What's New in Greater Miami and the Beaches for Winter 2017/2018
MIAMI (MARCH 2018) – As alluring a destination as ever, Greater Miami and Beaches continues to evolve and enhance tourism infrastructure, investing millions in cruise lines, airlines, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, family attractions and a new $615M renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. Here is an update on the latest news in Greater Miami and the Beaches:
There is no better time to shop in Miami and the Beaches than during the 6th Annual Shop Miami Month, celebrated every March. The destination’s most popular malls, marketplaces, boutiques, restaurants and hotels will offer incentives and special fashion events as part of the yearlong Citi Miami Temptations Programs presented by Citibank, which takes a thematic focus on the best the destination has to offer with monthly deals and special events appealing to both locals and tourists alike. Visit ShopMiamiMonth.com for more information on shopping districts, special offers, hotel packages and events.
- PortMiami has won Porthole Cruise Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Award for Best U.S. Port for two consecutive years in recognition for its customer service, quality operations, and all around excellence.
- Norwegian Cruise Line will get a high-design terminal at PortMiami that will host the Norwegian Encore ship when it arrives in PortMiami in November 2019. The terminal, designed by Miami's Bermello Ajamil & Partners, will be shaped like a long bow bridge, with transparent glass faces on the north and south sides. It will be 700 feet long, 150 feet high and have giant white NCL initials on the structure. A parking garage with 1,054 spaces will sit next to the terminal and be connected to it by a second story walkway.
- Also investing in a new terminal at PortMiami is Royal Caribbean. The cruise line is investing more than $200 million on its new terminal, which will house the Symphony of the Seas and further enforce Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the Miami market. The arrival of the two new terminals further reinforces Miami as Cruise Capital of the World.
- In 2018, PortMiami will welcome the world’s newest & largest ship – Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas—a 5,494 passenger ship debuting November 17, 2018 and sailing 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Royal Caribbean is investing more than $200 million on a new terminal at PortMiami. The new terminal will house the Symphony of the Seas and further enforces Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the Miami market – the Cruise Capital of the World.
- During the 2018/19 season, PortMiami will welcome Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Horizon and Norwegian’s Norwegian Bliss. Both will sail to the Caribbean year-round starting September 2018 and November 2018 respectively.
The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) celebrated the opening of the Miami International Airport’s newly renovated Concourse E federal inspection facility for international arrivals. The facility is the first in the country completely dedicated to providing expedited passport screening via facial recognition technology, which verifies a travelers’ identity by matching them to the document they are presenting allowing them to screen as many as 10 passengers per minute. The re-designed, technology-driven facility also offers passport clearance via automated passport control kiosks and the Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app.
- MIA welcomed a record number of 21.7 million passengers in 2017 (10.9 million international arrivals and 11.6 million domestic arrivals). MIA continues to attract new airline carriers as well as introduce new international routes through existing airline partners.
- MIA is home to 106 airlines, more than any other US airport.
New scheduled service in 2018:
- Latin America:
- Santiago, Chile (LAW Airlines)
- Fortaleza and Brasilia, Brazil (GOL Airlines)
- Salvador, Brazil (LATAM Airlines)
Miami Worldcenter will be home to the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center, developed by MDM Group. It will feature approximately 1,700 hotel rooms and 500,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Amenities will include an expansive pool deck with views of the bay, the American Airlines Arena, and the downtown Miami skyline, as well as an 80,000-square-foot outdoor event deck. MDM expects to break ground in Q3 2018. There is an approximate 3 ½ year construction window with the estimated completion being the first half of 2022. For more information, visit MiamiWorldCenter.com.
The 318-suite full-service Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport, has completed a $10M renovation of its atrium, lobby, restaurant, lounge, meeting space, breakfast area, fitness center and public space. The refresh includes design elements to brighten the ambiance and update amenities providing a fresh, modern urban environment for the only Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel in the Miami area. Located near the Miami International Airport, the hotel was inspired by the color palette that surrounds the Florida landscape. The new design creates a soothing and comfortable, at-home atmosphere suitable for any business or leisure traveler while paying homage to the colorful destination. For more information, visit EmbassySuitesMIA.com.
