As the cold mornings grow in number, many will be daydreaming of aqua-blue water filled with warm sunshine. If that dream includes exciting night life, there is no better place for all this than Miami Beach. On my last visit to this energetic community, I stayed at The James Royal Palm and was very happy with the choice.
Miami Beach is a little bit like a tropical Manhattan. Exotic high-rise hotels and condos line every bit of ocean and intra-coastal frontage. Great restaurants and shops are usually within walking distance. This art deco–inspired village has its own beat, and it is very high paced. Each morning, after a possible big night on the town, the blue-green warm water and white sand wait as a tranquil awakening. Strolling along Lincoln Road lets you discover numerous outdoor restaurants and just watch the exotic people flow by. Shoppers will want to spend more time here, with the wide array to choose from. Everything you need in Miami Beach is either a short walk or cab ride away.
The James Royal Palm is set right on the ocean with easy access to renowned Ocean and Collins avenues. This property features luxury with an appreciation of our environment. An example of this is reclaimed wood that adorns all public areas and is part of every room. Guests will find soft cotton sheets and robes but will also notice the organic bath products. The rooms are tastefully modern and offer sweeping views of the inviting Atlantic Ocean, which is just steps away. Rooms range in size from standard all the way up to poolside apartments.
Make sure you have lunch or dinner at Catch, the hotel’s fine dining option with indoor outdoor seating on the ocean-side of the hotel. Executive Chef Hung Huynh has created an international menu with an emphasis on seafood. At his suggestion we dined on a selection of small plates such as Tuna Tacos, Lobster Rolls, a selection of sushi, and much more. The food and service were first class.
The main attraction is the ocean just steps away. The views of vessels large and small way out in the horizon across the pristine South Atlantic are captivating. Other choice essentials include two palm-laden swimming pools, a plunge pool, and poolside bar. The full-service spa specializes in salt-infused treatments. Lil’ James is a supervised kid camp area for parents in need of a break.
The Night Life
There is no shortage of vibrant dance clubs in Miami Beach. The Opium Group has perhaps the best collection of these venues, with a couple within walking distance of The James. My favorite is SET, located on the end of famed Lincoln Road with its many restaurants and shops. SET is more upscale than most clubs and is very popular with the high-end local residents here. Another option within this group is Mansion. This is a larger club with lots of themed events. Try them both out, and see which one fits your taste.
While I could make the case for either, I liked the intimate feel of SET. Be sure to visit the website to check the schedule at each club. We found that nights with “House Music” were the most enjoyable. The vibrant beat will have you dancing at your table or maybe even on top of it if your party gets crazy enough. Visit TheOpiumGroup.com for further information.
There are many nonstops from Los Angeles to Miami to choose from. Pricing should be very competitive, especially if you shop on Travelocity.com. If you go into Miami, I would not rent a car. Why add another 30 minutes to an hour on each end to your airport experience? ExecuCar.com has a great sedan service from every major airport in the U.S. Its drivers will pick you up at baggage claim and whisk you to your hotel in one of their luxury vehicles. I have been using their service for several years now and have never been disappointed.