Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at Faena Hotel Miami Beach with a friend for a girls’ weekend away in January. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we’d hoped. Upon arrival, a friendly bellhop told us more about the stunning artwork in the grand entryway/foyer of the hotel. On the right side of this foyer are a restaurant and theater, and to the left are the elevators, concierge and a personalized check-in experience. There’s no busy main reception at Faena but rather two desks that offer a more exclusive welcome experience. Within a few minutes we were checked in and on our way to our guestroom.
Guest Quarters: The building on Collins Avenue that today houses Faena Hotel Miami Beach was formerly 1947 Saxony Hotel. The hallways on the way to guestrooms almost evoke a school hallway, or that of an apartment building. But despite the bones of the building, there’s no debate this property exudes cool. The artwork is impressive, the décor sleek and modern, and the color combination a touch exotic. The service strives to match as well, including butlers.
Most of the rooms are suites; ours opened into a living area with the wet bar set up to the right of the entrance and a coat closet, where we hid our winter coats, to the immediate left. A small dining table led into the living room, with armchairs, a couch and coffee table opposite a two-sided TV. A deck off the living room offered a partial beach view. The living room rolled right into the bedroom, with even more closet space, before leading into a large bathroom with double sinks, a long vanity, a separate water closet with a smart toilet and a large, luxurious shower.
Services/Amenities: We stayed on property the entire weekend, enjoying the many on-site amenities. For breakfast each morning of our two-night stay we went to Veranda, next to the pool. On the first night, we ate at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, which offers a contemporary asado experience. Our final dinner was at Pao by Paul Qui, boasting Filipino, Spanish, Japanese and French cuisine. Three bars — Saxony Bar, with a live DJ and golden-age glamour; The Living Room, serving small plates and bespoke cocktails; and the outdoor Tree of Life — are also available.
One interesting amenity we didn’t get to try was Faena Theater, an intimate, gilded theater where guests can enjoy artistic productions and Faena’s own acclaimed cabaret performance. I’d definitely consider purchasing tickets on my next visit, as I heard other guests raving.
I also enjoyed a massage at Tierra Santa Healing House, a 22,000-square-foot spa on the hotel’s third floor. In addition to an extensive shop and a full menu of treatment options, the facility has plenty of relaxation areas, including hot tubs and saunas, for pre- or post-treatment.
◆ While we didn’t need much else than was already supplied in our ample guestroom, my friend did need to call the front desk with a question, and the hotel had quite a bit of trouble with the phone system not working properly.
◆ Even though the weather did not quite agree, we enjoyed some time poolside. We reserved chairs and also enjoyed lunch, libations and attentive service.
◆ The hotel boasts a state-of-the-art fitness facility; however, I took advantage of the property’s location to enjoy a morning three-mile walk along the oceanfront path, accessible behind Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
FAENA HOTEL MIAMI BEACH
3201 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33140
tel 305 534 8800
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
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