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Andrew Forbes’ Insider Guide – Miami Beach


Villa Bagatelle

New to the Miami Beach hotel scene is Villa Bagatelle, bringing the Provençale style and finesse of the Bagatelle lifestyle brand to Florida. Guest rooms range from a comfortable 35 square metres to a whopping 195 square metres. In addition to the bedroom, all include an epicurean kitchen with dining area, living room as well as a generous bathroom. New for 2015 is the stylish French Bagatelle restaurant, and the upgrading of the present roof deck into the signature Bagatelle St. Tropez experience.

STAY - Villa Bagatelle roof terrace

Lord Balfour

Spain’s design-conscious hotel group, Room Mate, renowned for its trendy and fairly-priced properties, continues to expand internationally. One of its latest acquisitions is this stylish, upscale hotel on Ocean Drive. Full of personality and flair, this impeccably renovated Art Deco property offers funky accommodation close to the beach. As soon as one enters the lively lobby, one is embraced by chic vintage style. Innovative art installations by David Zaldin add visual interest to spaces, whilst cheeky design motifs on the walls, and whimsical quotes are a playful nod to the hotel’s eccentric British namesake. Guest suites maximise the impact of the property’s Art Deco modernist lines with uncluttered interiors and crisp Corinelli white linens. The bold, contemporary wall murals add to a creative South Beach feel.

STAY - Lord Balfour room art

SEE & DO:                    

Art Deco District walking tour

Celebrate the Miami Beach Centennial! Head to the Art Deco Museum and join one of the guided tours of the Architectural Historic District offered by local historians of the Miami Design Preservation League. Enjoy not only the stunning exterior designs but also the beautiful interior features in the many buildings open to the public, like vintage terrazzo floors. There is a really creative gift shop in the museum too.

DO - Walking Tour architectural discovery

SoBe Institute of the Arts

Found within Miami Beach’s cultural arts district, close to The New World Symphony, The Bass Museum of Art, The Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Regional Library and the Miami Beach Garden Conservatory, this small community arts centre offers free exhibitions as well free music performances. It’s a good place to get up-to-date on the area’s cultural scene.

Relax on the Beach

Let’s face it, one comes to southern Florida for the sun and the beaches, so kick back on the white sand and relax. South Beach, with its iconic lifeguard stands, has a familiar feel since it has been featured in some many movies and TV shows. Do you remember ‘Miami Vice’?!

Boardwalk, down by the sea

Not so much under the boardwalk but on it – walking or jogging; or rent a bike and explore. This beachside promenade runs from the southern tip of South Beach northwards, with palm trees and the Atlantic on one side and the cool vintage chic of the hotels and restaurants on the other.

Get Pampered

Leave behind the daily grind and immerse yourself in the glamorous Marcel Wanders-designed Agua Spa, at the stylish, ‘see-and-be-seen’ Mondrian South Beach hotel.

DO - Agua Spa at The Mondrain


Meat Market Miami Beach

This sensually designed restaurant, with food by acclaimed executive chef Sean Brase, manages to successfully bring together classic American steakhouse favourites such as New York steak, filet mignon and rib eye; with Latin American dishes including ceviches and tiraditos, where raw fish is marinated in citrus juices for a unique tender texture and fresh taste.

EAT - Meat Market seafood and steaks

Casa Tua

Italian restaurant housed in a Meditterranena style villa in the heart of Miami beach, close to the some of the best hotels. Very stylish, with regular art exhibitions; yet homey and welcoming too. Different dining spaces inside and a magical outside garden terrace, lit by Moroccan lanterns hanging from the trees.

The Broken Shaker

Thought hostels are just for scruffy gap students? Think again. This is the era of the discerning ‘flashpacker’ and Freehand Miami is an upscale hostel with designer interiors and a very cool, award-winning neighbourhood bar, The Broken Shaker. Discover inventive, speciality cocktails, as well as ‘eats and treats’.


Antique & Collectible Market

If you’re lucky, your stay may coincide with one of the fortnightly outdoor flea markets held by the Lincoln Road Mall. This established flea market, specialising in early twentieth century items, makes for a fun early start to a Sunday.

Lincoln Road

The area around Lincoln Road is filled with fascinating independent shops, as well as a stylish shopping centre with many classic American and international brands.

Española Way

Known as the Historic Spanish Village, this colonial style street is a fun, if at times kitsch, mix of Mediterranean style architecture as imagined by the 1920s Floridians. The place to find independent stores, smaller restaurants, bars and usually live music.









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Andrew ForbesTravel and Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor and Content Writer Web: Twitter: @andrewaforbes Instagram: @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »