on.

LATEST LUXURY PROPERTY OPENINGS AND UPDATES

Beaches

  • The St. Regis Bal Harbour:  Opened in January 2012 in one of Greater Miami’s most exclusive areas, the St. Regis is one of the destination’s most opulent luxury resort and residences. This haven of oceanfront elegance, located across from the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, is known for its personalized service and 243 expansive ocean view guestrooms -- the largest of any hotel on the eastern seaboard. It is the only Florida resort with Butler service, Bentley house cars, four Les Clefs d’Or concierge, a stunning Remède Spa, an oceanfront Jean-George Vongerichten-inspired restaurant and a nightly champagne sabering ritual in The St. Regis Bar. Its two oceanfront pools come with amenities found nowhere else, including Oceanfront Day Villas, Oasis cabanas and a dedicated poolside massage therapist who roams the pool deck and offers complimentary mini reflexology treatments.
  • Villa by Barton G:  If you’re one of many who’ve gazed longingly in years past through the ornate iron gates of the Versace mansion and wondered what it was like to live there, there’s good news.  The former Versace mansion recently became an exclusive hotel on Ocean Drive, Villa By Barton G. Hotel guests enjoy personal butler service, custom-designed Frette linens, and the latest in technology including e-readers and free Wi-Fi. The restaurant serves acclaimed continental cuisine inside the pebble-mosaic Dining Room and al fresco dining beside the famous Thousand Mosaic Pool.
  • Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach: This AAA Five Diamond resort in Sunny Isles Beach features an elegant Mediterranean villa ambiance with stunning Atlantic Ocean views – which can be savored in the hotel’s newest eatery, Piazzetta Marketplace and Restaurant, which offers a Tuscany-inspired concept. The property boasts188 residences and 97 impeccable guests rooms and suites, a 20,000-square-foot oceanfront ESPA Destination Spa, the acclaimed Il Mulino New York restaurant, three oceanfront swimming pools and an innovative marine biology-based AcquaMarine children’s program.
  • W South Beach Hotel & Residences: This beachfront oasis, dreamed up by international tastemakers, framed by famed Art Deco and in the heart of Miami’s hottest nightlife, just opened The Dutch restaurant. This wildly popular, celebrity studded outpost of the famous New York restaurant pays homage to Chef Andrew Carmellini’s roadtrips through America. After dining, you can take in sparkling ocean views from every room, make a reservation for dining hot spot Mr Chow, savor a signature cocktail in the Living Room, shop at the world renowned W Hotels The Store, relax in a secret garden, make a treatment at Bliss Spa, or enjoy the two pools and  basketball/tennis courts.
  • The Betsy – South Beach: This iconic Ocean Drive property is better than ever after a recent floor-to-ceiling restoration which kept its signature grand columns and created 63 one-of-a-kind guest suites and exquisite public areas, including the Roofdeck and Wellness Garden, and hip eatery BLT Steak at the Betsy. Star chef Laurent Tourondel recently added the new BLT Steak Raw Bar & Sushi, a sleek new bar which features an eyecatching iced seafood display that showcases all of the raw bar favorites.
  • Perry South Beach Hotel: Formerly the Gansevoort, this new boutique property aims to strike the perfect balance between casual and modern elegance. The 340 guestrooms, including 86 suites, are the most spacious in South Beach, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and Miami's skyline. Lavish resort luxuries include fine Egyptian cotton linens for bed and bath, signature tubs and walk-in showers and complimentary high-speed wireless internet. Guests can enjoy the legendary 42,000- square-foot David Barton Gym and Spa, and dinner at the popular culinary steakhouse STK.
  • Dream South Beach: Imaginative and whimsical, this boutique hotel is a transformation of two iconic, Art Deco South Beach Miami hotels - the Tudor Hotel and Palmer House - into a sophisticated, boutique property with 108 rooms and suites. Relax in late-70s inspired accommodations or lounge by the rooftop pool and lounge. 
  • SLS South Beach: The haute hotel scene is about to get a bit hotter in Fall 2012, with Lenny Kravitz and friend Philippe Starck designing the SLS Hotel South Beach. Unbeknownst to many of his fans, the music megastar is the driving force behind Kravitz Design, Inc. which has been enlisted by SLS Hotels’ parent company SBE to create an exclusive bungalow and penthouse at the SLS South Beach. The bungalow suite will be one of 10 situated around the lavish pool area. Philippe Starck will design the rest of the property.

