As much as I enjoy staying at a discreetly stylish boutique hotel I’m also very partial to a luxury hotel with the wow factor, and that’s certainly the Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
The creative director of the hotel is the film director Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge fame, and from the moment you walk into the atrium with its gold pillars and exquisite murals it’s as though you’ve stepped into some magical fantasy land, right on the beach, and with room service. If Kylie Minogue herself had suddenly appeared I wouldn’t have been surprised.
What makes a hotel truly luxurious of course is the service and the little extra touches; at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach the service is completely exemplary, welcoming without being pretentious, and the little touches are everywhere – plus there are some pretty glorious big statements as well, including the utterly fabulous Damien Hirst gold mammoth. Isn’t he gorgeous? I love how you can see through the glass to the beach. If only you could buy smaller ones.
Our very spacious ocean view suite (which came with a butler) was wonderfully luxurious, with a plush red velvet sofa (want) and balcony, and a bed so comfortable it was like lying on clouds.
I loved the turquoise accents… it made me want to completely redecorate my own house.
The Carrara marble bathroom had a fabulous bath and wet room and covetable Tierra Santa amenities.
On our arrival we were given a delicious breakfast of brioche toast and marmalade with a carafe of freshly squeezed orange juice. Simple, delicious and beautifully presented. But the best was yet to come.
The Faena Hotel Miami Beach is Argentinian owned (there’s another Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires) and an absolute highlight of any stay has to be eating Sunday brunch or ‘el asado’ at the Argentinian restaurant, Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann. An asado is an open-fire barbecue and the food has a wonderful smoky flavour. Utterly delicious.
These were the empanadas…
And this was the chicken, served with yummy crispy polenta. It tasted as good as it looks.
We’d previously stayed at the Soho Beach House hotel and while it was very cool and comfortable, the one thing I was surprised by was that the beach area seemed a little squashed; of course you don’t have to sit on a lounger on Miami Beach but I guess if you’re paying for a luxury hotel then you kind of expect you’ll be able to relax without feeling as though you’re too close to other guests, or indeed anyone else.
At the Faena Hotel Miami Beach the private beach area is superb, with everything in red and white, even the staff, and they were wearing Forties-style outfits (the original hotel was built in the Forties). They made sure we were comfortable and gave us complimentary iced water; just divine.
And the ocean was the perfect temperature, clear and made for swimming.
Other highlights of the Faena Hotel Miami Beach
I also loved the outside bar, with its ‘shell’ decoration…
The Living Room bar – isn’t that chandelier superb?
These roses. Aren’t the colours fabulous?
And this chandelier made from fishing flies. So clever! Basically, I loved everything.
I have been fortunate to stay at a lot of luxury hotels, but the Faena Hotel Miami Beach is really very special.
It’s cool and chic and also manages to feel quintessentially Miami Beach, slightly vintage and very glamorous. I can’t recommend it highly enough.