It’s winter and many of us who live in cold climates automatically think of heading to Florida. Actually, I think of heading to Florida almost any time. Specifically, Miami. There is something about Miami that draws me to it like a bee to honey. When I get off the plane, I feel relaxed and ready to have a great time, and Miami is there to deliver.
However, there is a trick to traveling to Miami. You have to know what will be your primary focus for your trip: beach, shopping, night life, golf, rejuvenation. All of these things are available in the greater Miami area, and will determine where you will want to stay. They are just offered in different communities.
When you think of night life, you think of South Beach. But as a retiree, I know that my husband and I are not going to be in night clubs every night, so we tend to only want to visit South Beach. For beach and access to good shopping, we tend to stay in Aventura. It is close to Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. When we want to relax, but not have the energy of South Beach, we go to Fort Lauderdale and stay at hotels on the Intercostal. There, we can sit by the pool and watch the boats go by, and use the water taxi to transport us to restaurants or shopping venues.
If you want to be close to Fort Lauderdale and South Beach, have a private beach, and access to the top shopping in the country, then you will want to select a community called Bal Harbour. There are three hotels in Bal Halbour: The St. Regis, Ritz Carlton (formerly One Bal Harbour), and the Grand Beach Hotel, which is actually listed in Surfside, which is the adjacent community, but is only one block away.
In July, my husband and I elected to stay at the Grand Beach Hotel. It is an all-suite luxury hotel. The entire hotel is decorated in white, tan and blue. The suites are amazingly large. Definitely go for the ocean front suites, you will not be disappointed. If possible, request a corner suite, as we did, and you will have a suite that has a terrace that wraps around on two sides. Views are outstanding. Service at this hotel is simply superb. Best thing is that they have two pools, one on the first floor for families, and one on the roof top for adults. The hotel also has a spa. It had not opened when we were there, but I am sure it is magnificent.
For those of you who like to shop until you drop, The Bal Harbour Shops will simply take your breath away, and most of your money. It is worth the experience to go and wander through this outdoor shopping mall to see all of the designer showrooms. As you are strolling through the manicured gardens of the mall, and you’re getting that feeling that perhaps, you are really a “rock star,” remember not to let your jaw drop when you see the price tag of an item. After all, it’s just money, and part of the experience.
So when it is cold and dreary outside, and you want to have someplace warm to go, consider Miami. It has something for everyone.
Next trip will be golf in Scottsdale, Arizona. I still have not made up my mind as to where I am staying, but I know I am looking forward to the trip. Or, maybe I’ll just go back to Miami. After all, I can play golf there too.