Perfect Weekend: 48 Hours In MiamiBy Jordanna Zetter
Miami is one of my favourite places to escape to for some last-minute winter sun. There is nothing quite like sitting on a beach, feeling the heat of the sun on your face, knowing that it is freezing cold back home and everyone is stuck indoors.
Whilst the flight can be a little lengthy and the jet lag can take its toll, the trip is completely worth it. Home to some of the most luxurious hotels, and with lots of exciting things to see and do, Miami is the perfect break for anyone seeking some winter sun. Whether you are looking to be pampered in style or are searching for a more low-key beach break, Miami has it all to offer. Get planning your next winter break with this 48-hour guide:
Where to Stay
With smooth white sand and the beautiful blue sea just seconds away, there really is no better place to relax than at The Aqualina hotel. Its three oceanfront swimming pools are surrounded by the comfiest sunbeds, perfect for an afternoon snooze after eating a delicious meal at one of the hotels many restaurants. The hotel spa is the epitome of luxury with a beautiful relaxation terrace and a Roman waterfall. The hotel boasts the largest private Rolls-Royce collection in the driveway, and from the second you walk in you’re treated like royalty. Nothing is too big or too small for the staff and all your worries seem to melt away.
If you are looking for something a little different then Faena is the hotel for you. Think big multi-coloured chandeliers coupled with Dolce and Gabbana style murals. This hotel really is a treat for the senses as it displays the works of both smaller local artists and those that are more renowned for a unique and avant-garde design. Faena Hotel is located in the Faena District. This area is home to other more affordable hotels as well as a variety of art centres and theatres that make this area a hive of energy. Visit Faena Hotel if you are looking for an on-trend Miami experience – it won’t disappoint.
The Mandarin Oriental is the perfect synthesis of sophisticated elegance and Miami-style relaxation. Despite its location in the financial centre of Brickell, the Mandarin Oriental has gone to great lengths to give its visitors a remarkable experience. The man-made beach has exquisite views of the Miami skyline and the pool area is the perfect place to sip on a cocktail and relax. The rooms offer the best in Miami-style luxury and the multiple restaurants will ensure that your taste buds are satisfied. The surrounding area of Brickell has recently risen in popularity and as such there are new retail and hotel developments popping up all the time. This hotel is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolitan area, offering guests the best of both worlds.
St Regis fits in perfectly to the surrounding area of Bal Harbour, famed for having one of the most high-end shopping malls in the whole of the USA. This hotel is the epitome of luxury and you’re invited to enjoy the hotel’s many pools and oceanfront cabanas. With exquisite rooms featuring TVs in shower screens and large balconies that look out over the seafront, this hotel is perfect if you are looking to spoil yourself.
What to do
For a Day At Sea: Cruise the Inland Waterways
No trip to Miami is complete without a boat cruise. While the weather can be a bit temperamental, a boat trip allows you to see all the wonders Miami has to offer. Cruise past houses belonging to Jennifer Lopez and other stars and spot manatees and dolphins along the way. It actually rained for part of the time we were on the boat but it didn’t last long and we took it as an opportunity to drink Champagne and eat our picnic. A boat trip is a great way to see the Miami sights and I would definitely recommend it.
The Faena Hotel is home to its own theatre which puts on original productions that are as spectacular as the hotel decor. We saw the Samsara Cabaret show which was an extravaganza of singing, dancing and burlesque performed by leading artists from all over the country. The theatre has a fantastic lineup of shows so if you can’t get down to see Samsara (it’s on until February) definitely try something else from their repertoire.
The Mandarin Oriental is celebrating another year of having its spa awarded 5* by Forbes. Check into the spa and be transported to an oriental oasis. Choose from a wide array of high calibre treatments including a Glacial White Caviar Facial or an Oriental Harmony massage. Don’t forget to use the other facilities including the relaxation room, steam room and sauna. If you are anything like me you may fall asleep during the treatments and you will definitely leave feeling lighter than air.
Where to eat
Pao is one of my favourite restaurants in Miami. Award-winning Executive Chef Paul Qui has put together the most incredible menu that brings together Asian inspired dishes with cuisine from around the world. Expect cocktails served in giant unicorns and dishes that combine sea urchin with sweet potato pudding. The menu is sure to excite your taste buds and I am sure the dishes will taste like nothing you have eaten before.
Nestled in the Setai Hotel, Jaya hosts a delicious Jazz brunch every Sunday. Enjoy the live band whilst eating food from a buffet that serves a huge array of tasty treats. Authentic Indian curries are available as are traditional Sunday roasts, huge American pancakes and desserts to die for. Expect to leave feeling very full. I suggest sitting and soaking up the music and atmosphere while your food digests as the restaurant and courtyard are really something special.
Step inside Atlantikos and get transported halfway across the world. The white and blue decor depicts the iconic style of Mykonos and the band playing traditional Greek music only accentuates the vibe. The restaurant offers a menu based around seasonal ingredients. We had a delicious three-course meal which had truffles incorporated into every dish, including dessert! Atlantikos is a great option if you are looking for fantastic food in more of a laid-back setting.