Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Loews Miami Beach is a sunny resort hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the Art Deco district in South Beach. The hotel recently completed a $50 million renovation, leaving it looking smarter and slicker than ever before… there has never been a better time to stay.

Loews Miami Beach

Loews was my first stop on my January Miami trip, a modern and comfortable place to catch our breath in-between stints of exploring the city. The hotel is set on the beach with many of the rooms boasting epic sea views. We entered the hotel through a sparkling marble lobby, and after a quick check-in travelled up to the 14th floor to get acquainted with our airy and luxurious room.

Loews Miami Beach

There are 790 rooms at Loews Miami Beach including 69 suites, but despite it being the obvious choice for business groups it is also popular with families and couples, offering a range of appealing facilities for all age groups.

Loews Miami Beach

Our bedroom was decorated in civilised shades of grey and lavender, with accents of silver. The huge plush bed was the main feature of the room but there was also plenty of space to relax or work at the marble desk. A generously sized bathroom featured a powerful shower and toiletries by hair stylist Julian Farel.

Loews Miami Beach

When the sun is shining guests flock to the large lagoon-style pool, which also offers cabanas for shelter and a moment of shade. The Exhale Spa is on site for treatments, gym use and Core Fusion yoga and meditation exercise classes. There is also a hair salon, Glam + Go, for last minute blow-dries!

Loews Miami Beach

Those not staying at the hotel should consider stopping by for seafood at the hotel’s celebrated restaurant Lure Fishbar. The hotel also works with local foodie leaders on flavour collaborations; I was delighted to discover speciality coffee by Panther at home in the hotel.

Whatever it is that brings you to Miami, the Loews Hotel will ensure you have a relaxed and comfortable stay, if you choose to stay with them.

More information and book a stay at Loews Miami Beach here.

The Best of Miami

Miami is best known for its sunny beaches and shiny, high-rise buildings. But, during a long weekend there, I got to discover a few less obvious neighbourhood gems, showing that Miami is a city that’s not just for sun-seekers and business conferences. Here’s my guide to seeing the city like a local…

Miami

To Stay

Soho Beach House – A charming art-deco building houses one of the most intimate and exclusive hotels on Miami Beach, Soho Beach House. There are 49 spacious bedrooms, each featuring vintage furniture and stylish details. Guests can also enjoy the club’s restaurant & bars, pool and Cowshed spa, as well as a library and a screening snug for evening films.

Loews Miami Beach – This grand oceanside hotel has recently undergone a $50m full renovation, making it the perfect time to stay here. The rooms have a fresh marine feel and the dramatic pool is ideal for sun-worshipping and relaxing.

Miami

To Eat

Zak the Baker – This popular Jewish bakery in the Wynwood area was founded by local baker Zak Stern. The expansive industrial space is always full of hungry visitors, who stop by for sweet babka and hearty sandwiches.

La Mar by Gastón Acurio – Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio has won many awards for his vibrant restaurants all over the world. La Mar is found within the upmarket Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Downtown district of Miami. The kitchen (headed up by Executive Chef Diego Oka) presents colourful and flavour-filled plates of food representing the authentic and diverse ingredients and recipes of Peru. Don’t miss the super fresh classic ceviche, moreish empanadas and high quality grilled meats.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro – Mandolin restaurant is instantly welcoming, a Greek institution where simplicity and authenticity reign. Greek-Turkish couple, Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis, opened the sunny bistro in 2009 and it has been a hit ever since. Stop by for healthy and delicious sharing plates, our favourites were the stuffed zucchini and the grilled sirloin kefte meatballs.

Mignonette – Housed in a former 1930s petrol station, Mignonette is a retro-inspired oyster bar and seafood focussed restaurant. Sit at the bar and taste a selection of the freshest oysters in town.

Katsuya South Beach – For a Japanese food fix Katsuya is a great place to satisfy all your cravings. Found in the SLS South Beach Hotel, in a Philippe Starck designed dining room, Chef Katsuya Uechi offers a contemporary take on Japanese specialities. We particularly loved the Wagyu gyoza, the vegetable tempura with yuzu kosho aioli, and the signature Fillet of Beef with foie gras and plum wine reduction. A meal at Katsuya is best paired with a sake from the restaurant’s extensive selection.

Diez y Seis – For the ultimate Mexican weekend brunch, head to the vibrant Diez y Seis restaurant inside the Shore Club South Beach hotel. Sit out on the breezy terrace and enjoy Cuban Tacos, Empanadas & Quesadillas and super indulgent Red Velvet Churros with Pecans and white chocolate for dessert.

Taquiza – Taquiza is taco heaven… found on Collins Avenue in South Beach. The fun venue serves up $3-5 tacos, flavoursome sides and strong cocktails. Our favourites were the Asada taco (grilled hanger steak) and the rich and spicy Barbecoa (braised beef brisket, cumin and chillies). Don’t miss the best side dish, Elote (grilled corn-on-the-cob with coriander, jalapeño and cotija cheese). Visit during happy hour for $5 cocktails.

KYU – While in the bohemian district of Wynwood, Kyu is the place to eat. This modern bistro serves up modern Asian cuisine with a twist. Chef Michael Lewis has created a menu of addictively good recipes, the most memorable plates I tried were: Roasted cauliflower, Pork Belly Buns, Korean Fried Chicken, Baby Back Ribs and Coconut Cake for pudding.

Miami

To Drink

Panther Coffee – Panther is Miami’s best known speciality coffee company, transforming the coffee scene in Miami when it first opened in 2010. There are five venues across the city, but the original Wynwood branch is perhaps the best. Pick up an indulgent pastry (supplied by True Loaf Bakery) to enjoy with your velvety smooth coffee.

