First published March 15, 2016
Oh how welcoming indeed my time in Miami Beach was. It was a super short trip - maybe 30 hours - that I will attempt to recap. Wayfair generously flew me to Miami Beach so that I could be there in person to accept their award. My flight got in Thursday morning and I wasn't expecting my room at the SLS South Beach to be ready, but it was. Score. I put down my bags, changed, and went out for a walk to get acquainted with my tropical surroundings.
I hadn't been to my Miami in 20(?) some odd years so I was curious to see its transformation into the sleek Art Deco inspired party destination I had been hearing about. The weather was warm and balmy in a good way as I started my walk south from the hotel. I walked along Collins Ave. and I wasn't super impressed. The hotels clustered near my hotel were very cool - larger complexes with Art Deco facades that had been restored and super modern interiors - but the further south I walked it seemed a little tacky and there was there nothing noteworthy beyond tourist supply shops and budget hotels. I knew the historic Art Deco corridor was between 15th and 5th streets, but I just wasn't really into it. Until I turned the corner on 5th St. towards the ocean and then it all clicked. Along Ocean Drive were block after block of preserved charming pastel Art Deco low rise hotels with a vibrant cafe/bar scene streetside. I couldn't get enough.
Across the street from these cuties is the main attraction, the ocean, and all I have to say is wow. Living in LA near the beach spoils you but I must say Miami Beach has a prettier, cleaner, warmer, more inviting beach. Sorry Pacific. Its tropical and the water is a clear aqua green.
By that point I was feeling the effects of my redeye flight so I walked back to the hotel by way of sweet pedestrian path that wove its way between the beach and the back exits of each beach front hotel property. You could sneak a peek into their outdoor lounges and get a sense of the pool scene in each hotel. Back to the hotel to nap before the main event.
Wayfair hosted a dinner for the Trade Tastemakers Award Winners at The Bazaar by José Andrés. One incredibly crafted and interesting small dish after another. I barely had time to taste a delicious bite before they whisked the dish away to bring in something new and equally exciting. I love eating that way, tasting a little bit here and there without committing to one big portion of one thing. And every bite was incredible. All the winning designers were very sweet and easy to talk to. I ended up spending the most time talking to judge Mat Sanders of Domaine fame, Lindsey Bentis of Thread, and Susana Simonpietri and Josh Kay of Chango and Co. They were all very sweet and sincere. It was fun to talk shop and compare notes.