Faces and Places: Miami’s Hautest People, Places

Curled up on a sandy Florida beach with a glass of the finest rosé as the fading rays of Southern sun tuck themselves beneath the horizon, you are convinced, without a margin of a doubt, that there is no other place you would rather be than right there in Miami. Haute Living feels the same way.

Sitting at the center of spectacular Southern Florida, Miami is known for its upscale and eclectic cuisine, booming fashion industry, established art presence, burgeoning real estate and fabulous parties that attract A-list crowds, truly living up to its nickname of “The Magic City.” On our seventh anniversary of covering the best of the best when it comes to personalities, real estate, food and events, we’re revisiting the faces and places that make this city the hautest in the nation.


What ultimately allows a community to flourish are the people who have contributed to its greatness. Over the past seven years Haute Living has dedicatedly followed those people whether they are savvy hoteliers, philanthropic citizens, sports superstars or just all around moguls. From Donald Trump to LeBron James, we’ve had the pleasure of placing countless notable names on our covers.

When the illustrious Donald Trump graced Haute Living’s cover in 2005, he became the first face to appear on the magazine. Today Trump’s deep-seated ties to South Florida remain. His ever so popular Mar-a-Lago Club and Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences continue to flourish; and it’s no surprise that he chose the Sunshine State’s Boca Raton to deliver some bold political statements before he officially made the decision not to run for office in the 2012 presidential election. And his interest hasn’t waned – earlier this year, the Trump Hollywood luxury oceanfront condominium was re-launched and has since surpassed $100 million in sales.

The outstanding contributions of father-son duo Don and Jeffrey Soffer to the Miami real estate community are enough to make anyone’s head spin. Soffer senior played a hand in the development of the United States’ fifth-largest shopping center, Aventura Mall, as a part of Oxford Development Company before branching off and starting his own firm, Turnberry Associates. Not only does Turnberry Associates own the Aventura Mall, they are also responsible for the fabulous Fairmont Turnberry Isle, a resort oasis on 300-acres of breathtaking landscape that includes two challenging 18-hole golf courses. Their top achievement, however, is likely the incredible Fontainebleau.

Not only is hotel and real estate mogul Ian Schrager known around the world for his incredible projects and properties, he is also recognized for playing a major role in making Miami the city it is today by opening the Delano Hotel in Miami. Schrager also recently launched PUBLIC, his newest brand of hotels. The first gem of the brand, PUBLIC Chicago, is slated to open this fall.

Celebrated for his New Design style, French-born Philippe Starck has certainly made his mark. Starck has been a part of numerous projects in the Miami area, including designing the Delano property as well as Icon Brickell and ICON South Beach, both of which are projects through Starck’s yoo Design Studio, which boasts partnerships with several notable designers, such as Jade Jagger. Starck is currently under an exclusive contract with SBE CEO Sam Nazarian and is working on the SLS Hotel in South Beach, which upon completion looks to be Miami’s most impressive oceanfront destination to date.

Real estate tycoon and art aficionado Aby Rosen is yet another hotelier who has added personal touches to the area with the opening of his lavish W South Beach in 2009 and his recognized presence at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Ever since Giuseppe Cipriani senior opened Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1931, the name Cipriani has been synonymous with greatness within the realm of hospitality across the globe. Though South Florida is still awaiting the opening of Cipriani Miami, it certainly does not mean the popular brand is slowing down. Earlier this summer brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani opened the lavish Mr. C in Beverly Hills.

Three of basketball’s powerhouses LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal have two things in common – they’ve all played for the formidable Miami Heat and they’ve all graced the cover of Haute Living. O’Neal and Wade brought bragging rights, a trophy and a Finals MVP title for Wade’s home to Miami in 2006 when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. While some things have certainly changed, Miami’s reputation in the league has not. James and Wade put up a valiant effort alongside teammate Chris Bosh in this year’s 2011 NBA Finals against the Mavericks once again. Though they fell just short of another title in Game 6, their return next season promises a shot at the 2012 trophy. After leaving the Heat for the Phoenix Suns, followed by Cleveland and eventually Boston, O’Neal announced his retirement earlier this year. While O’Neal no longer plays professionally, he continues to reside in Florida and is actively involved in the local community.


Haute Living first examined Miami’s real estate market in 2004. Over the years, while the publication gained acclaim as a luxury lifestyle magazine with an avid readership, Miami’s landscape has exploded. A far cry from a mere beach destination and spring break haven, The Magic City’s new construction projects epitomize panache and the market seems to have bounced back from its 2007 lull. From The Shelborne South Beach Resort’s latest makeover to the current construction of the Brickell CitiCentre, Miami’s ever-changing skyline continues to scintillate.

Four Seasons Hotel and Tower

In the fall, Miamians can expect multi-million dollar renovations at the Four Seasons Hotel and Tower, a 2011 AAA Five Diamond award recipient, located on the bustling Brickell Avenue.

In keeping with the hotel’s Art Deco style, guest rooms and suites will be enhanced with new color patterns and cushioned window seats. Along with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, the rooms will be accentuated by the hotel’s famed art collection. In late 2011, hotel guests will also be graced with resort-esque additions to the two-acre pool terrace as well as a new restaurant with a bar and outdoor dining.

Brickell CitiCentre

Swire Properties, Miami’s development branch of a Chinese conglomerate, has honed in on the Brickell Financial District. The firm, responsible for revamping Brickell Key into one of the city’s swankiest residential and office locales, has a new project – the Brickell CitiCentre. The 9.1-acre, $700 million initiative is slated for completion in four years, and will feature large-scale retail, a hotel, office and residential spaces.

Marquis Miami

The firm Arquitectonica, currently poised to design the CitiCentre, expanded on Miami’s trend of mixed-used development with the 2009 creation of the Marquis, the southeast’s second-tallest building. An obvious choice for a haute lifestyle, this impressive 67-story structure offers spectacular views of the bay from its plush residences, boutique hotel rooms, spa and fitness center, infinity-edge pool, restaurant and lounge.

Located between the vibrant Miami Beach and Downtown Miami Arts and Entertainment district, the Marquis is a stone’s throw from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the Miami Art Museum and AmericanAirlines Arena – all bearing testimony to Miami’s dramatic growth.

Resorts World Miami

Genting Malaysia Berhad, which directs casinos and resorts worldwide, has acquired 13.9 acres of prime property between South Beach and Miami International Airport. This $236 million deal will result in a $3 billion development project comprising entertainment, restaurant, retail, residential and commercial space.

1400 Biscayne Center

Close to the Genting property lies yet another multinational developer, Espacio USA, Inc., a subsidiary of the Spanish development giant Espacio. The firm’s first foray into the Miami market was a $32 million purchase of three acres of land. This area includes the 131,000-square-foot 1400 Biscayne Boulevard building where development plans include a combination of office, residential and retail facilities.


This 22-acre Miami hotspot, famous for its three chandeliers, each worth $1 million, and the Staircase to Nowhere, received a $1 billion facelift in 2008. The resort, consisting of 12 restaurants, bars and lounges, one 40,000 square-foot spa, four retail outlets, 1504 guest rooms, 10 pools, two new all-suite towers and a kids’ camp, made a comeback with a star-studded event including a televised broadcast of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Since reopening, the hotel’s guests have included glitterati like Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Martha Stewart, Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and President Barack Obama.