HH Review: Carillon Wellness Resort

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OVERVIEW

Carillon Miami: South Florida's premier wellness resort and spa. Formerly known as the Canyon Ranch Miami, this stunning hotel offers a comprehensive medical health center, state of the art fitness facilities and a world-class spa right on the beachfront in North Miami Beach. For those looking to unwind in a luxurious setting but also crave an opportunity to focus on physical and mental well being, the Carillon experience will provide you an all-encompassing, blissful getaway. 

WHAT WE LOVE

  • The service at Carillon is truly impeccable. The staff is attentive, welcoming and knowledgeable about the brand and products they offer. 
  • The state of the art Spa and Gym facilities are stunning. You can choose from 200 different workout classes per week! We tried a barre and a core class that both kicked our butts.
  • Pools: Each of the four pools on the property provide a unique experience- you simply can't get bored here!
  • Brunch at the Strand: Think live jazz, ocean views and the freshest ingredients. We now have a new favorite brunch spot. 
  • The rooms and facilities were impeccable. Everything was constantly refreshed at the spa and our room was absolutely beautiful; offering breaktaking views, plenty of space and a full kitchen. 

ROOMS

  • The newly renovated one-bedroom suites range in size from 720 to 950 square feet, making them some of the most spacious accommodations in Miami Beach.
  • These suites are ideal for individuals traveling alone or for couples getting away from it all. 
  • Our Ocean View Suite featured a full kitchen, dining counter, living room and two private balconies with floor to ceiling windows.
  • The bathrooms are incredibly spacious- offering full soaking tubs, rainfall showerheads, vanities, two sinks and a private toilet room. 
  • The robes and slippers were HH approved- no paper thin cotton nonsesnse! 
  • The decor is simple, yet elegant with neutral tones throughout the room along with contemporary paintings draping the walls. 

FOOD AND DRINK

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  • After our first fitness class, we enjoyed brunch at the Strand, an oceanside restaurant and bar serving up some seriously delicious bites made with the freshest ingredients. 
  • We ordered quite the spread and every dish was fantastic. Our three absolute favorite dishes were the Salsa Verde Chilaquiles, the Green Bowl and the Brunch Burger. 
  • The Juice Bar located on the lobby level offers quick bites and breakfast items from 8:30-4:30PM. This is the perfect spot to grab a juice or snack to fuel your morning workout. 
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AMENITIES

  • 150 Ocean and City View Suites
  • The Strand Bar & Grill | New American Contemporary Cuisine
  • The Corner Store
  • Largest Spa and Wellness Facility in South Florida
  • Two-story Indoor Rock Wall
  • European-inspired Hydrotherapy Circuit with Nine Thermal Experiences
  • 200+ Weekly Indoor and Outdoor Fitness Classes
  • On-site Wellness Team Led by Dr. Adonis Maiquez
  • 750 Linear Feet of Beachfront
  • Four Pools, including Adults-only and Family Pools
  • 4,000 sq. ft. of Event Space
  • Personal Concierge Program
  • Programming for Kids and Families
  • Resort-wide Complimentary Wi-Fi
     

    Click HERE to book your rooms at Carillon Wellness Resort.

    HH Review: The Plymouth Miami Beach

    Overview

    The Plymouth Hotel is Miami's most recent addition to the boutique hotel community. A complete revival of this intimate boutique property transformed an old dormitory into an Art Moderne gem. The design-centric hot spot was curated by Fernando Santangelo and sits just two blocks away from the beachfront. Stop in for a pool day and a bite at the renowned Blue Ribbon Sushi.


    What We Love

    • Art Deco Pool deck. The outdoor pool area is stylish and manicured providing a relaxing poolside experience without the crowds. 
    • Design aesthetic. The rooms are light and airy with stylish mid-century furnishings.
    • Blue Ribbon Sushi is right in the lobby!

    Rooms

    • Amenities. Rooms come stocked with Molton Brown amenities and fizzy bath bombs.
    • Suites have spacious living rooms and allow for a peaceful night’s rest with no disturbances from the hustle and bustle of Miami nightlife.
    • The one bedroom suite has a darling stand alone tub and tranquil work spaces.
    • Select rooms offer spacious terraces overlooking the pool area.

    Food & Drink

    • The famous Blue Ribbon sushi Bar and Grill is located on the lobby level, bringing you the best in Japanese fare and sake selections. Sushi master Toshi Ueki provides a selection of the highest grade sushi as well as decadent cooked entrees such as Blue Ribbon's signature Fried Chicken, Oxtail Fried Rice or Grilled Rib Eye. Enjoy your meal in the indoor dining room or poolside on the patio. 
    • Plymouth Cafe offers a selection of refreshing Breakfast and Lunch items which can be enjoyed by the pool, in the Cafe, or delivered to your room.

    Amenities

    • Lobby Bar
    • Restaurant
    • 24- Hour Valet Parking
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi
    • 24-Hour in Room Dining
    • Stereo Docking Station with Bluetooth
    • Flat screen HDTV
    • Espresso Coffee Machine
    • Minibar
    • Luxury Bathrobes
    • Exclusive Beach Area

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    Address

    336 21st St,
    Miami Beach, FL 33139

    Phone

    (305) 602-5000

    Dim Summer Nights at Talde Photo Diary

    A glance into our Dim Summer Nights event at the Confidante Hotel on Miami Beach. We had a blast eating, drinking and dancing the night away. Bites were provided by Dale Talde and cocktails by Hellisoy vodka. Stay tuned for our next event! 

     Hotel Hopping intern, Carolina Ponce. 

    Hotel Hopping intern, Carolina Ponce. 

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     Jason Garrison from the Tampa Bay Lightning 

    Jason Garrison from the Tampa Bay Lightning 

     The other half of Hotel Hopping, Clark Rosen. 

    The other half of Hotel Hopping, Clark Rosen. 

    HH Review: Fabulously Faena

    Step into Miami's most over-the-top hotel, Faena Miami Beach, and get a sense of Argentinian entrepreneur Alan Faena's high-minded vision and artistry. This stunning locale is set on Collins Avenue and 32nd street, and makes up the hotel portion of the one of a kind Faena Arts District—a complex of entertainment, arts and residential housing that includes Faena House, Faena Forum and Faena Residences.

    After a warm greeting from the bell staff, you won’t stumble into an average lobby… nor will you see a front desk. Instead, you’ll find a sweeping "Cathedral" lobby lined with gold-leafed columns and mystical floor to ceiling murals of lush tropical scenery. Despite the obvious modernism, the retro-glam aesthetic reminds you that the building does have some history. Built in 1948, the structure was once the Saxony Hotel, but was later gutted and transformed into the masterpiece it is today.

    Check in with the front-office agents is a personalized experience; they tend to you one-on-one while you take a seat in one of two mahogany desks in the library. Walk past the Cathedral into the courtyard and there, you’ll find the famed $18M Damien Hirst gilded wooly mammoth structure—just another reminder that Faena is anything but subtle.

    We were guided to our stunning oceanview suite, adorned in Faena’s characteristic red and teal accents, with neutral woods, white walls and gorgeous bathrooms with gold and marble detailing. A little reminder of the brains behind the design, you’ll see Alan Faena’s signature feathered fedora embroidered into every pillow case. Our suite had a spacious living room and a balcony, and the bathroom was outfitted with a top-of-the-line TOTO toilet with a heated seat and an electronically-controlled bidet. Want to make plans for dinner? You can summon the butler with the touch of a button, or use the bedside iPad to book your reservation. At Faena Miami Beach, everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips.

    If you’re not planning an overnight stay, the dining and entertainment options alone are worth the trip. Faena Miami Beach is home to Chef Table star Francis Mallmann’s own Argentinian-tinged Los Fuegos restaurant, where we enjoyed a peaceful breakfast overlooking the pool or live-fire cooking at lunch or dinner. For a nightcap, visit the exclusive Saxony Bar or Living Room, both of which will surprise the eye with bold animal prints and wild designs.

