Even if you don’t spend a week at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, do stop in for a drink, because there are cool hotel bars and then there’s Lapidus: The statuario marble bar stands beneath a chandelier cut like sprawling golden branches. Mirrors, mood lighting, and patterned vintage drapery create a cozy, elegant nook for guests to sip creative cocktails and enjoy a view of the chic lobby, lightly scented in white jasmine.
Once you’ve had a couple drinks, you may as well make your way upstairs for some Latin food at Fuego y Mar, especially if it’s Thursday night, when from 7:00 – 10:00, a local salsa band plays and you might see some of the best dancers in Miami out on the dance floor. Fresh seafood dishes like tuna tiradito, ceviche, and scallops as big as drink coasters taste fresh from the Atlantic below.
You’ve had a long night of wine and cocktails, so why not crash in one of the ocean-front rooms? Slide between the luxurious pure-cotton sheets in the king-sized bed and rest your cheek on goose-down pillows. In the morning, you can make yourself an espresso, throw on your plush terrycloth robe and slippers, and step out onto your private balcony to take in the shimmering swimming pool and beach beyond. The room comes with 10th-floor “Club Lounge” access—a nice spot to enjoy a light breakfast with a panoramic view of South Beach.
The room also comes with complementary beach or pool chairs for the day. Just make your way down to the pool deck or out to the sand through the private beach access door and a concierge will set you up in lounge chairs with towels and umbrellas, or, for an extra fee, in a lavish white daybed. At both beach and pool, servers stay forever on hand to deliver cold drinks in an ice bucket or treats from the Dilido Beach Club menu—fried calamari, lobster cobb salad, a spicy crispy chicken sandwich.
If you can stand to tear yourself away from the impeccable service and warm waves, you’ll find yourself smack in the center of South Beach. And South Beach is always a good time. During the day, it’s a short walk to the pedestrian mall on Lincoln Road, where you can shop for clothes in Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, and other popular clothing stores, or for fun souvenirs like oversized rhinestone sunglasses, sarongs, and jewelry.
At night, South Beach is all about the party: Restaurants set up al fresco dining, clubs let revelers dance all night, and the people-watching is top of the line. Anything can happen on South Beach—you might catch an outdoor drag show or a full moon: The Ritz hosts monthly Full Moon parties on the beach.
In fact, The Ritz hosts all kinds of don’t-miss events for guests and locals alike, including Zen Saturdays on the first Saturday of every month (morning beach meditation and yoga), weekly Sunday brunches brimming with fresh chilled seafood, live music every Friday and Saturday night at Lapidus, and daily ice cream offerings on property, including a flavor unique to the hotel: The South Beach—crème brûlée with chocolate clusters and the hotel’s signature Havana Club rum.
Before you return to real life (why would you do that anyway?), be sure to book a treatment at the hotel spa. Offering everything from an LED light hydrafacial to a non-surgical face lift to a hot stone massage to a pedicure complete with paraffin wax, the spa is an oasis within an oasis.
Forgive all those tangents and let’s return to the point: You should go to The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach for a drink. Really. Just one drink for the road.