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Thursday 19 April 2012

Drink All Day, Play All Night...We're in Miami Trick!

This is our final Miami hoo seems like a distant memory now!! You should be totally up to speed on restaurants and know exactly where you're staying.  So what else could there be left to swot up on.... after hours activities of course! 

I can by no means claim to be an expert after only seven days in Miami, especially as the going out scene is so vast and we barely made a dent in it (despite valiant efforts)! However we did check some goodies off the list that are definitely worth blogging about! So let the partying commence...

Dare the door at the Delano...

One of my favourites had to be the Delano - located in an amazing Art Deco style building, this urban resort hotel is on Collins Avenue right amid the buzz of South Beach. The hotel boasts 208 rooms, two restaurants - Bianca and Umi Sushi and Sake bar, The Rose Bar, the Delano Beach Club and a club called FDR. Everywhere is decorated with a sleek, clean finish and in greek-isle inspired white! Philippe Stark was enlisted to design the interiors of the Delano and has evidently created a masterpiece exuding world class style.

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It's notoriously difficult to get in if you aren't a guest so one word of advice, girls dress to impress and boys take some hot girls with you! We were lucky enough to make friends with a group of guys in The Shelborne next door, who knew the manager of the bar at the Delano Beach Club and we managed to walk straight in and right into a VIP cabana...eeekk!

Everything about the Delano oozes class and style, from the difficult doormen, the dimly lit hotel lobby, to the long walkways through the reception surrounded by billowing white curtains creating hideaway coves and secret snugs just begging for bad behaviour! The outside space is simply beautiful, candles and lanterns are littered everywhere lighting the paths and steps to the Beach Club. There is a real seal of exclusivity to this hotel, especially the sought after pool side bungalows...I peeped through a window of one and spied some Kartell Louis Ghost chairs, huge pristine sofas and white, white, and a bit more white - they looked amazing!! 

The bar served up strong, crisp Hendricks (extra gold star!), however I couldn't tell you if it was expensive or not, as girls, whip out your british accents and BAM, free drinks all round!!!

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Look for the Light...

The one thing I will say about Miami that trumps London everytime, is how friendly the people are. Actually scratch that, how friendly guys are - the girls on the other hand took a massive disliking to us everywhere we our hotel, in bars, at clubs and even in restaurants! However as a London girl you will make tonnes of guy friends everywhere you go! Someone we met at the Sunday pool party suggested we go to Foxhole, he said it's a top secret bar where lots of famous sport stars go in the hope not to be hassled or recognised! So of course off we change all that!!

All I will tell you is think super cool, a bit more casual than typical Miami bars, dim lighting and a wrap around bar, oh and for the guys there is even a pool table and a juke box!! Just look for a bright red light down an alleyway off Alton Road (close to our new obsession Whole Foods!!) and there you have it!! 

Sip Champagne at the Setai...

TOP TIP - after hours of pre-Miami internet research I stumbled across Champagne happy hour at The Setai hotel - what better kind of happy hour is there than a Champagne happy hour?! On Fridays and Saturdays from 5-7pm, head down and you get glasses of Tattinger Champagne for $16 each and complimentary canapes!

If that isn't good enough for you then just wait until you see the Setai! This hotel is incredible...pure tranquility and total zen. You feel a definite gear change as soon as you enter the hotel; the Mondrian, Delano and Shelborne concentrate on being 'happening' hotels, where as the Setai can only be described as luxury. The attention to detail is everywhere and a relaxed ambience takes over immediately but without being pretentious! 

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As you walk in, to your left there is a long ornate bar with a chunky granite top and beautiful oriental details which leads out to gorgeous seating pods surrounding numerous water pools - perfect for early evening drinks. You then follow the path down to the pool area which consists of three pools scattered with big comfy sun loungers and over sized mattresses! Right at the very back is the pool bar, this has a gorgeous view overlooking the beach and is ideal for a sunset champagne cocktail! 

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Mansion Madness...

We weren't initially planning to go to Mansion, but thank god we did as we had so much fun!! We headed down around midnight and girls, once again be prepared to skip the queue (well crowd as Miami don't seem to understand the concept of a line?!) we also got discounted entry so paid about $15 cover each!

As soon as we were greeted by a girl bathing in rose petals dressed only in jewels and 'beauty is a sign of intelligence' sign, I knew I was going to be a fan... 

The club itself was pretty impressive, big but not so big that you get lost every time you go to the bar, modern minimalistic interior with constant spectacles to keep you entertained...if the people watching, amazing music and beautiful boy spying doesn't suffice! Girls just appear dropping from the ceiling doing acrobatics on ropes, ridiculously toned guys dancing on podiums in nothing but tight golden shorts and huge feather wings and the one that kept me amused for hours, a nipple tassel wearing, fire sparking woman in a feather head-dress?!? Much better than Essex boys and coconut cocktails in Mayfair! 

Cocktail Kings....

By the time we'd landed in Miami, spent two hours getting through visa and passport control and had sorted out four broken key cards to finally break into our suite...all we wanted was a strong drink to make us feel human again! Lucky for us there had been an 'off the hook' party by our pool at the Mondrian that Saturday so we didn't have to stray far from our room! 

The Sunset Lounge isn't huge in size but with an ornate black spiral staircase accented with lots of high gloss white, killer cocktails, amazing bar snacks and a DJ playing fun music, you couldn't ask for much more! 

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We sipped on Lychee and Elderflower Caipirinhas from jam jars, super strong but super just couldn't resist ordering the next round! We also nibbled on the Asia De Cuba bar menu, opting for Pulled Pork Belly and Black Soy Beans, Rock Shrimp and Calamari Tempura, Wagyu Tartare rolls and Edamame beans...super delicious and every scrap disappeared (however we had been dining on Virgin Atlantic food all day!!)

As the night went on the bar got busier and the small dance floor filled up...the night ended with a dance off between a group of professional dancer / models followed by a late night paddle in the pool to cool down! Perfect way to fill a jet lagged first night we thought!!

Live it up at LIV....

Before jetting off the one thing everyone told us to do in Miami was go to LIV Club at the Fontaine Bleau Hotel. We eventually made it down on our last night, a bit of a tight squeeze but we made it in the end! As it was a Friday it was $40 entry and once again a HUGE crowd around the door. Flash that Brit accent and your hot outfit and you'll be in before you know it! 

Another impressive Miami haunt but personally I'd say Mansion ranked higher in the club stakes for me. We had loads of fun, the music was good but the crowd was a lot younger and a little pretentious - more interested in making sure that everyone was looking at them than having fun...definitely not the scene for a dance off or two!

However I did come across my favourite scenario in a nightclub... A bride and groom with half their wedding party at a post reception rave! Very surreal to see a dainty bride in a huge white wedding dress, necking grey goose from the bottle whilst dancing on a podium!!! 

So that's it, our Miami adventures are well and truly hooo hooooo! I can't recommend it all highly enough, we had so much fun and if you're going I am SUPER jealous!! 

So now for my next holiday....any suggestions?!?!

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