    James Beard Award-winning chef, Paul Qui, brings bold Filipino flavors to his latest restaurant concept, Pao by Paul Qui, another Faena Miami Beach restaurant. The opulent oceanfront venue is imbued with whimsical décor, including Damien Hirst’s infamous golden unicorn sculpture, and boasts a globally-inspired Asian menu of crudos, charcoal-grilled meats, signature Filipino rice dishes and large plates to share. The tuna belly crudo melts in your mouth, and is especially delicious when paired with a delicate sake to cleanse the palate. The whole branzino is cooked in traditional Filipino spices like garlic, chili, lemongrass and shrimp paste, served over a bed of garlic-ginger rice, and garnished with cilantro and lightly-sautéed peppers. The sommelier guided our beverage experience with an array of champagne, sake, and bold red wines (the wine list is phenomenal) to pair with our five-course meal.

    For a stunning night of music and theater, you'll want to book a spot at Faena Theater. C’est Rouge (the burlesque show) and Magique are absolutely stunning. Both electrifying and sexy, you'll surely leave Faena theater in awe. While at the interactive performance, we noshed on tartare and croquettas, and sipped dirty martinis. After the show, we stopped by the Living Room for a night of lounging, disco tunes and some of the best people-watching that Miami has to offer.

    From five-star butler service and world-renowned dining options, to a state-of-the-art “healing” spa and dazzling designs, Faena is truly a work of art. A lavish representation of the glamour and fantasy that is Miami, Faena Miami Beach is unlike any other hotel in South Florida. If you’re looking for the best in dining, entertainment and customer service, Faena won’t just exceed your expectations—it’ll amaze you. 

    HH Review: The Shelborne South Beach

    Wander down Collins Avenue, and you'll find Shelborne South Beach, one of Miami's prized Art Deco landmarks. Built in 1940, and having recently undergone a $150M renovation that re-launched as a “retro-chic” hotel, this classic 200-room property has been a Miami Beach gem for decades. As soon as you walk through its steel glass doors, you'll notice the spacious lobby atrium. It's hard to miss, too—it juxtaposes vintage accents with contemporary chandeliers and bold printed furnishings, making it a striking entrance to an already-fabulous hotel.

    After management welcomed us in, we made our way up to our ocean view room… where, much to our delight, we found champagne and a lovely cheese and fruit plate waiting for us. After indulging in some bubbly (and taking in our stunning view of the Miami coastline!), we passed by the lobby lounge—which practically transports you to a New York City jazz club. When you go, grab a drink and enjoy some live music. You may even catch the cabaret show, which runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends.

    As for the hotel staff, they were incredibly accommodating. Throughout our stay, they constantly made sure we had everything we needed; and even went the extra mile to make our experience especially memorable. And they really did! When it comes to travel, I always believe that few things stand out more than attentive employees and exceptional service.

    Looking to pamper yourself? At the Shelborne South Beach, you really can. The GUYandGIRL spa is located one level below the lobby, forming a serene world of its own, and comes with three treatment rooms and a nail salon. The perfect place for any special occasion, or just an escape from your day, this spa is known for its Spa Pamper parties. 

     

    After you’ve relaxed, head back up to your beautiful room and get ready for dinner. The hotel restaurant, Sarsaparilla Club—a rustic, poolside dining destination with hanging plants, ropes and white-shutter panels—is something you don’t want to miss. Owned and run by Chef Jeff McInnis, who was nominated for three James Beard Awards in two years, and his wife, Janine, this tasty spot fuses Cantonese Dim Sum with American comfort food, coming up with creative plates like Pork Belly Bacon Steamed Buns, Spiced Honey Carrots and Farro, and Tar’d N’ Feathered Chicken Wings, to name a few. The food is tasty, locally sourced, and above all, it’s made with passion. We know: we took cooking lessons with Chef McInnis himself, and that kitchen is always on fire.

    During the lesson, Chef McInnis showed us how he makes his famous fried chicken, using lime powder and coconut flakes to make it tease your palate with interesting flavors and textures. Some of our favorite dishes of the night were the Beet & Goat Cheese Dumplings, which are made with red beets, goat cheese, hazelnut, lemon zest and brown butter; or the Short Rib with curry and Jasmine rice. So simple… yet both are so delicious. If you're in Manhattan and craving some southern fare, you can also enjoy his famous dishes (like the chicken!) at his Alphabet CIty restaurant, Root & Bone. Having opened before Sarsaparilla Club, Root & Bone quickly rose to fame as a must-try spot in the restaurant capital of America. As if that weren’t enough, in a city overrun with popular dining options, at Root & Bone, there’s always a line to get in.

