Raised in the New York ‘burbs in the 60s and 70s, I grew up vacationing with my family in Miami Beach in all its ultra-glitzy glory where the main strip of often flamboyant, “more is more” hotels on Collins Avenue backed right up to the beach. In time, Miami fell out of favor with affluent vacationers—but it’s back now, drawing models, A-list celebs, art and fashion devotees, and the like to its beautifully restored Art Deco district, gourmet dining, exciting nightlife, first-class designer shopping, and, of course, miles of powder soft ocean beach.
The Destination: On the iconic Miami beachfront in the heart of the Historic District, the new Metropolitan Hotel is right in the middle of the South Beach scene. A chic, boutique property with a relaxed luxury vibe, it’s the debut entry into the States from the Singapore-based COMO Collection, a brand specializing in small, handpicked properties in exotic locales like Bali, Bangkok, and Thailand.
Design & Decor: Former site of the old Traymore Hotel, the 74-room hotel is an original 1930s Art Deco structure, meticulously renovated for current travelers and featuring striking modern interiors by internationally known avant-garde Italian designer, Paola Navone, who preserved its exterior and other classic features such as the lobby’s terrazzo floor. If the iconic Fontainebleau Hotel’s design scheme in its heyday followed the dripping crystal design aesthetic of “more is more,” the refurbished Metropolitan adheres to a more tasteful, minimalistic Mid-Century look in which each carefully selected, vintage-inspired furnishing, work of art, accent piece, and finishing plays an integral part; the cool oversized white golf ball in our room, for instance, turns out to be the ice bucket. Navone contrasts the Art Deco ambiance with urbane, contemporary interiors in soothing shades of peppermint green and dusky gray and white marble and chrome fixtures.
To Do: On-site options are all about relaxation and wellness, with a rooftop Urban Escape day spa, gym, pool, private Intracoastal Waterway dock, and a boardwalk behind the hotel running the length of the beach that’s perfect for strolling, jogging, rollerblading, or renting a Citi Bike. Yes, the beach is positively glorious and the ocean hypnotic—we spent a blissful afternoon lounging there, entranced by the colorful kite-boarders (think surfing with big kites), but my secret favorite spot in the hotel is the stunning rooftop hydrotherapy pool. This pool-sized Jacuzzi with juice bar and truly spectacular, unobstructed views of water and sky becomes our private oasis, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and beach scene. Off-site, the hotel is minutes away from the Miami Beach Golf Club, Lincoln Road designer shopping, glittering nightlife, and such cultural highlights as the Miami City Ballet, the Bass Museum of Art, and, in early December, Art Basel.
Metropolitan’s rooftop hydrotherapy pool
Discover: Art Basel, held at the Miami Convention Center from December 3 through 6 and just a ten-minute walk away from the hotel. Known as the premier art show of the Americas, Art Basel draws more than 70,000 Red Carpet regulars and art lovers alike to its presentation of paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, and films from 260-plus galleries from around the world. Included are important works from Modern and contemporary art masters as well as new emerging artists.
Dine: The excellent cuisine served at the hotel’s Traymore Restaurant is a very welcome contrast to the heavy chopped liver and the like menus served in Miami’s original incarnation. Featured is fresh, local Floridian seafood like Key West pink shrimp and yellow tail snapper. For lunch, enjoy brick-oven pizza or salads on daybed-type loungers by the pool.
Drink: The sleek Traymore Bar, with its classic Miami pastel pink and pistachio color scheme, is the city’s first gin club, showcasing an array of artisanal cocktails made from more than 30 types of gin. In keeping with the hotel’s relaxed, laid back philosophy, you won’t find dark lighting and thumping bass in this bright, inviting space but if you’re looking for a buzzier club scene, there are plenty of happening alternatives nearby.
Insider Tip: The hotel offers terrific city-and-island packages in concert with Parrot Cay, COMO’s exclusive private island destination in the Turks & Caicos that’s just a one-and-a-half hour flight away from Miami. I spent an enchanting couple of days at this secluded property a few years ago and it remains one of my all-time favorite vacation destinations.
Details: Rates begin at $499 per night in season and exclude parking. While towels and lounges at the pool and beach are complementary for guests, there is an additional charge for certain amenities on the beach, such as umbrellas and shaded canopies, as they are provided by a city-regulated third-party and not the hotel itself.
Metropolitan’s beachside pool
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Getting There: The hotel is located about 25 minutes by car from Miami International Airport. While there are no non-stop flights from Westchester to Miami, there are several from LaGuardia and Kennedy. Want to skip the New York City traffic quagmire but still fly nonstop? Take a direct flight from Westchester airport to Fort Lauderdale, located about 40-minutes from the hotel. Miami is not particularly car-friendly so skip the rental car and parking fees and use shuttles, Uber, and taxis or walk to get around.
Metropolitan By COMO
2445 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL;