WHAT'S NEW IN GREATER MIAMI AND THE BEACHES
by Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau -
MIAMI (November 6, 2006) - With unprecedented development in Greater Miami and a nearly non-stop stream of new hotels, restaurants, spas and attractions opening or upgrading, Miami and the Beaches are hotter than ever right now. The latest updates include:
Charles Group Hotels is in the process of transitioning the Fairfield Inn Miami Beach to the Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel and ultimately to a full-service Best Western property before the end of 2006. Guests at the Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel now receive a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning. The hotel has also become a non-smoking property with designated areas for smoking guests. All guest rooms and suites were renovated in 2006 in an airy, sunny décor. Charles Group Hotels owns and operates five flagged Miami Beach Hotels under the brands of Four Points Hotel by Sheraton, Best Western and Days Inn. For more information, visit www.CharlesGroupHotels.net
Canyon Ranch Living - Miami Beach is set to open in 2007. The country's first residential and resort community dedicated exclusively to fostering a luxurious, healthy lifestyle, it is also the first residential venture of the famed wellness center based in Tucson, Arizona. The property will feature 430 condominium homes and 150 luxury hotel suites along 1,000 feet of white sandy beach. The architectural design by the renowned firm, Arquitectonica, conveys a message about the new urban tropics: modern, relaxed, uncluttered, and serene, while the property's interiors by the celebrated New York City interiors firm, Rockwell Group, will complement the natural elements of South Florida's lush landscape. The destination will also feature more than 70,000 square feet of leisure and lifestyle space, including fitness and spa facilities and a Canyon Ranch Health & Healing Center that will offer preventive medicine and wellness services. The luxurious European-inspired thermal spa will feature 22 massage and body treatment rooms, including Finnish sauna, hydro spa, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, ice igloo and heated lounges. For more information, visit www.CanyonRanchMiamiBeach.com.
In 2007, Doral Golf Resort & Spa will feature more than 110,000 square feet of event space in over 40 rooms. Debuting at the end of 2006, the $25 million Legends Ballroom facility will feature 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor pre-function space. The new facility will feature a 24,000 square-foot ballroom which can be sectioned into 12 break-out rooms, and a state-of-the-art kitchen, enabling meeting planners to interact with Doral's renowned chefs. To maintain the resort's award-winning spa status, the European-inspired Spa at Doral has completed a $3 million renovation and officially reopened on October 7, 2006. Doral is also coming to the aid of time-crunched business travelers with new boarding pass kiosks available in the hotel lobby. To speed passengers through the check-in process, guests can now print out their boarding pass before they leave for the airport. The distinguished Blue Monster course re-opened on September 25, 2006 after a four-month renovation. One of five championship golf courses on property, the Blue Monster underwent a series of refinements designed to create more consistent playing conditions throughout the year. For more information, visit www.DoralResort.com.
Designer Todd Oldham and James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, from Chicago's Spiaggia Restaurant, are teaming up with developer and restaurateur Larry Levy to open The Fairfax, a luxury boutique and proposed fractional ownership resort in South Beach. Located on 18th Street and Collins Avenue, The Fairfax will also feature Enoteca Spiaggia, the first expansion of Levy Restaurant's 23-year-old acclaimed Spiaggia in Chicago. The property is undergoing extensive renovations and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. Plans call for The Fairfax to feature 53 high-end fractional ownership suites, available for sale in deeded quarter ownership real estate interests. The residence owners will receive memberships that entitle them to privileged access to the rooftop, including a private dinner club and pool, a private beach club, health club and spa. Members also receive the services typical in a high-end hotel, including 24-hour multi-lingual concierge, daily housekeeping, room service, airport pickup and valet parking, as well as some unique features including pre-arrival grocery shopping, including owners' favorite wines and spirits, and placement of personal items. The Fairfax will also be a member of the exclusive Registry Collection, where owners have reciprocal use of some of the finest resorts and homes in exclusive destinations around the globe. For more information, visit www.LevyRestaurants.com.
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is scheduled to open its $190 million Ocean Club in late 2007. Located on the southeast end of the property, the 18-story tower will include 286 studio and one-bedroom beachfront suites complete with king beds, queen sleeper sofas, LCD flat-screen TVs, high-speed Internet access, and expansive balconies offering picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay, South Beach and Downtown Miami. Ocean Club is part of a $500 million expansion/renovation plan at the legendary Fontainebleau. When fully complete in 2008, the "new" Fontainebleau will include 1,504 rooms, a dynamic meetings complex, beautiful poolscape, world-class spa and numerous food and entertainment options. For more information, visit www.Fontainebleau.com.
