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Miami is an international city in Florida. Its Cuban influence revealed in the cafes and cigar shops that range Calle Ocho in Little Havana. On barrier islands opposite the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach, home to South Beach. This charming neighborhood is famed for its bright art deco buildings, white sand, Surfside hotels, resorts and trendsetting nightclubs. If you haven’t toured Miami Beach in more than a year or two, you’ve missed out on a spate of new and outstanding restaurants, hotels and businesses. Plus, the much-buzzed-about Faena District is permanently nearing completion, with an original retail complex rounding out the mix.
Best reasons to visit Miami Beach
Current years have witnessed a boom in Mid-Beach, which extends between 25th and 63rd streets. The declared Faena Hotel started in 2015, as did 1 Hotel South Beach. While the latter is remarkable for so many reasons, the latest news is the recently united Bamford Haybarn Spa. It’s the first U.S. position from the well-known British brand by Lady Carole Bamford and takes an organic way toward beauty. Twelve treatment rooms give expert massages facials, and yes, post-sun recovery. Speaking of grace, the trendy Mondrian South Beach greets a new hair salon from GUYandGIRL Spa, providing the full gamut of cuts, blowouts, braids blowouts, and Oribe products. GUYandGIRL has taken over the spa as well.
Back across town, Plymouth Hotel is the latest mid-range boutique hotel in South Beach near Collins Park. Renovation Hardware decorated the rooms, from the pink headboards to the mirrored self-love. The property gives a small pool, or stroll some blocks to the beach. Nearby, restorations begun at the boutique Greystone Hotel, a 1936 property reestablished to its Art Deco glory. The hotel, merely a block from the beach, is set to start at the end of 2017 and will include an eatery and speakeasy. The Collins Park Hotel is yet different property set to begin near Collins Park. No availability date is scheduled yet, but the 55 million dollar restoration will result in 296 rooms, three pools, a restaurant and more.
Further up Collins Avenue, a new Nobu Hotel — a collaboration among Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper — recently opened at the iconic Eden Roc Resort. David Rockwell designed the high-end hotel’s 203 rooms, which have a Japanese aesthetic. But the actual draw is the Nobu Miami restaurant, mainly Sunday brunch served from rolling carts.
Scott Linquist, the chef behind Miami’s favorite Coyo Taco, just started Olla (pronounced oi-ya), on a quiet extent of Lincoln Drive. The stylish, Mexican-inspired restaurant gives a mix of small plates, which range from chapulines (grasshoppers) to yellowtail sashimi and corn “truffles.” Healthfuller dishes encompass duck breast with sour cherry salsa and charbroiled salmon with pozole grits. Buzzy Italian restaurant Forte Dei Marmi, helmed by two-Michelin starred chef Antonio Mellino, recently started on a less scene-y part of Ocean Drive in South Beach.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, placed in the new Plymouth Hotel, is another example of a favorite NYC outpost. Followers of the original will be happy to learn that cult loves, from fried chicken with oxtail deep-fried rice, are also on the menu. Unlike NYC, you can also opt to eat outdoor. Another offshoot, Antico Pizza has quite the fans in its native Atlanta thanks to made-to-order, wood-fired pizzas that made Neopolitan style. Miami guests can now try it at Centro Storico, a new Italian food hall. In the pop-up news, chef Scott Conant of Scarpetta publicity is the brains behind cocktail bar Sorso at the Fontainebleau. Specializing in handcrafted cocktails aided by a cold-drip cocktail tower, Sorso will remain open through the summer.
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If you require further proof that the view is now in Mid-Beach, look no more than the almost-completed Faena District. The intended neighborhood held court among 32nd and 36th roads in Collins Avenue and started its first appearance in 2015 with the Faena Hotel, an Art Deco wonderland created by filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Catherine Martin. It’s also made headlines for valuable art from Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Meanwhile, the spa gives South American healing therapies and a sizeable wet spa with hammam. Then there’s Los Fuegos, helmed by famed Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann.
Across the street are Casa Faena, another affordable alternative that feels like an amazingly charming Spanish inn, and Faena Forum, a 43,000-square-foot art and event space. Finally, there’s the soon-to-open Faena Bazaar, a retail complex created by starchiest Rem Koolhaas; a preview premiered during Miami Art Week. As of now, it’s on track to start this fall. The area is also home to a condo complex and an OMA-designed, automatic parking garage.