What a town. It truly has everything a good holiday destination requires; sunshine, great food, amazing hotels, a laid-back feeling that kicks in almost immediately upon arrival, the right mix of day/night action, and plenty of walking options (unlike most US cities where people look at you as though you’re a freak for walking on the pavement…)
The Standard Hotel. Yes. It shouldn’t work (renovated 60s-style motel complete with ‘adult playground’), but it does. It really does.
The service is great, the vibe is easy, the pool is incredible all day long, and the mini-burgers at the bay-side bar… Also great is the location; right on the Bay and a 10-minute walk from Collins and a 20-minute walk to south beach (or you can borrow one of the hotel’s bicycles). Oh, and the spa isn’t bad either. What do you think, Larry David?
Nobu. Seems obvious as it’s pretty good everywhere but it’s really good in Miami at the Shore Club. Try the blackened cod with miso.
Joe’s Stone Crab. The cab driver that took us there told us he gets his dinner there take-away and that kinda sold it to me. It was heaving at only 6:30pm with a wait for a table (which was fine as they served perrier jouet champagne in the garden whilst you waited). The crab was good, of course. But the key lime pie was the best.
Michael’s Genuine. This restaurant almost didn’t happen for us as it’s all the way down in the Design District and thus officially “a trek”, but I am so glad we did it. The food was simple Italian fare with a focus on a small gang of ingredients and maximum flavour. The Design District is kind of cool, too. It clearly has a way to go before it really comes into its own, but the Louboutin store is incredible, as is Tomas Meier. Miu Miu not too shabby either.
Cafe a la Folie. This little gem of a french cafe is right by the Standard and serves the most lovely authentic french meals (crepes, quiche, baguettes) with friendly service. It is clearly a spot for locals, which makes it that much better.
Shopping: from a great book independent book seller (Books & Books) and a stores with various bits and pieces you never knew you needed (BASE – picked up some awesome $30 Nixon Whip headphones), to discount designer outlets (particularly sawgrass mills where I scored a Giambattista Valli dress and a D&G dress for around $200 USD each), Miami has some great shopping. And we didn’t even go to Bal Harbour. My credit card was feeling too hungover.
The day trips. Key West is stunning; it’s like taking a trip back to the 1950s where everybody knows your name and you buy a bag of lollies for 50c which lasts you all weekend. I cannot even tell you how amazing some of the homes were. But I can show you..