Shayne, owner of Oxygene, an independent boutique located in Bal Harbour Shops, explains how Stanley Whitman founded Bal Harbour Shops, pursuing a vision that now serves as the heart of the village. Visitors continue to come from all over the world to spend the day in the shopping center that’s part rainforest, part retail destination. Of course, there’s more to Bal Harbour than shops -- when you’re ready for some outdoor recreation, the beach is mere minutes away.
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Located in Bal Harbour Village, this shopping center has been compared to Madison Avenue, but with a tropical twist. Go for the retail therapy and stay for the impressive landscaping, complete with shady palms, fragrant orange trees, and koi ponds. And while there’s plenty of designer merch, you don’t have to break the bank -- it’s also a great place for a coffee or an author event at the local Books & Books.
The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
Considered one of the best places to stay in Bal Harbour, this hotel has access to sugar-white beaches and views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal. For an extra dose of chill, book a treatment at the spa, or order a poolside lunch. And for those traveling with kids, there just so happens to be a Ritz Kids experience for the nonadults to have their own version of fun.
St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Miami Beach
Awarded the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamonds Award for 2016, elegance and taste is kind of St. Regis’ thing. For foodies there are multiple restaurant options, including sushi, a burger bar, and the much-lauded J & G Grill. Looking to disconnect? Try the spa or the two outdoor infinity pools. There are also activities for kids here, and furry friends are welcome.
Located in Bal Harbour Shops, chef Makoto Okuwa showcases his take on Japanese cuisine with traditional Edomae sushi alongside creative items like tuna pizza, sauteed air spinach, and ginger lamb chops. We’re pretty confident that someone who studied the art of sushi in Japan for ten years and calls Morimoto a mentor is legit, so be sure to check this spot out.
Just above the hotel pool at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, prepare yourself for some delicious eats with a side of dope views. Inspired and curated by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, there’s careful use of locally sourced products and greens from South Miami farms, plus signature sodas and bomb homemade sauces. As the name suggests, some of the best dishes are prepared on the grill, from octopus and branzino to asparagus and foie gras.
Since opening its doors in 1994, Carpaccio has been the go-to spot for Italian dining in Bal Harbour Shops. If it’s not too steamy outside, grab a seat on the expansive terrace for some primo people-watching. Tasty pastas and pizzas hold up next to fresh fish and salads, along with authentic desserts like tiramisu and tartufo. And while some of the restaurants in Bal Harbour can be pricey, this is a spot where you don’t have to cough up a ton of dinero.
If you’ve got a hankering for some tres delicieux French dining, grab a table at the stylish brasserie Le Zoo, whose interior is a take on the modern French bistro with rattan chairs, midcentury lighting and handmade tiles fashioned from wine corks. For francophiles, go for the selection of regional cheeses or salmon Provencal, and don’t forget to start with an order of baked ricotta crepes and escargot for the full experience.
A welcome respite from the bustle of South Beach, Bal Harbour Beach is a chill, clean, and private option for those looking for low-key sunning or swimming. Fitness aficionados can try their hand at surfing, or take advantage of the jogging path that starts from the northern end of Bal Harbour and goes all the way down to the southern tip. Just be sure to bring your phone for some selfie-worthy pics with the turquoise-colored water.