And we’re back. Back to the buzz that September brings. Hopefully you got away over the summer to relax, recharge and ready your intellect for it all. What’s that? Your traveling free spirit is not quite ready to get back to the grind? We get it. Luckily there are worthy options, which we’ll be presenting over the coming weeks. We started with a getaway in Niagara and now we’re ready for some Miami heat! I recently had a soothing sun-soaked break in South Beach.
Now I must preface this recommendation by telling you that, a couple of years ago, I had the good fortune of attending a wedding and overnighting at Babington House in Somerset, UK. Everything about it became my obsession. I wanted to turn my Cabbagetown coach house into the loft-style suite I occupied – which was actually the same size. Sadly I’ll never have that oversized bathroom, but it was exciting to see that the devil is also in the details at Soho Beach House. In all my travels, these private members’ clubs are the closest thing to ‘home away from home’ that I’ve experienced…full-size bath products included! And you don’t have to be a member to book in.
Soho Beach House has fifty bedrooms situated over fifteen floors. Between the six categories of rooms, all of them combine vintage furniture with vibrant textiles to create a cool atmosphere that evokes both serenity and a little South American glam. The service is casual and friendly, wi-fi is complimentary (really hate when hotels charge for this), and the House’s beach and pool loungers are the all-time comfiest.
The House certainly does a great job in hooking guests up with a variety of activities. From boxing to yoga and pilates, and classes that focus on Ass & Abs, they’ve got the fitness thing going on. For the dialed-down set, there’s Book Club, movie screenings, and Cook House. The latter is an hour-long master class with a pro chef. Of course, one can take leisure to another level and idle by the sea (in aforementioned amazing loungers) before taking a dip in the infinity pool.
Hitting the Cowshed Spa is a definite do, if only for the steam room in the Ladies Lounge. After air travel, it doesn’t get better than steaming all the toxins out before a relaxing and refreshing signature Cowshed Facial. And all I’m saying is this is the place one wants to be overdue for a mani or pedi (see photo of the treatment room). Bliss.
After a long day of travel, it was pure perfection to cozy up to Soho House’s Club Bar on my first evening. Absolutely famished I was delighted at the speedy service of an order of super fresh guacamole and chips. This was followed by grilled octopus with lemon, capers and olives. Then grilled snapper. Yum.
Lest I leave out Cecconi’s – the House’s main restaurant - that fits the bill for a working breakfast or lunch. The courtyard is lovely any time of day, but especially so when it’s lit up at night. Order the Branzino!
Another one of my favourite hotels – LA’s SLS Beverly Hills – has opened in South Beach. SLS South Beach has one up on its sister as, along with The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Katsuya by Stark is located right on the property. Pairing Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and designer Philippe Starck, this restaurant is a full-on feast for the senses! Sip specialty cocktails and savour unique rolls (OMG Baked Crab Handroll!), as well as sashimi platters and signatures, like Kobe Tobanyaki, that are worth every penny.
On the subject of expansion, Michelle Bernstein’s Design District power lunch spot/classic American bakery – Crumb on Parchment – has set up on Collins Avenue at The Webster. You now have two good reasons to stop in at the luxe boutique hotel, since it’s already well known for its designer label shopping.
A new discovery was made on Lincoln Road when I popped into Doraku. The very popular spot offers well-priced hot and cold dishes in a dimly lit environment - a delicious retreat from the heat.
Want flash? The Fontainbleau is right next door to Soho Beach House. With Gotham Steak, Hakkasan and Scarpetta, you’re spoiled for choice. Same goes for extending the evening via the mega hotel’s nightclubs, bars and lounges.
If you are planning a trip down south between now and September 30, then check out www.ilovemiamispice.com. This lunch and dinner promotion pulls an impressive and extensive list of restaurants to showcase the very best of Miami cuisine.
WANT MORE MIAMI? I cover the Design District, Wynwood, and the area North of South Beach here.
MORE ON THE HOUSES
Soho House was founded in London in 1995, as a private members’ club for those in the film, media and creative industries. The Group has gradually expanded to include Houses across Europe and North America.
The clubs include the original Soho House London, Babington House in Somerset, Electric House, High Road House, Shoreditch House, Little House Mayfair, Soho House Berlin, Soho House New York, Soho House West Hollywood and Soho Beach House Miami. Babington, High Road, Shoreditch, Berlin, New York and Miami also host hotel rooms.
The Group has also developed the Cowshed Spa and Salon along with a line of Cowshed-branded hair and body products.
Canada just got its very own as Soho House Toronto opened its doors to a group of founding members over the past weekend.