In a city with glittering skyscrapers and multimillion-dollar yachts, Faena Hotel Miami Beach provides guests with a truly over-the-top experience. When it opened in 2016, it was awarded a Forbes Five-Star rating—the first time a resort has received the honor within its first year. In 2020, Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards named it the best hotel in Miami and the number-two property in the country.
The lobby of the art-deco-inspired hotel is drenched in glamour, from its gold-painted ceilings to the splashy murals on its walls. Massive columns, also gold, line the room and frame your view of floor-to-ceiling windows that bathe the room in natural light. Outside, a sparkling pool and tropical bar beckon; a grand, gilded mammoth skeleton, reportedly worth millions, guards the entrance to the beach.
The hotel is part of the Faena District, home to an opulent theater complete with a jaw-dropping chandelier and decadent dinner service (caviar, anyone?), a luxury shopping center, and several lauded restaurants. (Dine at Los Fuegos for authentic South American specialties, and if you really feel like splurging, opt for a flight of their three highest-rated Bordeaux wines, priced at a mere $1,500.)
The Tierra Santa Healing House is perhaps the perfect complement to the hotel’s epic attractions. The 22,000-square-foot spa features one of the largest hammams on the East Coast and an overwhelming selection of shaman-inspired body treatments and healing rituals. Try the signature Tree of Life Vibrations treatment for essential-oil aromatherapy, a hot stone massage, and sound therapy with Nepalese singing bowls. It presents the golden opportunity to rejuvenate before indulging in the rest of Miami’s best.
INSIDER: Sebastian Benitez, chef de cuisine at Faena Hotel Miami Beach’s Los Fuegos, shares three local favorites
Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami
“It’s a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy craft cocktails and small bites. It has a very laid-back environment, and there’s outdoor seating, so you can enjoy Miami’s beautiful weather.”
“This place has the best pasta in Miami Beach. It’s such good Italian comfort food. The quality is always consistent, and it’s definitely one of my first choices when I go out to dinner.”
True Loaf Bakery
“It’s a bakery like no other. Everything is baked fresh every day, so I like to go for breakfast and get a coffee and some pastries. They also have a good selection of fresh breads.”
This article appears in the Spring & Summer 2022 issue of Southbound.