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Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Just recently opened, the Faena Hotel is the first in a series of iconic buildings to be transformed in the new six-block neighborhood dubbed Faena District in Miami Beach. Set in the old 1948 Saxony Hotel on Collins Avenue, the hotel has been revamped with tropical interiors by Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning costume designer wife, Catherine Martin.
Along with a luxe place to rest your head, the entire Faena District is the latest project by Buenos Aires-born developer and art collector Alan Faena. This cultural/residential/retail/hospitality hot spot won't reach completion for a few years, but a visit to the hotel serves as a preview to the project that's giving Miami its next design blast. Once you've whet your appetite, feel free to explore the (other) Design District and Wynwood, as well.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach, 3201 Collins Avenue (between 32nd and 33rd streets), Miami Beach; 305-534-8800.
The intense Miami foodie scene just got another occasion to rejoice. This past summer, the French owners of the beloved Bâoli restaurant inaugurated their sprawling Mediterranean bistro in Brickell, featuring an open-air market, bakery, rotisserie, and oyster bar. The Parisian vibe is present in the swanky decor — lace curtains and authentic imported furniture — while the sophisticated plates seem inspired by Italian and Spanish gastronomy.
Helmed by Jean Paul Lourdes and his team, the menu boasts premium ingredients combined with innovative recipes. Try the delectable seafood cooked over ancient Japanese charcoal and, for dessert, the famous Tropézienne Tarte, a legend from the French Riviera.
Marion, 1111 Southwest First Avenue (between Southwest 11th and 12th streets), Miami; 786-717-7512.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
It was the toast of the town when it opened two years ago, and this cultural destination is still a must. Mainly dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century international art, this museum most recently hosted the hotly anticipated, one-night-only collaboration between artist Ryan McNamara and musician Devonté Hynes, Dimensions, for Miami Art Week.
To make the most of your trip, admire the brilliant collection of some 1,800 displays in this three-story space, including pieces acquired through the PAMM Fund for African American Art and donated works. Sun Splashed, the current exhibition on view by artist Nari Ward, is one major reason to visit. The Verde restaurant with its sweeping views, and the gift shop full of one-of-a-kind wares, are others.
Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami; 305-375-3000.
We urge every Miami-goer to pay a visit to C.Madeleine's, perhaps the world's largest vintage showroom. Rent a car and head to the outskirts of Miami to explore 10,000 square feet of treasures displayed in this spectacular warehouse. Here, vintage expert and proprietress Madeleine Kirsh, along with her knowledgeable staff, present everything in pristine condition, meticulously organized by decade, with special corners for haute couture, menswear, exotic fashion, evening wear, jewelry, etc. One could spend days rummaging the alleys crammed with decades-old Chanel, Mugler, YSL, Gucci, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, and so much more.
While this city has a wealth of retail destinations, even Laure Hériard-Dubreuil, the owner of the South Beach temple of contemporary fashion de luxe, The Webster, admits to us that it's C.Madeleine's that's “My temple, my sanctuary, my favorite place ever." That's one referral we don't take lightly.
C.Madeleine’s, 13702 Biscayne Boulevard, North Miami Beach; 305-945-7770.
The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
A mandatory destination for the international fashion crowd, this resort is acclaimed for its signature laid-back vibe, cool sense of luxury, and outstanding wellness offerings. The holistic oasis is set in a 1920s motor lodge in a lush garden right on Biscayne Bay and features state-of-the-art massages. Also for the trying is a Turkish-inspired hammam that's become a legendary post-yoga/Pilates hang.
Weather permitting, go down the tropical-looking garden for some hydrotherapy at the infinity pool and jacuzzi area, which overlooks the sea. If possible, enroll for a few days of enlightening programs at the Center for Integral Living (including studies in astrology, hypnosis, meditation, acupuncture, and sound healing sessions). You'll receive all the anti-sluggishness, alkalinizing, chakras-balancing benefits you need to face 2016.
The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, 40 Island Avenue (near Farrey Lane), Miami Beach; 305-704-3945.