Destination Florida & Key West
Contributed by Jens Hoffmann
Going on one means being away from everything familiar and allowing your brain to idle into a kind of cleaning bliss. Miami is becoing a green, ecological city and a weekend in South Beach is always fun.
Do you long for the South Beach of vegan culture, frozen margaritas and electric neon?
The South Beach of stylish new hotels like Gale, Lord Balfour, SLS South Beach and special restaurants like Yardbird, Southern Table & Bar, Khong River House, Tongue & Cheek.
Acctually I like the South Beach of yesterday with Art Deco buildings, museums and especially the new Art Basel Miami.
Miami can be whatever you want it to be — laid back, decked out, gay, straight, a family retreat.
In this dreamland at the southern tip of Miami Beach, you can choose your own adventure.
We checked in at The Mandarin Oriental in Miami is a highlight in every sense of the world. The beat comes from the glittering stretch of coastline and the narrow 100 mile divide across the ocean from Cuba. Celebrity glitz and Latin rhythms blend with sparkling sands and sultry weather. The cuisine is true fusion, with Caribbean and Latin influences. Spanish is heard more often than English; they dance the salsa and the coffee is Cuban.The Mandarin Oriental soars above the heart and sea of Miami.
I love it to be here, it is always hot, more and more brazilian sunny and funky great destination.
Jet setters around the world fly in to party along South Beach before retiring to the serenity of their preferred retreat and beach.
The Mandarin Oriental is a sanctuary with waterfront views, setting standards with regard to luxury and exclusivity.
And when you like a taste of Art Deco, Cuban coffee or boutiques take a look at the concierge recommendations. Easy to enjoy the Miami Marlins and their stadium.
Mandarin Oriental offers the “I Love Marlins” package. Guests at the hotel will enjoy accommodations for two nights in a luxury suite, chauffeur transfer to and from Marlins Park, Marlins baseball jerseys and caps, and two therapeutic spa treatments. The package allows baseball fans to experience the excitement of the Miami Marlins’baseball season in style.
The spa is really a kind of escape with a spectacular waterfront setting and a series of restorative treatments. It features six stunning spa suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay. Each has been custom designed for specific treatments; three are created especially for couples wishing to share their experience.
We made a segways tour and a lovely trip to Key West (only 90 miles to Cuba).
If you are interested in movies you should know “The Fountainebleu”. Built in 1954 by Morris Lapidus, who considered it his best work. Unquestionably one of Miami Beach’s most famous hotels, seen extensively in many famous Hollywood films, including “A Hole in the Head” in 1959, “Goldfinger” in 1964, and “Bananas” in 1983. Brian de Palma’s 1983 blockbuster hit “Scarface” features the hotel’s pool in several scenes.
But culinary experiences of the highest standards you will find a lot in Miami.
One of my favourite restaurants is the Palme d’Or at the Biltmore hotel
Located in the architecturally impressive hotel, the Palme d’Or restaurant more than lives up to its surroundings. Chef Philippe Ruiz has created an excellent menu of French culinary delights, and guests can custom design their own dining experience around 20-plus offered tasting dishes.
Consistently regarded and rated as one of Miami’s finest dining destinations, the restaurant offers exceptional service and a fine wine list amid a modern yet classy décor. Those looking for a romantic evening of exceptional food enjoyed in beautiful surroundings need look no further.
Of course we travelled to the Floriad Keys. The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida. Key just means little island.
The islands are connected by the overseas highway the U.S.Route 1 easy to drive from mainland Florida all the way to the last city Key West. Popular to visit is the US1 mile marker zero sign. Along the way, you will see a lot of beautiful blue and green water and pass over several bridges including the well-known Seven Mile Bridge just past Marathon.