If you, like me and are getting tired of the usual sun destinations in Europe then why not fly across the pond and check out Fabulous Miami!
I decided to visit Miami for five days and enjoy all the adventures it has to offer. There are now a number of airlines to choose from when visiting Miami. Aer Lingus offers direct flights to Miami three times a week: Sunday, Wednesday & Friday. You can fly with British Airways direct from London, via Newark with United Airlines or via Philadelphia with American Airlines.
On this trip, I went business class with Aer Lingus to Newark and then to Miami with United Airlines, as the price was more competitive. Despite both airlines offering really good business class service and spoiling us, my preferred option would be a direct flight or if not, a shorter connection time.
So what can I say about Miami? Palm trees, sandy beaches, flash cars, lots of boats, fabulous waterside homes and it’s really great fun too!
If you are like me, you always want to stay in a fabulous hotel with a nice spacious room when you go away. On this occasion, I booked a one-bedroom suite in the “The Betsy hotel” which is a refined, beachside haven located on Ocean drive in the heart of South Beach. The hotel recently won a Conde Nast gold award and features a rooftop pool and bar, a small gym, wellness spa, two restaurants including the American Steakhouse and The Alley (Italian). The location of this hotel is brilliant, right across from the beach, within 5-minute walk from Lincoln Road shops and cool bars/restaurants on Collins avenue. Other hotels to consider in Miami are the new “One Hotel”, The Delano, The Gale or the W Hotel.
With so much water around Miami beach, it’s hard not to do activities that involve water. My first adventure was the Thriller Boat Ride (thrillermiami.com or ask your travel agent) which involved a 45 min high-speed boat ride from Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami, checking out celebrity Mansions and the art deco. Expect to get a little wet but this is really good fun!! $39 Adult / $24 Children.
Another Water adventure involved Alligators! This time I went to Everglades Safari Park which is about 45 mins drive from South Beach. The tour includes an airboat ride for approx 1 hour through the everglades on the hunt for alligator spotting (we actually saw 8 alligators) and alligator wildlife show plus other exhibits. Great fun and worth the drive from just $28 Adult /$15 Children.
My last water activity which was quite relaxing was Island Queen Cruises, a ninety-minute Millionaire Row Cruise. This sightseeing cruise offers a closeup view of the homes of the rich and famous on Star Island, Fisher Island, Miami Beach and the skyline of Miami. Well worth doing if you want a relaxing cruise with a friendly tour guide giving you all the gossip on all the star’s homes etc. $28 Adult/children $18.
Restaurants and Bars
You can’t visit Miami without checking out the fabulous restaurants and bars. If you are going to book a restaurant then my tip is to download the Open Table app to make reservations!
One of my favourite restaurants in Miami is “Naiyara” on Bay Road. The chef from Northern Thailand cooks authentic Thai food offering mouth-watering dishes associated with Thai Street food. Check out the popcorn shrimp, red curry with duck and the green chicken curry. The service is excellent and the owner is super friendly & chatty. Cocktails are also delicious! Love the Uma Thurman image on the wall! Almost as good as Tao in Las Vegas.
If Italian is more your thing then definitely check out La Moderna which is situated next to Naiyara on Bay Road. La Moderna artfully combines European-influenced craft cocktails, artesian pizza and a full menu of Italian classics from La Cucina. Try the Diavola 16 Pizza which is delicious.
Now if you are looking for a nice steakhouse then I can highly recommend two restaurants, STK (beside the W hotel) on Collins Avenue and Prime 112 on 112 Ocean Drive. Both restaurants are fab, in fact, the night we were in STK, 50 Cent came into the restaurant. If you like celeb-spotting then you will see lots of them in both these restaurants. The steaks are amazing but expect to pay a little more than the average!!
Now if you really want to splash out check out The Villa Casa Casuarina (Gianni Versace’s former Home) on Ocean Drive, which has now been converted into a Fabulous Hotel, Restaurant & Bar. Prices are expensive but The Villa is absolutely amazing and there is a fabulous view of the courtyard and pool area.
If you have never been to Havana but would like to experience a little of Cuban Cuisine and culture, then you need to take the Little Havana Culinary tour in Miami. Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour explores the rich history and culinary delights of a vibrant Cuban neighbourhood. I highly recommend visiting Little Havana, the whole buzz of the area, the colours and atmosphere are fab!
If you like a nice breakfast check outside of your hotel check out the Italian Bakery La Rosetta on Collins Avenue! It’s Yum and reasonably priced!
There are lots of cool bars in Miami with some of the coolest in hotels. One fab bar to check out is Broken Shaker on Indian Creek Drive. This hip cool bar was originally supposed to be a temporary pop up bar but was so popular it became permanent. This bar is in a small backyard oasis in the heart of Miami Beach offering cool cocktails and small bites”. Check it out!!
Other cool bars to consider are Employees Only (also one in New York City), Nina’s House (Confidante’s hotel backyard), Kill Your Idol (Espanola Way), Juvia Rooftop Bar & Restaurant (Lincoln Road Mall), Ball & Chain (Little Havana), Bar Centro at SLS Hotel and outside of Miami beach.. Rooftop at E11even (Downtown Miami).
Tip: Miami is great holiday destination with so much to do! If you want something different but cool, then check out Miami! Just one note of warning…Hurricane Season is from June to November.