 

Metropolitan Miami

  • JW Marriott Marquis Miami:  This hotel is situated in Miami's new Metropolitan Miami development. Opened in November 2010, this first-to-market JW Marriott Marquis property boasts 313 guestrooms, inclusive of 56 suites, along with a broad array of amenities, including renowned chef-restaurateur, Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne. Offering a diverse setting for business, meeting and pleasure travel pursuits, the 41-story hotel features three concierge levels; 80,000 square feet of total function space including a 20,000- square-foot Grand Ballroom; and one of the most unique indoor sports, lifestyle and entertainment complexes of any hotel in the U.S.
  • Hotel Beaux Arts:  Recently voted one of Travel + Leisure’s World’s Greatest Hotels for 2012, this new luxury boutique hotel sits on the 39th floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, offering breathtaking views of downtown Miami and the surrounding areas.  This architectural masterpiece offers the most discriminating and sophisticated business and leisure traveler exclusive amenities such as with Bang & Olufsen in-room entertainment systems, private check-in and personal escort to one of the 44 ultra-contemporary and lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites. The luxury guest experience, which is set around contemporary art, design and technology and features great attention to detail, has caught the eye of some of the industry’s top experts.
  • W Miami: This glamour-infused luxury Miami hotel was recently created for business and leisure pursuits. Designed by tastemaker Kelly Wearstler, this Brickell Avenue oasis offers elite residential necessities with scene-making dining at Eos, roof-raising lounging at Club 50 and rejuvenating spa treatments at the Spa at W Miami. The hotel also offers lavish amenities such as an oversized outdoor fireplace and a two-acre outdoor living room bedecked by a 300-foot long pool.
  • EPIC Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel:  Recently rebranded as a Kimpton property, this luxury property is located at the edge of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. EPIC Hotel combines the style of a cosmopolitan boutique hotel with the amenities of a resort to create a sophisticated haven for guests amidst the energy and pulse of Miami.  The hotel’s 411 rooms and suites are artfully designed with furnishings that convey an understated sense of cool and feature balconies that provide inspiring views of the city and bay.  Amenities include a large wrap-around pool deck, spa and fitness center, trendy eateries Area 31 and ZUMA, and the only hotel marina in Miami.  EPIC’s club level guestrooms, suites and a private club lounge, which provide discerning guests with exclusive and distinctive guest experiences.
  • Four Seasons Hotel, Miami:  This $379 million sleek column that helped reshape the Miami skyline over the past decade, offers unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay and the city from a 65,000 square-foot roof terrace complete with pools, sundecks and palm trees.  The hotel offers deluxe poolside cabanas with LCD TVs, refrigerator, iPod docking station, day bed and private dining area. The luxurious property encompasses 221 guest rooms, as well as condominium and hotel/condo units.  Popular here are the enormous Sports Club/LA fitness facility and spa and the new signature restaurant EDGE, Steak & Bar. The restaurant, part of a multi-million dollar renovation and housed on the 7th floor, serves beautifully prepared meats and seafood, appetizers and raw bar offerings in a cool and elegant indoor and outdoor environment.  Once you’ve dined at EDGE, you can go across the street to the latest luxury dining hotspot TIKL Raw Bar & Grill. Acclaimed chef Simon Stojanvoic his signature farm-to-table cuisine in this chic eatery in Miami’s financial district. 

 

