Sonia Gil discovers the world of South Beach on a bicycle cruiser rental.
Shake off your winter chill and visit the sunny and sandy beaches of Miami. See our recommendations on what other fun things to do and see when exploring this vibrant, hip city.
Sonia Gil starts the day on Miami Beach with sunrise yoga and ginger shots.
Opulence, thy name is The Villa by Barton G. This marble-drenched luxury hotel, restaurant and event space is set in the former Versace mansion, and offers such perks as personal butler service, double-headed showers and Kindle e-readers so you can brush up on your Hamlet.
It's official. You're one of the cool kids. It happened when you checked into the Delano, a beachfront classic, in the heart of Miami's Art Deco District. Boldly invigorated by Modernist designer Philippe Starck, the hotel has a whimsical indoor/outdoor lobby, adorned with jazzy accoutrements --such as a chair by Salvador Dali. Locals love the Rose Bar, though it's the cabana-lined pool, known as the Delano Beach Club, that channels South Beach's fabled hedonism best.
Miami is one of the only places where things heat up as the sun goes down. But no matter the time of day, the Grove at the W keeps things fanciful with meals set to soothing music, charming lily pad ponds and romantic poetry scattered throughout the lush garden-lounge.
If you’re looking to get a true South Beach experience, look no further than the Avalon Hotel on Ocean Drive, in the heart of Miami’s Art Deco district. Start the day off right with the Avalon’s complimentary breakfast buffet before exploring the city’s bustling street cafes and famous beaches. But make sure to get back for dinner when the Avalon’s lobby and terrace transforms into A Fish Called Avalon, a tropical seafood grille -- grab a street-side table for some serious people watching.
Miami is pure seduction. Indulge in instant gratification with a stay at the James Royal Palm on Collins Avenue. The hotel’s towering Art Deco building oozes classic glamour with its mid-century decor, while the amenities are nothing less than extravagant. Dine in their celebrated oceanfront restaurant, or dress to impress for a romp around South Beach. Whether ordering cocktails shoreside, or people watching upon chaise lounges poolside, the opulence is overwhelming. But in Miami, we’d expect nothing less.
A Miami landmark, The Raleigh first opened its doors in1940; it still exudes that old Miami charm. Linger poolside in lounge chairs surrounding the hotel’s iconic South Beach swimming pool, where silver screen star Esther Williams regularly frolicked in its aqua-blue waters. Now the famous pool is the setting for one of the hippest parties in town -- a Sunday afternoon of outdoor music presided over by a local celebrity DJ.