Gansevoort South, a luxury, mixed-use development that will be the first extension of the Gansevoort brand beyond Hotel Gansevoort in New York City's vibrant Meatpacking District, is scheduled to open in Miami Beach in the first quarter of 2007. The complex, located on the up-and-coming north end of Collins Avenue, will include a 232-room Gansevoort South hotel, 102 condo hotel units called The Residences at Gansevoort South, 259 luxury condominiums called Paradiso, a signature rooftop pool, DavidBartonGym + Spa and restaurant by Philippe Chow. For more information, visit www.GansevoortSouth.com.
Le Méridien Sunny Isles Beach recently unveiled new oceanfront meeting and event space with spectacular views of the Atlantic and white-sand beaches from every corner of the room. The new Ocean Terrace Room promises to be a popular venue for small and mid-size meetings and for everything from board meetings to formal dinners and small bridal receptions arranged by the resort's professional meeting staff. Dressed up in elegant contemporary style, the Ocean Terrace Room offers 925 square feet of space, an entire wall of windows overlooking the ocean, as well as an outdoor terrace for breaks, receptions or a breath of fresh sea air. The Ocean Terrace Room accommodates 70 banquet style, 50 classroom style and 20 in a "hollow square" configuration. For more information, visit www.StarwoodHotels.com/LeMeridien.
Marriott South Beach recently completed a $1.5 million renovation of 236 guest rooms and suites with 32-inch flat-panel TVs, luxurious new bedding and stylish new colors and textures that emulate the energy of South Beach. In addition, 2,600 square feet of meeting space was upgraded. For more information, visit, www.MiamiBeachMarriott.com.
Morgans Hotel Group (MHG) is partnering with Sanctuary Hotel Group on the new $150 million sexy Mondrian South Beach. The hotel not only extends the Mondrian brand, but also offers private residences and condo-hotel ownership as the latest feature in its celebrated lineup. The exclusive MHG treatment grants its Global Card members first dibs at Mondrian South Beach, with prices from $400,000 for bayfront studios to $4 million for four private penthouses, until sales open to the public during Art Basel in December. Mondrian South Beach is poised to make a significant impact on the Beach's "West" end, much like the Delano did in the mid '90s when it brought the nightlife north and introduced a new aesthetic to South Beach. For more information, visit www.MondrianSouthBeach.com.
Drawing upon both her family history and the design passion expressed through her highly successful clothing and handbag lines, Nicky Hilton announced her newest venture, Nicky O, a premier luxury hotel brand that will launch this November in Miami. In tandem with world renowned designer Roberto Cavalli, who will design a luxurious 5,000-square-foot penthouse suite at Nicky O South Beach, Nicky O will marry the look and feel of a classic French Regency destination with the glamour of modern Hollywood. Deeply involved in every aspect of the redesign, from all common areas to the guestrooms, including several "grand" suites at each hotel, Hilton is looking to make a clear impression at every turn. Hilton is also bringing her sensibilities to the more personal levels of accommodation including designing the staff attire and selecting specific scents and amenities for each property. Located in the heart of South Beach on the legendary Ocean Drive in the Breakwater building, the all-suite hotel/condo property will offer suites ranging from $300/night to $5,000/night for "rooftop" penthouse suites. For more information, visit
Scheduled to open in 2006, the Regent South Beach, situated between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue, is gearing up for its grand arrival this fall. Every one of the hotel's 80 guest suites will have its own sprawling balcony, measuring up to 350 square feet and lavishly outfitted for entertaining with friends. The 27 penthouse balconies will all hold spiral staircases up to their own rooftop terraces, studded with Roman hot tubs, wet bars, a Bose surround sound stereo system, lush landscaping and adjustable, remote-controlled awnings. Inside, guest suites gleam with modern chic, from Anichini linens to personal espresso machines. Table 8 South Beach will be the hotel's signature restaurant and lounge. (See details below.) Room service options include a lavish en-suite dining menu, including the "Chef's Dinner," served in the privacy of the guest's suite. Chef Govind Armstrong will personally serve a customized feast, complemented by a tailored entertainment program designed by Sony Music artist Paul Oakenfold. For more information, visit www.RegentHotels.com.
