Miami Heat

Ahhh, Miami. The place for beach, sun and fun, but is it the new “it” place for design? Art Basel along with the ever-developing Wynward design district has put Miami on the design map, and on a recent trip there I took inspiration from my surroundings.

If you happen to venture down to Miami, the Fontainebleau is the place to stay. Built in 1954 and labeled the most luxurious hotel in Miami Beach at the time, it had it’s Hollywood debut in Goldfinger starring a very young Sean Connery as James Bond. Since then, it has changed ownership hands, undergone a $1 billion renovation and is once again the epitome of opulence, extravagance and indulgence, a/k/a all the things you want in a vacation spot! If you can, do this hotel DIVA style:

• Get a waterfront room with balcony in the Chateau building, on the left side of the hotel…away from thumping bass emanating from Liv’s nightclub
• Reserve a daybed by the pool in advance (they rent quickly)…looking for the free lounge chairs is a drag
• Get a spa treatment. Although I have had better massages, the spa with its waterfall walkway and mineral pool is worth checking out
• Go to Scarpetta restaurant (my favorite out of the 6 restaurants at the hotel, just beating out Michael Mina 74) and cap it off with a drink at the Bleau bar.

These large crystal chandeliers add glamour and drama to the large lobby and are a testament that every girl needs a little glitz in her space.

Fontainebleu lobby

That’s me, rocking it out at the Bleau Bar. The blue lights got me thinking… cool mood lighting for my next bathroom renovation??

Bleau bar

Take a tour of the Wynward district. Still raw and industrial, it is like Chelsea in the 80’s. But this is Miami’s design center, and worth a visit on one of those days when half the day is lost to a passing rainstorm. Check out the various design stores:

• Oggetti – Cool furniture, accessories and lighting

• Thread Count – Luxurious bed linens

• Poltrona Frau Group – this company specializes in contemporary Italian furniture. In addition to the store’s funky architecture, the large interior displays über cool lighting, furniture and accessories from its many brands.

• In addition to design stores, art galleries line the area. My favorites: Artfusion, Sponder Gallery, Arevalo, and Britto Romero Gallery

Finish your day by visiting Coconut Grove in South Miami, a short (15 minute) drive away. Check out the cute boutiques, and end up at the Green Street Café, a fabulous spot featuring Victorian couches (both indoors and out), and great indoor/outdoor dining, food and cocktails!

Greenstreet cafe