Hilton Miami Downtown by Resorts World Miami brings high-style, service, and value to Miami’s Downtown Performing Arts District following the completion of a property wide $35 million renovation. Located on the site of the former Omni International Mall, which included the mammoth shopping complex, movie theater and hotel, Hilton Miami Downtown has been revamped for a new, discerning guest with its re-imagined guest rooms, meeting space, restaurant, and lobby. Meanwhile, elements from the original development such as its expansive loading dock and parking facilities, provide guests, conference organizers and event planners with features no other property in Miami can offer. The Perfect Miami Escape - for groups, social events, families, weekenders, pre- and post-cruisers, the newly renovated Hilton Miami Downtown represents the area’s best - style, culture, convenience, value in one superior hotel offering. For more information, visit HiltonMiamiDowntown.com.
Pennsylvania-based REIT Hersha Hospitality Trust is pleased to announce that Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club in Miami Beach will open in Spring 2018 after a multi-million-dollar renovation. An icon 70 years in the making, the beautiful oceanfront resort is located in the heart of Miami Beach’s mid Beach at 39th and Collins Avenue. Originally designed by renowned Art Deco architect Roy France in 1940, Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club joins Marriott International’s Autograph Collection Hotels, a diverse portfolio of more than 135 independent hotels around the world that reflect unique vision, design and craft. Overlooking the glistening Atlantic Ocean with beach and city views, the new Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club features 357 guestrooms, as well as two distinct dining outlets, two pools – adults-only and family pool - and beachside service. Drawing inspiration from the glamour and sophistication of the 1940s European Riviera, interior design firm Bill Rooney Studio is creating a reimagined modern resort with a preserved Art Deco aesthetic. Specializing in luxury hospitality design including the recently renovated Peninsula Chicago, Bill Rooney Studio masterfully creates spaces that are inspiring and highly-stylized, while equally welcoming and comfortable. For more information, visit CadillacHotelMiamiBeach.com.
Wellness has landed at Miami Airport. The EVEN Hotel Miami Airport, an IHG Hotel, is the newest Miami Airport hotel and the first of its kind in the South Florida area with easy access to Miami International Airport and just minutes to downtown Miami, Coral Gables and Miami Beaches. Guests can keep active with in-room fitness zones for private workouts and eat well when choosing from the selection of healthy food and beverage options, including made to order smoothies and Grab 'n' Go meals. Guest can also accomplish more with free Wi-Fi and mobile furnishings. Rest easy with their Beauty-rest mattresses, spa-inspired showers, signature EO bath products and all-natural eucalyptus linens. Whether before or after your travels, EVEN Miami Airport can provide you with the essentials to maintain your healthy lifestyle - Miami style. Also, providing transportation to the Port of Miami and nearby area. For more information, visit EvenHotels.com.
Cool Cuisine and Night Life
David Grutman, the man behind LIV, Story, Komodo and OTL – has brought Toronto-based Planta to Miami. The “plant-based” restaurant serves an array of vegetarian and vegan dishes along with vegetarian sushi. Leading the kitchen is chef David Lee, who’s creating dishes like coconut ceviche, Korean fried lettuce wraps, and truffle and cashew mozzarella pizza, while the sushi bar is serving up a variety of hand rolls, wraps, sushi and nigari — all sans meat or fish. In addition, cold-press cocktails, juices and shots are also on hand to wash back the cuisine. The 200-seat restaurant features two indoor dining rooms and outdoor terrace seating. The dining room that houses the sushi bar and cocktail bar features black and white flooring, ceiling skylight cutouts, hexagonal-tiled walls along with green accent walls. The second dining room features a barn-like structure lined with windows and made of white-washed oak reclaimed from a house built in the 1920s. The restaurant will be open daily for dinner beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, visit PlantaRestaurants.com.
