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26. August 2021
by Varun Sharma
Alive with colour and Latin flair, Miami is filled with classic Art-Deco architecture, married with a tropical vibe. From the bustle of Wynwood Arts District to the nightlife of South Beach, there is always something to entertain visitors to this year-round Floridian oasis. Choose from a quieter luxury retreat or stay closer Downtown to immerse yourself in the buzzing art culture. Imbibe cocktails whilst listening to live Latin jazz or party the night away in an open-air nightclub.
“Party in the city where the heat is on. Welcome to Miami” – Will Smith
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Miami:
Four Seasons Hotel Miami - 9/10
The Four Seasons, Miami is located on Brickell Avenue at the heart of the Financial and Cultural Centre of the city. The hotel is an urban resort within 22 floors of one of tallest buildings in the city. Designed in Miami-style Art Deco – the Four Seasons Miami features 221 guestrooms and suites offering a selection of Downtown City and Biscayne Bay views, furnished with accents of red or blue. Choose from a King or double bed, complete with down pillows and duvets. All rooms feature a dedicated workspace area, complimentary Wi-Fi, a home docking station, coffee maker, mini-bar, satellite, and cable television. Marble bathrooms feature luxury amenities, thick terry, or waffle bathrobes.
The 7th floor Pool Terrace is open from dawn to dusk and is a 2-acre rooftop urban oasis retreat - featuring both a main and children’s swimming pool. Here guests can relax in a cabana, lounge chair or hammock – that are scattered amongst the towering palm trees. Bahia offers poolside dining with Mexican and Latin-American twist, Edge Steak & Bar serves quality meats and local seafood with a farm-to-table ethos. Cocktails, bar-bites, and oysters are favourites served here. Equinox Spa - featuring Pursoma products - offers a range of regenerative facials and massages which can be customised to the guest. Unlimited fitness classes are offered - including Yoga, Pilates, Kettlebell training and spin classes.
Fisher Island Club – 9/10
Situated on what was once the private winter estate of the Vanderbilt family, Fisher Island Club Hotel & Resort offers 15 luxurious cottages, villas and suites built close to the original Vanderbilt Mansion, a private hideaway around 30 minutes from Miami Beach. Facilities are as extensive as you might imagine for a former Vanderbilt bolt hole and contemporary luxury enclave - a private full-service beach club and sandy beach; an award-winning P B Dye championship golf course; a theatre, world-class tennis facilities; a spacious spa and wellness facility with a fitness centre and beauty salon; two deep-water marinas; six restaurants, lounges and bars; a helipad; a full-service observatory and an aviary.
Fisher Island Club Hotel & Resort was built around the original 1925 Vanderbilt mansion with the clustered white cottages having the feel of a Mediterranean village with views over either the gardens or Biscayne Bay. As there are no bridges or causeways connecting Fisher Island to the mainland, the island is only accessible by yacht or private 24-hour passenger vehicle ferry service which departs from Terminal Island Road just off Miami Beach’s MacArthur Causeway. Fisher Island has residential properties – albeit multi-million dollar condominiums and villas. There is a Fisher Island Market where guests of the hotel can purchase fresh food and drinks.
Mandarin Oriental Miami - 9/10
This superb luxury property that sits on one of Miami’s private islands offers secluded tranquillity. The fashionable Brickell Key is within walking distance – with a wealth of restaurants and boutique stores in Brickell City Centre. Mandarin Oriental Miami is surrounded by stunning water-front views and private beaches. Guests can enjoy the views from all 326 guestrooms and suites – and you can choose rooms with a variety of private balconies and verandas – all with ceiling to floor windows. La Mar by Gaston Acurio, one of the city’s top dining locations is located waterside and offers a diverse selection of Peruvian dishes. Oasis Pool Café offers sushi, tapas and light bites, MO Bar and lounge offers waterfront views and is a glamorous location for cocktails with weekend entertainment - including live Cuban Jazz and Spanish guitar performances.
Outdoors, guest can relax on the hotel’s private beach or enjoy a swim in the infinity pool. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental celebrates treatments from the ancient traditions of Chinese, Ayurvedic, Thai and Balinese cultures. There are 11 treatments rooms, sauna and steam rooms, a fully equipped fitness centre, and private outdoor classes are available for yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. The Pool and Beach facilities are for private use of guests only.
