While in Miami I had the chance of staying at some of the most beautiful places.
By far, one of my most memorable and epic stays was at ONE BAL HARBOUR.
From the guys that work at the valet parking (which always had a smile on their faces and were willing to lend a hand) to an amazing cloud like bed, T.V. in the bathroom, a beautiful tub with incredible views of the ocean, some of the most delicious soaps and shampoo by the brand Molton Brown (which I fell in love with and ended up buying at the airport Duty Free); to an incredible welcome with a bottle of wine, brie cheese and crackers.
Oh, they really had me at BRIE cheese. (Not for any particular reason other than the fact that I am the most obsessive person over cheese, and when it comes to brie...it's another level).
One of the things I am extremely strict with when it comes to staying at hotels is feeling the closest possible to home, at least in the hygiene sense.
I have left hotels before because I didn't feel it was impeccable enough but that was most definitely not an issue at ONE.
Everything was right in place. I even got macaroons on my bed side table every night.
I have lived in Miami and have always spent summers there, but I always went home to Key Biscayne, where I love absolutely everything except the incredibly small (yet cozy) sea-weed plagued beach -with rare exceptions-
The beach at One Bal Harbour was absolutely insane. Spacious, white sand, clear blue water and not a lot of people like in most Miami beaches. It truly felt like paradise.
Waking up and heading over to breakfast already in our bathing suits, refilling our plates with freshly made pancakes and freshly squeezed juice, cereals, and all sorts of delightful foods; making our first stop at the beach where they'd accomodate us in our beach beds and served us some refreshing cocktails, and ending the afternoon with a dip in the pool... the definition of a perfect getaway.
When people, specially tourists, go to Miami, they tend to get a specific perspective and idea; tacky, wild, party land. Of course, it all depends on what your plan is when going, where you stay, who you go with and where you spend most of your time.
It also depends on taste, like everything, but in all honesty, there is much more to Miami than South beach and what most get to experience.
I myself had never spent more than a day or two outside of Key Biscayne, Brickell, Aventura or Fort Lauderdale and discovering the more quiet, very luxurious Bal Harbour area more in depth was pretty awesome.