Between the supercar-lined streets of South Beach, the booming new nightclubs and the soaring starchitect-designed skyscrapers, Miami might just be the most luxurious city in America. Here’s where to eat, play and stay when you go.
From world-renowned architects to internationally acclaimed chefs, it seems that just about everyone is flocking to Miami these days. And with good reason: The Magic City is hotter now than it’s been in years. Whether you’re at the beach or in Brickell, Downtown or in the Design District, shift your gaze upward and you’ll understand what everyone’s buzzing about. Astounding acts of contemporary architecture are confirming the city’s position as a modern-day cultural capital, a status it’s proudly been touting since the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair put it on the map for connoisseurs and collectors a little more than a decade ago.
“Art Basel Miami Beach started the process by raising the cultural pedigree of the city,” says developer and art patron Jorge Pérez, whose $40 million donation (half cash, half art) to the Miami Art Museum resulted in it being renamed the Pérez Art Museum Miami in his honor.
Pérez is also one of the masterminds behind Miami’s sexiest new residential projects, like the 53-story SLS Hotel & Residences Brickell, where a 5,000-square-foot rooftop includes a pool, lounge and restaurant; and the 54-story Gran Paraiso tower in Edgewater, where EDM DJ and music producer David Guetta and New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez have already bought multimillion-dollar penthouses. These days you can’t swing a Jeff Koons Balloon Dog around the city without hitting a real estate development dreamed up by a blue-chip architect whose place-making works define city skylines around the world.
On the ground, meanwhile, intimate high concept nightclubs—like Ora on Collins Avenue— are giving sophisticated partyers a VIP alternative to the arena-size hot spots of the past. The restaurant scene is heating up too: New York’s famed Caviar Russe, known for its indulgent menu of rare fish eggs, recently opened a second outpost at Miami’s Four Seasons Tower, and James Beard Award winner Paul Qui is bringing his exquisite Asian cuisine to Pao at the new Faena Hotel.
The restaurant is yet another draw for the Faena District, which is the Miami mecca that’s demanding the most attention of late. Here, in Miami’s Mid-Beach, a formerly down-on-its ear neighborhood is being remade thanks to the vision of Argentine hotelier Alan Faena and the fleet of international aesthetic minds he’s assembled. There’s a luxury hotel, a cultural center, a retail hub and an 18-story beachfront condominium tower, Faena House, where the four-bedroom, 8,273-square-foot penthouse features a 66-foot-long rooftop pool and an ocean view wraparound terrace. That penthouse, together with the unit directly below it, sold this past fall for $60 million, breaking all sorts of Miami real-estate records. But fear not: You’ve still got a chance to call it home. Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin, who bought the apartments, has already relisted them—for $73 million.
Bienvenido a Miami in 2016, where high art, high design and high prices converge.