As a renowned GHM hotel and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, The Setai offers a refreshing balance between the sizzling South Beach scene and a serene tropical hideaway. Asian traditions of simplicity and elegance combine with the Art Deco history of South Beach to create an intimate, private world esteemed by discerning travelers worldwide. A melding of inspiration and setting, The Setai embraces in its serenity while connecting guests with what has always been the area’s greatest attraction: the beach, the sun, and the night. With three pools, recording Studio created by Kravitz Design Inc, award-winning restaurant, and dedicated concierge team; The Setai leaves no request unfulfilled. Not to mention, it made for one heck of a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week viewing experience.
2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305.520.6000; http://www.setai.com/
Contemporary in design and with a prominent waterfront location, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental features 326 elegant guest rooms including suites offering dramatic views of the bay and the Miami skyline. Amenities include two high-energy restaurants, my favorite being Azul, a dynamic cocktail lounge and martini bar, an award-winning tri-level spa, Oasis Beach Club, the luxury boutique Shanghai Tang and extensive meeting and business facilities. It’s truly one of Miami’s finest.
500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; 305.913.8333; www.mandarinoriental.com
ONE Bal Harbour
ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa opened in summer 2009 in Bal Harbour set along 750-feet of the most coveted stretch of the Gold Coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Intracoastal Waterway. The hotel welcomes guests to an oasis of supreme indulgence with impeccable service and world-class amenities to deliver the ultimate luxury travel experience. The 18-story tower defines curated luxury with its modern glass exteriors featuring 180 degree panoramic views, one-of-a-kind art collection on display throughout the hotel valued at over $3.5 million, oceanview bar and lounge perfect for sunset cocktails, exquisite restaurant, poolside garden café and swimming pool for day filled with fun in the sun, and a 10,000 square foot waterfront spa for relaxation and revitalization.
ONE Bal Harbour’s signature restaurant ONE Kitchen features stunning Atlantic panoramas and a top-of-the-range kitchen. The cuisine relies heavily on fresh local produce and seafood. The best part: the hotel is walking distance from the famous Bal Harbour Shops.
10295 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; 305.455.5400; www.ONELuxuryHotels.com
The Biltmore is Miami’s National Historic Landmark located in the exclusive Coral Gables area. The 273-room hotel resembles classic Italian, Moorish, and Spanish architectural influences spread over 150-acres of tropical landscape. A favorite of world leaders and notables since its opening in 1926, the hotel offers a restored Donald Ross 18-hole, 71 par championship golf course, tennis, the largest hotel pool in the country, private cabanas, a European spa, and an award-winning fitness center. While there, I enjoyed waking up early and swimming laps. It’s truly invigorating. The hotel’s premier dining destinations include the acclaimed Palme d’Or, which Zagat calls one of the best restaurants in the country; Fontana, an Italian restaurant surrounding the Biltmore fountain; and the poolside Cascade. In 2009, the hotel unveiled its culinary academy offering an array of hands-on cooking classes for adults and children. At the spa, my favorite treatment is their famous massage and 30 minute facial. As someone who appreciates relaxation rooms, the spa does it best and truly makes for a relaxing spa experience. The Biltmore is also one of South Florida’s preferred sites for business travel, high-level corporate briefings, public policy conferences, and an extraordinary wedding destination.
1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; 305.445.1926; www.biltmorehotel.com
Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach, the nation’s first luxury boutique hotel dedicated to wellness, opened November 2008 and features luxury hotel suites and condominium residences, and a 70,000-square-foot Spa and Wellness facility. The project is built on a six-acre oceanfront site formally the historic Carillon Hotel on Miami Beach, which has been restored and preserved as part of the development. Hotel suites designed by the Rockwell Group include richly fixtured bathrooms featuring Italian glass tile mosaics complete with a deep soaking tub, luxurious shower and imported stone flooring, a kitchen with granite counters and Sub-Zero Kitchen Aid and Miele appliances, and relaxed and spacious living areas with dual large flat panel entertainment systems. The spa includes the luxurious European-inspired Canyon Ranch Aquavana thermal spa facility, including a Finnish sauna, hydro spa, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, ice igloo, reflexology basins, heated lounges and experiential shower-cabins. 54 treatment rooms designed by David Rockwell serenely reflect the massage, body and skin treatments performed within. Each wet treatment room is uniquely appointed with design elements for a unique experience. The spa includes signature Canyon Ranch body treatments; therapeutic massages and bodywork; mud, salt, aromatherapy, seaweed and Ayurvedic treatments; facials; full-body cocoons and scrubs. The Canyon Ranch wellness center offers health and wellness services that include private consultations, workshops and lectures in disease prevention, weight loss, stress reduction and smoking cessation, along with healthy cooking classes and nutrition consultations.
The Fitness facility offers breathtaking ocean views from its weight training area, rock climbing wall, Pilates, yoga and aerobics studios and the most modern cardio technology and equipment available. As far as dining goes, the Rockwell Group has exquisitely designed several dining venues that are layered into the project, including an oceanfront restaurant, a café and a unique energy juice bar at the spa level. Canyon Ranch Grill with its oceanfront terrace, tapas dining room and exposition kitchen serves the highly acclaimed Canyon Ranch cuisine with a menu designed to excite the palate and nourish the soul. And the Carillon Café and tasting room is an intimate social gathering space to relax, celebrate the day and sample flights of foods and beverages with deep flavors and intensities.
6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 888.987.9876; http://www.canyonranchmiamibeach.com/