Why you should make South Beach, Miami, your next destination

Wednesday, 31 January 2018


Before I went to Miami, I’d got it in my head that everyone drank green juices, did yoga and wore booty shorts. I was slightly terrified, as someone who loves cocktails and fried food. Yet I couldn't have been more wrong. I actually think I might have got Miami slightly confused with LA, but one thing I’ve learnt is not to form preconceptions of places I know nothing about.


I arrived in South Beach at around 9:30pm after flying with WOW air which let me tell you, is the cheapest long haul airline I think you’ll ever fly with! You can fly to Miami £139 one way! I’d go every month if I could get the time off work.


The first thing I noticed was the palm trees. Everywhere. They lined every pavement, every road and sprung out from the most random places. Second thing I noticed was how wide the roads are. I’ve only been to America once before years ago, so forgot just how big everything and on a large scale. The buildings, the roads, the cars. You naturally look up and twist your head around to take it all in. 


For my time at South Beach I was staying at Loews Hotel which is right on the beach front. In fact my balcony had the beach to the left and the city to the right.

The Loews Hotel was a beautiful art deco style hotel, in keeping with South beach style. It had a £50m renovation which really shows in all the details. The lobby is huge (by UK standards) and has 4 sold marble check in desks to once side, and in the centre, a bank of gold lifts- or should I say elevators now.


Now I do love good service and boy do the US know how to do it right. On arrival they’d left me a towel to take home that had my name monogrammed in it, which after that I was sold for life. But then I realised I didn’t have my toothpaste with me, so I rang down and immediately someone came up and holding a tray, had a Colgate tooth brush, tooth paste and mouth wash for me. It’s the little things that just really make it. Oh and talking of little things, the bed is one of the comfiest bed’s I’ve ever slept in.


Breakfast is a real treat too, and they really go all out with it, which when in America, you couldn't expect anything less right? You can either order the buffet or go A La Carte which I decided to as I was craving French Toast (with a side portion of crispy bacon). I shouldn’t have been shocked when it arrived, but I still was. It was huge. But it was delicious. Soft, fluffy and oh so sweet, I had to force myself to only eat half otherwise I’d be bursting all round my walking tour later.


So is South Beach a fitness crazed place full of blonde beauties? Not at all. In fact, South Beach has a more grungy, cool vibe to it.

Let me start by explaining a little about the famous South Beach and it's Ocean Drive. Before the 1920s, South Beach was farmland, and not too important farmland at that. It wasn’t until 1909 that it was sold off as property land. In the 1920s and 30s Miami started to boom. The land was cheap, so architects flooded to the area to design and put their stamp on the area. Art Deco was in full swing and so the buildings were in these designs.


Now in the 1960’s the South Beach preservation society lobbied for these building to be preserved, and still today they cannot be modified. This means that South Beach as a very retro feel as all the buildings are pastel colours with art deco motifs and signage. Little fact for you, hotel signs cant even be changed, so if a hotel wants to change its name, it can’t actually remove the original sign. Bet that causes some confusion.



After a morning of exploring Ocean Drive, it was time for some lunch, and why not do it in classic Miami style, with Nikki Beach. Now I’ll be honest I’d never heard of Nikki Beach before, but apparently it's famous in Ibiza and Marbella for their wild pool parties. You know the ones where people spray each other in champagne rather than drink it? Total waste of a good drink if you ask me...

However this Nikki Beach doesn't actually have a pool! But what it does have is a an actual beach. Granted we went for Lunch on a Friday so I can't tell you the extent of the Saturday night party scene, but I was tolled by someone who worked there that its "much more classier than the Marbella one" Straight talking. 

And to be fair, it felt very classy to me. All white tables, billowing white curtains around the bar, and even a sax player, playing along to the DJ. I have to say I loved it a lot. 






But of course I'd gone for lunch, so what was the food like? Well it was my first taste of Miami food and it wasn't what I expected. Instead of greasy burgers and chicken wings in buffalo sauce, it was the most incredible flavours. Miami has a huge Cuban, Spanish and general Latino population, so all their cuisines heavily make up the Miami food scene. There is a lot of fish and seafood on the menu like ceviche, fish taco's and also lots of raw fish like sashimi. Sweet flavours occur too like limes and pineapple with very mild chillis to give it depth. 



But what of South Beach itself? Well it's quite famous for it's brightly coloured lifeguard huts dotted across the beach. As a 2000s teenager it was giving me plenty of OC vibes (Yes I know that was California but still)

Of course I went mid January so it wasn't hot, and might not have even optimal sunbathing weather but give me 22c for January and I'll take it.



Oh go on then, I'll leave you with one bikini shot...

My first impressions of Miami were pretty spectacular. It's a city that I certainly got wrong preconception wise. But instead it's one that really has a unique vibe to it. From the amazing Art Deco Ocean Drive, to the fun art dotted about. In my next post I'll show you some of South Beach's nightlife and then after that we'll be heading to Dowtown Miami.



Thanks to WOW air for taking me to Miami on your press trip.

WOW air flies from London Gatwick to Reykjavik twice daily. Prices start from just £29.99 one way including taxes (WOW Basic package) 
As of winter 2018, the airline will service 38 destinations across Europe, North America and Canada including Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Miami, Pittsburgh, New York and Chicago. WOW air also recently launched routes to Cleveland (inaugural flight 3 May 2018), Cincinnati (inaugural flight 9 May 2018), Detroit (inaugural flight 25 April 2018), St. Louis (inaugural flight 17 May 2018) and Dallas (inaugural flight 23 May 2018). 

Flights to Miami started in April 2017 and operate 2x a week via KEF. Lead in fares LGW-MIA are £139.99 (one-way, WOW Basic package). 

For more information or to book please visit www.wowair.co.uk or call 0118 321 8384.  

1 comment

  1. I knew you'd love Miami! What a beach babe you are!

    ReplyDelete

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