    The next morning, we spent the day working and lounging by the pool, where we hadour own private cabana and poolside lounge chairs. Enjoy full dining service by the pool, and if you need a little break from the sun, the living room in the cabana offers plenty of seating and a flat screen TV. If you forget a swimsuit or just feel like doing a little shopping, one of the cabanas is home to the boutique My Indie Soul—run by the nicest owner, Tim—where you can buy one-of-a-kind South American accessories and swimsuits. To really enjoy the pool scene, keep an eye out for Shelborne's monthly pool parties, where you can soak up the sun and dance the day away to some of the world’s hottest DJs.

    HH Review: The Nautilus South Beach

    Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel, is a darling oceanfront property nestled on Collins and 18th in Miami Beach. Built and designed in 1950 by Morris Lapidus, the hotel's midcentury architecture, and "European beach house" design aesthetic makes for a very stylish home away from home. Palm trees, bold velvet couches and contemporary art adorn the otherwise minimal lobby. The little coffee stand opposite the front desk serves my favorite coffee bean of all time, La Colombe, which is unfortunately not as common in South Florida as I'd like! Took me back to my New York City living days.  

    Follow the art lined hallways to Nautilus Cabana Club, the hotel's Mediterranean Restaurant serving simple, fresh bites prepared with locally sourced ingredients. During lunch service, the outdoor terrace was quiet enough to claim as my office for the day. I ordered the chopped salad: mixed greens, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, and steak on top- the perfect (semi) light lunch. Beyond the Nautilus Cabana Club you'll find a heated saltwater pool complete with an underwater sound system. The fabulous poolside lounge offers plenty of daybeds and 14 private cabanas- each including a dining table, minibar and state of the art entertainment system. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the pool deck's weekly events!

    I must take a moment to praise the room size. Very rarely do you find yourself stepping into a boutique hotel room on the beach not instantly feeling claustrophobic. A+ for comfort! The mini bars in the room are precious, made from old vintage leather chests. Open the chest and you'll find a Nespresso machine and a fully stocked (fully amazing) minibar. With a liquor and snack selection like that, you may not even leave your room. Bathrooms are stocked with REN products and knee length robes that you'll probably want to take home as a little souvenir. The rooms are simple and bright; with orange and dark blue accents and nautical furniture pieces to complete the beach house look. 

    Before you call it a night, stop by the sunken lobby bar for a nightcap. You won't miss the restored “staircase to nowhere”  and bold architechtural and design features curated by Morris Lapidus. Kick it at the bar with a cocktail and some light bites (also available late night) and a game of foosball for the perfect pre (or post) party hangout. 

    Additional property features:

    • The Spa Lounge offers a variety of indulgent treatments and Eminence botanical skin care collections
    • The Bridge Room: A 2,500 square foot private meeting and event space holds up to 200 guests for that private cocktail party you've always dreamed of throwing
    • Unwind at the gorgeous open-air rooftop overlooking the oceanfront. When you catch those sunset views, you'll fall in love too.

    HH Review: AC Hotel

    South Beach's most recent addition to the hotel scene is the AC Hotel, a Marriott lifestyle brand located just steps from the ocean on Collins and 29th Street. Inspired by its European origins, the AC Hotel concept was designed for the modern traveler. The style is both contemporary and minimalistic, the layout and technology is efficient, and all that combined, the hotel is simply pristine.

    When we stayed there, we had a fifth floor room with a wraparound balcony that faced the ocean. (Can you say paradise?) Needless to say, the views were unparalleled. Our room, too, was one of the most spacious rooms I’ve seen on Miami Beach – a place where space is incredibly hard to find these days.

    As for food, my favorite small bites are the brisket tacos, the avocado toast (it’s #basic, but the bread and seasoning is perfect) and the corn on the cob with cotija cheese. So yummy! Instead of typically-outdated room service options, AC Hotels always have quick snacks or tapas available in the lobby. Breakfast is served the same way; jamón Ibérico, Spanish-style tarts and croissants are just a few of the tasty options included in the breakfast spread.

    There's a darling bar and lounge on the lobby level called Gin + Collins. During the day, bring your laptop and set up shop on one of its couches or at the pool table, the latter of which doubles as a communal desk. Then at night, make sure you grab a drink. The head bartender, Niko, makes a mean French 57 (with gin, of course), and every Thursday, there’s an “industry night” with local DJs and happy hour prices all night long. On top of that, AC Hotels recently partnered with Startup Grind, one of the largest startup communities in the world, to offer spaces for members to meet with their mentors, have a small meeting or enjoy free Wi-Fi. Gin + Collins is the perfect place to make that happen.

    During our stay, we met up with our friends at Chasing the Bag to film a promotional video for my favorite brand of Sennheiser headphones: the HD1 Series. If you're not familiar with Sennheiser, let's just say it’s the “Rolls Royce” of headphones. Want a pair for yourself? You should! When you buy them, use our code below – it’ll give you a discount on your purchase. You won’t regret it, either. Trust me when I say that the quality and sound engineering will blow you away.

    When you stop by Miami’s AC Hotel, make sure you visit the rooftop! The music selection is always on point and tranquil, and there are plenty of daybeds or swinging chairs where you can grab a seat. In fact, if you ask us, they might have some of the best views of Miami’s gorgeous beach and skyline.

    Hyde Beach Pool Party at SLS

    If you're looking for a lively pool environment with swanky decor (and of course, a champagne shower or two), Hyde Beach at the SLS hotel on South Beach throws a killer weekly pool party. An already popular hot spot in LA and Vegas, Hyde Beach brings the heat to Miami Beach. When you go, get ready for artful mixology, great DJs, José Andrés’ cuisine, and with all that, a long day at the pool; because trust us, you won’t want to leave.

    We stopped by on Super Bowl Sunday for some cocktails, good vibes, and to watch the big game at Hyde's indoor bar area. The 8,000 square-foot pool and lounge space is enclosed, both separating you from the beach promenade and lending a bit more privacy from the beach-goers. Whether you choose a lounge chair, a daybed, or a cabana, Hyde Beach fully immerses you in the energetic mix of music, cocktails, and party people.  The party gets going around 2 p.m., which is typically when the DJ turns up the music and bottles start popping. As you’d expect from this Vegas club transplant, the cocktail list for the pool is fabulous.

    My favorite drink was the Blackberry Smash, which is served in an over sized copper pineapple. Hyde bartenders know how to make fruity drinks well without making them overly sweet, which is fantastic. (There’s nothing worse than a drink that's unnecessarily sugary.) Bottle service is available and there’s a pretty wide selection of fine spirits and champagne to choose from. When you order, don't forget to say “hi” to the lovely bartender, Christie. She’s our favorite!

    If you're hungry for a bit more than pool bites, walk a few steps to the hotel lobby and have a decadent, Spanish-influenced lunch at The Bazaar by José Andrés. The croqueta platter and watermelon tomato skewers are perfect for a pool-day snack, especially when you pair it with José Andrés’ famous Salt Air Margarita.


    Food and drink aside, Hyde Beach constantly invites DJs from across the globe to bring you the most current international sounds. With Miami Music Week quickly approaching, you won't want to miss this month’s lineup – for party-goers, it’s simply to die for. See the link below for Hyde Beach schedule and mark your calendars! You might even see us there.

     

    www.sbe.com/eventcalendar/hyde-beach

    HH Review: Townhouse

    Townhouse is a darling little hotel property that just recently had it's grand opening in January. Built in 1939, it’s quaint, boutique and re-imagined by Parisian designer India Mahdavi.  The rooms are on the smaller and simpler side, with pops of red. The main areas on property get a little more adventurous, however; you’ll notice it in their mix of bold pop art and subtle Art Deco furniture and fixtures. 

    Not only does this property have an amazing bar, the Cape (which may be my new favorite rooftop), but it’s also home to some seriously delicious Asian comfort food: K Ramen Burger and Beer. The Cape is a no-frills, come-in-a-t-shirt-and-flip-flops type of bar – the perfect place to  enjoy a cocktail and the sunset after a long day at the beach. You won’t find any pretentious red ropes here. What you will find is panoramic views of South Beach, good vibes and very knowledgeable bartenders that you’ll want to keep coming back for again and again.

    I spent the evening kickin' it with my favorite bartender, Bavié. We danced to her favorite playlist while she taught me some tips on how to make the perfect drink. On the cocktail list, you’ll see some twists on the classics, as well as some incredibly “Instagram-worthy” cocktails with pink foam or black lava salt rims. My favorite drink of the night was the Pancho and Lefty! It’s made with Avion Tequila, avocado puree and some other super-secret ingredients… trust me, it’s delicious.

    K Ramen Burger and Beer led by Jason Acoba, is on the basement level of the property- walk in and you’ll see loud Asian inspired wall paper, neon signs and anime playing on the TV. They offer a full bar and a menu that will make you come back... and if you’re like me, you'll probably order an excessive amount of food. The food coma is definitely worth it.

    The drinks at K Ramen are just as cool and weird as the ones upstairs. Ingredients-wise, you’ll find wasabi oil and matcha powder on the menu – it may sound a little intimidating, but it’s totally worth a try!

    A few of my favorites:

    • The burger is a must. It comes with tater tots. (Need I say more?) Be sure to order it with “the works.”
    • The tonkotsu and lobster ramen were out of this world.
    • My favorite sides were the salmon skin salad and the chicken wings. 

    HH Review: Delano South Beach

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    The Delano South Beach – what many deem to be "boutique luxury." This Morgans Group Collection gem is located on Collins Avenue and 16th street, and in case you’re not familiar with Miami, this is an oceanfront street lined with every type of hotel, from low-cost motels to five-star luxury properties. Yes, South Beach is flooded with Art Deco this and Art Deco that, but there’s something about the Delano that I love – it’s tastefully designed with an eclectic touch without going overboard on the design. The Delano Beach Club is located out back and has a pool and patio that will make your jaw drop. The guestrooms are flooded with all white everything. The bathrooms have marble accents, and every room has Malin + Goetz products and rainfall showers (my favorite). Try to get a suite that faces the ocean; the views are unparalleled. 

    If you’re planning a trip to Miami for a celebration or a lively weekend getaway with friends, I highly recommend booking one of the bungalows adjacent to the pool. While the bungalows are not located in the main hotel building, which means it’s a brief walk outside, these accommodations are literally crawling distance to the pool, outdoor bar and cabanas – talk about prime location. 

    The beautifully landscaped patio is my absolute favorite part of the hotel. Giant chess sets and hammocks hung amongst the canopy of trees makes lounging here extra fabulous. Spending a day at the pool or patio couldn't be more quintessentially Miami. 

    And when you’re there, don't forget to say hello to my favorite pool attendant, Julie! Not only is she a major sweetheart, she’s also a kick-ass entrepreneur and artist. Julie designs and sells her own line of wearable art dresses and hand-painted robes in the hotel lobby.  She also paints landscapes of the Delano pool and sells her pieces on her website

    Want to eat some good food? Of course you do! There are a few dining options available, ad among them are Bianca, which serves modern Italian cuisine, and Umi Sushi & Sake Bar, a tiny sushi bar in the lobby with a communal table.

    At Bianca, you’ll find modern Italian cuisine. Chef Jason Bamford offers dishes that are light and fresh – complimenting the Delano’s aesthetic. The handmade tagliatelle and Big Eye Tuna Pizza are my favorites! Bianca is also open for Sunday Brunch ‘til 4pm. 

    Umi Sushi and Sake Bar, led by Chef Nawee Sungkamee, offers upscale Japanese bites and an extensive sake menu. Umi is great if you're traveling alone or with a buddy and feel like socializing a bit. The only seating arrangement available is a communal table, so you'll get to meet fellow travelers and locals while you enjoy your meal. Get there with some time to spare, too, because Umi does not accept reservations. First come, first served!

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    HH Review: The EDITION Miami Beach

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    .The EDITION Miami Beach: a property that accommodates pretty much every type of traveler. Whether you want some R & R, an extended party or a weekend with the kids, the EDITION can host it. This gorgeous property is located right in the middle of North Beach and South Beach, and is equipped with tons of (amazing) dining options, like Matador Room – one of my absolute favorites and the brainchild of famous Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The property has two stunning pools, an outdoor children's sandbox, a pool bar, an ice skating rink and a bowling alley-turned-nightclub. In other words, it’s nearly impossible to get bored during your stay. I always recommend this hotel to my friends who are coming for bachelor parties or birthday weekends.

