… but expensive.
We went over to Miami for a few days for my birthday, flew out on the Wednesday and back on the following Monday night/Tuesday morning.
When we landed in Miami we were horrified to see that it was pouring with rain and quite windy. Tropical Storm “Noel” was just passing the east coast of Florida after devastating several parts of the Caribbean and the Bahamas, and we were assured that the weather would improve when the storm had gone.
Taxis from the airport are charged at a flat rate, which is a great idea, so we were soon winging our way to South Beach clutching our bit of paper with the hotel address on it; the taxi driver hadn’t heard of the place we had booked, but we knew that it only been open a short time.
We found the hotel, The Anglers Boutique Resort pretty easily, as it’s on Washington Ave, two blocks from the beach.
The hotel was really nice; recently modernised, so recently in fact that they had to take the masking tape off the room number when we were shown to the room.
The room was spacious, with a very comfortable bed, large sofa and armchairs, and two small balconies looking over the hotel’s courtyard pool.
There was also a large plasma TV with cable, DVD player and an iPod dock which could all be controlled from a single controller.
On Wednesday evening we had food from the recently-opened hotel restaurant, which was excellent.
Thursday morning brought more cloud and rain, so we decided to get some of the shopping out of the way and caught a cab to the Aventura Mall which is between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
We spent the rest of the day in the mall, buying lots of stuff, mostly clothing which was so much cheaper than in the UK. I did browse round the Apple Store, but couldn’t convince myself I needed a new iPod or an iPhone so left there empty-handed. We ate at The Cheesecake Factory, one of our favourite US food chains where the food was plentiful, excellent value and very good.
Friday and Saturday saw us venturing to the beach and catching some sun, as the weather had perked up. We could only stand a couple of hours or so in the sun, so then wandered around Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue, trying various places to eat for breakfast and lunch.
Our favourites were probably The News Cafe, The Big Pink and the 11th Street Diner.
We ate at a couple of more “upscale” restaurants, “The Tuscan Steak” and “Smith and Wollensky’s”, both of which were pretty good for quality of food but were quite expensive even by UK standards. We particularly enjoyed watching the rich folks at the bar in the latter venue.
All in all, we enjoyed the holiday, but spent quite a bit more money than we’d originally intended. South Beach is probably the priciest part of Miami, if not the whole of Florida, and it’s plays host to some of the ultra-wealthy residents and visitors who moor their yachts nearby.