Thursday, August 23, 2018

SoBe with The Shelborne

As far as US beaches go, Miami's are exceptionally chic. The endless palms, the characteristic beach cabanas and the 'charm' of the city life is unlike any other city. Boujee - yes. Relaxing - not as much. 

While you are able to grab some beach chairs, an umbrella and sip cocktails in front of the ocean all day, there is an overall glamorous vibe that makes you want to get dressed up for any occasion - including the beach. 

Walking down the streets feels like something straight out of a movie. The art-deco architecture brings you back to the 1950s, but with a contemporary twist. The pastel colors and eclectic interior of each building is really what makes the city so vibrant.  It has the lush greenery and humid air of a tropical rainforest, but also the sophisticated, upscale vibe of the city life. 

I can never get over the diverse culture that exists in South Beach. Sure, there is diversity in every major city. However, South Beach tends to attract a lot of fashion-forward people. We ran into people from Cuba, Italy, Australia and France (which convinced me that our next vacation will definitely be in Europe). 

A few summers back, my family and I stayed at a little boutique hotel right in the middle of South Beach called the Shelborne. It was very quaint compared to the expansive resorts we had previously chosen, and had a magical touch to it. On this trip, I partnered with them to get the full South Beach experience - it was the best it has ever been. I'll go ahead and break down everything we did here:

Upon arrival, we were greeted with complimentary cocktails, the most amazing customer service I have ever received, and a stunning hotel lobby full of color and greenery. It boasts chic, old Hollywood, which I love. Our room had a nice balance of contemporary with classic Miami Beach decor. The hotel, overall, is eclectic and trendy, so naturally as a blogger I was all about the photo ops. 

Right after checking in, we headed to the GUYandGIRL Spa for our facials. Bryce was pretty hesitant about a facial, but I had really been looking forward to it. The spa had both, a guy's 'locker room' and a girl's. There was a sauna, a steam room and showers. After our facials, we grabbed some champagne and relaxed by the pool. My skin was "glowing", as Bryce said. Facials will definitely be a regular self-care treatment for me from now on. 

After our spa treatment, we headed to the Shelborne's poolside cafe where we had brunch and Happy Hour al fresco. We both got the cocktail of the day which was a Passionfruit Margarita.

South Beach hotels are pretty much known for their gorgeous pools and outdoor amenities. The Shelborne offered us a poolside cabana for the day, which truly changed the way I think of 'laying poolside'. It ended up being perfect because it rained for about 10 minutes, so we snuggled up in our cabana and enjoyed our Po Boy Sandwiches. 

After the rain, we headed over to the poolside bar for a few more drinks. The pool aesthetic is very relaxed for South Beach, which I enjoyed. It is retro, but more quaint, and with that comes less people and less chaos. We grabbed a few seats at the bar before heading down to the beach. 

This was probably my favorite part of our entire stay. We got a few beach chairs and an umbrella and simply took in the moment. The warmth of the sun, that saltwater smell and the subtle noise of the ocean - it was perfect. 

After the perfect day, we got dressed and headed downstairs to the Shelborne's very own, Root & Bone. The ambiance in this little restaurant was relaxing and romantic, with a small number of tables and pillows in the booths. It was the perfect mix between South Beach historic and Southern charm. From the "Grandma's Angel Biscuits" to the salted caramel pie, every single meal was perfection. It reminded me of my grandmother's cooking, to be honest. Very rich and authentic. 

Towards the end of our dinner we could hear the music from the Cabaret carrying up to the front of the restaurant. It was magical. 

Lastly, Bryce and I went over to the Cabaret and Piano Bar that is tucked away towards the back of the hotel. There is a gorgeous bar right across the way, and a cozy room full of cocktails and live music. The musician playing actually covered "Electric Feel" by MGMT and it was the best I've ever heard. We both loved it. 

Although South Beach has always been a favorite of mine, the hotels you stay in are always hit or miss. We have stayed in amazing, extravagant hotels and had really bad customer service, and we have stayed in gorgeous, smaller hotels and had minor problems. In all honesty, this hotel blew us away. The rooms are trendy and clean, the pool is charming, yet lavish and the people are welcoming beyond belief. There is a perfect balance - variety with a boutique aesthetic and it was absolutely perfect! 

If you have any questions about South Beach, check out my SoBe guide here

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