While living in Orlando, Florida, for ten years, I traveled to Miami at least five times. I came very close to going to Miami University, but something told me the proximity of the beach was too much of a distraction.
My visits to Miami were always day trips, which left me no time to stay in a hotel or enjoy the nightlife. So when I received an email from one of the bridesmaids in my friend’s wedding, extending an invitation for a bachelorette/girls’ weekend in Miami, I didn’t hesitate.
The most planning we did was for dinner. Everything else just fell into place. There were four of us, and we did what we wanted, when we wanted. It was a wonderful weekend to relax, eat well, and party hard. And the weather was absolutely gorgeous!
When possible, do Miami right! Spend the money wisely, but spend enough to go home smiling and rejuvenated. Here are a few things worth noting from our trip to Miami Beach.
The Anglers Resort, 660 Washington Avenue
The Angler is a beautiful boutique resort just three blocks from the ocean and two blocks from Collins Avenue, the avenue for shopping. The one restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with indoor and comfortable outdoor seating. Feel free to sunbathe by the pool, because the servers will bring you whatever you want—a delicious mojito or any cuisine you might be craving (as long as it’s on the menu, of course).
Joe’s Stone Crab, Washington Avenue and 2nd
Known for its stone crabs, Joe’s is an enormous seafood restaurant with white tablecloths and a waitstaff dressed to impress. The side portions are large, so keep that in mind when ordering your entrée. I enjoyed the sautéed scallops and fried zucchini.
Mandarin Oriental Spa
Here’s where you have to splurge on yourself just a little bit. Many of my coworkers have told me several times, “You have to get a spa treatment from the Mandarin Oriental. You won’t forget or regret it.” They were right! I was fortunate to be able to schedule a spa treatment two hours before the time I was requesting. But they do book up quickly.
I had the best aromatherapy facial massage probably ever. It was fifty minutes long; afterward, I felt like a new woman—isn’t that the goal, after all? The bride was treated to an eighty-minute full-body massage in one of the suites, and after it was over, you would have thought she was glowing and walking on air. I couldn’t help but laugh with joy because she looked so happy.
I love food, and I’d like to think I can pride myself on having good taste and enjoying the process and creativity that go into certain dishes. Nobu is a fantastic seafood restaurant that specializes in sushi and sashimi. But there are other items on the menu if those don’t pique your interest.
We selected an assortment of hot dishes to try; one in particular that I won’t forget was salt-and-pepper Chilean sea bass with balsamic teriyaki. This dish brought new meaning to the phrase “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Just imagine taking your chopsticks, picking up a piece of finely cut fish, and placing it in your mouth, only to feel it melt away—no chewing required. Ridiculous. Please go to Nobu.
Fountainbleau, Liv Nightclub
The Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach is historic, dating back to the 1950s. One of the many James Bond flicks, Goldfinger, was filmed at this hotel. It’s large, it’s beautiful, and it’s the place to be and be seen. We stumbled upon its newest nightclub—Liv, a massive two-story nightclub in the belly of the hotel. Music ranges from techno to hip-hop, reggae, and more. The DJs were great and only got better as the night went on. And you never know who might be there, so dress to impress. We didn’t see Jamie Foxx this time, but Dennis Rodman and Bow Wow made an appearance. Again, not Jamie Foxx.
Shopping, Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road
Whether you’re bargain shopping or splurging, you can find it on Collins and Lincoln. Known for their trendy and high-end shops, these streets are hidden jewels. Check out Mango (off Collins) for some great deals and BCBG (off Lincoln Avenue) for something special. I bought a beautiful sundress on sale at BCBG! You never know.
Spa E, Lincoln Road
Spa E takes manis and pedis to a whole new level: cucumber over the eyes, and a reclining chair that flexes out to make you completely horizontal. Strange at first, but once you relax, it’s bliss.
Prime One Twelve
Making a reservation for Prime One Twelve simply means you’re on the list, not that you’re guaranteed a table at the time you requested. The place is packed, even at midnight. NBA players, the who’s who of Miami, etc., are all at Prime. But it’s a must when in the city. Bring your girls, have a drink, and converse until your table is ready, because the food is marvelous! Mouthwatering steaks cooked to perfection, pan-seared chicken, seafood, and one side item that I couldn’t live without: five-cheese truffle “mac.” Trust me. Prime is worth the wait.