Delano Beach Club - 9/10
The Delano stands out from the South Beach crowd. It is a crisp, clean, and elegant luxury boutique hotel designed by the maestro, Philippe Starck. Guest rooms feature an almost impossible white on white design which inspires a serene level of “chic”. Features include marble bathroom with rainfall shower, Ciel Reserve bathroom amenities, 300 thread-count cotton and down bedding, high speed Wi-Fi, desk/office space and Bluetooth sound-bar. Leynia offers all day dining with snacks and salads alongside Argentinian flame-grilled specialities inspired by the flavours of Japan. Umi Sushi and Sake Bar is a casual lobby dining experience, serving cocktails and sakes.
Ciel Spa at the Delano is a 3,500-rooftop oasis with a menu of anti-ageing and regenerative treatments, the state-of-the-art fitness studio is open 24 hours. Delano Beach Club is a generous 7000 square feet of outdoor space and has a distinctive tropical feel. Here, indulge yourself in the ultimate seaside retreat featuring a fairy-tale garden path leading to the swimming pool and beyond to the ocean. The poolside and beach club cabanas are reserved for hotel guest use only until 7pm after which time reservations are encouraged due to wider public demand. Cocktails, champagne, and light snacks are served here at the glamorous Rose Bar in the evenings.
The Setai, Miami Beach - 9/10
The Setai, Miami Beach is located ocean-side on Collins Avenue. It artfully combines Art Deco Miami sleek - with delightful Far Eastern touches. Guests can choose from a wide variety of 125 rooms and suites- many with superb views of the Atlantic Ocean. All rooms have King beds, additional amenities include double vanity, rainfall shower, luxury Italian bath accessories, 50-inch televisions with Samsung sound bar, mini bar, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.
Jaya offers all-day dining - with a menu of modern Asian cuisine, incorporating traditional techniques from tandoor ovens to wok stations. Guests can choose to dine indoors or al fresco in the courtyard – which boasts a retractable roof. The Ocean Grill is open for lunch with superb views of the ocean and infinity pools on all sides. The Bar & Courtyard offers al fresco dining and live music events under the stars. The hotel’s Valmont Spa offers specially formulated treatments based on the latest cellular cosmetic research and traditional Swiss Medicine. It also boasts private spa suites with either ocean or pool views, private baths, and a steam room. Guests can choose to take a swim in one of three beautiful temperature-controlled pools or head to the beach – where a set-up for full service is provided. The Setai Gallery stores include Asprey, Edoardo Borrelli and Wrist Aficionado. The hotel is close to Downtown Miami, and Collins Park.
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Ritz-Carlton – South Beach - 9/10
Located in a fully renovated landmark historical building - this Ritz Carlton property echoes the glamour of its Art Deco past. Guests can choose from a selection of 376 newly renovated guest rooms and suites with ocean, pool or South Beach facing vistas. Furnished with a vibrant palette of ocean blue, warm gold, and rich coffee, all the rooms feature marble bathroom complete with free-standing tub, King sized bed with cotton linens and Wi-Fi. The Oceanfront DiLido Beach Club offers alfresco dining with Spanish, French, and Greek cuisine. Fuego Y Mar celebrates the food of Central America with flame grilled dishes from Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela. Enjoy a classic Miami style cocktail in the Lapidus Bar or head outside to sip a drink in a private cabana by the elevated swimming pool - with ocean views.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa features Natura Bisse products and focuses on mindfulness in its approach to wellness; the spa houses the nation’s only Timeless Capsule, an elliptical room designed to condense spa treatments – basically effective treatments in the shortest amount of time. Children can choose to take part in the Ritz Kids program. A “resort fee” covers enhanced internet access, one-hour daily health and wellness class, beach chair/umbrella service, beach games, a complimentary signature ice cream and a two-hour complimentary bike rental.
Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne - 9/10
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is located just a few minutes’ drive from South Beach. Here guests are invited to revel in the beauty of nature. To the south of the property is Bill Bags Cape Florida State Park and to the north Crandon Park. The golden beaches of Key Biscayne invite guests to indulge in a relaxing sun, sea, and sand adventure. Many of the 450 guestrooms feature - private - full or half-balconies overlooking Biscayne Bay, the tropical gardens, or the Ocean. All have sumptuous marble baths and separate shower, Ritz-Carlton bathrobes, Asprey bath amenities, Frette linens, Wi-fi and iPod docking station. Larger Ritz-Carlton residences offer kitchens, dining rooms and other living spaces.
