If you consider yourself a minimalist, well, the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach might not be for you. The grounds are positively dripping in decadence, gold and glamour from the hotel lobby up. In short: it's fabulous.
Alan Faena, the Argentine developer and hotelier behind the $1billion project, leaves guests wanting for nothing. For example, I hadn't even sat down to check in before I had one of their complimentary mate cocktails in hand. And trust me, after a long flight, this was exactly what I wanted. The hotel forms part of a five-block spectacle featuring an arts and culture centre, two hotels, two residential buildings and a retail complex, but that's not even the lot of it.
The Faena Hotel itself features its very own state-of-the-art theatre, restaurants, bars and mesmerising murals, mosaics and wallpaper by Buenos Aires-born artist, Juan Gatti.
The Faena's glitz and glamour transports you to 1950s-era Miami Beach while paying homage art deco. The rooms are comfortable and spacious with bright hues of blue and red and large balconies facing either the ocean or the bay.
What's for breakfast?
The Veranda is open each morning until 11:30AM with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating offering sunny poolside views. Fill up on eggs Benedict or keep it light with granola and coffee. Also, be sure to try their refreshing juices - a perfect way to start your day.
How about lunch and dinner?
For lunch, sit outside at Los Fuegos and enjoy the rich smells of Argentine cooking from its open-fire kitchen. Pao by Paul Qui combines an Asian-fusion menu with a quirky interior aesthetic. The low-lit deep brown and gold backdrop sets the mood for indulgence, perfect for tasting all you can on the restaurant's multicultural tapas-style menu.
Is there a bar?
There are two, actually. Living Room, the hotel's 'lobby' bar, is ideal for intimate conversation while Saxony Bar draws in more of a late-night crowd.
Gym bunnies, head to the outdoor swimming pool or Faena's fitness centre with on-call personal trainers. Relax at the state-of-the-art spa or take a ride in the hotel's fleet of Mercedes Benz. Faena Theatre shows performances including C'est Rouge! Concierge and room service operate 24/7 with complimentary pressing services and free wifi to boot.
Things you should know
The restaurants, bars and theatre at the Faena book up fast so be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
Within a short walk you can find…
Miami Beach is about fifteen steps past the nine-foot tall Damien Hirst gold-plated mammoth skeleton which - fittingly - dominates the hotel's backyard. In the late afternoon, take a stroll down the length of Collins Avenue to Ocean Drive, where you can peruse the pastel-coloured Art-Deco district before stopping for a sundowner cocktail.