Palm trees, hedonism and fabulous art deco architecture define Miami. The heat, the beautiful residents and the endless rows of world-class restaurants offer more than enough choice when visiting Florida's famous Atlantic Coast city.
Where to stay
Celebrating its third anniversary this year, the W South Beach hotel may be the new-kid-on-the-block, but it's already earmarked itself as a leader on Miami's very competitive hotel scene. It is home to several eateries including The Dutch restaurant — think lots of seafood and fresh local produce — as well as celebrity hotspot Mr. Chow's. WALL nightclub is also on the premises, which reflects the wonderful over-the-top aesthetic of Miami with its lacquered bar and 35-inch spherical Raimond chandelier, created by Dutch design house Moooi. The Bliss Spa is as seductive as its name suggests and, if you don’t want to dance and drink the night away, the luxurious and very comfortable rooms offer total seclusion.
Where to eat
Joe's Stone Crab is a veritable institution in Miami. It's only open seasonally, so do check before you go. (It isn't possible to reserve a table.) Though the wait might be lengthy, it is well worth it. The service is in a league of its own, the white tablecloths and waiters in bow ties are a wonderful nod to days gone by, and the crab? Heavenly. Fall in love as much as many loyal fans have before and you may be tempted to order direct to your door. If you live within the continental U.S., the restaurant offers next day delivery.
Where to drink
A stroll along the balmy sidewalk of South Beach will offer an endless array of fabulous watering holes, but if you're after something special, Sagafredi l'originale is the place to rest your weary feet. A European-style cocktail bar at the western end of busy Lincoln Road Mall, it's a wonderful place to cool off from the Miami heat with a Mojito. For daytime drinks, the poolside Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian Hotel is slick and very sexy indeed. Sundays are its big day when the place booms with the presence of a very well-heeled crowd.
Where to shop
Miami is a retail lovers' paradise. Whether you're after the fantastic offerings of the large shopping malls such as Dadeland or the serious couture of Bal Harbour (housing all the big designer names under one roof), you'll find it in Miami. Foodies will love the gastronomic offerings of Epicure Market and those after some serious bargains will love the outlet stores at Sawgrass Mills, located about 40 minutes from downtown Miami.