On-property dining reflects the tastes of Mexico and Cuba with Seafood at Lightkeepers, Tacos at the Cantina Beach, rums and mojitos at Rumbar/Lobby Lounge and beer & burgers at Dune Burgers on the Beach. Scoop serves ice cream and smoothies and Key Pantry coffee, pastries, and cup-cakes. The destination spa features steam rooms, sauna, whirlpools, vitamin-C infused showers and Tequesta Ritual Spa treatments which reflect the native Indian history of this region and focus on healing body and spirit. The fitness centre is equipped with the latest Fitness on Demand machines with technology that allows guests to take pre-programmed classes focused on individual goals. Multiple live classes are available including yoga, Pilates, and Studio cycling.
The Betsy - 9/10
Located on Ocean Drive in the Art Deco district, this independent luxury boutique property offers 130 rooms and suites spread across two buildings - linked by an orb-shaped bridge locally known as The Betsy Orb. Rooms are furnished in an elegant tropical style and feature unique artwork from the owner’s collection. Marble bathrooms have large walk-in showers, and complimentary Malin and Goetz amenities. Décor includes walnut floors, linen curtains, and colonial style shutters, giving a relaxed feel to the elegant guestrooms. Outside, The Ocean Front and Skyline rooftop decks house the Courtyard Pool with 360-degree views of Miami – including the ocean.
LT Steak and Seafood offers casual all-day dining inspired by chef Laurent Tourondel. The Alley offers Trattoria, Italian-style outdoor dining with Neapolitan-esque pizza, pasta, and charcuterie. Guests can enjoy daily live jazz performances in The Lobby Bar – which serves the delicious Panther Coffee and wines, beers, and cocktails. The “canine CEOs” of The Betsy are proud to have collaborated in the production of the House craft beer ”Betsy & Rosa” - a light zesty draft lager enjoyed with house specialities of charred bone in short-rib and Florida Black Grouper. This fiercely dog-friendly hotel even offers canine guests and their owners a “Couples Spa” – a treatment like no other with a massage and healthy nibbles for all.
Villa Casa Casurina - 9/10
Originally built in 1930, the villa was purchased by the late, great Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in 1992 as his Miami home. Today, the building is an integral part of the Art Deco history of Miami’s South Beach. Versace oversaw a $32 million renovation and refurbishment to the Casa. Twenty-four apartments in the original house were turned into 10 large suites, and the new South Wing, pool and garden were added. After his untimely death, the villa began operating as an all-suite luxury boutique hotel -brimming with architectural detail and bursting with unique sculptures, mosaics, portraits, and antique pieces of furniture. Many of the Greek Gods and Goddesses are depicted throughout, from the bronze statue of Aphrodite to the Medusa mosaic in the pool garden.
From the one-bedroom garden view suite with terrace overlooking the Thousand Mosaic Pool to the Gianni Master Suite with mural covered walls, two balconies and bedroom sitting alcove, every room is beautifully furnished, well-appointed, and decadent. All feature king sized beds with Frette linens, huge custom-made Italian marble bathrooms, expansive closet space, separate living room or sitting area, balcony, or patio. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property. Guests enjoy access to The Thousand Mosaic Pool and Rooftop lounge. The Onyx Bar serves cocktails and fine wines amd The Restaurant Gianni’s at the Villa serves continental cuisine with Italian influence and a fusion of styles.
Acqualina Resort- 9/10
The Acqualina Resort is a luxurious Mediterranean style resort located on 4.5 acres of waterfront. Guests approach the property through gilded gates along a pebble pathway past grounds lush with palm trees, Paspalum grasses and verdant lawns. A feature of the property is the series of living-room style seated areas with plush furniture, lounge chairs and signature red umbrellas. The property offers 98 rooms and suites – with the most spacious accommodation in Miami city. Décor is a blend of relaxed, calm, neutral tones with zebra wood, walnut, velvets, and satins all highlighted by panoramic ocean views. Features of the guestrooms include private balcony, marble bathroom with jacuzzi whirlpool tub, double vanity, private bar, and desk with integrated media connectivity.
Ke-uH serves Japanese fusion tapas and sharing plates. Costa Grill serves Mediterranean food, Il Mulino an acclaimed Italian restaurant offers all-day dining, AQ Gelato and Coffee serves pastries, coffee, and ice cream and is located in the resort lobby. Beachfront dining is available with a special menu served on the private beach. Aqualina Spa by Espa offers an outdoor oceanfront swimming pool, sundeck, heated jet pool and Roman Waterfall, Himalayan Salt wall and experience showers. Treatments on offer include the very chilly cryotherapy and a series of face and body treatments.
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