“This is the town I could spend a few days in/Miami, the city that keeps the roof blazin’”. So rapped Will Smith in his mediocre 1998 hit, Miami. However, we can assure you that you’ll need more than just a few days to sample the full delights of the Gateway to Latin America…
For pale and flammable Englishmen, the midday heat can be oppressive here. However, the sights you’re guaranteed on the coastline make the near-constant application of sun cream worthwhile. Within minutes of stepping onto the beachfront, you’ll find every Miami stereotype proudly on parade: the scantily-clad platinum blondes (both female and male), the portly, cigar-chomping gentlemen in ill-fitting Hawaiian shirts, perhaps even the token celebrity – we spotted both Will Smith and Dennis Rodman during our time in the city. Not bragging, just saying.
The Shore Club in South Beach (pictured above) offers lively atmosphere (its Sunday pool parties are legendary and its Rumbar houses 75 different types of rum) in addition to comfortable rooms, sleek design and its very own Nobu restaurant. If you’re after somewhere a tad more relaxing, The Mayfair hotel in Coconut Grove (Miami’s premier shopping district) is great and boasts genuinely stunning interiors and a rooftop swimming pool with incredible views of the city. Oh, and make sure to check out your room’s balcony – there’s a hot tub on it.
With scores of diverse eateries awaiting your custom, there’s no excuse for just grabbing a Big Mac before you hit the bars. Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian Hotel unites exquisite Latin and Asian cuisine to great effect and brunch at the Delano Hotel’s Blue Door restaurant is a must in the morning. Trust us, their eggs benedict must be sampled to be believed.
In the unlikely event you get bored of the beach, the city’s Art Deco district is an inspiring place to explore. The area boasts the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world, and among the mint greens and sky blues of its striking buildings are some excellent Fifties-style diners.
Once the sun’s set, we’d recommend heading to LIV – a pulsing, three-story nightclub in the heart of South Beach. House is generally favoured on the main dancefloor, but there’s hip hop and R&B on offer in the smaller rooms. You may have trouble getting in with an all-male group, though, and once you’re inside, you’ll understand why. The sheer number of good looking women is head-spinning. Purely for research purposes, we asked one attractive young lady if she could explain the abundance of attractive young ladies. She shrugged: “Hot girls get in free”. As a business model, you can’t really argue with that.
The final verdict
Miami is a city in which it seems scientifically impossible not to have fun. From luxurious beachside lounging to extravagant nightlife, it’s the ultimate destination for a group of friends in search of a good time.
⁃ Delta Airlines fly to Miami from Heathrow every day, with flights starting from £391; delta.com
⁃ Rooms at the Shore Club start from £206 per night, shoreclub.com; rooms at the Mayfair start at £69 per night, mayfairhotelandspa.com
⁃ For more information about Greater Miami and the beaches, see miamiandbeaches.com