Miami Beach is the closest you can feel to being on a tropical island without leaving the (contiguous) United States. Every time I arrive in Miami and see how much clearer and bluer and warmer the ocean water is, how perfectly white the sand is, and how warm the air is day and night, I always have a pang of jealously as a Californian and a thought of "why don't I live here again?". Los Angeles beaches simply have nothing on Miami!
And there is no better hotel to check in to and never need to leave than a St Regis - for a luxury getaway, St Regis Hotels never disappoint - one of our absolute hotel highlights over the past many, many years was our stay at the incomparable St Regis Maldives.
We came to St Regis Bal Harbour in Miami beach for a luxurious, relaxing, tropical summer weekend of sun, warmth, water, and peace. Located on the best pocket of Miami Beach, we barely left the resort in days - from beautiful meals to beautiful views, and hopping between the ocean and the pools - everything you need is right here. Our ultimate guide to how to have the best resort weekend!
First Things First: Take Sunrise Swim
In Miami, the sun rises over the ocean (Unlike the opposite coast in Los Angeles, where the sun sets over the water), and water glows and glistens as the sun comes up. It is the calmest time of day - and almost always still warm enough to swim. It is well worth getting up extra early to soak in the peace, the slightly cooler temperatures, and to start your day in the sea.
Have Breakfast at Atlantikós:
After a morning swim, head down to Atlantikos, the hotel's bright and airy Mediterranean restaurant for their endless buffet of fresh made eggs, fresh fruit and cold press juices, and every breakfast classic you can think of. I helped myself to the perfect stack of bagels and lox every morning (how can you not when they're this good?) and fresh made espressos.
In the mid-morning, the sun streams in to the restaurant across the water so beautifully, it made us feel like we were back in the Greek islands.
Take a Morning Beach Bike Ride:
After breakfast is the perfect time to check out a pair of bikes from the hotel and cruise down the beach boardwalk path. The mornings are always a bit cooler and crisper than the heat of the Miami afternoons, and the breeze coming off the ocean as well as the moving air as you cruise on the bike helps cut the heat for a perfect outdoor workout. From Bal Harbour, you can take the beach path for miles - it continues on all the way down to the bottom tip of South Beach!
Shop Resort Favorites:
Lunch Pool or Beachside:
After either a marathon or casual bike cruise, grab your lunch either poolside or delivered to a beach cabana. While Brandon's usual poolside lunch is chicken tenders and fries (which are available if that's your order too!) I loved the fresh options here and a filet of salmon over salad in a pool chair is my dream lunch. Pool and beach service is available from 11AM - 5 PM, and of course includes a full bar of fresh coconuts, fancy cocktails, and bottles of wine of champagne.
For a full day of luxury, rent one of the extra special Oceanfront Day Villas for an ultra-private and lavish way to spend the day popping between the ocean, the pools, and an air-conditioned cabana.
Shop the Bal Harbour Shops:
The luxury Bal Harbour Shops located just across the street has every designer store you can dream of, and is one of the most beautiful malls I have ever been in. This would be the ultimate place to live out a Pretty Woman shopping spree fantasy, to window shop to the ultimate degree, or to pick up one special piece (my choice would be a handbag myself....) to always remember your vacation by.
Beat the afternoon heat on the beach:
I can't help but reiterate - the crystal water and white sand beaches of Miami are just impossible to beat so perfectly Caribbean. The afternoon is both the hottest time of day, and the time of day when the light illuminates the water making it look the most clear - making it the perfect time to take a dip.
The best time for beach photos here is usually between 1 and 4 PM, depending on the time of year! The light crosses over the city, shows how clear the water is, and illuminates you at the same time.
Shop Beachside Favorites:
Take Afternoon Tea at La Gourmandise:
No truly luxurious weekend is complete without high tea! The stunning La Gourmandise french cafe, located in the St Regis lobby, has fine pastries and coffees, and a full multi-course high tea experience - with our without champagne. There is an extensive selection of exotic teas as well as seemingly endless towers of sandwiches, cakes, macrons and delicate and decadent pastries. A reservation is required for full afternoon tea.
Don't Miss the Nightly Champagne Sabering:
A true St Regis tradition! It is said that The St. Regis Champagne sabering tradition dates back to Napoleon's time, where cavalry officers used their sabers to open Champagne bottles to celebrate victories.
St. Regis Hotels all around the world are known for sabering a bottle every evening at sunset to celebrate the end of the day. Every evening at 6 PM at the St Regis Bar at Bal Harbour, the tradition continues and is always worth stopping by for.
Catch Sunset on the Beach:
Miami isn't always known for its sunsets - as the sun does not set over the ocean but behind the city. However on a lucky day, the entire sky can illuminate and explode with color. After the champagne sabering, head down to the beach to try to catch it for yourself.
End your night with Dinner And Drinks At The St Regis Bar:
The St Regis Bar is here for more than just Champange! The food here is excellent, seasonally selected, and beautifully plated - the photos here really speak for themselves! Not to mention the bar itself feels like the type of place you would see James Bond sitting at with a martini.
Rooms With A View
I had to include one more key element of this gorgeous hotel - the uninterrupted ocean views from the rooms! Can you imagine waking up anywhere better?
Soak in all the beautiful corners and Enjoy!
This blog post was made possible in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy, but as always, all opinions are my own.
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