    No matter how many times I visit this property, two things that always manage to leave a lasting impression: the memorizing fragrance (it’s custom-made for the EDITION by LeLabo) and the stunning décor! The interior is elegant, bright and adorned with gold, marble and Florida palms... so very Miami. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop! They sell jewelry, clothes, home goods and fragrances – it’s seriously impossible for me to ever leave this shop empty-handed.

    The pool area covers a pretty large part of the property. It’s adorned with lots of lush greenery and white linen finishes, and one of the two pools is actually the original pool with an old school diving board. It’s pretty sweet. The design of the pool was inspired by the 1950's Havana nightclub, Tropicale, and is covered in private cabanas, all of which come with flat screen TVs and tons of couch space and are available for rent. You’ll feel like a real VIP in one of those! If you’re in the mood for a little salt and sun, members and hotel guests can grab a beach chair. At the EDITION – any decision you make is a good one. 

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    HH Review: The Standard

    For those seeking a relaxing Miami getaway sans the bustling south beach crowds- The Standard Hotel and Spa has what you need. You’ll have an opportunity to recharge at the spa and relax at the pool after a yoga session in the garden.  The quaint hotel is situated off the grid, on the outskirts of Miami Beach right off Venetian Causeway, secluding the property just enough. Upon entrance you can't walk through the lobby without noticing the gorgeous minimal design, fairly uncharacteristic of Miami hotels. The neutral colors and danish inspired accents lend to the overall simplistic nature of the property. There are no air conditioned hallways leading to the rooms, nor will you find unnecessary decorative furniture in your room. The Standard takes pride in the bare essentials when it comes to room design.

    The Spa is one of my favorites in Miami. It's modern, quaint and oh so refreshing. First thing to note: the Standard has some great robes. Once you change into your robe you have the option to wait for your treatment in the Turkish style hamam, which has individual bathtubs for soaking as well as an aromatherapy steam room and sauna for some serious decompression. The spa treatments are amazing, ranging from mud baths to hydrotherapy to "combination cures" which combine a range of treatments like yoga and collagen facials to paddle boarding and body scrubs. 

    Many who know me know that the Standard pool is my "happy place." The view, the layout, the amenities, the peacefulness of it all is just perfect. This is not the place to come if you're looking for a rowdy pool party with champagne and DJs. The Standard Pool is available for hotel and spa guests only, however they do offer day passes for a fee. Not only is there a beach entry pool (with underwater music!) but they also offer an Arctic plunge and a Roman waterfall hot tub for those looking for a little more extreme pool experiences- or just a nice refreshing dunk in 50 degree water. I can sit by this pool for a week straight and have no complaints. 

    The garden which separates the rooms from the pool area offers additional lounging space with hammocks, swings and lounge chairs. Come to the Standard and I promise you will go home feeling refreshed and grounded. This is the perfect place for pampering and recharging after a busy week because we all know sometimes you just need a little TLC. 

    Interview with Executive Chef Dustin Atoigue of Mondrian South Beach

    We took a peak into the kitchen of the Mondrian South Beach and got to know a little bit about Executive Chef Dustin Atoigue. Gotta pay homage to the mind behind the menu!

    Tell me a little bit about how you started your career in hospitality? Was there a moment in your life where you knew cooking was your calling and you wanted to pursue it as a career?

    I grew up in Guam and I started to help my grandmother out in the kitchen, she had the biggest influence on me growing up. She had me doing all the dirty work, cleaning the guts and scaling the fish. I fell in love with it. I was probably 8-9 years old at the time. At 15 years old, I got a job as a dishwasher at a local coffee house and worked my way up from there.

    How did you make it from Guam to Miami?

    I started in Los Angeles and went to school there where I became a trained chef. I was then recruited by Ritz Carlton and became a corporate chef in Puerto Rico. I then transferred to Las Vegas and ran the steakhouse at the Mirage. That same group sent me here and we took over the Delano in 2010.

    How would you say your travels have influenced the way you cook and your style in the kitchen?

    Working with different chefs is one of the greatest experiences for a chef. You are constantly learning from people who are interested and inspired by the same things and it really helps you  grow.

    What motivates you every day in your work life?

    My daughter. I strive to be the best for her and show her that hard work does really pay off. 

    What is your specialty cuisine?

