The Hedonist's Guide to Miami

A 72-hour primer for a long weekend to the Magic City: Where to sleep, drink, dance, shop, and lounge (and no one will blame you if you stay an extra day or...ten).
By Lesley Abravanel
COME ON, BABY, LIGHT MY FIRE: Ocean Drive, Miami (courtesy, Greater Miami CVB)

When Paris Hilton's light bulb went off and the hotel heiress began uttering her trademark "That's Hot" at damn near everything, she couldn't have realized that Miami owns the phrase. But that's OK. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is why Miami sets the standard for cities everywhere in terms of style, trends, music, hedonism, and more. And while we acknowledge that 72 hours in the Magic City aren't nearly enough, we've outlined enough spots to make you wish your 15 minutes of fame could last at least another day. Now that's hot.

Places to Stay:
If you want scene, you stay on South Beach. And for the see and be scenesters for whom price is no object, the Delano (305-672-2000,, Hotel Victor (305-428-1234,, Sagamore (305-535-8088,, Sanctuary (305-673-5455,, and Shore Club (305-695-3100, serve as command central for the Gucci and Prada-clad fabulatti. All of these properties preside over South Beach, and will run you anywhere from $250 to $400 for a basic suite. If you can't stay at any of the aforementioned due to budget or the fact that P. Diddy's million-man posse rented one of them out for the weekend, be sure to drop in to any one—or several—of these spots for a few cocktails just to absorb the scenery.

For celebs like John Travolta, Brad Pitt, and Katie Couric who prefer luxury and privacy over paparazzi and red-carpet parties, the Mandarin Oriental Miami (305-913-8288, and the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne (305-365-4500, are two of Miami's best—with spas that rock. They are also both about 15 minutes by car from South Beach. For those US Weekly acolytes in the audience, the night before Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced they were splitsville, Pitt was spotted sulking at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. Need we say more? Expect to pay from $300 up to prices that are expectedly stratospheric.

In the shabby-chic department—that is, a scene without a price tag that's obscene—check into the Whitelaw (305-398-7000,, TownHouse (305-534-3800,, or the Aqua (305-538-4361, In each of these you'll find elegant, comfortable design melded with prices that won't leave you snacking on Subway the entire weekend—standard rates are from $85 to $170.

Published: 5 Apr 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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