From Palm Beach down to South Beach, these are the new restaurants, hotels, and hangouts that you can't miss.
Florida is experiencing a travel boom, having welcomed record-breaking numbers of tourists last year and at the start of 2023. And it is no wonder, as the state is home to gorgeous beaches, beloved theme parks, the incomparable Florida Keys, and more. In the buzzing seaside city that is Miami, plus South Florida hot spots like Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Boca Raton, a grand hotel and culinary scene has become grander. Iconic hotels like Mayfair House Hotel and Garden in Coconut Grove, Pelican Hotel in South Beach, and The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach have been dusted off and sparkle once more. And brand-new hotels have debuted as well, proving that greater Miami's hospitality scene is as alive as it ever was — and thriving. Here's what's new in a few different must-visit corners of Miami and beyond.
What's New in South Beach
Originally opened in 1994, Pelican Hotel was designed by the Diesel creative team, attracting the likes of Ian Schrager, Gianni Versace, and Sylvester Stallone when it debuted. Recently renovated, the hotel boasts a fresh look with restored rooms and furnishings. At Pelican Cafe, which is helmed by chef Wendy Cacciatore of Miami Beach's Via Emilia 9 restaurant, morning espresso gives way to indulgent pasta dishes like wild salmon gnocchi topped with caviar. Upstairs, 28 rooms are themed after retro films, with none more in demand than the penthouse suite, which has an aquarium wall and terrace hot tub. It may look like a Bond villain’s lair, but it’s Diesel founder Renzo Rosso’s personal aesthetic — it’s his apartment when he’s in residence.
Around the corner from the Pelican, extending from Ocean Drive to Collins Avenue, is the new Tony Hotel South Beach, named for News Cafe founder and local real estate developer Tony Goldman. Previously the Hotel of South Beach, the structure is an art deco gem that maintains its 1930s charms, including its lighted spire, which lends its name to the new Spire Bar located beside the redesigned rooftop pool with cabanas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, the legendary 1980s News Cafe, which was once Versace’s daytime hangout spot, reopened earlier this year. After more than three decades of round-the-clock service, it closed amid the pandemic. Now, the new restaurant is open all day, beneath its same iconic awning, and ready to satisfy cravings for periodicals and piña colada pancakes.
If you want to take your throwback looks to the next level before hitting the town, head to the new Vintage Frames boutique at the entrance of Pharrell Williams’s The Goodtime Hotel. Here, celebrity sunglasses stylist Corey Shapiro offers new and loved frames, from retro brands like Jean Paul Gaultier and Matsuda, plus shop exclusives like this pair outfitted in 24k gold plated flamingos.
A night out in South Beach has long meant a trip to South of Fifth, a luxury neighborhood home to both old and new classics like Joe’s Stone Crab and Carbone. The latest outpost of Israeli chef Eyal Shani’s HaSalon is also here, and every night ends with diners dancing on tables to '90s hits while waiters tear up menus and throw them in the air like confetti.
Meanwhile, up the block is the new Queen Miami Beach, where Japanese steakhouse fare takes centerstage inside the restored art deco Paris Theater. Menu showstoppers include Wagyu tomahawks and whole Alaskan king crabs, served near a stage made famous by Madonna and Jennifer Lopez.
What's New in Coconut Grove
Restoration projects from Coconut Grove to Palm Beach have also wrapped up in recent months, including the Mayfair House Hotel and Garden, situated just off Biscayne Bay between The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami and Cipriani hotel Mr. C Miami.
During a lengthy renovation, public and private spaces in the property (which was formerly known as Mayfair Hotel and Spa) were transformed into a timeless eden. Spacious guest rooms have prestige touches like clawfoot tubs and outdoor showers, and in the hotel’s sun-kissed inner courtyard, guests can gaze up at overgrown terraces brimming with perfectly manicured flora. The hotel’s new food and beverage program is equally inspiring; try wood-fired cooking from Mayfair Grill, and pair smoky sweet flatbreads and dips with classic Caribbean cocktails.
The hotel’s poolside daiquiri haven, SipSip Calypso Rum Bar, is manned by Lost Boy & Co, who know a thing or two about retro dining having recently reopened South Miami chophouse Fox’s Sherron Inn as Fox’s Lounge.
And for other great meals, you don’t have to travel too far from the Mayfair. Coconut Grove has always been a pedestrian paradise, and since the pandemic, more restaurants have opened here and with great acclaim. This includes New York bagel emporium Sadelle’s, where you can get luxe lox platters and caviar-dolloped latkes royale, and The Key Club, where dancing showgirls perform between tables every Thursday night. Such dalliances are a throwback experience from restaurateur David Grutman, who is also rethinking luxury for the future (he's adapting his menus for private space travel, set to launch later this year).
What's New in Miami and Beyond
The Arlo Wynwood has also arrived, and it's the first luxury boutique hotel in Miami’s buzziest and most eccentric neighborhood of the same name. Bar Kaiju is the new place for a creative cocktail, buried deep within a Little River foodhall, where local barmen Derek Stillman and Nate Capanos channel underground Tokyo while crafting drinks with Ginza-bar precision. Their only rival may be the new bespoke cocktail program in the Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, in Surfside, where any bacchanalian fantasy might be satisfied via tableside trolley from 6 p.m. nightly at the Champagne Bar. There’s also a new wave of international omakase experiences in town, including Mila Omakase, serving Filipino fusion inside a speakeasy-like members' club near party spot Lincoln Road. And if you're heading north toward Fort Lauderdale, don't miss Oku, a private omakase room offering 15 courses accented with Korean fusion; Oku is set inside Takato, the sprawling kitchen that anchors the dining program at Conrad Fort Lauderdale.
In Boca Raton, The Boca Raton resort has emerged from a multimillion-dollar makeover. The resort includes five hotels, all restored in 1920s splendor and bolstered by the new Harborside Pool Club, with three pools, a floating river, cabanas, and more. It's an oasis that fits right into The Boca Raton's 200 acres of prime beachfront.
Then, finish your tour of South Florida luxury with a visit to Palm Beach’s most prestigious post-war landmark, The Colony Hotel. This pink hotel, built in 1947, reopened to guests earlier this year, celebrating its 75th birthday with rooms and suites redone to include dreamy hand-painted murals. This is classic Florida — still going strong after all these years.
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