Destinations - Articles - Miami, Florida

Miami Spice Share on Facebook

by Camille Pepe Sperrazza

I just returned from a "Miami Spice" weekend. It's like New York City's Restaurant Week, but with more food.

Participating restaurants allowed patrons to enjoy a three-course meal, all at a reduced price, and, they didn't skimp on the portions.

I was part of a group of agents who attended a familiarization tour of Miami Beach, and I fell in love with this area. Prior to this weekend, it had been a while since I had lounged on this breath-taking beach, and I was surprised to rediscover that the water is as colorful as the beaches of the Caribbean islands. I had so much fun I can't wait to return.

While there, I toured a number of hotels, and there is something for everyone. If you want to go "high end" on South Beach, you can stay in a penthouse suite, with a rooftop jaccuzzi, for about $5,000 a night! You'll need to know the elevator code to access the room.

Too expensive? There are more affordable places, located across the street from the beach, and they have such huge windows, you'll see nothing but blue skies and water through a practically invisible wall. They are beautifully decorated, keeping with Miami's Art Deco theme.

If you're ready for this type of experience, but your budget hasn't caught up with you yet, consider The Clinton. Some of the newly renovated rooms contain a glass-enclosed jacczzi, located in the center of the room. The flat-screen television can be rotated so that you can watch it while you soak in the tub.

The dècor is gorgeous, with blue lighting behind the bed, and corset-style lacing on the backs of chairs and lampshades. Some of the rooms overlook a man-made waterfall, and contain a miniature "backyard" where people can sit and chat with their neighbors.

It's located two blocks from beach, and walking distance from shops, restaurants, and other hotels. If you don't want to walk to the beach, you can enjoy the gorgeous pool as well as the bar and restaurant.

I stayed at the Savoy Hotel, located on the popular Collins Avenue. It's an all-suite hotel, and I understand there are plans to renovate it to make these huge rooms even better. My room contained a full kitchen, dining area, living room, bedroom, and TWO terraces. From my particular room, I was able to overlook the pool, both from my bedroom terrace and my living room terrace. And what a sensational palm-tree lined pool area it is. I enjoyed lounging there for a while, then I walked a few steps, and sat on beautiful Miami Beach for a couple of hours. The beach is in the hotel's "backyard."

The Savoy Hotel happens to be the place where Colin Farrell stayed when he filmed the movie, "Miami Vice."

Walk along Collins Avenue, and you're where the action is. The Miami night life doesn't stop. We visited Mango's which was jumping --literally -- with bartender/dancers who really know how to shake it, and I don't mean the cocktails. These young people are Broadway-bound.

I had the most wonderful breakfast at the Tides Hotel. If they had fruit this juicy in New York, I'd eat a lot less chocolate. The pineapple, mango, strawberries, and other fresh fruits were incredible. I especially enjoyed the granola/yogurt/fruit parfait. The pastries were light and delicious. I was too full to enjoy the breakfast tacos, stuffed with eggs and sausage, but they were well-received by others.

If you've read my cruise reviews, you know I love tea. When I ordered green tea at The Tide's, it arrived in a clear tea pot, stuffed with a sleeve of fresh green tea leaves. Incredible. The service here is excellent.

Looking to get away, but want to stay close to home? Give Miami Beach another look. You'll love it.

For more information or to book a trip, contact "Commodore" Camille today.

This article was accurate when it was written, but everything in life changes. Enjoy the journey!

Copyright: Camille Pepe Sperrazza