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Travel Edit: Bienvenidos a Miami!

Are you planning a visit to Miami? Do you love crystal clear water, gorgeous white sand, cutting-edge design and art, great food and music? Then Miami South Beach, also known as the “American Riviera”, is a destination worth looking into.  A culture-rich city located on a beach (boom!), Miami South Beach has quickly become one of my favorite cities to spend a weekend away.  There are so many fabulous areas in Miami – but in today’s post I am sharing a select few experiences (albeit, not alllll of them!) from my recent weekend in South Beach.
I’ll begin with our hotel  – which was unbelievable!  Do yourself a favor and find a reason to book a trip to the One Hotel South Beach. They are currently running some great “off season” promotions, click here for more information.  The service and amenities are top-notch, and the entire hotel has environment-friendly features including salvaged wood, hemp mattresses, and take-home socks instead of disposable slippers.
One Hotel South Beach Lobby
Gorgeous, Enormous Lobby Art Installation by “Plant the Future” – PVC with Preserved Moss
And I loved all of the healthy food options – including a juice bar that serves up fresh, organic, local ingredients.  Nothing like a shot of grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and agave the morning after a Collins Avenue hotel crawl…
I need one of these here in Tallahassee!!
These little juice shots are such a great way to start the day!
The hotel’s surroundings are gorgeous, spacious (guest rooms start at 700 sq ft), and luxurious, while also managing to have a comfortable, laid-back vibe.  I loved how relaxed the property is – it was so nice to chill by the pool without the notorious Miami pool party scene…and if you’re looking for a bigger party vibe, some South Beach hotel hot spots are just a short complimentary Tesla car service ride away.
One Hotel South Beach Pool (photo courtesy of One Hotels)
Our first night my friend & I were on our own so after a cocktail at Drift, the hotel lobby bar, we headed over to Juvia, South Beach’s sexiest rooftop bar, for a late dinner.  The restaurant was a little hard to find, as it is hidden away atop—of all things—a garage. But not just any garage: the Herzog & de Meuron-designed pearl of a parking structure at 1111 Lincoln Road (one of those things you probably have to experience to understand).  The view of the Miami skyline was world-class, and the Wagyu Beef Gyoza dish was amazing!!


Gorgeous Panorama of Miami (Photo Courtesy of Juvia)
Our table!  (Photo Courtesy of Juvia)
Because “when in South Beach”, and I was channeling Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we ordered up a “glam squad” to the room to help us get ready, using Priv, a booking app which delivers on-demand salon and spa services by top-rated beauty pros.  It was such a treat to just have to take a shower and let the professionals handle the rest!  I highly recommend this service for a girls trip (which this was) or any special occasion where you just want to be pampered.
Did I mention the purpose of this trip was a birthday celebration? Friday night was the big night and we began our evening at the splendid Faena hotel – a wonderland of color, glamour, and comfort.  Amazing art, South American flair….this resort is a must-see.   Our group enjoyed a lovely prix fixe dinner at Pao, then we headed down to the in-house, intimate guilded “Faena Theatre” to go on a journey of sensual discovery with “Sensatia” – an interactive Cirque Cabaret.  So fun!  After a quick stop at The Living Room, a gathering space with bespoke cocktails and funk / soul music playing (FUN!!), we hopped in a well-appointed Uber SUV to head over to the SLS where we saw, among other interesting sights, a crazy, neon-illuminated drum-line parade through the outdoor nightclub, complete with women on stilts and people dressed like animals.  It was wild!!  And, of course, fun.
Standard pic with Hirst’s ‘Gone but not Forgotten’ – a gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth!
Another standard photo – with the cast of “Sensatia” at Faena Theatre
Saturday called for a day of rest and after a long, leisurely day spent by the pool we were all ready to load up on some delicious pasta and red wine and Casa Tua was just the ticket.  To enter the villa which houses the restaurant you step through a nondescript wrought-iron gate and into a Tuscan village.
Friends for longer than I care to share…amazing memories shared by this trio!
We had dinner at the Chef’s Table…where all the action is!
The magical courtyard at Casa Tua…
The ambiance is magical, and the food is even better.  We were seated at the chef’s table, which was such a treat!  This relaxing, delicious meal was the perfect way to end an amazing weekend…I was ready to return home, and I can’t wait to go back!
Art Basel, anyone?!