Miami Beach photos by Carlos Melia

Miami Beach Postcards by Carlos MeliaMiami Beach photos by Carlos Melia  | MiamiUnited States |  Some photos I took during my recent trip to Miami, which I love. For more, follow my Instagram Miami Photo Gallery. Also check my posts on Hotels, Restaurants and Wynwood Walls. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com Continue reading Miami Beach photos by Carlos Melia

MUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list

Miami BeachMUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list  |  Miami, United States  | Last week I spent 5 days in Miami Beach. I came to review and experience a few new luxury hotels (post to come soon), and at the same time do a revision of the restaurant scene. Of course this was not my first time to Miami, as a matter of fact I have spent half of my life coming here, and I have seen many transformations and faces of Miami and SOBE, over the years. I tried a few options either new to me or new to the Miami Beach Scene. Here are my MUST and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list, based own experiences.  Continue reading MUSTs and MISS South Beach Miami Restaurants list

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels  |  Miami Beach, Florida  |  Last week, I spent the entire week in Miami Beach and I got to stay and preview the recently inaugurated Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotel Group.  I have stayed with them before, at their sister properties in Bangkok and London, also under the Metropolitan brand, having great stays. Metropolitan Miami is located in South Beach, off Collins Avenue between 24th and 25th. Only two blocks away from the W South Beach and the SETAI South Beach. Despite the hotel not being right on the water, the property consists on two sections divided by a charming and quiet street called Miami Beach Drive. The building over Collins Avenue is where the main building, with the hotel and restaurant, is located. The section next to the boardwalk, with direct access to the beach, is where the lovely pool area and outdoor lounge is located. The hotel is already the comment of the town, and is trending on site like TripAdvisor as number one option in Miami.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami a 74-room Miami hotel in the heart of the Miami Beach Historic District, overlooking America’s most iconic beach. A new hotel poised to become an essential Miami Beach experience, Metropolitan Miami Beach delivers the perfect blend of rest and revelry, urban modernity and period charm by way of light-filled rooms, a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, and leading-edge interiors by the Italian designer, Paola Navone.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com During our visit the hotel was still under construction and in soft opening mode, so mind my comments coming from a hotel that is still in the process of settling down and get going. Metropolitan Miami opened its doors approximately three weeks ago. Despite remaining under construction for almost 50% of their total capacity, we were never affected nor bothered by noises or workers. Moreover, we could not tell the hotels wasn’t fully functional, other than the Hydrotherapy Pool being out of service for a few more weeks.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com We stayed at one of their Metropolitan Ocean View Rooms (size: 394 – 436 square feet). This is their third room category.  The decor Art Deco luxury, by the Italian designer, Paola Navone is very minimalistic, with lovely soft light green, grey and cream tones, very SOBE like. I have seen similar concepts in South Beach, but not as refined and balanced, at hotels like the Townhouse. Rooms are on the small side. I love the fact of having cool marbles floors and being flooded with natural light. The only aspect I did not like from our room – matter of personal taste – was the open closets. I much rather prefer to have a sliding door, specially in rooms of this dimensions. For a little extra, you can opt to have the same room type, with a private balcony. Metropolitan Miami is pet friendly, but be aware, that if you travel with your pet, like we did, there is a DAILY extra cleaning fee of USD 50 (which among us, I think is outrageous, specially when the hotel is entirely done with marble floors with only carpets in some common areas and hallways.) See the Video of our room

