Our Luxury Travel Expert Brydie Boulton recently spent a long weekend exploring the very best of Miami, staying at W South Beach and St. Regis Bal Harbour, two of our favourite luxury hotels in this fabulous destination. Brydie shares with us her thoughts on seeing the city from two perspectives, as well as which experiences were true highlights:
W South Beach
Upon arrival into MIA, I was surprised that the transfer to South Beach was a short 25 minutes, a pleasurable journey, passing through the sights of urban midtown and the palatial buildings of Palm Island.
The W South Beach was everything I had expected it to be – uber luxurious, oozing style; to me it was the epitome of trend and summed up South Beach perfectly. The room was large, boasting magnificent pieces of art which were complimented by mirrored walls, luxurious fabrics and plush furnishings. Waiting for my arrival was a bottle of Whispering Angel and a selection of fresh fruits, and the view was magnificent; ocean facing of course with a partial view of the south beach coastline and all the glittering lights.
The pool area, exclusive to W guests ensures privacy and comfort in an uber cool setting, set beside them are the luxurious bungalow suites just moments from the pool and ocean waters. By day, the hotel is a haven for relaxing, poolside living and by night, the exclusive bar comes to life and live music is combined with signature cocktails and exceptional service.
I was completely blown away by the spa, which is extremely vast for a city resort. Bright whites and sunshine yellows are perfectly blended to create a calm, soothing atmosphere where delicacies including macaroons and cakes come as standard with each treatment. Whether it’s a touch up manicure or a 90 minute massage ritual, the spa can cater for all requirements.
The highlight of the hotel is its location, just a stone’s throw from the crystal clear waters and pristine beach and a stroll from an array of bars and restaurants from Collins Avenue, right down to Ocean Drive. I recommend the Continental just opposite the hotel for waterside dining with a casual setting.
St. Regis Bal Harbour
After an exciting few days exploring the delights of South Beach, it was time to head north to Bal Harbour, which is a short 20 minute drive along the coastline. Within moments of leaving South Beach, I was transported to the tranquility of Bal Harbour, which is filled with exclusive shopping malls, intimate restaurants and child friendly parks.
You can spend a week at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and never leave the resort. The rooms are plush, large and perfect for families, each facing the ocean and boasting deep bath tubs, television mirrors and walk in wardrobes. It was all about space here on the inside and expanding onto the outside with its large terrace, sun loungers and dining table.
You can instantly see how popular the hotel is for families, with a dedicated children’s club, family pool and children’s menu at each restaurant. It is easy to see why so many guests were speaking highly of the resort as their choice for school holidays, whilst still catering for couples and adults with a separate pool area, day suites located by the beach and a seriously cool bar area.
My recommendation here would be to try the signature Bloody Mary’s, which are mixed with Floridian lime and why not take advantage of the beach service and indulge in a cocktail or two whilst relaxing by the waters.
If I had to decide a favourite between the two hotels, I simply couldn’t. Despite the fact that both are part of the prestigious Starwood brand, both hotels are miles apart but share many attributes: unparalleled luxury, attentive service and unforgettable experiences. Miami was everything I had hoped it to be and more.
Contact us on 020 7751 0880 to find out more on the options in store on a luxury holiday to Miami.