W Hotel Miami

*Reviewed exclusively for Holidays in Heels by a NY based jetsetter!

There is nothing like that first drive in a new city after arriving in the airport. After landing in Florida, as the taxi expertly winded down roads and weaved through lanes on wide set bridges, I was soaking in every detail of the city I could manage. I knew we were close to the hotel once we reached the famous Ocean Drive on ‘SoBe’ i.e. South Beach Area – a strip of cafes and bars overlooking the ocean. Women walked around sporting fluorescent colored crop tops and high-waisted tiny jean shorts while the men walked with a lazy strut. Food trucks were on every corner, emanating the scents of a fresh grilled burger and quesadillas. The city felt vibrant and exciting with people of all ages making their way towards the beach. And then, there it was: the epitome of…

Glamour. Chic. Trendy.

Welcome to the W Hotel, Miami, Florida.

The Welcome

I knew that we had arrived to the hotel before anyone spoke. The W Hotel demands attention, with it’s location, size, design, and overall presence.

We were immediately attended to by the staff as our car pulled up, and our luggage carried off. As we walked into the lobby, we both stopped mid step in awe. It was the definition of luxury. The design was contemporary and warm, with cream colored shades and wooden furniture dominating the interior. The ceilings were so high, they felt never-ending. The seating area was also extremely wide, permitting a sense of comfort and relaxation, with long hallways on both ends leading to pools which had parties going on in full-swing, despite the fact that it was only 11 am.

Hotel Suite

If you have any occasion to celebrate: a birthday, anniversary, a Thursday… go to the W Hotel in Miami. In honor of our honeymoon, the receptionist upgraded us from the Mega Suite to the Sanctuary Suite – a 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom suite with a balcony overlooking the ocean meant for 4 guests! We reached the 14th floor with hearts racing, and when we opened the door, we were overwhelmed with the beauty of the suite. The glass floor-to-ceiling windows frame the entire suite, so shades of blue from the skies and seas seemed to surround us.

The double glazed wide balcony doors lead to a massive seating area where we could enjoy fresh sea air. The suite in size was bigger than 4 bedroom apartments I had lived in! And most memorably, the staff made sure to decorate the rooms in a celebratory fashion, with rose petals leading to the bedrooms and main bathroom, where a bath was already drawn with bubbles and a bucket of champagne on a table against the tub. In the main living room, a rich dark chocolate cake read ‘Congratulations!’ and a plate beside it which had cold strawberries dipped in hardened white, mild, and dark chocolate, and believe it or not – even gold.

Beach & Pool

It was hard to choose whether we wanted to join one of the many pool parties, or head straight to the serene beach. We chose the latter, and enjoyed lounging on white and blue beach chairs, as staff came and served us cold, refreshing drinks with fries and burgers to recharge. The pool was also a nice option, with sweeping views and a relaxed vibe.

We wanted to explore the hotel further, but were limited for time in Miami. The concierge gave us a list of ‘musts’ while we were in town and we happily ticked each off the list, starting with dinner at The Capital Grille, followed by a night of dancing in Fontainebleau, and a stroll back to the hotel in the early hours.

#WhatToPack

Miami, bring in the heat! Embrace bold style and pops of color in this vibrant party town with this hot look:

 

Miami!

 

 

WithChic sexy bikini
89 AED – withchic.com

Fallon Royce pouch bag
240 AED – soma.com

Fake jewelry
62 AED – kohls.com

Eric Javits visor hat
825 AED – nordstrom.com

Casetify apple iphone case
145 AED – casetify.com

Forever 21 lipstick
10 AED – forever21.com

Vintage home decor
270 AED – chairish.com

 

Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Welcome
 
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
 
The rooms
 
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
 
Eating
 
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
 
 
Location
 
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
 
Don’t miss
 
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
 
 
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
 
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450

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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!