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comI would have to say, the weakest links at the hotel were: (1). The check in process and (2). Breakfast. (1). Check IN was conducted in a very dismissive way. Being such a new property you would expect more enthusiasm and warm welcoming factor by the front desk agents. I mean, if after three weeks of opening, this is the attitude…. what can be expected down the road. We had, a subject to availability, upgrade courtesy to a higher room type, which immediately was denied upon Check IN. I complain in a very polite way, and said I would not mind waiting a little bit longer to Check IN if this would mean being upgraded. To this once again, the same dismissive agent said, that there were no higher category rooms available. Honestly felt like they were nickeling and dimming the upgrades.!!! I still wasn’t 100% content and insisted, and when they realized I was not going to go so easily, they granted it. Now I ask myself, wouldn’t it had been easier and more welcoming to do it from the beginning, avoiding this unpleasant situation ? So I let them know that I was going to go for lunch, at their restaurant, and come back later. One and a half hour later I was Checked IN at the upgraded room.Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com(2). Breakfast at their beautiful restaurant was not in sync with the looks of the room. We had a bad experience on our first morning, and when the General Manager asked about it, we explained that the buffet was very basic, that the coffee was like dirty water, that the French Press was not working properly, that the timing for the delivery of the food was wrong… etc etc etc. A la carte was OK, and during my entire stay, I always ordered the MET Breakfast, but again the timing was wrong. That we were going to go somewhere else for breakfast for the following days of our stay. He insisted on us having breakfast at his expense the following morning, giving them the chance to try the breakfast service once again. Well we did, and again was bad. This time we were even more disappointed, because not only the breakfast was basic and all of the above, once again, but they spoiled our option to enjoy a lovely breakfast somewhere else, which would have been OK for us. Once again we understood from the beginning that we were staying during Opening SOFT Mode.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comThe best experience of our stay, I must say was spending the day at their Outdoor Pool and Lounge. Not only the pool is beautiful, but their staff go above and beyond to make you feel relax, welcomed and taken care off. If you are lucky, like we were, you will get Leticia to be your host. She was not only spooling Rubin and I, but also our little Schnauzer Bruna #TravelwithBruna. We also enjoyed afternoon cocktails with some friends and family.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAt the beach, Metropolitan Miami has its own beach area, with chairs, umbrellas, cabanas and food & beverage service. The hotel charges a USD 20 Resort Fee per room per day, but this does not include the use of the umbrellas nor cabanas which are extra. The semi private access to the beach is directly by the outdoor pool, throughout the boardwalk and to the beach.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com On our last night, since my parents were in town, we decided to host a quiet dinner at their restaurant Traymore. Unlike breakfast, I have to say that service was on point and food was delicious. Both the hotel and restaurant are yet not very popular, so it lacked of an ambiance, but to be honest, that was EXACTLY what we were looking for after ongoing nights out dining at Lincoln Road, SOHO House, Cecconi’s and The Dutch at W South Beach.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAs I said at the beginning, the Hydrotherapy Pool still remains closed at the moment of our visit, but the Fitness Center and Spa are fully operational. Signature COMO Shambhala Spa, located on the eighth floor, there are four treatment rooms and the COMO Shambhala Terrace, where wellness juices are served amidst sunshine views across the Intracoastal Waterway and city. The spa also features a steam room.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comAmong hotels on Collins Avenue, Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach, has one of the best locations: an enviable position for shopping, dining and entertainment, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Guests benefit from easy access to Miami’s city highlights, including the Lincoln Road shopping and entertainment districts, as well as the Miami City Ballet and Bass Museum of Art. Several rooms in the hotel have a water view, be it the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Pancoast. Miami International Airport is a 25-minute transfer by car. The hotel offers Valet Parking for USD 38 per day.

Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comSo overall it was a nice experience. I would love to return later this year, once they are more settled to experience the signature service by COMO Hotels I have enjoyed before in Asia and Europe. So stay tuned. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.comMetropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email carlos@carlosmelia.com or phone # 917.754.5515. Check our schedule bespoke groups, escapes and retreats at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.
Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

(**) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, InstagramYouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. And if you want to travel like me, or would you like to join me, check Coups de Coeur.
Metropolitan Miami by COMO Hotels by www.carlosmeliablog.com

GPS Carlos Melia from South Beach


GPS Carlos Melia from South Beach  |  Miami, Florida  |  A short 48 hours stop in Miami Beach before heading to cold New York City. Windy and a bit chilly, but still beautiful day to do what I always do while in South Beach, running at the boardwalk by the shore line, that goes from 47th. Street to the heart of Ocean Drive.  Not into running, then take your time to go for a stroll. CM

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Setai South Beach Check IN


Setai South Beach Check IN  |  Miami Beach, United States  |  Last night I checked IN at the stunning, chic and sexy Setai South Beach. I will be spending here two nights, in a beautiful room facing the shore line of South Beach. A very Asian look combined with the sex appeal of SOBE, just the perfect balance. An intimate, serene oceanfront resort in the heart of South Beach. Continue reading Setai South Beach Check IN

