The hotel was originally built in the 1930s and is an exquisite mix of Art Deco and Asian. Perfectly restored under the rigorous eye of famed hotelier Adrian Zecha, the public rooms are achingly cool and sophisticated in a fusion of brick, bronze, wood and leather, while its sister building – a glass tower of 40 floors – is Miami to its core.
Here, each suite or condo has vast windows or glass walls showcasing the shades of South Beach – blue skies, blue sea, bright lights – it’s magical.
Guestrooms in the Art Deco building are a tad more restrained in the elegant lines and minimal touches that are truly Asian with teak walls and jade antiques brought from China. Black granite borders the floor and also provides the material for the large free-standing bath-tubs.
With its tropical gardens, three swimming pools, access to the beach, an ultra-fashionable bar and restaurant and private spa, it offers everything you might desire with all the fun and frenzy of Collins Avenue and South Beach just outside the door. But best of all it offers serenity and tranquillity; not to mention a great Martini once you are inside its giant doors.
The feel-good factor in therapy heaven
When you deserve some serious cosseting head for the spa and opt for the signature Jade Massage. It is totally hedonistic as two therapists set to work to soothe and smooth tired, aching and knotted muscles.
Miami Spice. Art Deco delicious with design cool on top. Bright sunshine and intensely blue sky. Nights gyrate to Cuban rhythms. Take a front-row seat at eye-candy central.
Millions of people choose holidays and flights to Florida because there is just so much to do! Here are four bite sized holiday ideas for FL this summer.
Bin there done that – for dad
Want to rub shoulders with some locals? Head to Bin No. 18 a family-run wine bar, for gourmet charcuterie and cheese platters in the European bistro style. Its industrial-chic décor is in keeping with its location in close proximity to the art scene of Miami. The cellar covers the spectrum of Old World and New, deliciously complementing the menu of chef / owner Alfred Patino. Barrels of style.
Hippy hippy chic – for moms
Hip.e is the boutique of the moment. No, not tie-dye and hemp fabric. Try Murano glass chandeliers, lacquer mirrors and cool brands like Tracy Reese, Vera Wang, Nicky Hilton, Vivienne Tam and Sworn Virgins. I especially love the complementary Champagne or coffee and staff who treat you like a guest instead of a customer. Think the Vogue version of Woodstock and not a lava lamp in sight.
Tip toe – for daughters
The Miami City Ballet was founded by one of America’s greatest dancers, Edward Villella. As a patron you can attend class or rehearsal and see the stars up close in action at their headquarters just across the park from The Setai. How about the best seats in the house for a performance, or presenting a bouquet to the prima ballerina on stage at curtain call? It’s all tutu much.
Viva Versace – for moms
The mansion is infamous, but it is an architectural design masterpiece so why not visit? The dining room is a visual spectacular presided over by Barton G. Weiss. Order Colorado rack of lamb and a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. You will be eating off and drinking out of Versace signature china and glassware. From Versace you expect O.T.T. and nothing less. You won’t be disappointed.
Not just family-friendly, but family celebratory hotels throughout the country
Just because there are children around, there is no reason not to enjoy luxury, super comfort, great food, fine wines and still have the time and energy to have fun with your children while on holiday. There are superb hotels in the English Riveria, Dartmoor and along the South-Western UK coast.
These hotels will have space to play, kick a ball around, bounce on a trampoline and cycle through the grounds. Although for families that are really into cycling – The New Forest is much better. Family friendly hotels in Devon recognise that children need teddies as well as PlayStations, and each recognises that parents need the same space and similar entertainment…while both ages want to be looked after and spoiled during a family break to remember.
Quintessentially British Memories
These hotels and guests have the same idea of the type of childhood they want to portray – a quintessentially British one with lots of fresh air, lots of space and buckets of things to do. Children are more than simply tolerated here – they are honoured guests with their own areas, own meals and mealtimes too.
So whether you choose Jacobean splendour of Woolley Grange in Wiltshire, the Queen Anne elegance of The Elms in Worcestershire, the coastal beauty of Fowey Hall in Cornwall, the architectural extravagance of Suffolk’s Ickworth Hall and Apartments with its huge rotunda, or the Georgian grace of Moonfleet Manor in Dorset, you and your family will instantly recognise that this will be a family holiday to remember.
Steaming and showering in a warm and scented environment
The Spa at the Elms is rightly considered one of the best in Worcestershire with its own pool, delicious spa cuisine, a Rasul room made for two and more than 40 treatments to choose from. Opt for the signature face and body reviver.
Is there anywhere as magical as the English countryside for families? These two hotels highlight just that throughout the year – bluebells and lambs in the springtime, the golden days of summer walks and bike rides, the conkers and berries of autumn and the happy sledging and snowballing of winter.
The Ickworth Hotel & Apartments, Suffolk
Holiday heaven for children of all ages at Ickworth Hall and Apartments in Suffolk. Small children and babies head for the Den, an Ofsted-registered nursery with 24-hour access and lots of structured activities during the school holidays. Older children head for Club Blu which offers everything from table football to computer games while the grounds are ideal for biking, hiking, nature trails and a huge adventure playground.
