I’ve discovered how to plan the perfect weekend getaway in Miami. Step one: Book a room at the Mondrian South Beach. A penthouse suite, if possible. Step two: Don’t fight the voice in your head that sings “When You Wish Upon a Star,” as you enter the whimsical resort. Just face the music: You’re in for a dreamlike weekend.
Fairy tale accommodations
The design by Marcel Wanders is nothing short of genius. An homage to Sleeping Beauty’s castle, every element of the hotel is playful while still maintaining the sex appeal that’s a prerequisite to make it as a business in South Beach. A floating staircase, oversized chandeliers and golden bells welcomed me in the entrance. I lost myself in the “kissing garden” (1) outside the hotel, which is like a maze straight out of “The Secret Garden.”
The Miami Beach Show
One of the things the Mondrian does best is make great use of its location – perched directly on the Biscayne Bay with open views of the Miami skyline. The pool area (2), which overlooks the bay, is the best place I’ve seen to watch the sunset in South Florida. The pool is designed like a water-filled amphitheater, before the stage of the sprawling Miami skyline, the Biscayne Bay and Star Island.
The Mondrian is such a see-and-be-seen place – often attracting both local and national celebrities – that it has a special hashtag to honor its most fashionable guests. Put on a leather jacket or a chic shift dress and snap a moody shot of yourself at the resort, and you just might end up on the hotel’s blog, “Back of House,” where the best #MondrianMuse Instagram posts are rounded up each week.
The Happiest Happy Hour
I’ve learned the hard way that a weekend in South Beach might mean a few extra withdrawals from the ATM. But the Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge offers up the best-priced drink specials I’ve seen in Miami. Beat the clock with $5 cocktails at 5 p.m., $6 cocktails at 6 p.m., and so on until 9 p.m.. And the drinks are good. I recommend a fruit mojito.
South Beach Eats
The Mondrian has a beautiful restaurant serving locally sourced seasonal cuisine for breakfast and lunch. I also suggest a stop to the hotel’s sister properties, the Delano and the Shore Club, for their dining options. Not only did the décor and atmosphere at the Delano’s Bianca (3) blow me away, I was served literally one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The truffle tagliatelle pasta with handmade pasta, cream and truffle was the most perfect pasta dish I’ve tasted ever. Seriously, ever.