Bay Harbor Islands
Inn and Out at Bay Harbor Islands
By Nicholas Jurkowski
Bay Harbor Island is one of the many curious communities in South Florida with an interesting history. Until 1945, Bay Harbor Island was just a sandbar in the middle of Biscayne Bay, providing no other service other than being headaches to boaters. This is when well-known tycoon Shepard Broad stepped in, purchasing the islands for development. Within a few short years, shops, homes, and hotels sprang up, and the population has been growing ever since. The island's close proximity to Miami Beach and downtown Miami have made it a popular residential spot for Miami's up-and-comers. It isn't just residences, however, there are also some nice little shops, and a great hotel that is the place to stay when you find yourself in Bay Harbor.
Bay Harbor Inn is, perhaps surprisingly, the only waterfront inn in the Miami area. It has two buildings - one, town-side is a restored hotel chock full of antiques and a classic ambiance, while creek-side the hotel is more contemporary in decor and atmosphere. In either building, the potted plants and bare floors definitely lend the building a tropical feel â a feel heightened even more by the swimming pool surrounded by dense foliage. The inn offers two different restaurants: The Miami Palm Restaurant (the Inn's fine dining), and a very nice Chinese place that offers gourmet outdoor dining. The Miami Palm seems to specialize in choice aged beef and Maine Lobster at prices a bit under South Beach, while the Chinese restaurant seems to offer a nice mix of Szechwan, Cantonese, and Peking style dishes. There is also a bar (naturally), filled with interesting antiques from the Vanderbilt mansion in London.
As far as the rooms go, the suites are quite spacious (and include a fantastic balcony), while the individual rooms seem to be fairly standard. There is a staggering variety of leisure activities located near the hotel, including golf, fishing, art galleries, and betting (provided you like the ponies). Overall, the Bay Harbor Inn is well worth looking into if you are staying in the Miami area. And, it would pair perfect with a Millenium Limo for whatever special occasion you can dream up.
Nick Jurkowski is a senior editor for MilleniumLimo.com: the essays above can be found on his night life blog, updated daily and available via RSS, at The Urban Adventure Blog.