Bienvenido a Miami/South Beach

In Restaurants, Travel on July 20, 2011 at 12:01 AM

That’s right!  We’ve taken our talents to South Beach!

Now that we’ve both taken the time to get to know Miami/South Beach together and apart, we thought we’d give you a little review of a great weekend get-away spot that offers a little bit of this and a whole lot of that.

*What We Love About South Beach

Due to our close proximity to Florida, we like that Miami is only a 1.5-hour plane ride away.  For those that don’t live as close, we still put this as one of our favorite places because you can pretty much get to it non-stop from just about everywhere.  We love that Miami has great beaches, great shopping and great food.  If you like to go out at night, of course, Miami also has the nightlife.  And, for those times that you just want to stay in and take in the nice breeze, well, it has that too.  It’s just a great city to hang out and rejuvenate.

*Where We Like To Stay in South Beach

Our preferred way to stay in South Beach is at the SAPPHIRE SUITE PENTHOUSE 09.  For those who like a little pampering while vacationing in Miami, want to be in the heart of South Beach but, are a little too grown and sexy to be submerged by all the techno music that will usually surround you when you’re too deep in the strip, we recommend staying in this personal penthouse suite.  Concierge at your service and a view that takes your breath away!  It’s intimate, chic and within walking distance to just about anything South Beach.  The nice thing about this private room is its location.  Located in the heart of the Art Deco District, it’s close to just about everything and far enough from just about anything, particularly the Miami hoopla that can begin to take its toll on the “grown and sexy”.  Let Christian Francis take care of you and please let him know we sent you as he may just throw a few extra rose petals on the floor. 😉  http://www.southbeachluxuryhotelpenthouse.com/index.html

For a cute, chic boutique style hotel with a nice location, we recommend Z Ocean Hotel.   http://www.zoceanhotelsouthbeach.com/  In addition to relaxing rooms, Z Ocean now houses the famous Front Porch Café, which we recommend for brunch or breakfast.  http://www.frontporchoceandrive.com/

We like Hotel Victor although we must say that the inside of the rooms are pretty masculine in decor.  (Maybe that’s why it’s called “Victor”?)  The rooms are also a bit small.  So, we recommend this as a good place for a guys weekend where you just need a grown man’s place to crash and shower.  If you’re not looking to spend too much time in the room, this may be great for the guys to block off some rooms and hit the streets in Miami.

The Essex House is for those that are looking to stay RIGHT DEAD SMACK in the middle of the action. The rooms are rather small, probably typical for a “boutique” hotel, however, there wasn’t much to the room beyond the bed. However, at this location, you shouldn’t plan to get much sleep anyway.  This is a very good place to stay if you’re here to party. The price is also fitting for what they have to offer. We recommend a suite at the Essex as they’re about 3 times the size of the standard room and won’t cost you much more.  The major downfall of this hotel is the fact that they don’t allow you to bring in outside food or drinks.  Because they have 5 bars and 3 restaurants on site, they have determined that your taste buds should accommodate their selection.  A good place for the price but maybe not a good place for the “grown and sexy”.

Another “happening” place may be The Shore Club.  (And, we don’t recall a ban on outside vending)  The rooms are nice and bright and very “Miami” while the pool area and outdoor patio is always the scene to be seen, day or night.  The DJ is always spinning the latest beats and the beach is just a few steps away.  If you’re looking for constant energy and a splash of celebs every now and then, we say this is the place to check in and hang out.

A few steps away and maybe a splash bit of more quiet and luxury is the Delano hotel.  This hotel gives about the same “happening” scene as Shore Club but it will give you a slight upgrade towards a more “grown and sexy” vibe.  It may just be our “Z Ocean” meets “Shore Club” kind of feel.

*Where We Like To Dine in South Beach

Now, this is the most important part of any of our tidbits – FOOD!!!  We love to eat good food!