Located in the epicenter of Miami’s popular Midtown neighborhood, Skorpios opened its doors to the public in February 2018, combining signature Greek cuisine with South Florida flare. Named after the private island owned by the Late Greek shipping billionaire Aristotle Onassis, Skorpios will be a destination for fresh Mediterranean fare, handmade cocktails, and a playful atmosphere that offers a wondrous and celebratory experience to its guests. Brought to Miami by hospitality guru Eric Milon, Skorpios aims to be the restaurant of choice for young creative professionals and Midtown residents who are looking for an elevated dining and joyful tavern experience. The 4,900 square foot indoor and outdoor Greek-themed eatery uses colors that echo those of the sea and sky, and includes notes of warm terracotta and mosaic tiles on the floor and walls, as well as a 13-foot Hammerhead shark mounted on the wall. The aesthetic direction of the restaurants transformation was entrusted to Dupoux Design Studio, a full service design firm that molds unique hospitality experiences through architecture and design. For more information, visit SkorpiosMiami.com.
Located on famed Collins Avenue, The Gates recently launched Agaveros Cantina, a Mexican-inspired restaurant led by recent contestant of Food Network’s ‘Beat Bobby Flay,’ Executive Chef Nicolas Bour. Chef Bour brings a unique twist to Mexican-inspired cuisine with dishes like crispy salt cod fritters, Mexican shrimp cocktails, grilled vegetable brochette, and more — balancing savory bites with smoky sips from the collection of more than 100 tequilas and mezcals available. Before taking the helm at The Gates, Bour served two presidents – President George Bush and President Barack Obama – in addition to the entire Kentucky Derby. To optimize the three main dining outlets – restaurant, destination pool deck, and lobby bar – the hotel plans to offer individual menu options catered to each area. The hotel also introduces various programming including weekend brunch offers, full use of the third-floor rooftop overlooking the pool to accommodate up to 150 guests, and exclusive pool parties serving grilled fusion tacos paired with handcrafted cocktails. For more information, visit GatesSouthBeach.com.
Attraction Action and Special Events
The former site of the Dezer Collection Auto Museum in North Miami will be open to the public until March 11, 2018, and through a series of added expansions, will be renamed Dezerland Park. The park is anticipated to be the biggest park of its kind in Miami. The sizable attraction will feature over 250,000-square-feet of family entertainment for all ages, including go-kart racing, virtual reality games, a zip line, and the site’s existing Ninja Lounge which combines activities like a trampoline park with rock climbing, parkour, a ninja course and more. The property’s $15 million 007 Bond Museum, featuring the largest collection of James Bond props and vehicles in the U.S., will also remain for private events and group tours. For more information, visit DezerlandPark.com.
Cycle Party is a pedal powered party on wheels, rated one of the best things to do in South Florida, and newly opened in Wynwood! It is a great way to have an exciting and memorable adventure. Cycle Party is great for both weekend and weekday outings, for drinking and no-drinking tours. Whether you’re in the mood for a bar crawl to the best bars in the area, a sightseeing tour or a foodie tour, Cycle Party has you covered. This year with the opening in Wynwood, Cycle Party has opened new tours including an InstaTour (visiting Wynwood’s most Instagrammable spots), a Sound Series, and more! Each Party Bike seats 15 persons (10 pedal and 5 lucky souls can lounge) plus a trained company driver, also referred to as pilots or hosts. Cycle Party is perfect for any celebration and all social outings. Set up a Cycle Party for your office to do unique team building, group rewards and promotional opportunities. For more information, visit CycleParty.com.
A National Historic Landmark that just celebrated 100 years, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens now sees more than 300,000 visitors annually. To better-serve their visitors and local community, Vizcaya launched vizcayatickets.org for the Spring Season. Now visitors can purchase their tickets online, reducing wait-time at Vizcaya’s admissions center. Guests will still need to purchase guided or audio tours upon arrival, but the move to offering online ticketing gives greater flexibility for those planning a visit to Miami and to Vizcaya. For more information, visit VizcayaTickets.org.