Lords South Beach Hotel

Lords South Beach Hotel |  Miami Beach, Florida |  What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Gay Hotel”… exactly. Well Lords South Beach, for my great surprise, is completely the opposite. Lords, identifies itself with the following line – An Appropriately Oriented Hotel, welcoming everyone with focus on alternative and open minds. More than a hotel; it’s a quantum leap in gay travel. A home away from home, just a lot more fun, posh, friendly, sexy, easy, satisfying, and gratifying. When I decided to book my nights there, at first I was a bit hesitant, but the experience was far beyond expected. Not a luxury hotel, not the most elegant pool area or restaurant, but certainly a hot spot in Miami Beach for those coming to relax, hit the beach, be in the groove and enjoy SOBE at full both during the day and most important at night.
My absolute favorite at Lords South Beach… the color scheme. Full yellow and orange, this is like heaven to meet. So much positive energy, to only match the atmosphere of South Beach. Located in the most dynamic beach destination on Collins Avenue between 11th. and 12th. Street. An exciting new hotel appropriately oriented for your special South Beach moments, you’ll love the bohemian rooms, fun-spirited dining and ultra-hot spots – the comings, the goings, the night life, the good life. Out MagazineABSOLUT VODKA, and Levi’s, their partners in crime, make exploring, socializing and looking good in South Beach easy.

LORDS South Beach varied room types are tailored to meet each guest’s personal desires. All rooms have an emphasis on comfort and convenience, going-out and staying-in will be equally fun. Featuring flatscreen television, i-pod/CD speakers, luxe linens by Frette, a large private bathroom with amenities by LUXE Bath, and a top shelf minibar. Video below of the Pied-a-Terre Suite, where I stayed. Made for mingling and mixing. Fun-spirited, with a sophisticated flair, these suites are appropriately appointed with intimate sitting rooms, ideal for after-beach or pre-evening cocktails… or both.

PAD Room, the standard category, with the iconic headboard photos of Elizabeth Taylor over your bed, hey a much better than a crucifix right.  Cheek and chic meet in Lords South Beach Pads with bold colors and custom-designed graphics. Video below.

I was very happy to learn about their concept ROOMS THAT MATTER, with which I agree 100% and have put into practice several times at CM by Carlos Melia. PAD Rooms category, but with an added bonus. 10% of proceeds will automatically be donated to your room’s assigned Lords South Beach give-back group – Hetrick Martin Institute or The Point Foundation – your choice. Bravo.!!! Lords.
Former Hotel NASH, and current member of the Cambean Hotel, Lords open its doors less than a year ago, becoming into the new Gay Hot Spot of Miami Beach, an area where the Gay exodus has been very notable. Before you use to walk by Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington or even Lincoln Road, and there was a day/night scene. Well that is all gone, but slowly growing back into a more refined and trendy way.
The lobby of the hotel with their huge Polar Bear, the bar and the pool area are the epicenter of meeting and mingling of South Beach. Sunday Cabana Boy Pool Parties, Wednesdays Game Nights and special live performances every week. So all you need to do is get your look on, get downstairs, and let the games begin.
The Pool area, where the emphasis is on plural. Enjoy three enticing plunge pools and an infinite number of equally enticing pool-goers. With a sunning, lounging and snacking area, poolside is the optimal spot for making a splash. Cha Cha Cabana, a poolside, fully stocked and fully staffed bar and restaurant (weekends until 2am) to make sure our swimmers and sun-worshipers are hydrated and happy is like performing a sexy little dance – a Cha Cha.
The Porch, a unique spot for casual socializing over Collins Avenue, SoBe style. With a prime view of the passing scene, The Porch is where Miami’s ‘elite meet’ to witness the comings and goings, and enjoy cocktails and light bites (until midnight). At  Cha Cha Rooster Bar , let your foot start tapping to the beats as you take in the glamour of South Beach and realize the possibilities for the evening are endless. Toast friends over an ABSOLUT cocktail at the Cha Cha Rooster BAR (Until 2am).
When the sun goes down, SOBE becomes alive boasting in full its sex-appeal. The staff and Concierge at the hotel, which I must point are very friendly and resourceful, will assist you with restaurant suggestions and more… But hey, do not forget to stop by the EQUINOX Gym, which offers Lords guest with daily free passes. After all, you are in South Beach and all that matters is how you looked 10 minutes ago. CM

Check my live VIDEO interview of the series – BEEN THERE DONE THAT – with Brian Gorman, Owner and Founder of Lords South Beach Hotel. Where he shares with me the inspiration and concept of Lords and future plans to come.