BREAKFAST:  Eleventh Street Diner – we already mentioned Front Porch Café as a great place but if you want to take a little walk off the beach, we recommend strolling over to 11th Street and into this art deco diner.  Great menu selection and great service.  Our only criticism is letting you know you’d like a little omelet with your cheese.  We actually had to send the omelet back because it had so much cheese in it.  However, they do have turkey meat products and that always makes for a good, inclusive  breakfast menu.

STEAKHOUSE:  Prime 112 – a staple of fine dining and probably one of the most popular upscale restaurants on South Beach.  EVERYTHING is good here and it’s a great menu that can cater to anyone from the vegetarian to the meat lovers.  The truffled lobster mac n cheese is worth the price tag. Really!  And, while they were not our favorite, the fried Oreos is the dessert they are most famously known for.

SEAFOOD:  The Crab House – with a plethora of seafood selections, you can’t go wrong at The Crab House for a nice atmosphere and wonderfully prepared seafood.  Get a little aphrodisiac and a tasty starter with the Bahamian Conch chowder.  And, enjoy a variety of crab selections prepared to your liking.

CASUAL:  Puerto Sagua, 700 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 – You can’t be in Miami Beach without a little taste of Cuba. Don’t be fooled by the hole in the wall atmosphere, this restaurant offers the best Cuban cuisine and at an affordable price.  Plan to have a little wait as the place is always packed.  But, the service is pretty quick so don’t worry about having to wait too long.  Besides, it is definitely worth the wait.

*What We Like To Do in South Beach

We love the beach!  It’s free and free-ing.  Take in the sun and have some fun.  The ocean often feels like a nice salt bath and can give you hours of simple relaxation as you float on the waves.  And, if you dare, take a trip to Haulover Beach!  At the advice of our “naturalist” friend, we have both ventured over for a “freeing” experience at this unique and let’s say, “interesting” beach.  After a little initial discomfort, you get used to what the Euros have been doing for years.  It actually is nice to feel the ocean on only your skin.  Free your mind (and your swimwear!)

Shopping is always a great way to really make your vacation “count”.  Enjoy a short walk to the famous Lincoln Rd. where you’ll have 10 blocks of non-stop shopping and casual dining, including 7 blocks of traffic free stores.

If you’re looking for some great bargains, you may want to hop in a car and go the distance about 30 minutes North to Sawgrass Mills.  As the largest mall in the state of Florida, you’ll need the whole day and a cart to rack up on all the bargains this mall has to offer.  Noted for its factory outlet stores, we suggest taking the time out to check out this shopper’s paradise!

And, if you absolutely must hit a club up in Miami, honestly, we think Mango’s offers the best variety, and personally the best hip-hop to dance to in town.  The key thing about Mango’s is not having to do the “I need to act like I’m so important” list that you often have to “be on” in order to pay your money to get into the clubs in Miami.  Those are a hassle and honestly, just dumb and dramatic.  There’s no “perp” line, you know, the line that goes for miles outside the club when there are only 2 people in the club but we have to look like we’re the happening spot that everyone’s waiting to get into.  Yeah, we’re not really on that and neither is Mango’s.  If you like to salsa, this is a great place to watch dancers and try a little dancing yourself.  Again, there is also, we think, the best hip hop nestled upstairs and is one of the best kept secrets that you would not expect when you walk up.  Grab a bite (the food is pretty good) and then go into the club for FREE!  Even better!

We also think Nikki Beach is a little more grown and sexy.  With a variety of clubs, it provides more lounge clubs that we enjoy.  This is located near Prime 112, which may give you a clue to the type of crowd it attracts.  We say go there if you really want a place to kick it and have a little smoother ambience.  There are places to get your groove on too but, again, it definitely has a more mature vibe.

Whatever you choose to do or wherever you choose to stay, we think you will love this popular destination to run off to for a short or a long weekend.  Miami has enough to do (or not do) for everyone, so, enjoy!!!

Bienvenido a Miami! That’s What’s Up!

  1. Wow K and D,

    This was a great entry! Since, I have a special connection I will have to read it again. Keep up the good work.



  2. Hey Kenny & Denny! Love your site!!! Thanks for the tips on Miami. My family reunion is going to be there next year so I’ll definitely check out your recommendations. Winny

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