The Luxury Channel’s Guide To Miami By Eadaoin Kelly

Miami really does have it all – the weather, the glittering white beaches, the contrasting art deco and modern architecture brimming full of designer and vintage shops, a wonderful array of restaurants and other cool hangouts. The only negative? Well, the locals also “have it all,” leaving us girls feeling rather pasty and tired in comparison!

Where To Stay

If we were in Miami to compete with the bronzed babes, then we booked the right place. Our hotel, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa gets people healthy and glowing fast! With residential options and 150 luxurious guest suites available, this is a truly inspirational and unique setting. Whether you seek indoor rock climbing, professional life management and health analysis, hair and beauty treatments or nutritional guidance, Canyon Ranch effortlessly provides the full package.

Meanwhile, Loews Miami Beach Hotel is again a perfect location, situated on South Beach, but this time a lively venue with couples and families in mind. With magnificent views from your balcony over the Atlantic Ocean and the vast swimming pool below, Loews Hotel has just less than 800 rooms and suites to suit all your vacation needs.

Where To Eat

A typical day at Canyon Ranch includes a tasty and nutritious breakfast. My substantial choice included a cappuccino with a bell pepper, white cheddar and onion omelette with a side of breakfast potatoes and turkey bacon, prepared fresh to order, knocking up only 602 calories (menus provide a calorie, fibre and protein guide to aid your choice).

After sprucing up at Gee Beauty with revitalising facials and glorious Red Carpet makeovers – in only 35 minutes, we were transformed to fit in with the crowd enjoying lunch at Carpaccio at Bal Harbour. Here we polished off delicious quattro formaggi pizzas and Pennette Harry’s Bar pasta (a garlic, spinach, pine nuts and sundried tomato sensation).

At SUSHISAMBA®, we were seated outside to enjoy dinner with a prime view of the passing beauties. We started with a wonderful crunchy and well-seasoned otsumami assortment followed by rock shrimp tempura, a delightful tuna seviche and the finale – a sharing plate of lobster taquitos. We drank a well-balanced Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, 2009). The service quality equalled the food: smart and well presented.

We took lunch at the trendy Nikki Beach. We sipped champagne and enjoyed Kobe beef sliders (mini beef burgers with roasted garlic, sundried tomato and tumbleweed onion) served with addictive fries whilst to the right of the DJ, we soaked in the sun surrounded by the local eye candy, who had gathered for social events and even a wedding!

We settled in the Sushi SoBe restaurant situated in the heart of Loews Hotel, attracted by the Raspberry Sake Mojitos bursting with fresh lime and mint, whilst we tucked unashamedly into sumptuous signature dishes, including soft shell crab sushi rolls, chef’s choice sushi and the formidable smoking tuna cocktail in a spicy ponzu dressing, which was as highly entertaining as it was palatable.

On our final night, we were comfortably seated in the presence of Miami’s finest in the sophisticated and luxurious main dining room of Meat Market. On recommendation, I ordered a Cucumber Southside cocktail, packed with gin, cucumber and mint, which was a touch too sour and not as sweet as it was presented. Going straight for mains, we collectively drank a smooth Show Malbec (Mendoza, 2010) selected from the award-winning wine list, and all tucked into plentiful hunks of Creekstone Farm beef, prepared to perfection according to our tastes, with sides of gouda tater-tots and sweet potato fries.

Where To Shop

Our first taste of shopping commenced on Lincoln Road. Reflecting on the previous week’s wintery amble down Regent Street in London, we happily sauntered along taking in the mix of designer and high street stores, popular restaurants and vibrant shopping atmosphere that equals London or New York, but with the benefit of a warm climate.

To satisfy our indulgent desires, we strolled admiringly around Bal Harbour, the most profitable luxury goods shopping destination in the U.S. (of its size). With shops such as Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Tiffany & Co and Jimmy Choo all under one roof, hours were lost in pure retail bliss.

Mentioned in the special edition of Vogue’s Best Dressed Guide, we journeyed to North Miami Beach to the legendary C. Madeleine’s Vintage Clothing Store. With good fortune, the inimitable Madeleine Kirsh was in the store and offered an animated tour of the 10,000 sq ft property providing a taste of 30s Hollywood glamour to 80s material girl and of course, a remarkable Chanel collection. The range is vast but do bear in mind small vintage sizes!

Top Tip

Try something a bit different in Miami with Roam Rides. Led by an experienced guide, we kick-started our vespas and zoomed through the streets of Miami to arrive, within 15 minutes, in the noteworthy Wynwood Art District. Stopping to enjoy the local and international street art and, on one occasion, speak with a local artist at work on his weekend hobby, we were introduced to the precision involved in the evolving and lucrative skill of street artistry.

For further information, visit: www.MiamiandBeaches.com