24 Hours in….Miami. – #AccorHotels24hrs
Well Hello, this is different, in a rare moment of insomnia I’m taking up the Accor Hotels challenge to think about and describe what I’d do with 24 hours in any city in the world #AccorHotels24hrs. Hmmm, decision decisions. So much for counting sheep.
First of all, who are they? Accor have hotels in more than 90 countries encompassing all continents, Accor hotels offers you a vast selection of destinations. On the Accorhotels.com portal, you can find a wide choice of accommodation to suit all budgets and aspirations from Sofitel to ibis, via Pullman, MGallery, Mercure and Novotel. That’s the spiel over, the point of this challenge ( besides the fabulous prize obviously) is to encourage us to share our favourite places, idea, desires, what motivates, us, drives, us, helps us to part with our hard earned cash all in the name of travel. I have to be honest, when it comes to travel, I’m very easily persuaded.
Lot’s of cities flash before my eyes when I close them to think, but I need one which can bring together pretty much all the things I love, if I’ve only got 24 hours, then there are some key things that need to happen. If you’ve followed any of my previous posts, you’ve probably figured them out already. My ideal, well, has to include my basic essentials, sun, sea, and sand. I love hustle and bustle, but crave the sensual caress of the rays of the sun on my skin on a sandy beach also, I don’t have to be full on laying out in the sun, though this is clearly my preferred state of being (aspiring professional sunbather one day), with a margarita in hand, but I could settle for being sat at or facing the beach, the sea, and yes, still being caressed by the sun.
24 hours is a very short time to think about all the important things I’d need to cram in to my ideal travel experience, and being the chilled out entertainer I am, I’m not sure that it’s an experience I’d want to rush. I’d rather do less, enjoy a few key significant factors on the trip and savour them more. Let’s face it, being constantly on the go…well, that’s just normal daily life isn’t it? No, do less, feel more, this is the mantra which works for me in the 24 hours I have in magnificent Miami.
A Miami day starts for me with a fantastic breakfast in South Beach, this is the home of the beautiful people and when you see the very beautiful breakfasts put out before you…you’re already feeling the vibe and jumping onboard. On my last visit to Miami I remember watching women roller skate past me, tossing their hair whilst I sat and ate breakfast at the side of the road, wow. I was in awe of women older than me rollerskating successfully was one thing, doing so in cut off denim shorts or gym gear yet looking like they’d stepped straight out of a hair product advertisement with glossy locks and glowing skin, well, it’s not just in the movies then, bummer!
This experience was better than the movies, especially when a random hot guy approaches, introduces himself and asks if he can join me for breakfast, despite me pointing out my partner is at the hotel and joining me later, he professes no bad intentions and simply enhances the experience with interesting conversation, wit, charm and flashes of his dazzling white teeth every so often, pinch me somebody! (this really did happen in Miami may I add). In general I found everywhere in Miami people to be very friendly and striking up conversation wether alone or as a couple was not a problem, so in terms of mixing, socialising, it’s just a great place to go. So, for this trip of 24 hours bliss and escapism, I would absolutely be a social butterfly, talk to a few locals, find out what’s happening during my 24 hour stay in case there’s something I absolutely should not be missing of course.
For me, there are key things that have to happen within any city I visit, something that helps me get the measure of a place, to sit, survey, relax and soak in the vibe, the ambiance and the people. This, takes place at the best coffee shop I can find. It doesn’t matter which town or city I go to, I think you can judge a lot about the locality when you sit and relax in a coffee shop and follow the comings and goings, conversations, confessions, gossip, happening all around you, a very surreal experience in some ways.
Whilst sitting in the coffee shop, or even better if you can sit outside of the coffee shop (to continue to absorb the sun’s rays) and you lean back, relax, and people watch (don’t forget your sunglasses – easier for people watching). The style, the excitement, the buzz, the professionalism, the young and whimsical, you get to see and observe it all happening before your eyes sat at the coffee shop or cafe bar. I would no doubt have picked up a local paper or better still, one of those free outrageously glossy magazines you get…well everywhere except here and flick through that taking in the style, admiring the penthouses they tell me I can afford, feeling the general flow of the place whilst discreetly people watching all the same.
Now, let’s not forget what I’m about, experiences, lifestyle, culture, hospitality, and shopping! Having enjoyed a fantastic curb-side coffee, it would probably be a good idea to visit a few of the little galleries, art shops etc all around South Beach and the Art Deco area, the design district, there’s just so much to choose here. So, hopefully I’ve already assaulted my senses, had the fabulous smelling and then tasting breakfast followed by coffee, I’ve stimulated my style-receptors by reading the magazines and people watching, now to go into the shops…and SHOP. How very perfect is this day so far! No doubt I have by the afternoon frequented all of the best stores, there is a great mix between downs ton Miami and the ultimate glitz of Bal Harbour shopping district, a true shoppers heaven, if only to window shop, you still come away feeling rather special for having been.
Whilst on the subject of the senses, if possible, one has to get to the beach of course, if even to eat an ice cream and stroll along, go barefoot, feel the sand between my toes or a little paddle along the waters edge, all the while taking in the sights (wow there are some sights here, I cannot lie) as well as the skyline, the buildings, and the constant buzz and vibrancy of the life that surrounds you.
But the ultimate in party vibes in Miami generally takes place around a fabulous pool and there are so many of them to choose from! A Miami pool party is an event you will never forget and be desperate to re-live again and again, once bitten forever smitten with the Miami bug, try it, I dare you.
As evening falls, I’m totally spoilt for choice, there are the super glamorous restaurants of South Beach and Miami Beach area, or something a little more ethnic and exciting, I think it will have to be Cuban food for my one evening in a lovely small locally owned restaurant of which there are several. Then back down to the main strip to sip and see, drink sexy cocktails and hang out with the even sexier people, watch the stretch Hummers pull up outside of the bars and hotels and offload their Super Model inhabitants, and possibly on to a club where the partying really begins, there are so many great clubs here, you didn’t come to sleep did you!
My night would end between 3am and 5am, depending on the club of choice, and I’d be ecstatic that I came, and sad that it was over so quickly, but oh so full of memories. By the time I eventually do lay my head to rest, I’m deep in slumber, re-living the magic of Miami, planning the return visit.
This is how I would spend #AccorHotels24hrs, 24 hours in the city of my choice> It’s a trip I could make with girlfriends or my husband and enjoy either way. 24 hours is basically a great party, and there is no party like a Miami party. Beach party, pool party, whatever. This is the city to give you life! Try it, live a little, or actually, rather a lot, at least, that’s what I’d do!
P.s. Some recommended reading for real travel inspiration in the Miami area if you’ve more than 24 hours and a healthy budget then feast your eyes by clicking on this summarised guide put together by Boat International .