(*) For more information or to book a stay at the Lords South Beach please  fill out the FORM below or call me at Cel. 646.460.6045 | Tel. 212.399.6161 | email at carlos@carlosmelia.com| You may also follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

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The TIDES Hotel South Beach

The TIDES Hotel South Beach | South Beach, Miami, Florida |  An icon of the ART DECO scene of South Beach and Ocean Drive, The TIDES Hotel by the VICEROY Group is an institution of Miami Beach. The Tides South Beach debuted a provocative new design in the Fall of 2007 by trendsetting designer Kelly Wearstler. The glamorous new design re-dresses the hotel’s interiors incorporating elements from the sea, rich textures, sunset colors and vintage recreations with a nod to its illustrious past while setting new standards for future hotel design.
Renowned for its sophisticated yet informal beachfront presence, The Tides South Beach is the flagship of an emerging brand of Tides resorts in coastal destinations, ideal for South Beach vacations, romantic getaways, business travel to Miami, and more. It is true what they say my friends…. the gay scene of Miami Beach is no longer happening there, now it has shifted to Fort Lauderdale. But if you are still looking for the SOBE and Art Deco experience, The TIDES Hotel is one of the classics with an unparalleled location right across the gay beach, PALACE Restaurant and Bar, Washington St. and Lincoln Road.

This South Beach boutique hotel features forty-five stylish luxury suites all offering expansive ocean views. Spacious hotel accommodations range from Oceanfront Studio Suites of 550 square feet to the 2,600 square foot Tides Suite. Fours things stroke me right away after checking into The Tides. (1). The personalized service and efficient check in (everyone in the hotel were aware of my name, and arrival to the hotel), (2). The size of the suites (it is like I cool have hosted a cocktail in my room for 20 people), (3). The views of Ocean Drive and the beach line from my suite (waking up to see the sun coming up was just a treat and perfect reason for and early rise, that complimented by the FREE breakfast served at the Lobby of the hotel.) , (4) The fact of having my own beach chair and umbrella right at the gay section as an amenity from my suite.  OH and always relevant to us boys, TIDES is pet friendly, and for those newly gay parents the TIDES is children friendly.

I have to admit. The hotel holds to be one of the TOP exponents of the glamorous Miami Beach from the 90’s that is long long gone. But my honest feeling is that the hotel needs a few touches of modernism.  If you are a big fun of Art Deco style and the esthetics of South Beach, then you will be in heaven and feel like home. My take is to more modern styles, but hey like I always say, it is a matter of personal taste. Especially when both services and comfort are not an issue at all. Love that they have opted of tile floors as there is nothing that I hate more at beach hotels that carpets. Bathroom amenities are by VRAI by Fragonard Parfumeur. DVD/CD player and a selection of CDs. High-speed wireless Internet access (at an additional cost). In-room safe. Fully-stocked honor bar. Nespresso coffee machine. iPod™ docking stations. Plush bathrobes and slippers. Nightly turndown service. Hair dryer. In an effort to ensure future sustainability for our environment and as part of the hotel’s green initiative, The Tides South Beach will now offer purified water presented in carafes in all guest rooms.

For the finest in South Beach dining, visit the recently unveiled restaurant La Marea offering a fresh dining concept in a dramatic setting. The hotel’s front terrace, one of the HOT Spots in SOBE and Ocean Drive to seat and do People-Watching, is the place to see and be seen. Overlooking Ocean Drive serves alfresco cocktails and dining selections from La Marea.
For an intriguing gathering place to enjoy cocktails and appetizers, experience Coral Bar, South Beach’s tucked away treasure. This private enclave of a bar provides a distinctive, intimate setting in which to enjoy rum infused cocktails and fresh, seasonal culinary appetizers. With brass barstools made of faux hide seats and a reverse-glass mural of sea creatures, the bar’s inviting milieu tempts guests to linger and mingle within the lobby’s grand space.

24hs. fitness center and pool access for those not into the beach. The hotel also offers a full selection of South Beach’s finest spa services, in the privacy of the ocean-view residential hotel rooms and suites, and poolside at the pool terrace.

(*) For more information or to book a stay at the The TIDES Hotel South Beach, please  fill out the FORM below or call me at Cel. 646.460.6045 | Tel. 212.399.6161 | email at carlos@carlosmelia.com

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