To me, that means Miami. Miami? Yes, I see the questions rolling in, but for me Miami is a place to relax. It's a perfect retreat for couples, as well as, a Girls Getaway which we are finalizing this month. My Miami equals no clubs, no late nights, amazing food, warm weather, and a perfect place to relax. I knew I wanted to stay near Lincoln Road, and away from Ocean Drive on this trip, and there was only one conclusion - The Ritz Carlton, South Beach.
The Ritz Carlton is situated in the heart of South Beach with ocean and pool views that had me immediately packing away my North Face jacket and donning the perfect pink strapless dress and sandals as soon as I entered my room.
What would Miami be without shopping? Browne's Apothecary is my spot for yoga and beauty. The hotel was so close that I didn't have to make a mad dash to class. I want to visit their Design District location on my next visit. Next, it was hitting perusing Collins where some of Miami's best shopping can be found. I needed to fuel myself for the long day, and Cardoza Restaurant is my favorite spot for breakfast. It's on Ocean Drive, and it's a great place to people watch and relax before a busy day enjoying Miami.
Dinner in Miami is always an event, especially when it's Prime One Twelve. This restaurant is one of Miami's popular celebrity spots, and I can see why. The ambiance is perfect, just the precise amount of light, the view of the kitchen, and the best truffle lobster mac and cheese I have had in my life. It was so succulent and savory that it even tasted divine at room temperature. But, be warned. Prime is for those who love food. The portions are enormous and meant to be shared. You must be careful, and not lose your appetite on the appetizers alone.
Another must feast experience is Fratelli Lyon located in the Design District. I ate here with one of my friend Rebecca who recommended the restaurant. Miami's Design District is a new restaurant hot spots with numerous choices. It was here that my friend Rebecca and I had a salad so memorable that I have tried to replicate it numerous times since. The insalata con lattuga e gorgonzola (Bibb Letture, Gorgonzola Vinaigrette, Pine Nuts, Crispy Speck) is THE best salad I have ever had. It is a perfect simple, elegant, and decadent dish. The tagliatelle alla bolognese was great too, but seriously this salad. There are no words.
As our last few days dwindled down I wanted to be near the hotel to enjoy in some spa treatments (the rain drop therapy was so relaxing that I had to be shaken to wake up). Rain Drop Therapy treatment consists of essentials oil dropped like rain along the muscle tissue and spine and then compressed for greater absorption into the body. Eleven different essential oils turned my tight, tense, and under loved body into a fully relaxed and zen-loving being. After the spa it was time to embrace the pool. I wish all hotels heated their pools. It enhances any pool time especially since I was sipping a frozen mojito. Sublime.
The extended weekend came to wonderful flourish with dinner at Bistro One LR, and lunch at DiLido Beach Club Restaurant where the hottie Jeff McInnis from Season 5 of "Top Chef" creates unique Mediterranean influenced dishes. Yes, he is really that cute in person.