When our vacations start, the kids tend to disperse. The college girl seems to arrive home, drop her bag, and take off for days with her friends. To acquire a little family time, we decided to start the vacation with a weekend down in South Beach.
When we told the kids that we had booked a luxury weekend at the W Hotel down on South Beach, there were smiles all around. The words South Beach and W Hotel seemed to work like magic. Good start!
We live in Ft Lauderdale, so the W Hotel in South Beach is less than an hour away; it’s sort of a stay-cation. The minute we got there, our car was whisked away by the valet.
The kids quickly pulled out their cameras to capture the array of clever outdoor sculptures by the entrance. The free bicycles for use outside the main entrance also caught everyones attention.
Then through the automatic doors back into the air-conditioning. Although it’s December, it is Miami and it’s a hot day.
The decor of the lobby was Miami chic. Very modern and cool feeling. While I checked us in, the kids disappeared to explore the long modern lobby.
The lobby was decorated with dark wooden tones mixed with black framing. At check in, they had a pyramid of crisp-looking green apples. To the left, there was an information booth where questions about the surrounding area could be answered as well as a restaurant (Mr. Chow) that stretched out behind it. To the right, a long hallway split into three sitting areas with comfortable sofas, trendy wooden stools, books based on famous fashion models and designers, and a chess-set to entertain those waiting to be checked in. Though there was a decent number of people waiting to receive their room numbers, no one appeared impatient or frustrated. On the contrary, guests were comfortably lounging on sofas and long couches, chatting enthusiastically and enjoying drinks.
As it turns out, we were early and our rooms weren’t going to be ready. for an hour so I started looking around trying to chase the kids down. I found them down the long hallway, through an open doorway in the W Store looking at jewelry, at glittering sandals on pedestals, and at racks of fashionable clothing.
We saw through a glass window a restaurant with wooden chairs, tables, and low-hanging lights called The Dutch.
The next opening exposed the Living Room bar surrounded with a multitude of small jars containing olives and cornichons on sticks, cherries, and other garnishes meant for decorating drinks. More than once, I saw guests casually slipping a hand into the olive jar for a snack on the sly while passing.
We decided to take a sit at the very end of the room on one of the comfy sofas. The kids each sat in one of the oversized leather chairs, while other preferred the fuzzy fur chairs. We ordered appetizers and drinks while waiting for our room to be ready. It was the first time that our oldest who had turned 21 recently was able to order a drink with us. She very happily showed her ID to the waitress who took her order. Shortly afterwards, my phone rang and it was the front desk letting me know that our room was ready.
We were booked into the Sensational Suite which absolutely lived up to its name. Walking in, there’s a full kitchen and living room with a balcony with an ocean view. There were two bedrooms, plus a media room with a huge sectional sofa and big screen TV. When our son saw the media room, he claimed it as his own. One bedroom with a queen size bed was perfect for our girls to share. The master bedroom was spectacular, particularly the master bath which everyone oohed and ahhed over. Rain shower, fancy marble bath, the whole thing. The closet was huge with a pant press machine, a safe deposit box, a robe and slippers. It even had a closet with a stackable washer/dryer.
After relaxing for a few hours in our room we headed downstairs for dinner at The Dutch restaurant located in the W Hotel lobby area. They offer indoor and outdoor seating and can accommodate private dinner parties. The Dutch was elegant yet simple with great food and great atmosphere. The cuisine was more on the trendy fusion style.
The Living Room bar leads the way to glass doors through which you can see the vibrant aquamarine of the pool, but in order to access it, you must first walk past the security guards.
Of the hotels we’ve visited, we noted that this hotel had an exceptional amount of security. They could be seen 24/7 in front of the elevators in the hotel, between the bar and the pool, and again at the opening between the pool and the beach.
The pool itself, while shallow, extended roughly 75 meters, all of which was surrounded by pristine white chairs and several open cabanas where guests could bask in the sun and drink from large glasses adorned with pineapples or oranges. A smaller pool was hidden by large walls of green leaves which acted as a small labyrinth that guided guests from the hotel to the beach, while also giving way to a charming courtyard. This courtyard at night acted as its own world with dim lamps and decorations that brought to mind a small enchanted forest.
Saturday, we went down to the pool which is quite the scene. We went to our cabana and ordered some drinks and food. The service was quick and it’s really wonderful to sip an icey rum punch while lying poolside in South Beach. Ahhh, it’s the good life.
The pool crowd was a mix of families and some of the beautiful people which Miami Beach is famous for. The W Hotel beach was right outside the gated area.
The beach area is equipped with lounge chairs for hotel guest and hotel residents. They make sure that you are very well taken care of by suppling you with beach towels and cushions for the beach chairs. Once the kids spotted the Jet Skis off shore they wanted to take them out for a 30 minute ride. I decided to stay behind and enjoy the view as they raced around the water on the jet skis.
After spending a glorious morning relaxing by the pool and beach, my husband and I decided to go get massages at the Bliss Spa. Lets just say, it was one of the best massages I’ve had in a while.
We spent our last evening working around Lincoln Road which is only a few blocks away from the W Hotel.
The W South Beach staycation had enough highpoints for an interesting holiday weekend that it put a smile on both the adults’ and the kids’ faces. They were in a great mood all weekend. The scene by the pool and the high luxury of the hotel were the big hits. The beach and the jet skis were up there. But then, the meals at The Dutch were pretty great.
Bottom line, it not only didn’t disappoint but we even got grief on the way home about, “Why can’t we stay there longer? Had a great time in South Beach!!
Disclosure and Thank you. W South Beach – a property of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Worldwide, Inc. (SPG) provided us with an upgraded suite, and appetizers in the Living Room. But the opinions expressed above are my own. For more information about the hotel, visit it’s official website.