    My soul food is food from my country, Guam- it reminds me of my childhood.

    Favorite childhood dish?

    Oxtail soup. It's also my favorite dish to cook at home. 

    Last year you participated in the Chef Showdown cooking competition. Tell me a little bit about that experience and what dish brought you home the winning metal. 

    Chef Showdown invited me to compete because there had been a lot of talk about one of my skewer dishes I had on my menu here at Mondrian. I knew that was going to be the dish I would make and it was. I have to defend my wining title this year again!

    Who are you competing against this year?

    Chef B from Naiyara. I hope he’s ready.  

    Whats the process of branding a restaurant and curating a concept?

    You always need to see what the market has out there- you always want to go for something that’s not already being done. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in choosing the menu. It’s all about execution- you need to know how to be consistent when you’re doing 300 covers a night.

    What is your most popular currently at the Mondrian?

    The most popular dish at the pool right now is my burger. It was voted the best burger in Miami- I use two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun. It’s called the Wagu Cheezus Burger (like jesus but with cheese).

    What is your ultimate goal in the food and beverage industry?

    My goal is to open my own restaurant. I would do either a concept from guam or a latin style concept.

    If you were stranded on a desert island what one food would you pick to survive on?

    Uni. Hands down. 

    What is your personal food philosophy?

    Season perfectly, always!

    Favorite seasoning?

    Salt. Without salt cooking is bland. 

    The Confidante

    As a curious Miami native thirsty to discover my new weekend go-to or pool hang out, I seize every opportunity to explore the boutique hotel scene. Word on the street was that Hyatt was re-branding an oceanfront property previously owned by Thompson… so of course, I had to check it out. The Confidante is the newest addition to the Unbound Collection by Hyatt – a uniquely curated collection of boutique hotels. Naturally, I got very excited. Why? Because this meant the properties would (hopefully) maintain that high-quality Hyatt hospitality, all while crafting a distinct guest experience with charming design, great menus and a little, shall we say... "umph?"

    When I stepped into the lobby, I was immediately greeted by every employee I made contact with, which is extremely important in my book. My check-in was friendly and uncomplicated. The chandelier in the lobby is gorgeous. The couches and mirrors were retro with a feminine touch, not overly loud design choices, and all subtle, but unique. In other words, major interior design goals happening here.

    Jonathan Adler decorates the guestrooms, which are mid-century modern with a “beachy” twist, full of bright accents and minimalist wall hangings. My room was bright, clean and had a great mini-bar selection. Even the guestroom keys and coasters were darling (major brownie points for the details!), and the overall design is a perfect mix of whimsical and elegant.

    I spent a good portion of my day by the pool deck, relaxing and spending time with friends. It was one of those environments that had everything you’d need for the day. There were two (heated) pools, one was kid friendly and the other for adults. The pool is lined with bright cabanas that offer a bit of privacy and seclusion if you want to come with a larger party. There was a DJ playing a fabulous selection of minimal lounge music which later was taken over by a seductive South American band.The cocktails and poolside bites were fantastic. I recommend the salmon salad or the fish tacos which both paired nicely with the rose we ordered.

    I spent a good portion of my day by the pool, relaxing and spending time with friends. It was one of those environments that had everything you’d need for the day – there were two (heated) pools, one kid-friendly and the other for adults. The pool is lined by bright cabanas that offer a bit of privacy and seclusion if you want to come with a larger party. There was a DJ playing a fabulous selection of minimal lounge music, which was later taken over by a seductive South American band. Adding to the scene, the cocktails and poolside bites were also fantastic. I recommend the salmon salad or the fish tacos… they both paired nicely with the rosé we ordered.

    All in all, the beds were comfy, the rooms were spacious (a feat that’s almost impossible to find on South Beach) and the service was top notch. Would I come back? You bet!

    Hotel restaurants:

    Talde: Located on the southwest corner of the hotel, just behind the check-in desk wall, come here for feverish hip-hop playlists and a solid plate of Pad Thai by Chef Dale Talde. The late-night noodle menu is offered until 2am on weekends.

    Bird and Bone: Chef Richard Hales brings you his famous Nashville spicy, fried chicken and some serious Southern cuisine. Enjoy your meal and cocktails 'al fresco' on the beautiful open-air terrace.