Fowey Hall, Cornwall
Beep! Beep! Close your eyes and you can almost hear him coming along the drive, the irrepressible Mr Toad. For Fowey Hall on Cornwall’s south coast was the inspiration for Toad Hall in Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows”. Close to the sandy cove of Readymoney and the sailing centre at Fowey, the hotel has a glorious walled garden and fab spa. Head for the outdoor hot tub with views of the sea. Teach the kids to fish during family holidays in Looe, a tiny fishing village a stones throw from ‘Wild Futures’ a monkey sanctuary.
The biggest day of your life – your wedding day.
Whether you choose to tie the knot on a paradise island, a beach, a luxury golf club, or stay at home and marry in your local church, your big day should be one to remember and cherish for the rest of your life.
These days, the choice of venue is quite literally endless, and with costs soaring, the price of a dream wedding is now bordering on the ridiculous. It’s no surprise therefore that many people are choosing to get hitched abroad, with a few choice guests and close family, and combining it with the honeymoon to cut costs. It makes perfect sense to me, not to mention much better wedding photos with the sun pretty much guaranteed to shine!
I’ve always thought that if I ever got married, I’d like to do it abroad, maybe on a Greek island, like a scene from Mamma Mia – simple and elegant. Many holiday companies offer wedding planning services, helping you with all the necessary paperwork and licences, which can be a confusing and costly business if you decide to do it yourself. It’s always worth getting the expert help where these matters are concerned; you don’t want to be coming home and finding out that you’re not legally married after all!
Added extras can really make a holiday, let alone a wedding, and for that perfect pre-wedding relaxation and break from the matrimonial stress, why not pre-book a night in an airport hotel? Wedding destinations don’t tend to be short-haul, so for a good night’s sleep before all the action, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve stayed at many of the Luton Airport hotels from Holiday Extras, and never had a bad word to say about any of them, in fact I have many good words to say! If you’re flying from the capital, the range of hotels is greater, including the many Gatwick Airport hotels on offer. The price of this fantastic service really is a snip, and for the benefits you’ll be getting, it’s a definite must-do in my opinion.
Airlines offer perks for those getting hitched abroad, with extra baggage for your dress, so no need to worry about creases. If you mention at check-in, you might even get a few perks – it’s certainly worth asking, what’s the worst they can say? I’d also recommend letting your hotel know, if they don’t already!
Your magical day can be sprinkled with extra stardust by dropping hints to the right people, adding on extras and planning to the smallest detail. If you’re like me, and would want the whole thing to be perfect, it’s worth every second of the planning.
Portugal is a truly unique getaway location that is packed with sights that you’ll never forget. From the bustle of Lisbon to the beaches of Albufeira, there is so much to do in the short time you’ll have there. Lisbon follows Barcelona as the city with the most of visitors in Europe – and they can’t all be wrong.
Whether you’re in Portugal to enjoy the delicious local cuisine or the country’s unique nautical tourism, you might have a hard time choosing which resort to stay in. Expedia has a list of the best in the country, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Crowne Plaza Vilamourna, Algarve
The Crowne Plaza Vilamourna does what it says on the tin. It’s a posh beach hotel with a full-service spa, among other amenities. If you’re travelling with kids, they’ll love the place; there’s an amazing pool and kids’ playground to keep them preoccupied while you relax with your partner. The food comprises of a solid selection of Portuguese cuisine.
The Oitavos, Cascais
The Oitavos is a luxury hotel that’s close the Oitavos Fort, Guincho Beach and Cascais Beach. Ideal for those who want to pamper themselves amid total luxury, there are plenty of local attractions nearby too, if you can tear yourself away from the stunning hotel. You could visit the Gandarinha Municipal Park, if you’re not too busy on the hotel’s golf course.
The Yeatman Hotel, Porto
Located near Vila Nova de Gaia, the Yeatman Hotel promises exquisite surroundings and is the most comfortable, luxurious place to be based while visiting Porto. It’s close to Taylor Fladgate Cellars, the Sandeman Cellars as well as Porto Cathedral. If you’re a wine enthusiast, the Museum of Port Wine is also nearby.
Pine Cliffs Residence, Albufeira
Ideal if you’re planning on hitting the surf, this resort is located near Belharucas Beach, Olhos d Agua Beach and Maria Luisa Beach, just to name a few that you’ll be close to. Pine Cliffs also has a golf course, as well as a poolside bar and a children’s club to keep the little ones busy.
Hotel Quinta Mirabela, Funchal
The Quinta Mirabela is located in Funchal, the largest city in Madeira. A major tourist hub, it has its own airport, so it’s not too difficult to get to. You’ll be close to the Quinta Palmeira Botanical Garden as well as the Monte Palace Gardens. You can also visit the Madeira Story Centre Museum too, if you want your culture hit for the holiday.