ICONIC LUXURY PROPERTIES ABOUT TOWN

Beaches

  • ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa: A member of Benchmark Hospitality International's exclusive Florida collection, this hotel towers above wide pristine beaches and presents a selection of 124 ocean-view rooms. Guests access their rooms through semi-private elevators and, once inside, enjoy spacious floor plans and first-class appointments like European wood cabinetry and granite countertops, free-standing tubs in bathrooms with 10-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Atlantic Ocean and inlet, and living spaces that flow on to large panoramic terraces with unparalleled views.
  • The Z Ocean Hotel South Beach: Situated between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue and known for its stunningly "kinetic" architecture, the hotel features 80 guest suites, all with their own over-sized balconies lavishly outfitted for entertaining.  The hotel also boasts: 27 exquisite rooftop Terrace suites with awe inspiring ocean view; full European spa treatments available in the privacy of your suite or terrace; and signature food and beverage venues Table 8 South Beach and Table 8 Lounge.
  • Canyon Ranch Miami Beach: Formerly the historic Carillon Hotel and recently restored beyond its original splendor, Canyon Ranch Miami Beach features 150 luxurious guest suites, a wellness spa, fitness center, gourmet oceanfront dining and comprehensive health and healing facilities.
  • Mondrian South Beach Hotel Residences: Located on fashionable Biscayne Bay with spectacular views of the ocean, bay and downtown Miami, the curvilinear modernist building has 335 studios, one and two bedrooms and penthouses designed by award-winning Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.
  • The Setai on Collins Avenue in South Beach offers 75 impeccably detailed guestrooms and 50 suites, an intimate spa, three pools at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and ultra-chic restaurants and bars.  The hotel recreates the style of Miami Beach's illustrious Art Deco era, while incorporating highlights from Shanghai's Art Deco period.  A grand lobby is decorated in Shanghai brick, bronze and rich teak, imported stone and exquisite Asian art and artifacts.  One-, two- and three-bedroom suites are available, as well as a palatial 10,000 square-foot penthouse with a rooftop pool and sweeping panoramas of the ocean and Miami skyline.
  • Ritz-Carlton South Beach: One of the brand’s three Miami properties, this $200 million restoration of the historic 1950s DiLido Hotel is a popular choice for luxury lovers.  The oceanfront resort, located in the heart of South Beach's eye-popping Art Deco District, is a showcase for Art Moderne design, with 375 rooms and suites resembling staterooms on a luxury ocean liner.  Many of the hotel’s original design elements by Miami Beach visionary Morris Lapidus have been preserved, including black terrazzo floors.  The hotel boasts a 13,000 square-foot spa and fitness center, an elevated central pool and an art collection valued at over $2 million.
  • Delano:  South Beach's epicenter of cool is small and exclusive, but teeming with amenities that its celebrity clients crave, including the famed Bianca restaurant and the rooftop spa, Agua.
  • The Shore Club: This hotel redefines cool on Miami's South Beach, with spaciously elegant rooms featuring teak-framed beds with 300 thread-count Egyptian sheets and the latest in-room technology. The landmark Art Deco lobby is a calming transition to the labyrinth of gardens with secret passageways, alcoves and a succession of different outdoor "rooms." Chic boutiques, multiple infinity pools, a rooftop spa, Skybar, and two world-class restaurants, Nobu and Terrazza, complete the indulgence.
  • Sagamore Hotel: Known as “the art hotel,” the Sagamore combines art and design with top-notch service. Simple yet stylish, this all-suites Miami boutique hotel offers an elegant art collection from local and international artists, which can be seen in the public areas as well as all guestrooms. Relax at Spa V, a 6,000-square-foot European inspired oasis. Sip cocktails by the ever-popular infinity edge pool.
  • Hotel Victor: This iconic Ocean Drive hotel captures the glory, beauty and decadence of the 1930’s, set against a backdrop of sophisticated Parisian style.  Adjacent to the famous building once known as the “Versace Mansion” and now known as the Villa by Barton G, this hotel is a prime spot to be and be seen.
  • Kimpton’s Surfcomber Hotel is another popular choice for boutique hotel lovers wanting contemporary rooms, pet friendly amenities, direct beach access and a great pool with cabanas.

Metropolitan Miami

  • Mandarin Oriental, Miami: This iconic 329-room hotel holds the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award, along with its signature restaurant Azul.  Blending a cool Asian design aesthetic with sexy touches that reflect Miami's diverse cultural influences, Mandarin Oriental is a perfect fit in a cosmopolitan, sophisticated city.  Not content to rest on its laurels, the hotel introduced a new private beach at the luxurious waterfront property, the Beach Club.  Here guests can enjoy Oriental-style furnishings, while being tended to by beach butlers, who pamper guests with cool towels and mist services.  Award-winning Azul boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay and a stunning white marble-clad open kitchen and raw bar that provides the stage for the restaurant's Latin/Asian/French cuisine.  A deluxe three-level waterfront spa offers the ultimate escape with 17 private treatment rooms that each use natural textures such as bamboo, rice paper, and natural linens.
  • Conrad Hilton: This premier luxury hotel, featuring distinctive modern architecture, is geared towards executive business travelers, with special amenities that include private butlers for guests and spa services brought right to your room. Guests can discover the luxury of mingling business with pleasure, as they immerse themselves in the serenity of The Spa, soothe the senses poolside beneath Miami’s sun-filled sky, or wine and dine at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room on Level 25.
  • JW Marriott Hotel Miami: This award-winning, 22-story hotel offers 300 elegantly and ergonomically furnished rooms, superior service and a 24-hour business center. Guest rooms and suites offer the finest luxury details, including marble tubs, high-speed Internet and flat-screen televisions. Delicious dining options range from the wine-inspired contemporary cuisine of The Trapiche Room, to the casual fare at La Terraza Cafe and Bar. Relaxation is as close as the luxurious spa and the unique stainless-steel pool.

