Welcome to your South Beach sojourn, just in time for Pride.
Marriott Stanton South Beach
Introducing your very own sleek, chic SoBe pad, right on the beach perfect for a weekend escape, Spring Break or Pride weekend.
It’s been a long, cold winter and spring can’t come fast enough. Many queer snowbirds already know about the charms of Miami as a winter escape, but did you know that Pride season on Florida’s golden gay mile is almost upon us and we have the perfect place for you to stay?
Marriott Stanton South Beach oceanfront king guest room
On a recent visit to escape the Arctic chill engulfing the Northeast, I stayed at Marriott Stanton South Beach, located right on Miami’s premiere thoroughfare, Ocean Drive, in the South of Fifth (“SoFi”) District. Marriott Stanton has unobstructed ocean views, direct beach access to white sand and sapphire water, and it’s a short stroll or cycle to gaycentric South Beach. The Stanton’s newly renovated 224 stylish guest rooms all have private balconies that overlook either the Downtown Miami cityscape or the two infinity edge pools and azure Atlantic Ocean that stretches all the way to the Bahamas.
Marriott Stanton South Beach spa
As part of the new renovations a fitness center and spa await to get your body “beach ready"—waxed or relaxed, it's up to you. The Stanton's intimate, state-of-the-art spa offers a divine menu of massages including the innovative Hot Sea Shell treatment...which is exactly what it sounds like and will leave you feeling like a mermaid.
The view from Marriott Stanton South Beach
Relaxed is always my preference and the quickest, cheapest way to do that is to get near the water. Choose from the beach, which is literally a few steps from the spacious outdoor terrace and pool deck with private cabanas—perfect for sipping a margarita from Lolo’s Surf Cantina. The beach is also the place to partake of the Stanton’s complimentary sunrise yoga and the pool deck is the best place to while away the day, cool off, enjoy the resort-style music and chat to friends.
Marriott Stanton South Beach pool deck
You’ve probably heard that Miami is experiencing a resurgence, especially in food and design, with the Wynwood and Midtown districts now brimming with street art, galleries and boutiques—all just a short ride share away. The re-emerging South of Fifth neighborhood is both laid-back and walkable with cool restaurants, boutiques, bars, and beach cafes. Yes, Miami has got its groove back.
The Stanton itself has reflected this welcome trend with its own unpretentious yet sophisticated take on Art Deco-meets-beach. The décor is both fun and elegant while evoking the mood of modern Miami. And while there are plenty of great places to eat within a short radius, a great place to start is on property.
Azabu Miami Beach restaurant serves sophisticated Japanese
For date-night-worthy dining, book a table at Azabu Miami Beach, an authentic and atmospheric Japanese Robata restaurant helmed by top chefs Masatsugu Kubo and Kenichi Fujimoto. This is a lovely Izakaya-style dining room and sushi den boasting a six-foot Bonsai and tasteful wood décor that is both cool and cozy. In this secret spot just off the lobby, almost every type of Japanese food—from sushi to yakitori—is served with finesse and flair. The cocktail, wine and sake list is also excellent making this the perfect choice for a celebration or date night.
For something more casual, whether that’s breakfast, lunch or a post-swim snack, Lolo’s Surf Cantina serves Baja-inspired Mexican dishes in a fun and colorful setting. Try the epic eggs Benedict or munch on grilled corn topped with queso cotija. But you just can't go past the fresh taco's topped with ribeye, Mahi-Mahi or mushrooms.
My favorite places to dine off-property ranged from the super-casual to the upscale. If you want to breakfast with the locals, drop into Puerto Sagua Restaurant, one of Miami Beach’s authentic Cuban joints. Choose a classic American diner-style breakfast or simply opt for a cafecito and croquetas before hitting the town.
A sampling of dishes at Upland
For a night on the town, head to Upland a glamorous sister of the New York eatery established by celebrated chef Justin Smillie. This talented James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef New York City dishes up signature California-inspired cuisine with Miami style. Everything on your plate is chic, healthy, and Instagram worthy. Located in the SoFi neighborhood in a warm, open and ambient space this is statement dining, and most dishes—from the wood-fired pizzas to the farm-fresh veggies are both luxuriant and fresh. I positively swooned over the large and succulent, smoky wood fired Florida prawns. The Kabayaki trout with green rice is something to see, while the smoked roast branzino for two is something to savor with someone you adore.
Out and About
The Stanton has complimentary bikes so just ask the concierge about renting one to explore your new neighborhood. If you’d prefer to be led, take a bike tour with Bike And Roll Miami. Explore the three main nearest historic districts and enjoy the many landmark pastel-colored Art Deco buildings with this safe, friendly and informative tour. If biking’s not your thing, take a Walking Art Deco Tour and stop for refreshment (I loved the hearty salads and ice-cold beers) at the famous News Cafe. This is the perfect place to indulge in a spot of people watching.
The view of Downtown Miami
To kick it up a notch (and work off all that good living) take a South Beach Kayak Adventure through Miami’s waters and canals and get up close to some of the stately waterfront homes of the rich and famous.
Miami For Pride
Miami has welcomed and celebrated LGBTQ travelers from around the globe for decades now, all year round but with the iconic Miami Beach Pride Parade next month, Florida’s gayest golden mile is sure to come alive even more.
An estimated 1.2 million LGBTQ travelers visit Miami each year and there is plenty to delight lesbians and queer women as well as gay men. In its eleventh year, Miami Beach Pride has grown into one of the most anticipated events in a vibrant and busy city known for its diversity.
Starting at 12pm on April 7, 2019, the length of Ocean Drive along the colorful and historic Art Deco district will be closed to traffic and open wide to South Florida’s LGBTQ community, its family, friends and visitors from around the world. The 11th Annual Miami Beach Pride Parade plus two stages with world-class DJs, celebrity entertainers, surprise performances, 125 vendor booths, food and cocktails at beachfront Lummus Park and “The Garden of Eve” Women’s Party will provide an unbeatable weekend. Outshine Film Festival (from April 18) will screen memorable contemporary and classic queer cinema.
OutShine Festival, Miami Pride
And why not? After my recent getaway to the Marriott Stanton South Beach, I felt like a movie star in my very own little tropical adventure—complete with beach vibe and Latin beats.
To start planning your South Beach sojourn, go here.