Undergoing a near $20 million renovation to make it one of the hottest new beachfront destinations, Royal Palm Resort is bringing together the sexiest elements of South Beach, including the first-ever Maxim Lounge by nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber, luxury spa by Sonya Dakar, and hotel philosophies by West Paces Hotel Group. The revamped property will make its grand debut during Super Bowl weekend with celebrity-studded events. Upon completion in February 2007, the property will showcase 417 hotel rooms, including 130 lavish suites and 35 exclusive poolside bungalows. Additional features include an elevated, ocean-view pool and beachfront, infinity-edge pool, world-class dining at a new contemporary fusion-cuisine restaurant, floor-to-ceiling windows, and iPod docking stations throughout all suites. For more information, visit www.RoyalPalmMiamiBeach.com.
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC, recently announced the debut of Solé on the Ocean Resort & Spa, the newest addition to its portfolio of luxury boutique hotels in the Florida market. Located in burgeoning Sunny Isles, just north of Miami Beach, the 250-room Solé on the Ocean will captivate guests with its soaring design and lush architectural elements, such as the dramatic two-story lobby facing the ocean, magnificent balconies and sculpted water fountains. The 23-story high-rise resort will feature rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that also capture sweeping views of the ocean. Tastefully decorated interiors by Nuhouse Design are lavishly furnished in plush contemporary design. Solé's services and amenities mirror the "pamper the senses" lifestyle of South Florida. Alba, Solé's Italian Mediterranean restaurant, dishes up the freshest in local seafood and seasonal ingredients. For more information, visit www.KimptonHotels.com.
Kor Hotel Group announced the limited release of hotel residences at The Tides South Beach, a stunning Art Deco landmark that will effortlessly blend historic glamour with up-to-the-moment amenities and world-class service following a renovation under the design direction of the celebrated Kelly Wearstler Interior Design team. The 45 hotel residences range from the mid- $800,000s to $1.4 million. For more information, visit www.TidesSouthBeach.com.
MboD Medical Spa, located in the Doubletree Grand Hotel Miami, integrates medical services, aesthetic services and a wellness program in a guest's own personal oasis that helps contribute to the healing process. The spa strives to provide preventive services, while helping guests achieve and maintain their overall health goals. The spa's "Holistic Medical Holiday in Miami" program focuses on preventing disease through education, diagnostic exams, life-style modification and therapeutic spa services. MboD Medical Spa offers all medical and esthetic services in a luxurious spa atmosphere. For more information, visit
World-renowned L'Institut de Guerlain has been selected as the spa service provider for the highly anticipated One Bal Harbour and The Regent Bal Harbour condominium hotel project. The facilities will be operated by the prestigious spa network Spa Chakra Alliance, which manages the L'Institut de Guerlain luxury flagship spas in destination cities all over the world. Offering incomparable views of the Atlantic and Haulover Inlet, the 10,000-square-foot spa will be available to all One Bal Harbour residents, The Regent Bal Harbour hotel suite owners and hotel guests. Each treatment room will feature a private bathroom en-suite to provide clients with utmost seclusion and privacy. Other planned features include a state-of-the-art foot therapy lounge overlooking a stunning water vista; hydrotherapy facilities; a wet therapy suite for specialized hydrotherapy and Vichy body treatments; an exclusive beachfront treatment cabana; men's and women's sauna and steam rooms; locker rooms; and pre- and post-treatment relaxation lounges. For more information, visit www.RegentHotelsMedia.tekgroup.com.
Sona MedSpa opened its first South Florida location in Coral Gables in May 2006. Sona's mission is to bring affordable, revolutionary and FDA-approved solutions for unwanted hair, combined with the latest advancements in anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. The medical spa offers minimally invasive treatment, such as laser hair removal, Botox® cosmetic and dermal fillers, and laser skin rejuvenation treatments - all in a luxurious spa environment. For more information, please visit www.SonaGables.com.
The new Spa at The Regent South Beach blends the style of South Beach with the calming elegance of a world-class spa. The tropical, citrus-focused treatment menu includes an extensive list of in-room treatments, including Hot Tub Detox (administered on the terraces and balconies of the hotel's 36 hot tub suites), as well as refreshing face and body cocktails. For more information, visit www.RegentHotels.com.
Located beneath the glamorous Hotel Victor on famed Ocean Drive in South Beach, SPA V is a subterranean oasis of rejuvenation and relaxation. Designed by internationally renowned decorator Jacques Garcia, the spa is a tranquil, secluded escape realized in rich hues and redefined architectural detailing, including curved ceilings and neoclassical pillars. Perhaps the most captivating feature of SPA V is the Hammam. The first of its kind in South Beach, this 500-square-foot, traditional Turkish-style steam bath provides a co-ed environment for guests to relax and detoxify. For the ultimate indulgence, the Private Hammam offers a heated marble bed where signature treatments are performed. For more information, visit www.HotelVictorSouthBeach.com.
