New York is the city that never sleeps, however, Miami comes in a close second with its high octane nightlife, beautiful beaches and Latin inspired cuisine and culture. It doesn’t hurt that the city if full of gorgeous people. It’s the perfect winter retreat for New Yorkers.
I took a much needed vacation last week for some fun and sun with my man-friend (because boy just seems wee bit childish) and had the time of our lives. Since this trip was truly a vacation, we decided not to make it a chore with an itinerary. We found fairly cheap flights through Delta Airlines for under $230, which meant more money in our pockets to party. Flying out of Laguardia was a breeze.
We got to the airport pretty early so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and escaped the hustle and bustle of the airport scene at in the Delta Sky Club, a perk for Delta Sky Club members. A one off stop at the Delta Sky Club is $59 but frequent travelers can get a year membership for $450.00, 70,000 miles or $39.99 for 12 monthly installments. You get a full bar access, breakfast, lunch, dinner in the lounge for free and wifi and showers in some locations. Thanks to FourSquare and Instagram, we had some ideas of places we would frolic, eat, shop and play.
Where To Stay:
Viceroy Miami – Instead of staying on South Beach, we decided to stay in the Miami financial district. Our hotel of choice was The Viceroy Hotel on Brickell Avenue. The Viceroy is a contemporary classic with incredible amenities. The suites are lux, modern and spacious with tasteful Asian themed decor.
The hotel boasts a very large infinity pool on the 15th floor as well as a large hot tub and a smaller shallow pool for the kiddies. The Alice in Wonderland pool theme includes lux cabanas around the perimeter of the pool area to lounge. There is a live DJ at the pool on the weekends. Grab a frozen berry mojito or a fresh coconut and soak in some sun. If you don’t feel like battling the South Beach club scene, head to FIFTY Lounge inside the hotel to dance the night away. An added bonus is the panoramic view of Miami.
Where to Eat
Zuma – Located in the Brickell neighborhood, this hot spot is where to see and be seen. The restaurant serves top of the line sushi and boasts a world class brunch you’re sure never to forget. Dress to impress and make sure you imbibe on their sexy cocktails.
Havana 1957 – Looking for authentic Cuban cuisine? This low key resto is a stone’s throw from the Viceroy. Sit on the patio and people watch and make sure the Cuban mojitos keep flowing. Your taste buds will be in Cuba even if your passport isn’t. Best of all, you won’t have to break the bank. Brunch or dinner for two will be less than $50 if you’re conservative with those yummy mojitos.
Sweet Liberty – You’re a cheap Uber ride away from this cocktail haven. Situated in the up-and-coming Collins Park area alongside the Bass Art Museum, Sweet Liberty offers guests world-class cocktails and creative American food. Conceived and operated by award-winning bartender John Lermayer and Dan Binkiewicz along with restaurateur David Martinez, Sweet Liberty brings an intelligent selection of food and drink from sophisticated to simple to downright delicious.
Juvia– Great for brunch, Juvia is a 10,000 square foot indoor/ outdoor restaurant and lounge on the penthouse level of the parking garage by Herzog & de Meuron. Owned and operated by Jonas and Alexandra Millan of Bonito St. Barth, Juvia’s dining room features a vertical garden, designed by internationally acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc, which invokes the lushness of the Amazon rainforest. Chefs are: Laurent Cantineaux, a protege of Daniel Boulud, Sunny Oh, formerly of Nobu South Beach, and pastry Chef Gregory Gourreau, who has worked with Alain Ducasse and Francois Payard. The trio serves a harmonious blend of the regional cuisines of Asia, the vibrant flavors of South America and classic French techniques in the form of ceviches, tiraditos, fresh seafood and prime meats.
NexxT Cafe – Head to this local spot where their 20 page menu has an incredible selection and hefty portions to feed a family of four. Located in the very heart of Lincoln Road on South Beach, Nexxt Cafe proudly offers a menu of more than 100 items. From a dozen-plus, signature burger creations, all made from USDA certified angus or American kobe beef, to heaping salads made with the freshest ingredients, there something for everyone. In addition to the large, eclectic menu, Nexxt is known for its enormous portions, not for the faint of appetite.
FiFi’s – Looking for a fresh catch of the day, head to Fifi’s Place, where the chef only uses locally caught and or sustainable fish. Long known by locals for its outstanding freshness, Fifi’s Seafood has been discovered by visitors to our area as well. Famous for its seafood Paella and fresh Hog Snapper caught by local divers daily, they also offer the freshest stone crabs when in season and Florida lobster.
Where to Play:
Basement – The ultimate Miami Beach nightlife experience, Basement features a club, bowling alley and ice-skating rink in a state-of-the-art setting. Make sure you’re on the list or you will be standing in line for a while. Don’t fret though, the DJ keeps the high octane music pumping all night long. Bring cash so you can pay for your drinks easily to avoid bar bottle necking.
Wet Willie’s – Relive MTV spring break over again at this South Beach jaunt where alcoholic slushies flow freely all day long. Don’t let the cheap sweet drinks fool you, these slushies pack a heavy punch and will have you laid out on the beach.
LIV – This top of the line nightclub is located inside The Fountainbleau Hotel. If lucky enough to get in you’ll have the best night of your life. This club is trendy and very opulent with incredible music to have you on your feet all night long. Make sure you dress to impress because style and money talk at this megaclub.
Where to Relax: South Beach, Viceroy Miami Pool and Soho House