Other Luxury Communities

  • Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne:  Located just five miles from downtown Miami on the idyllic, laid-back key known for pricey real estate and top-rated beaches, this spectacular resort features 402 well-appointed guestrooms and suites overlooking lushly landscaped gardens and the Atlantic Ocean and an enormous ocean view spa with wellness classes, including Pilates, yoga and aqua-aerobics.  The hotel has an 11-court Tennis Garden and nearby championship golf. Parents can relax while their children are entertained at the Ritz Kids pavilion with their own pool and beach playground. When you’re done dining at the hotel’s various restaurants, check out the nearby Rusty Pelican, a local landmark that recently underwent a $9 million renovation -- turning the former “shack” into a retro modern dining destination.  The restaurant boasts breathtaking waterfront views of downtown Miami and boasts a sleek new lounge and patio as well as fabulous and flexible special events space on the second floor.
  • Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove: This intimate boutique hotel (with only 115 rooms and suites) offers an astonishing array of amenities that helped earn it the AAA Five-Diamond Award.  Taking personal service to a new level, the hotel staff includes Bow Wow butlers to exercise, feed and provide entertainment (doggie videos, etc.) for guests' pets. Bath butlers organize and draw luxurious soaks from a wide array of bath menus, including a gentlemen's bath complete with cognac, and fitness butlers will schedule in-room yoga sessions or have exercise equipment delivered from the hotel's on-site fitness center and spa to guestrooms.
  • Grove Isle Hotel & Spa: Located on Coconut Grove’s private island just minutes away from the city life of Coconut Grove, this unique resort offers a peaceful respite. The moment you pass through Grove’s gates, you’ll feel as though you have been transported to another era; bougainvillea and tropical flowers beckon you along a fragrant path to your own British Colonial island outpost.
  • Biltmore Hotel:  This National Historic Landmark, which has been the overnight choice of presidents and royalty, is a luxurious hideaway appealing to in-the-know guests who enjoy its Old World charms.  Some enjoy teeing up at the Biltmore Golf Club, the 18-hole par 71 course, while others appreciate relaxing treatments at the elegant Biltmore Spa.  The historic hotel also boasts the largest hotel swimming pool in the continental United States and has recently renovated its private poolside cabanas. Those who love shopping head to the nearby Village of Merrick Park’s upscale retail offerings nestled in a lush sanctuary of foliage, fountains and sculptures. The location boasts numerous high-end retailers strategically situated among three different levels including a couture level, a bridge level and a home design level – with many shops offering  personal shopping.
  •  Fisher Island Club: From the moment the ferry carries guests’ cars to this exclusive island, situated on 216 acres just off the coast of Miami Beach, they know they’re in for something special. Guests reside in a variety of exceptional suites, villas and cottages, all surrounding the William K. Vanderbilt mansion. It’s this sense of security and the beauty of a tropical island resort in the heart of one of the world’s great metropolises that sets the resort apart.
  • Fontainebleau Miami Beach:  A Miami Beach landmark since opening in 1954, this is biggest and perhaps the most famous hotel in the area.  Stomping grounds for Elvis, Frank Sinatra and countless other swinging celebrities during its first heyday, guests who visited before Fall 2008 won’t recognize the property, which underwent a  $1 billion transformation and expansion. Today the hotel is a spectacular blend of Miami’s glamorous golden era and stylish modern luxury. It spans 22 oceanfront acres featuring 1,504 rooms and suites, and 11 restaurants and nightclubs (Liv, Bleu Bar) including three signature name chef restaurants (Gotham Steak, Scarpetta and Hakkasan), a 40,000-square-foot spa (Lapis Spa), a sophisticated poolscape with private cabanas, as well as retail stores.

Getting Around Town in Style

  • Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service:  Whether it is a Mercedes S-550 for a transfer to the airport or a Mercedes Limousine Coach for a night on the town, traveling with Aventura Worldwide will guarantee reliability and luxury with every interaction.
  • Dragonfly Expeditions:  Guests can choose from three private VIP experiences:  Explore the story of the Cuban migration with your personal guide and luxury transportation as you sample authentic fare, learn about traditional trades, and view Cuban art on a unique experience incorporating everything Cuban that Miami has to offer.  Take a private tour of the Everglades and explore remote island camps, as well as native plant and animal life as you journey through the sawgrass prairies on a hunting-style airboat through tribal lands of the Miccosukee tribe. Or experience a wet hike in the pristine waters of the Big Cypress Preserve, a day-long exclusive journey that includes a visit to a world-famous black and white photo gallery and an authentic lunch.                                             

For more information on living large in Miami go to www.MiamiLuxTravel.com.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an independent not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions. For a vacation guide, visit our website at www.MiamiAndBeaches.com or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000.  Meeting Planners may call 1-800-933-8448 (US/Canada only) or 305-539-3071 or visit www.MiamiMeetings.com.