Some of the coolest places are right here in your own backyard. And mine is Florida.
We chose Miami as a ladies getaway spot and stayed at the Fortune House Hotel. The hotel is nestled on a discreet cul-de sac off Brickell Ave, with views of the soaring skyline of bustling and expanding downtown Miami to one side and the breathtaking vista of Biscayne Bay on the other. This hidden gem is perfectly ideal for a getaway, situated 3 minutes from the chic and trendy Mary Brickell Area and 15 minutes from the legendary South Beach.
When you pull up to the pale pink and white high-rise, you are graciously welcomed by the valet attendant. He dutifully ushers you into the modish lobby of the luxury living condos reorganized to accommodate daily or extended stay guests. The hotel offers concierge service, business office, and a refined restaurant and bar decorated in hues of rich brown and sultry red. The menu has an extensive selection of hearty meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I especially enjoyed the late night snacks of freshly made chewy, cheesy pizza, juicy plump Buffalo wings, and mouthwatering, thick burgers.
The affordable one and two bedroom condos come completely furnished and include room service, valet parking, fully supplied gourmet kitchens, WIFI access, a fully equipped state of the art gym with sauna and sophisticated club room, perfect for a small gathering or just to hang out and watch the game. The stylishly designed rooftop swimming pool & Jacuzzi alongside discreet cabanas is perfect for relaxing after a long day at the shops or after a whirl at the clubs. On certain weekends the lanai is opened up with a poolside bar, happy hour drinks and Miami vibes. Our particular condo was pristine, reminiscent of a high class Manhattan penthouse with crisp white leather decor and clean lines of clear glass & mirrors. You can see the renowned, exclusive Fisher Island (reportedly owned by Oprah Winfrey) from our balcony. The staff are graciously accommodating and friendly, ensuring that your stay is memorable. This was the epitome of Miami living.
The Miami Lifestyle is purely distinctive. So much to do, so little time; however, you can squeeze quite a bit in for a weekend getaway.
A prime location for people watching is the Mary Brickell Village area, parallel to the thriving Biscayne Blvd, Brickell offers trendy and chic array of fantastic restaurants with outdoor café seating, designer shopping, and cool bars, which becomes a ritzy spectacle at night, pulsating with the rhythm of culture and hard driving music. A refreshing alternative to the overcrowded and overrated street, clogged South Beach, Ocean Drive.
However, Ocean Drive was another destination for a quick visit to the topless beach. The famed boulevard is lined with a multitude of art deco hotels fronted with hip eateries, such as the News Café, which was a frequent haunt of Versace and a bevy of top models. A return to Collins Ave on South Beach in the evening is the hot spot for dancing the night away to the sizzling and pulsating sounds of DJ’s imported from around the world. Almost all the night clubs, including LIV and the Cameo Club open until the wee hours of the morning, with most of the patrons drifting to a few local cafes open for early breakfast.
An awesome place that combines, entertainment, shopping and restaurants is the Bayside Market, located on Biscayne Blvd. next to the marina at the Miami Port docks. This is a popular stop for cruise guests, as well as local visitors. Also not too far from the Fortune House Hotel is the wondrous Miami Seaquarium and ideal place to observe the exhibits and enjoy animal encounters with a multitude of sea animals including dolphins, killer whales and seals.
Another location to visit is the fashionable tourist attraction of the old 19th century turned bohemian chic waterfront neighborhood of Coconut Grove, home of the elegant, historical Viscaya Museum & Gardens, one of the must see locations. Grand, terra cotta, Italian Renaissance-style villas with lush landscaping line the wide open avenues which leads to the centerpiece, Coconut Grove. The Grove features the CocoWalk, a laidback, key west style emporium of shops, outdoor restaurants and clothing boutiques.
It is the customer service, accommodations and location which makes the Fortune House Hotel the ultimate place to launch your getaway adventure, the spirit of the Miami Lifestyle. Find out more at www.fortunehousehotel.com.
Photo Courtesy of Flavio Leone