Category Archives: Miami Beach

Experience Miami Modern at Eden Roc Miami Beach

Architect Morris Lapidus designed some of South Florida’s most glamorous hotels, notably the Eden Roc in Miami Beach and Hollywood streamed in. Elizabeth Taylor celebrated a birthday there and Jayne Mansfield honeymooned. Eden Roc was also featured in back to back episodes of I Love Lucy in 1956.

The Eden Roc further entered popular culture in the lyrics of Steely Dan on their 1972 debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill. In 1995 Madonna was photographed by Patrick Demarchelier at the Eden Roc Miami Beach for her album “Bedtime Stories.”

Lobby Bar Eden Roc Miami Beach
Lobby Bar Eden Roc Miami Beach photo credit: John Cameron

While we didn’t recognize any Hollywood stars or music legends during our stay,  the Eden Roc’s glamorous must-see 1950’s circular lobby bar with an impossibly high ceiling, supported by fabulous columns, has been beautifully preserved.

Derided early in his career for his flamboyant exuberance, Lapidus’ era-defining architectural style later became known as Miami Modern. Lapidus often said that he couldn’t abide a straight line. ”A staircase isn’t a staircase unless it’s curved,” he said.

Eden Roc Miami Beach Bedroom
Eden Roc Bedroom photo credit: John Cameron

Our well-designed spacious room featured a large balcony overlooking the ocean, perfect for entertaining guests. A circular fluorescent tube around the bathroom mirror provided a soft beauty light over the his and hers sinks. An ingenious compact desk with table top chairs was fashioned from the bed’s headboard.

Eden Roc Miami Beach Infinity Pool
Eden Roc Infinity Pool photo credit: John Cameron

Swimmers at Eden Roc have a choice between three beautiful infinity pools as well as the Atlantic Ocean, just steps away. Don’t miss the free fitness classes for all Eden Roc guests such as Vinyasa Yoga, Pilates Fusion, Abs & Core, HIIT Circuits.

Pampered Pets at Eden Roc Miami Beach

Lucy at Eden Roc Miami Beach
Lucy at Eden Roc Miami Beach photo credit: John Cameron

The AAA Four Diamond Eden Roc is one of the few luxury hotels that allows guests to bring Fido with them on a vacation. Eden Roc partners with PupJoy and South Florida Pet Sitter to make sure pups enjoy their stay. Up to two dogs can stay in the room upon presentation of vaccination records and a 150.00 fee per stay.

In 2016, a portion of the hotel, including 206 guest rooms and the hotel’s bar and restaurants, was converted to the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, a “hotel-within-a-hotel”. The only Florida location of Japanese celebrity chef “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s namesake restaurant is at Eden Roc. Other dining options are Malibu Farm and Aquatica Bar. Cafe Inez on the lobby level is the perfect spot for freshly brewed coffee, paninis and pastries to take to the beach.

Fun in Miami Beach

Historic Miami Beach advertisement

Miami Beach, a perennial favorite travel destination,  continues to entice with new upscale hotels and  cutting edge restaurants.

Where to Eat

Pao by Paul Qui

Argentine hotelier, Alan Faena, of the eponymous Faena Hotel, picked Paul Qui, a Top Chef and James Beard Award winner, to head the kitchen at Pao. Qui, who got his start in the Austin food truck scene, blends flavors from his native Phillipines, Japan and Asia in an eclectic menu. Expect the unusual.

Examples include: a seared tuna belly, cooked over white oak heated to 800 degrees, served on a bed of lettuce painted with butter. East Side King Fried Chicken,  lifted from his Texas food truck menu, is a boneless, crusted chicken, fried and served with a spicy banana ketchup. A well marbled smoked beef short-rib is paired with pickled vegetable puree, a nod to Korean street food.

Unicorn at Pao
Unicorn at Pao

Unicorn , a roasted sweet corn pudding presented in a sea urchin shell, is a favorite.

You’re in good hands with a  great sommelier and attentive waiters who have a comprehensive knowledge of the large menu.

Damien Hirst’s sculpture Unicorn is the restaurant’s centerpiece. Check out Hirst’s Gone but not Forgotten – the gilded skeleton of a woolly mammoth, currently on display in the courtyard.

Lure Fishbar

Lure Fishbar Miami Beach
Lure Fishbar Miami Beach

Located in Emeril’s former restaurant space at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in the St. Moritz building,  Lure has the best seafood in Miami Beach. Dennis, our friendly and helpful waiter, recommended the signature appetizer, crispy rice cakes, a spicy tuna tartare, with wasabi aioli, wrapped in crispy nori. An excellent start to our dinner at Lure.

The daurade, grilled whole, served with watercress and the scallop risotto with brussels sprouts are both excellent. The nautical themed restaurant also has a secluded, comfortable back terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Icebox Cafe

Icebox Cafe Miami Beach
Icebox Cafe Miami Beach

Featuring healthy choices in a creative, contemporary menu, Icebox Cafe is a great choice for dining in Miami Beach.

Wild Salmon Burger at Icebox Cafe
Wild Salmon Burger at Icebox Cafe

Try the Bet a Beet Juice, the wild salmon burger and the Chocolate Delight dessert, all excellent.

Where to stay in Miami Beach

A historic streamline moderne building constructed in 1934 is now the boutique hotel Life House Collins Park, located mid Miami Beach on Park Avenue, one block west of Collins Avenue, just behind the Miami Ballet and the Bass Museum.

Life House Collins Park Miami Beach Lobby
Life House Collins Park Lobby photo credit: John Cameron

Life House is a short walk to the shops on Lincoln Road, the renowned Sweet Liberty cocktail bar and the beach. Life House is on trend with contactless check-in – you self check-in, make your room keys, hustle your bags and valet your own car.  Parking is tight in this neighborhood so drop your bags off first.

Shakshuka at Life House Collins Park Miami Beach
Shakshuka at Life House photo credit: John Cameron

Dine al fresco facing the Collins Canal on the beautiful Life House patio . Their creative menu features  Mediterranean homestyle cuisine with flavors from Lebanon, Southern Italy, and Greece. Try the delicious Red Pepper Shakshuka fresno chilli baked egg, with feta and herbs.

When you want to chill out or read a book, check out the third floor rooftop landscaped outdoor terrace with a plunge pool.

Life House Collins Park plunge pool
Life House plunge pool photo credit: John Cameron

Things to do in Miami Beach

Interested in the architecture of Miami Beach? Try the fun, informative 90-minute Art Deco walking tour offered by the Miami Design Preservation League. Miami Vice was one of the first TV series to film in Miami Beach and the Art Deco Carlyle Hotel on Ocean Drive was a favorite location.

The Carlyle Miami Beach
The Carlyle Miami Beach

Several times developers had bulldozers ready to demolish the historic Art Deco hotels of South Beach and replace them with high density towers of glass and steel. Without the tireless efforts of Barb Capitman and the Miami Design Preservation League, there would be no Art Deco Walking Tour in Miami.

Tip: It’s free to inspect the lobby of most art deco hotels, but to view the Versace mansion, it will cost you 57 bucks for a cocktail at the bar. Dinner may be your best option.

Wolfsonian Miami Beach
Wolfsonian Miami Beach

The Wolfsonian Museum and research library, on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, is dedicated to preserving the history of modernism in a variety of different media: industrial and furniture design, rare posters, and art works.

The Wrestler by Dudley Talcott
The Wrestler by Dudley Talcott

This unique collection displayed on seven floors reveals the impact design had in shaping the modern world.  The Wrestler by American sculptor Dudley Talcott was first shown at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.

Tip: Free on Fridays from 6-9pm