Sweet Liberty – Sweet Liberty has a well deserved place on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. The bar’s late founder John Lermayer was the leader and initiator of the specialist cocktail movement in Miami and at this fun cocktail bar you can see why. Try the delicious Pina Colada (which has a hint of coffee) or go for the Old-Fashioned of the day ($8 during happy hour, 4-7pm every day).

Café Galleria – One of the newest coffee spots to open, Café Galleria is a tiny cafe and retail space in Downtown Miami. Owner Jeremy Sapienza serves Stumptown coffee and a selection of gourmet vegan pastries by local company Bloodless Vegan.

Broken Shaker – This quirky, tiki-style cocktail bar is found at the Freehand Hotel on Miami Beach. Let the experienced barmen guide you through the menu, we tried the seasonal Cranberry Old Fashioned paired with the black bean and queso empanadas.

All Day – Named Miami’s best coffee shop, All Day is a great place to linger over coffee and breakfast. The Scandinavian inspired interiors match the no-fuss neon menu, so customers can order their coffee exactly as they like it.

Miami

To Shop

The Webster – Located in the heart of South Beach Miami, this multi-brand boutique is spread over three floors of the historic Henry Hohauser designed art deco venue. Each floor is carefully curated showcasing the finest pieces from a selection of designer brands, including Chanel, Gucci and other iconic names.

Miami Design District – After a great deal of investment at the start of the century, Miami Design District is now home to over 130 art galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants & bars. In the last 10 years, since Louboutin opened the first luxury retail space, the area has flourished and now includes brands like Fendi, Aesop, Rag & Bone and Hermes.

Faena Bazaar – This multi-storey shopping destination is part of the ever-expanding Faena district in central Miami Beach. Each floor is themed, and you can find unique luxury items, clothing, jewellery and more. This beautiful building is ever-evolving, a wonderful place to wander and explore.

Miami

To See & Do

Vizcaya Museum – Vizcaya was built in a leafy corner of Miami in 1916 as a businessman’s holiday home.  The grand building was intended to look like a centuries-old European villa, and inside the rooms are suitably ornate and decorative. Vizcaya has been sensitively restored, and guests can wander inside and also admire the surrounding gardens.

Miami Culinary Tour of Little Havana – Miami Culinary Tours organise comprehensive tours of all the major foodie areas of Miami. We booked onto the ‘Little Havana’ tour, with the brilliant guide, Robyn, who was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. After learning about the history of Little Havana we visited a number of stops for speciality Cuban cuisine – particularly memorable were the Cuban sandwich (pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, pickles, potato sticks, Cuban bread), a look around the local cigar factory, and a perfectly mixed mojito at iconic bar Ball & Chain. 

South Beach Art Deco District – The Art Deco neighbourhood in South Beach is known for its concentration of over 800 Art Deco buildings all within one square mile. It’s a great place to wander and dream of the bygone glamorous era.

The Bass Museum – Founded in 1964 this historic art deco space features a diverse range of art & objects, along with a sculpture garden. This small contemporary gallery houses engaging small temporary exhibitions that are always worth a look.

Wynwood Walls – A unique district of Miami which celebrates street art. The colourful area features eye-catching murals and graffiti by artists from around the globe.

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) – Found in downtown Miami, the Pérez Art Museum exhibits contemporary international art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The building is just as impressive as the interesting exhibitions it showcases inside.

Miami Watersports Paradise – In a city where the sea is so much part of the culture, it seems fitting to see the city from the water. We enjoyed a 1-hour private boat ride round the city with Miami Watersports Paradise, a relaxing way to admire the celebrity villas on Star Island. The company also offer a variety of watersports including tubing, jet ski, flyboard, water ski and more.

Miami

Many thanks to the Miami tourist board for their help with this trip, find more information here.

Belmond Charleston Place

Everything about staying at the Belmond Charleston Place is easy and relaxing. Southern charm greeted us at the door as we checked in… we were 5 hours early but our room was all ready for us. It was such a treat to be able to dump our bags and refresh before going out and exploring the city.

Belmond Charleston Place

This grand dame hotel has been a home for Charleston visitors for the last three decades, an indulgent and reliable hotel with every amenity you could need. The building is situated in the heart of the historic old town of Charleston surrounded by luxury boutiques, smart restaurants and cafes. All the main sites and attractions are within walking distant, making it a great base for short or longer stays in town.

Belmond Charleston Place

The bedrooms are classic and sophisticated with lavish soft furnishings and decorated in tasteful muted shades of grey and pale blue. We were in a lovely spacious room on the 7th floor, with easy access to the club lounge offerings (complimentary drinks and food throughout the day). The king-sized bed was extremely comfortable, topped with silky soft bed sheets and plump pillows and our bathroom was kitted out in white marble with a large walk in shower and generously stocked with Fresh toiletries.

Belmond Charleston Place

Suffering from jetlag and tired from the travelling we took full advantage of the spa and fitness facilities at the Belmond during our stay. The impressive salt & mineral pool is stunning and has an amazing glass roof which ensures there is plenty of natural light when you are swimming your lengths. It was such a rare treat to have such a beautiful pool within the hotel, and is the only one of its kind in Charleston. There is also a hot tub, sauna and treatment rooms, with a range of blissful massages and facials to choose from.

Belmond Charleston Place

Sadly we didn’t have time to try any of the celebrated restaurants at the hotel, but we did relish the opportunity to feast on American style breakfasts each morning. Strong coffee, fresh juice and a huge stack of fluffy pancakes became our new daily routine!

Belmond Charleston Place

The Belmond Charleston Place will look after you so well that you don’t have to worry about a thing, leaving you to concentrate on just making the most from this brilliant city.

More information and book a stay at the Belmond Charleston Place here.