Whether you’re a snowbird gone flamingo or you’re a local whose St. Tropez expense account is a little dried up, this guide will navigate you through rates, amenities and the best of Miami’s sanctuaries this holiday season.
Why you should spend your money here: Recipients of the AAA Five Diamond Award for 2010.
What they’re offering: Art Basel Vacation Package.
What does it include: Daily continental breakfast for two by Il Mulino New York, daily Art Basel admission tickets for two, complimentary VIP passes to shows like Art Miami, daily transfer to and from the Miami Beach Convention Center, art specialist concierge, daily spa access, and $40 spa treatment credit for two.
Availability: December 1-9 2009.
Cost: $775 per night for two (Oceanfront rooms).
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, 305-918-8000.
Why you should spend your money here: Walking distance from The Miami Beach Convention Center. There are fully loaded kitchens in these suites, so you can buy morbier and baguettes at nearby Epicure and make your own grub.
What they’re offering: Art Basel Insider VIP Kit.
What does it include: Complete, one-bedroom apartment-like suites averaging 700-square-feet, intimate courtyard pool, beach club, full-service breakfast bar, and rooftop sun deck with ocean and city views. There’s also a complimentary happy hour from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at any of the hotel’s sister properties–The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club, The Whitelaw Hotel, The Chesterfield, The Hotel Chelsea, and Hotel Shelley.
Availability: November 30th –December 6th.
Cost: $369 per night (one bedroom)—pool view more expensive than city view. Penthouse suites with private rooftop garden terraces start at $1200 a night.
Riveria South Beach 2000 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach, 305-538-7444.
Ritz-Carlton South Beach
Why you should spend your money here: You can shower, sleep, eat, drink, and Picasso-pontificate all in the same venue.
What they’re offering: A ten million dollar-art collection and the Master’s Mystery Art Show, an invitation-only art extravaganza. Plus, the pieces from this event are only $50.
What does it include: A gorgeous, oceanic view and the thoughtful, culinary works of Top Chef Contestant Chef Jeff McInnis, who heads up DiLido Beach Club. Plus, there’s an Art Basel Ambassador–Noel Lanzas (just in case you have no idea how to navigate this thing).
Cost: Rates start at $449.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, 786-276-4000.
Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Why you should spend your money here: Their website is so user friendly, it’s ridiculous. And when I clicked on the amenities link, out popped a laundry list of the usual (High speed internet access, self-laundry, etc.) and the unusual (electronic smoke and video massaging) amenities. Also, if you want to be near south beach, but not on south beach, Brickell is a beautiful alternative. Considering the gorgeous view from the 25th floor, the starting rates aren’t bad either (see below for details).
What they’re offering: The second room is 50% off with purchase of any guestroom during Thanksgiving holiday–November 23 through November 29 and Christmas Holiday–December 13 through December 28, 2009 (A two-night minimum is required to take advantage of the special holiday offer).
What does it include: Gorgeous views and generous packs: For New Year’s, Silver package includes a four-course dinner and a glass of Champagne at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room for $95 per person; Gold package includes a four-course dinner with glass of Champagne and Champagne bottle at The Bar for $145 per person (one per couple); Platinum package includes a four-course dinner with glass of Champagne and all night top shelf open bar at The Bar for $195 per person. The Bar also offers an all night top shelf open bar to celebrate the 2010 countdown for $95 per person.
Availability: November 23 -November 29, 2009, December 13 -December 28 and December 31st 2009 -January 31, 2010.
Cost: Rooms start at $189 per night.
Conrad Hotels & Resorts 1395 Brickell Ave., Brickell, 305-503-6500.