Few places in the world have it all. But greater Miami
and its beaches may be close. There’s the big city excitement with
international restaurants, non-stop nightlife, an arts and cultural
scene and blocks and blocks of open-air shopping paired with enormous
malls and marketplaces featuring dining and entertainment. Then, there
are miles and miles of beaches which lure sun-worshipers to salty, sandy
vacations by the sea.
is almost exclusively tourist-oriented, consisting mostly of condos and
hotels. And the building goes on and on! Old established out-dated
hotels give way to modern hotels and condos improving the quality of
accommodations and beautifying the strip immensely. The famous Miami
Vice Inter-coastal waterway area never looked so good.
Charmed by the look and Miami’s affordability, vacationers, retirees and Northern transplants
flocked to the area in the 1930s and 40s. The ‘50s were heydays, as
televised nationally from Miami
studios and high fashion swept into
Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit
Cartier. Ladies and gents were at those times dressing to the nines to be seen.
And it’s amazing how the trend came back to the
area in this new century. However, on South
Beach, less is more. People- watching is the supreme phenomenon, especially
from the open-air restaurants that are established on the streets. You
can see everything from the most sophisticated to down-right beach-bum
attire. All cultures seem to get along well. Having a good time is
thematic to the overall psyche of the area. Bring them on! Where else
can you see an unending parade of people that are so entertaining?
Linked by causeways and an easygoing lifestyle, Miami Beach
is an energizing mix of natural beauty and contemporary entertainment.
that we know today was once just 245 acres of submerged mangrove
swampland. In 1929, however, three
automotive industrialists planned a community on a barrier island at the
northern tip of
Miami Beach. It’s on the Atlantic ocean-equidistant from
Today its 3/10 of a square- mile is considered the
glamour-capital of southeast
, just minutes from south Florida’s renowned nightlife and cultural attractions.
Incorporated in 1946, Bal
’s most stylish beach community. It’s a “must see” for
celebrities and jetsetters alike (plus vacationers in the know).This
tropical oasis features two full-service oceanfront resorts, the
Legendary Bal Harbour Shops, pristine beaches and a dining
people-watching scene that rivals Beverly Hills and Monoco
One of the first structures built along the
’s coastline, the
has been a family favorite for generations.
It features 220 newly renovated guestrooms; an intimate private
beach; 50 key West-style cabanas surrounded by a heated Olympic-size
pool and several restaurants offering contemporary and international
You can enjoy its timeless hospitality, casual
elegance and European ambiance enhanced by custom French furnishings.
The atmosphere is soothing, revitalizing and memorable as you sit under
a swaying palm tree or walk the beach and let the sand
run through your toes. Each of my meals delighted my culinary
fancy as I enjoyed the delights of the chef, who presented his fare so
well. Many of the guests are repeat visitors, which attests to the
importance of treating your guests well.
The Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort, just across
the street from the Bal Harbour Shops is where one goes for spa
treatments .The Deluxe massage was just what a vacationer appreciates to
relieve any stress.
Harbour, the first new hotel to be built in
in 50 years, is scheduled to open December 2006. The 18-story property
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean Haulover Inlet and Inter-coastal
Waterway, hosts 124 suites including a Presidential suite. This property
will feature a 10,000-sq. ft. L’Institut de Guerlain of Paris Spa;
fitness center with personal training and plasma TVs; fine dining,
and oceanfront swimming pool.
Created in 1965 by luxury retail visionary Stanly
Whitman and situated directly across the street from both hotels, Bal
Harbour Shops is ranked the
“number one shopping center in the U.S.” by Woman’s Wear Daily.
It’s the home to 100
flagship stores including
Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Giorgio
Saks Fifth Avenue
and more. Bal Harbour Shops is a favorite playground for socialites,
fashion-conscience and celebrities. Recent celebrity sightings include
As Bal Harbour Shops celebrates its 40th (or
Ruby) anniversary, it continues to lure its international and
fashion-forward clientele interested in one-of-a-kind collectibles. Here
you can find the highest concentration of world-class jewelers and
watches in the U.S.
Bal Harbour Shops offers a unique combination of
glamour and relaxation that is conducive to a considered purchase. The
sensory cues, from the foliage to fountains, provide a particularly
offers a diverse selection of restaurants including The Sea View
Hotel’s Terrace Room overlooking the ocean. At Bal Harbour Shops
complex you can find charming al fresco cafes including Carpaccio, an
Italian eatery where shoppers congregate to see and be seen; the Zodiac
Café at Neiman
and Lea’s Tea Room. Each had there own special atmosphere and cuisine,
which complements your shopping experience. One seeks refuge from the
pace of serious shopping at a dining establishment that offers
relaxation and wonderful cuisine as you recharge your batteries so you
may continue to shop until you drop!
My next fashionable cultural experience was
attending the eighth Annual Fashion Week festivities.
In May 1999, the first Miami Fashion Week was presented to an
international audience of buyers, media, celebrities and special guests.
This event was created to provide a forum offering international
exposure and promotion specifically for the designers of Latin America
with a special interest in establishing bridges and opportunities
between the designers of this region and the world’s fashion industry.
During the past eight years, Miami Fashion Week has
developed into one of the world’s premier fashion events spotlighting
designers from Europe,
Canada, the Caribbean, Middle East and
as well as largest showcase of Latin
American designer talent in US.
The 2006 Miami
Fashion Week audience was dazzled by signature designs on the catwalk by
36 international designers from all over the world including North and
previewing their Spring 2007 collection to over 6,000 guests during the
week at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The Fashion Prelude, which I attended included
Camilo Pardo/ Colombia for mercury Milan Swimwear Showcase, Arianne
and Satillan San San/Argentina
featuring sunglasses by
Cartier. Jewelry and accessories were on display at the Trends Display.
Miami Fashion Week has been an integral component
fashion industry, bringing the city to the forefront with international
press and attracting select designers from all over the world.
kick-off party for Miami Fashion Week was a special treat. This open-air
club, with strict door policy, makes you feel like one of the beautiful
people as you get picked to enter. House and hip-hop music dominated in
separate rooms. The upstairs lounge had a more exclusive door policy for
celebrities and A-listers, which you may was neither. But, nonetheless
you would enjoy all the festivities, noise and mingling with those who
were lucky enough to be jammed into the first floor of the famed
. Nightlife in
was fun-filled and memorable!