Photo Credit: Miami Culinary Tours
In November 2008 – following a $1 billion expansion and renovation – the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a revered Miami Beach landmark since the 1950s, re-emerged as one of the country’s most sought-after beachfront resorts. Set on more than 20 sprawling oceanfront acres and boasting 1,504 guest rooms and suites and a 40,000 square foot luxury spa, the iconic playground for celebrities and entertainers ranging from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra, is a spectacular blend of Miami’s glamorous golden era and today’s modern style. The resort features luxurious accommodations, state-of-the-art amenities, including suites outfitted with iMacs®, two dynamic nightlife venues, and multiple food & beverage outlets including signature nationally-acclaimed restaurants all overseen by the hotel’s talented Executive Chef Thomas Connell. Located at 4441 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. www.fontainebleau.com.
One of South Beach’s most storied locations, Villa Casa Casuarina was built in 1930 and modeled on the mansion in Santo Domingo that was built in 1510 by Christopher Columbus’ son. The property was a dilapidated apartment building when it caught the eye of the late designer Gianni Versace in 1992 who purchased it as his residence, lavishly remodeling and expanding it. Today, the Villa is a luxury boutique hotel, encompassing 10 lavish suites; the signature restaurant Gianni’s, Onyx Bar, Sushi by Bou omakase restaurant experience, and several unique event spaces. The three-story villa has been completely preserved – among its extravagant accommodations available to guests is Gianni’s former bedroom. The restaurant and bar overlook a 54-foot long pool lined with 24-karat gold, showcasing Versace's notorious Medusa logo comprised of more than one million Italian mosaic tiles. Additional amenities include the open-air courtyard, a rooftop oasis, an observatory, and more. The Villa is located at 1116 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. www.vmmiamibeach.com