With its white sandy beaches, Art Deco architecture, delectable fine dining and vibrant nightlife, South Beach/Miami has everything you need for a memorable weekend away. From Friday night to Sunday evening, we take you through our favourite way to spend a few days in the Sunshine State.
Friday night: the hotel
Located on Ocean Drive, the colonial grandeur of The Betsy hides a hotel every bit as luxurious as its Art Deco neighbours. The BLT Steak restaurant is a favourite with locals as well as guests at the hotel, serving delicious, simple fare that's exactly what you'll be craving in the hot weather. The decor evokes a tropical elegance, with potted palm trees dotted around light, spacious rooms and a cream-and-apple-green colour scheme.
Saturday morning: the shopping
The 20,000 square feet of The Webster cover three floors of elite shops as well as a French patisserie, Hugo & Victor. A classic example of Florida's love affair with all things glamorous, designer clothes hang on gold clothing racks and the staff are impeccably dressed in bow ties and white gloves. Afterwards, stop by the Official Art Deco Gift Shop on Ocean Drive to browse through an eclectic collection of authentic artworks and unique jewellery. The proceeds from any purchase you make will go to support the work of the Miami Design Preservation League.
Saturday afternoon: the culture
With around 120,000 objects on display, the Wolfsonian is the largest museum in Florida, founded in 1986 to preserve Mitchell Wolfson Junior’s vast collection of books, paintings, glasswork and furniture. The Bass Museum of Art on Collins Avenue is also worth a visit, thanks to its extensive selection of European art and fascinating Egyptian Gallery.
Saturday evening: the bar
Designed by Marcel Wanders, the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian enjoys a bayside location with spectacular views of the iconic downtown Miami skyline. Ornate scarlet chairs, plush rugs and scattered cushions create a decadent setting, perfect for sipping champagne cocktails and watching the sunset over Biscayne Bay.
Sunday morning: the brunch
After a refreshing night's sleep in the comfort of your suite at The Betsy, walk ten minutes along the sands to another beautiful hotel: The Raleigh, home of the finest brunches in town. With a menu divided into savoury and sweet, there's something to suit everyone - or if you can't decide, the bacon sticky bun is quite effectively both.
Sunday afternoon: the spa
Located in the more peaceful part of South Beach, The Palms (shown in the picture) is a hotel built for guests who want to relax and unwind in the sunshine. At the Aveda Spa, guests can choose to have their massage in one of the indoor treatment rooms or one of the outdoor Tiki-style cabanas. The spa also serves healthy Bento Boxes for guests to nibble on between treatments, and a natural gourmet menu is available at the tranquil Essensia Restaurant.
As wonderful as weekends in Miami are, there's much more to see and do than we've been able to list here. If you find yourself returning to Miami time after time, you might want to consider investing in a South Beach seaside villa of your own. For more information, just visit Engel & Völkers Florida.
More information about the real estate market in Miami: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/blog/2014/miami-rush-buy-luxury-property-leads-rise-prices/
Did you know that Canadians love the sunshine state? https://www.engelvoelkers.com/blog/2014/canadians-florida-market-since-2008/
Florida has a wealth of natural wonders just waiting to be explored: https://www.engelvoelkers.com/blog/2014/natural-florida/