Where To Stay And Eat At The Hottest Spots During Art Basel Miami Beach 2018

Faena Suite_Bedroom_Photo by Nik KoenigPhoto Credit: Nik Koenig

Miami is always a fun place to go for the weekend, but the most exciting time is without a doubt for Art Basel, which is the first week in December and happening this year from December 6th-9th. It is Miami, on fire, at 120 mph with big doses of style, glamour and deep pockets. Known globally as the Miami highlight of the year, the world’s greatest art dealers come to the Magic City to meet with the most prominent art collectors and buyers—and it is a scene to be seen. 

Because it is the busiest time of the year, make all your hotel and dinner reservations well in advance. Don’t think that you can go to three or four events in a night—traffic won’t permit that. Instead, pick exactly where you want to go and limit yourself to one or maybe two events in order to enjoy them in their entirety; the last thing you want to do is move across town in what is always a complete gridlock. Plan, and plan accordingly or you will certainly find yourself sitting in traffic.

Tierra Santa Waiting Area_Photo by Nik KoenigPhoto Credit: Nik Koenig

When it comes to hotels, my favorite place to stay is the Faena Hotel. Most Miami hotels are beige, brown or blue, but this hotel is a profusion of color, patterns and charm. It’s fabulously located, full of personality and has great, over-the-top style. Faena is the vision of the Argentinian impresario Alan Faena, whose first hotel was in Buenos Aires. The food is spectacular—I am a big fan of the famed Argentinian Chef Francis Mallmann and his restaurant Los Fuegos, where you enjoy his traditional Argentinian cuisine. Learn more about Francis from the Emmy-nominated Netflix series, Chef’s Table. If you are feeling indulgent and looking to pamper, yourself make sure to spend time in the Faena spa—Tierra Santa Healing House— and enjoy the hammam, which is one of the biggest on the East Coast. The gym is well appointed and has inspiring views of the ocean. 

Across the street is the Faena Forum, designed by Rem Koolhaas. It’s an event space that is well designed and a party planner’s dream, providing amazing flexibility and functionality. The Forum has hosted some of the most extraordinary parties and events in Miami.

If you’re looking for Greek, the best is Estiatorio Milos in South Beach. Order the fresh grilled fish and the vegetable stack—but however you order you can’t go wrong. Also Greek but a bit more casual and in the Miami Design District is Mandolin, which is a must. It’s very reminiscent of Mykonos and has an amazing menu. Head out to the Four Seasons Surf Club where your first choice for a big dose of dolce vita is Le Sirenuse, the same as the Hotel Sirenuse in Positano. I also highly recommend the Surf Club Restaurant by Thomas Keller, the famed chef from the French Laundry in Napa Valley that was rated No. 1 in California. If you’re looking for Asian cuisine, head to Zuma in Downtown for their mouthwatering Japanese grill and sushi. If you want something a bit more farm-to-table, Malibu Farm Miami Beach at the Eden Roc is the spot. For Italian, the best hands down is Il Gabbiano, also in Downtown Miami. And of course, on the note of Italian, Cipriani never disappoints. Make any reservations well in advance so you won’t be let down!