The Museum of Art and Design (MOAD @ MDC), in the iconic Freedom Tower at 600 Biscayne Blvd., is nearing completion on a major renovation to its office and gallery spaces. Closed for a year during the upgrades, the Museum reopens its galleries April 6 with a VIP open house and special public RSVP preview, followed by a general public opening on April 7. The work will make MOAD a world-class gallery space, opening access to a new level of art and underwriting just as the Museum is adopting a new identity and mission to broaden the range and reach of art in Miami. The work includes extensive upgrades to HVAC, electrical and security systems in the Museum. Two new exhibitions will be in place for the reopening – “By the People: Designing a Better America” and Tino Sehgal’s “This Situation” – followed in May by “More Sweetly Play the Dance” by William Kentridge, one of the most significant contemporary artists of our time. As a “museum without boundaries” during construction in the last year, MOAD has produced its “Living Together” series of events and performances at venues around the city. For more information, visit MDCMOAD.org.
The Coconut Grove Business Improvement District has partnered with Freebee, a new and innovative form of transportation to transport visitors throughout the downtown district of Coconut Grove. Freebee is changing the way people experience Miami and Coconut Grove, physically moving the masses through FREE, electric transportation. In addition to being a fun, alternative transportation option, each Freebee car simultaneously hosts its own marketing campaign highlighting current events, discounts and promotions, as well as important information about local businesses, allowing consumers to become more familiar with products, services, and the community. As a “going green” advocate, Freebee fully supports the City of Miami’s Climate Action Plan by serving the community while operating on clean energy, so when you ride Freebee, you too become a part of the solution in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions from our beautiful local neighborhoods. For a free ride, simply download the Freebee app, request a ride and jump on board! The freebee cars will transport pedestrians through the district in customized, eco-friendly cars, while connecting visitors to all the deals, discounts, and popular points of interest within Coconut Grove. For more information, visit CoconutGrove.com.
Neptune Memorial Reef®, the largest underwater reef and mausoleum ever created, located approximately three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne, Fla., will complete the next phase of its expansion this spring. Currently, the Reef serves as a home to thousands of fish, coral and invertebrates and provides cremation placements for 1,500 individuals. Once all phases of the planned design are complete, the site, which is inspired by the Lost City of Atlantis, will memorialize more than 250,000 individuals, with a master plan covering 16-acres of the ocean floor. For more information, visit NMReef.com.
Downtown Coral Gables is marking a new beginning with the completion of the Miracle Mile Streetscape project. To celebrate the milestone, the city is hosting a Back to Beautiful block party on Saturday, April 14 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Open to the public, the event will kick-off with a ceremonial ribbon cutting hosted by city officials and promises a lively evening filled with activities and entertainment for everyone. The Miracle Mile Streetscape project has transformed and improved the area stretching from the eastern side at Douglas Road (SW 37th Avenue) to the western end at Le Jeune Road (SW 42nd Avenue), delivering an enriched pedestrian experience with expanded sidewalks, outdoor dining, improved lighting, way finding, public art and more. For more information, visit ShopCoralGables.com.
Miami Meetings & Tourism
All eyes are on Miami and The Beaches as the destination’s highly anticipated convention center renovation and expansion nears completion in advance of its 2018 debut. More than just a $615-million construction project, the development of the Miami Beach Convention Center represents a celebration of Miami arts, culture, and natural surroundings. In a record-breaking commitment to the arts, the destination has invested approximately $7 million in public art throughout the convention center site, one of the largest public art commissions in the nation. To learn more about the future Miami Beach Convention Center and Miami Meetings visit MiamiMeetings.com.
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is a non-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 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 MiamiMeetings.com. Follow GMCVB on Twitter: @miamiandbeaches or on Facebook: Facebook.com/miamiandbeaches.