Travel Tips

What’s New In Miami and South Beach

Locations in this article:  Miami, FL

When things happen in Miami it’s usually in South Beach and when things happen at South Beach it’s often at the Ritz-Carlton.  Amy Rennert talks to Peter about her recent Miami experience.

Peter Greenberg: Are you surviving South Beach?

Amy Rennert: Well I’m doing much more than surviving. I’m at the Ritz-Carlton right now and although I was at Art Basel last year this is my first year staying at the Ritz-Carlton and I wish I had chose to stay here last year because they have a special Art Basel Ambassador here, Noel Lanzas. He’s been with the hotel for 15 years and helps visitors navigate their way through the different parties and events and exhibitions.

PG: It is overwhelming! You definitely need an ambassador to get you through that stuff and to give you a sense of location, the Ritz-Carlton is right at the end of Lincoln Road and I always have fun just getting out of the hotel, taking a right turn and walking up and down the madness of Lincoln Road.

AR: That’s exactly right. It’s a unique location, Pete,  because you have the madness of Lincoln Road, Colony Road and Ocean Drive, all great for people watching. You’re in the hub of all the activity, but also have quiet with a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Belito Beach Club, which is one of the only oceanfront restaurants in South Beach that anyone can come stroll into for a lovely lunch or watermelon sangria.

PG: It only took you 4 minutes before you mentioned the watermelon sangria, now we know we’re in trouble!

AR: I should tell you that my trip didn’t start out well before I got here because I had one of those 5-hour delays at San Francisco airport. We arrived in the middle of the night at 3 am. One of the freeways was closed and we got hopelessly lost.  We called the hotel and the bellman, Kevin, stayed on the line with us until we arrived at the hotel at 4 am––a very welcome greeting.

PG: At 4 am most people in South Beach are just going to their next party of the night.

AR: Yes, there are a lot of clubs and restaurants on Lincoln Road, which has a different vibe in the evening than during the day. Close by is New World Campus and the New World Symphony, a fantastic symphony. Michael Thomas is the artistic director and they have special wall cast performances and on Wednesdays they have movies. It is a 7,000-square-foot wall screen with incredible height and sound. Here’s a tip: Ask the hotel to pack you a picnic!

PG: So you had your own little picnic basket on your balcony with your watermelon sangria? Most people don’t think of Miami as a literary capital but as a surprise to many, the book scene in Miami is thriving.

AR: There is the Miami Book Fair, which is a full week long. Plus there’s Books and Books, one of the largest independent bookstores in the country.

PG: I’m a huge supporter of independent bookstores. They deserve all the support they can get in an era where even big booksellers like Borders can’t even make it.

AR: I’ve stayed at the Ritz-Carlton for the book fair, when it’s not only who you meet on the street it’s also who you meet in your hotel lobby because everyone is there!

Are you traveling to Miami? What’s on your agenda? For books, art or nightclubs?

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By PeterGreenberg for Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio