Luxury Experiences in Miami

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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

Greater Miami & Miami Beach is synonymous with luxury. Whether you want to board a sleek yacht to cut through South Beach’s aquamarine waters or hop on a helicopter to hover above Downtown Miami’s glittering skyline, this destination has you covered. Or maybe you want to dine at restaurants that showcase over-the-top meals, indulge in spas with royal treatments, or shop the world’s most coveted fashion labels and brands. Below, you’ll find ways to experience the high life in Greater Miami & Miami Beach.

Dine at Gianni's, found inside the former Versace mansion

Over-the-Top Dining Experiences

El Cielo, Brickell

Embark on a culinary journey in Brickell at El Cielo, where the dishes look as creative as they taste. With roots in Colombian cuisine, the restaurant showcases a menu that’s full of gastronomic fireworks. Each palate-pleasing dish is comprised of interesting flavors, textures and ingredients, which all come together for a plate of edible art.

Gianni’s, South Beach

It doesn’t get any more glamorous than dining at Gianni's, an Italian-Mediterranean restaurant tucked inside the former Versace mansion on Ocean Drive in South Beach, which has been converted into the luxury Villa Casa Casuarina boutique hotel. Choose between sitting inside the storied dining room or dining under the stars by the famous mosaic pool, which includes 24-karat gold tiles. Start with caviar and Champagne, then move on to delicacies such as chilled stone crab or a seafood plate and devour a T-bone porterhouse or Australian lamb chops.

NAOE, Brickell Key

For an unforgettable omakase sushi experience, make reservations at the intimate NAOE, which offers two nightly seatings. The tiny, eight-seat restaurant on Brickell Key offers a chef’s choice menu (no, you can’t find a menu on their website), and guests are spoiled with a 13-course meal of boldly flavored cooked and raw dishes that goes way beyond typical sushi. Prices are steep for the leisurely three-hour experience, but it’s some of the freshest (and rarest) seafood in town.

Sexy Fish, Brickell

Sexy Fish, an outpost of the popular London restaurant, also boasts maximum decadence in Brickell. With eye-popping décor that features sea-inspired artwork by Damien Hirst and a fish-lamp installation by Frank Gehry (and even bathrooms that are photo-worthy), Sexy Fish offers an extensive and impressive Champagne menu. Try swanky dishes such as beef tartare with truffles, waygu nigiri with foie gras and peaches, the signature duck salad, and lots of Champagne.

Inventive plating at Zuma
Explore contemporary Japanese at Zuma

Zuma, Brickell

There’s a reason celebs and A-listers hold court at Zuma, a longtime Brickell favorite. The contemporary Japanese restaurant presents flavor-packed dishes that come from its main kitchen, sushi counter and robata grill. To get a taste of it all, don’t miss the Asian-inspired weekend brunch. Plus, the views overlooking the Miami River look like a million bucks.

Spa at Acqualina
Indulge at Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach

Pampering Spa Experiences

Acqualina Spa, Sunny Isles Beach

At the lavish Acqualina Spa at the Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, you’ll find opulence in a tranquil ambiance with extravagant treatments. While guests can enjoy the spa’s crystal steam room and private pool, for extreme luxury you’ll want to escalate your spa day in the elaborate Royal Spa Suite. The private suite showcases designer furniture from Fendi Casa and a crystal chandelier. Hide away in the oceanfront treatment room, which has a mother-of-pearl steam room and private wrap-around balcony that overlooks the ocean. Book a two-hour treatment where you can sip Champagne and savor lunch and sweet post-treatment treats.

Lapis' relaxing pool & lounge area
Try the hydrotherapy options at Lapis Spa

Lapis Spa, Miami Beach

Between massage-jet showers, mineral pools and eucalyptus steam baths, you’ll feel like a movie star at Lapis Spa at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in Miami Beach’s Mid Beach area. The posh spa offers an extraordinary water-therapy retreat, along with private suites for couples who wish to have a secluded treatment. Tuck away in the Indigo or Azure spa suites for a soak in a tub, lengthy custom massages and pampering foot and scalp treatments.

Steamy room with pink & green marble hammam
Relax on the marble hammam at Tierra Santa Healing House

Tierra Santa Healing House, Miami Beach

At the colorful, South American-inspired Tierra Santa Healing House, which extends over an entire floor of the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, guests are treated to a luxurious journey. Start in the hammam to relax on heated stone benches. Then move to the wet spa to lather on mud or a scrub, and finally cool down in the ice parlor. The menu spotlights one-of-a-kind treatments ranging from anti-aging facials to elaborate massages that involve hot stones and sound therapy.

Bal Harbour Shops
Find luxury brands at Bal Harbour Shops

Places to Go on a Shopping Spree

Bal Harbour Shops

A prime spot to shop high-end brands is the lush, open-air Bal Harbour Shops in ritzy Bal Harbour. Join the parade of well-dressed shoppers to explore a collection of exquisite goods in a tropical setting. The luxury shopping destination is anchored by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, along with shops such as Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Aquazurra and Balmain. You’ll find on-trend labels like Golden Goose, Etro and Pinko, too. When you’re done lighting up your credit card, enjoy a stylish meal at Makoto or longtime staple Carpaccio.

Design District
Shop luxury brands at Miami Design District

Miami Design District

It doesn’t get more luxe than shopping in the Miami Design District, which is rich in famous fashion houses. In fact, the fashion-forward neighborhood touts approximately 120 flagship stores with coveted names such as Alexander McQueen, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior, Cartier, Chanel and many more. Fashion even extends to food and drink options with showstopping spots like the Baccarat Boutique B Bar & Lounge, where you can buy the same crystal that you’re drinking or eating from, and trendy cafes such as the Dior Café, where you’ll sip coffee on an elegant rooftop terrace.

Exotic Car
Drive around in style with an exotic car rental

Services to Help you Live Large

EMC Rentals

Locals and visitors alike can live large on land and sea here in Miami. It’s not uncommon to see Ferraris and Lambos cruising the streets of Greater Miami & Miami Beach, and those who want to zip around in an attention-grabbing car can rent one from EMC Rentals. They have bragging rights to a fleet of flashy exotics like Bentley, McLaren, Rolls Royce, Maybach and more.

SOBE aerial
Get a view of Miami Beach from the sky

Heli Air Miami

Thrill-seekers can opt for a helicopter tour like Heli Air Miami, which offers the chance to see the best of Miami from the sky. Soar over white sand beaches, pastel-colored Art Deco buildings and iconic spots you’ve seen in movies. Or pop some bubbly as you watch the sunset.

Lou La Vie

In Miami for business and pleasure? At Lou La Vie, which is loved by celebrities, you can rent unique and rare vintage exotic cars for movies, video clips and photo shoots.

Miami Seaplane Tours

Viewing Miami from the sky offers another amazing perspective. With Miami Seaplane Tours, you’ll lift off from the water in a seaplane to cruise above some of Miami’s most scenic spots including Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove and even Stiltsville. Hovering over crystalline waters, you’ll want to look for wildlife such as stingrays, manatees and dolphins.

Monet Yachts

If you prefer to draw attention out on Miami’s beautiful waterways, Monet Yachts offers a fleet of luxury boats, catamarans and yachts for rent. Let a knowledgeable captain show you around, or further elevate your boat day with cushy amenities such as a private chef, toys like Jet Skis and jet packs, photography and video services, and even a DJ.

Stay in Luxury and Style

Greater Miami & Miami Beach is meant for luxury. If you’re looking for a stay that matches your high-end taste, try one of these luxury hotels.

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