>> Lapidus designed his Miami hotels to maximize the orientation of views and sea breezes. From al fresco dining at the oceanfront DiLido Beach Club to a raised pool with private cabanas and sea views, this luxury beachfront resort does not disappoint.
>> Cristian Rubio, from the renowned design-firm HBA, used a palette of ocean blue, warm gold and rich coffee in the spacious rooms, many of which have full-on ocean views and balconies. Custom-designed furnishings and millwork and marble bathrooms with freestanding tubs elevate the contemporary décor.
>> The spa has treatments that use ingredients indigenous to South Florida and a “Timeless Capsule,” an elliptical room designed to condense spa treatments for people who are short on time.
>> You can dine indoors or outside at this sophisticated (but not stuffy) restaurant at the SLS Hotel that showcases the culinary talents of Michelin-starred chef José Andrés and design artistry of Philippe Starck.
>> The international menu leans Spanish. The emphasis is on combinations of flavors and textures and Instagrammable presentations. Mix and match innovative tapas and entrées to create the experience you’re looking for or opt for the tasting menu.
>> Standout tapas: Kueh Pai Ti (Singaporean street food dish of shrimp, peanuts and chili sauce); scallops on the half shell kissed with a Caribbean dressing; acorn-fed, free-range Ibérico ham; a deconstructed key lime pie (the perfect finish).
>> Must-try cocktail: LN2 Caipirinha, created tableside using liquid nitrogen.
Eat: Fuego Y Mar
>> This casual meets fine-dining restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach features tile floors and yacht-inspired coral and blue furnishings. Doors open up to poolside seating and a bar overlooking the Atlantic.
>> Executive Chef Anthony Le Pape’s Latin Caribbean fusion menu is divided into offerings from the land, sea and orchard.
>> Early favorites: Lobster guacamole; ropa vieja made from 12-hour braised beef; and a roasted whole snapper with mango poblano lime salsa.
Eat: Matador Room
>> A restored chandelier that is reminiscent of the glamorous supper clubs of the 1940s and ’50s hangs over the sunken dining room at this sleek eatery at The Miami Beach Edition hotel. You can also dine on the outdoor terrace, where ocean views and twinkling lights create a magical atmosphere.
>> Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has put his spin on the Caribbean, Spanish and Latin American cuisines found on the seasonal menu of small and large plates.
>> Signature dishes: Pea guacamole with homemade chips; charred octopus; black truffle and fontina cheese pizza; and arroz con pollo.
Do: Take a tour of the Miami Beach Architectural District
The Miami Design Preservation League offers walking tours led by historians and architects that explore the hotels, restaurants and buildings in the art deco, Mediterranean revival and Miami Modern styles. You can also DIY, using their iPod self-guided tour and accompanying map.
Do: Bowl at the Basement Bowl
With interactive lighting that synchronizes with your movements, luminescent bowling balls and bowling shoes customized by famous artists, this four-lane bowling alley at The Miami Beach Edition is an only-in-Miami experience. Reserve a lane in advance.
Rent a single or double kayak at South Beach Kayak for amazing views of Miami’s skyline and the estates of celebrities like Lenny Kravitz. They’ll map the best course for your paddle—Monument Island, the middle canals, Sunset Island—depending on your interests and the winds.