A vacay in the Caribbean is supposed to relax and refresh, however, if you’re flying to the islands from the northeast where the weather can change on a dime or from the west or south where the connection times at the airport in Miami require sprinting to the gate like an Olympic athlete, consider staying for a day or two before your flight to the Caribbean. Spending a few days and nights not only warms the heart but reduces the stress of missing the connection to your much-deserved vacation and as many flights to the Caribbean depart from Miami, it’s the perfect spot to kick start your holiday .
|Swaying palms on the beach ( credit: M. Reffes )|
The day starts with a delectable stack of Torrejas or Latin-inspired French toast crowned in guava butter and sweet blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Add a cup of oh-so-fabulous espresso and breakfast at the Angler’s Boutique Resort is in Miami’s South Beach is vacation paradise. Between Biscayne Bay and the gin-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach or SoBe as the locals call it , is international playground par excellence.
|The Angler's shines at night (credit: Angler's)|
Home Suite Home
Family-owned and hip without pretension , The Angler’s is a 45-suite resort with a host of vacay must-haves like a heated pool with cozy cabanas, white marble floors ,rooftop terraces , beds as soft as talc with 400 thread count Egyptian cotton linens and the uber-luxe Spa Therapy line of Gilchist & Soames soaps and lotions liberally stocked in every room.
|(credit: M. Reffes & Angler's Resort )|
Close to the Port of Miami for those booked on a Caribbean cruise and the Miami International Airport for those en route to the Caribbean , the resort is the top rated TripAdvisor hotel in Miami Beach applauded for its unrivaled service and attention to guests. A concierge checks guests into the room rather than waiting at the front desk, a hot stone massage can be enjoyed en suite and Carlos the bartender shakes and stirs magnificent Jalapeno Margaritas with Tanteo Jalapeno tequila, cucumbers, cane sugar and a splash of citrus sour.
The Pool House Villa is swanky on three floors with a rooftop sundeck, living room; gigantic bedroom and bamboo wooden floors that are heaven for tired tootsies. The two-story Manor Villa has a spiral staircase that connects both floors and an outdoor Jacuzzi that is sublime for late-night dips. “We’re an escape from the South Beach party experience, “ says James Ayres, general manager and industry veteran who honed his skills at the fabled Ritz-Carlton in nearby Naples, Florida, “I monitor our TripAdvisor comments and I reply to all them personally if concerns need to be addressed, although that rarely happens. “
Delighted to work with travel agents, the resort offers up to a fifteen percent commission on confirmed bookings as well as opportunities for agents to experience the property. “We encourage FAM trips and often coordinate with the Miami CVB who may be bringing agents to Miami,” adds James Ayres, general manager, “Of course, we also welcome agents to call the resort directly and we can assist with the arrangements. “ www.theanglersresort.com
(photo credit: Angler's )
From Bogota, Colombia to New York City’s acclaimed Lucy Latin Kitchen, Chef Carlos Torres brings his culinary wizardry to Restaurant 660, the Angler’s funky fusion restaurant. Inspiring with French Moroccan decor dining is suburb outside by candlelight or in the intimate lounge.
|Chef Torres ( credit: Angler's Resort )|
A guaranteed crowd-pleaser , specialties reflect the Chef’s Latin roots like short rib empanadas and El Viejo Burger, a Latin version of the American favorite with caramelized onions and manchego cheese. His signature ceviche is a gastronomic standout prepared in a variety of ways from salmon blended with apple citrus, paprika oil and basil to the wildly popular Verde Mixto, the perfect marriage of fresh seafood to Peruvian corn, red onions and cilantro.
Weekend Brunches with bottomless pitchers of Bacardi Smoothies and Mimosas kick start the day while a guitarist serenades happy diners digging into Morning Burritos stuffed with chorizo and salsa. “I am indeed confident and proud that the abilities I bring to the table are expressed in my creation, “the Chef says humbly.
Out & About
A parade of pretty party people speaking a melange of languages shop for labels from Vuitton, Armani and Diesel to Madden, Miller and Ritchie Swimwear featured in Sports Illustrated spreads. A long-time fence-sitter between the place to party and the place to retire, Miami has emerged as the design capital of the US with its distinctive art deco neighborhoods and retro hotels that are now luxury Inns.
For history buffs, the Art Deco Visitor Center - www.mdpl.org - offers walking tours , Miami Culinary Tours introduces foodies to a delectable array of restaurants www.miamiculinarytours.com/ and for fans of the avant-garde, a tour of the graffiti art in the Wynwood neighborhood is an uber-fun way to while away a Miami afternoon. www.giltcity.com/miami/roamrides.
|Wynwood ( credit: M. Reffes )|
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