The new Yobe Yoga Studio, located in the Chesterfield Hotel & Suites, offers free classes for guests in a sleek and contemporary setting. Guests of South Beach Group hotels -- Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, Hotel Chelsea, Chesterfield Hotel & Suites, Mercury Resort, Hotel Shelley and Whitelaw Hotel - all can enjoy classes such as Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Kosher Yoga, Hip Hop Yoga, Couples Yoga, and Runway Ready. The studios can also be reserved to have manicures, pedicures and massages, at discounted rates for hotel guests. For more information, visit www.YobeStudios.com.
COOL CUISINE AND NIGHT LIFE
Christabelle's Quarter, the long-awaited three-story New Orleans-style restaurant, is slated to open this fall in Commodore Plaza in Coconut Grove. To recreate the Big Easy style of French Louisiana architecture in South Florida, owner John El-Masry and architect Carlos Perez da Costa have built a stained glass ceiling dome, and two-story stained glass windows, ornate wrought iron railings inside and out, and a grand staircase leading to the upper decks. New Orleans's Chef Alex Patout of the award-winning Alex Patout's Louisiana Restaurant which closed its doors after 16 years in the French Quarter as a result of Hurricane Katrina, is bringing more than a taste of the Bayous: New Orleans Jazz clarinetist Tim Loughlin will host New Orleans musicians for evening performances of jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel and Cajun music and weekend jazz brunches in the New Orleans tradition. The restaurant's Cajun and Creole menu includes oysters fresh from New Orleans and dishes like wild catfish, Louisiana crawfish and plump Louisiana oysters alongside Cajun classics like rabbit sauce piquant and smothered roasted duck. For more information, visit www.christabellesquarter.com.
David Bouley, internationally acclaimed chef/owner of Bouley, Danube and Bouley Bakery & Market in New York, brings his unabashed culinary talent to The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach this summer with his first restaurant outside of Manhattan: david bouley Evolution. Designed by the world-famous architect Jacques Garcia - who designed Spice Market and Danube in New York City, as well as Hôtel Costes in Paris - the dramatic Art Deco space will feature a lounge, sushi bar, dining room and two private rooms. The inventive menu will couple Chef Bouley's successful four-star restaurant career with his extensive world travels and education including influences from Spain, France, Asia and the chef's New England upbringing. For more information, visit www.RitzCarlton.com.
Chef Johnny Vinczencz is returning to the Hotel Astor, where he began his climb to culinary stardom in the mid-1990s to open his second restaurant, Johnny V South Beach. Currently being refurbished by award-wining designer Ady Artime of Southern Interiors, the restaurant is scheduled to open November 2006. Vinczencz has dubbed his cooking style at the South Beach restaurant Nuevo American - a deft blend of regional American fare with accents from South Florida's countless Latin and Afro-Caribbean ethnicities. For more information, visit www.JohnnyVSouthBeach.com.
Chef Christian Delouvrier (Lespinasse, Alain Ducasse at Essex House) is partnering with prominent restaurateurs Jean Denoyer, Rick Wahlstedt and Regis Marinier to create his first bistro concept, La Goulue Christian Delouvrier, in the upscale Bal Harbour Shops. Opened in October 2006, the restaurant is surrounded by some of the nation's most exclusive shopping boutiques and will seat 220 guests, including 140 seats on its stylish patio. Many dishes on the menu will highlight South Florida's abundant seafood and fresh produce, which are perfectly suited to relaxed warm-weather dining. For more information, visit www.BalHarbourShops.com.
On November 1, 2006, Ola Restaurant relocated in South Beach to The Sanctuary Hotel, 1745 James Ave, Miami Beach. For more information, call 305-695-9125.
ONEBURGER, a new and unique burger concept located adjacent to its sister restaurant, The Globe Cafe & Bar, in downtown Coral Gables, opened in September 2006. ONEBURGER was created to offer its customers a traditional, but gourmet burger (using the highest quality ingredients) that is a cut above the standard fast-food prototype, but still more affordable than a higher-end restaurant burger. Rounding-out the 30 burger menu are crispy chicken sandwiches, a broad range of inventive salads, soups, chicken tenders and wings, three types of hand-cut fries (Yukon Gold potato, yuca and sweet potato), beer battered onion rings, thick milkshakes, homemade desserts, premium Illy coffee, adult and kid toy meals (with cool objects culled from around the world). To support its "Open Late Because Taste Buds Don't Sleep" slogan, ONEBURGER will be open 24 hours Monday through Saturday beginning January 2007. For more information, visit www.OneBurger.com.
With equal parts L.A. glam and South Beach chic, the 255-seat indoor/outdoor Table 8 South Beach opened in October 2006, beachside, at the new Regent South Beach Hotel. Celebrity chef Govind Armstrong, who launched his career with Wolfgang Puck at L.A.'s legendary Spago, will serve sophisticated yet straightforward, simple food created with the freshest, natural products and local ingredients. Table 8 offers a main dining room (seating 160), private dining room (seating 40) and a 15- seat wine room, in addition to a 40-seat lounge, right under the Regent's glass-bottom pool. For more information, visit www.Table8SouthBeach.com.
Chef Alfredo Patino's Bin no. 18 European market is slated to open in November 2006 near the Carnival Performing Arts Center. The talented Venezuelan-born Alfredo Patino is former chef de cuisine at the award-winning Bizcaya Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove. Bin no. 18 combines a hang-out for snacks and coffee - with real baristas at the counter, a venue for the works of local artists, a wine shop and tasting bar, a market and deli (with artisan cheeses and charcuterie displays, eat-in and take-away salads, sandwiches, boxed picnics and prepared foods), an Internet café and a music haven all under one roof. Wine and specialty food tastings will be conducted daily, and special cheese and charcuterie boards with Champagne and selected wines will be offered after every opera night. For more information, call 786-356-8710.
ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE
Bodies…The Exhibition opened in the newly designed 33,000-square-foot exhibition facility at The Shops at Sunset in September 2006. Featuring 20 real, whole-body specimens as well as more than 250 partial-body specimens, the exhibition takes visitors through nine galleries providing an up-close look inside the skeletal, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, circulatory and other systems of the human body. For more information, visit www.BodiesTickets.com.
Beginning December 1st and running through January 21, 2007, the Jolly Roger will be firmly planted in Miami when the internationally acclaimed show, Pirates Mutiny, debuts for the first time to American audiences in Miami. Seen by more than 2 million people in Mallorca, Spain, this live touring production is a unique blend of human circus and pantomime, featuring world-class acrobats, dancers and specialty acts from around the world. The show is an innovative blend of music, comedy and drama coupled with death-defying stunts, incredible acts of strength and balance and electrifying special effects. For more information, visit www.PiratesMutiny.com.
Miami Seaquarium announced plans to unveil a new dolphin habitat in winter 2007. The new habitat will be home to the park's expanded "Swim with our Dolphins" program, which will feature a two-hour up-close and personal dolphin interaction experience that includes an intimate swim with a dolphin, an interactive educational segment in a classroom environment and one day's admission to Miami Seaquarium. Home to eight Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, the new habitat features a 12,000-square- foot, 700,000-gallon dolphin pool, surrounded by an 8,000-square-foot facility to include a reception area, education seminar room, changing facilities and rest rooms. For more information, visit www.MiamiSeaquarium.com.
The Miami Skylift at Bayfront Park, a passenger-carrying captive helium balloon is expected to open in January 2007. Currently, there are over 30 helium balloons located in major cities worldwide, including Paris, Berlin, Acapulco, Philadelphia, Istanbul, Barcelona, and others. For more information, visit www.MiamiSkylift.com.
Aventura Mall has begun a comprehensive renovation project that will bring a fresh and contemporary look to the internationally popular shopping destination. It marks the mall's first renovation since 1997. The mall-wide expansion includes the addition of Nordstrom, a new three-level, 232,000-square-foot wing of new stores and restaurants and 1,900 new parking spaces. For more information, visit www.AventuraMall.com.
CocoWalk, the Coconut Grove lifestyle and retail center, is undergoing a $5 million renovation. Featuring timeless Mediterranean architectural styling around an open, engaging courtyard, CocoWalk has won numerous awards and is now home to The Gap, Victoria's Secret, FYE, Cheesecake Factory, Hooters, and an AMC 16-screen theatre. For more information, visit www.CocoWalk.net
Construction has begun on a four-level, 3.4 million-square-foot Rental Car Center that will be part of the Miami Intermodal Center (MIC), a massive transportation hub being developed across from Miami International Airport (MIA) by the Florida Department of Transportation. It will provide "connectivity" between all forms of ground transportation available in the city, while decongesting the streets in and around the busy airport. When the center is complete, rental car operations previously found at MIA will co-locate at the MIC along with several companies previously operating off-airport. The move will sharply reduce the number of rental car vans circling the airport's arrival deck and later when an automated people mover opens, rental car vans will disappear from the airport entirely. For more information, visit www.MICDot.com.
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an independent not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions. For a vacation guide visit our website at www.MiamiAndBeaches.com or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000.