Otter Expedition: Mandarin Oriental, Miami
*This post is written is sponsored by the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. All thoughts and options expressed here (as always) are my own! ;)
Best way to kick off Fall? Go to Miami and lay by the pool!!
Mike and I ran off to the Mandarin Oriental, Miami for the weekend and let me tell you, it was a wonderful, gorgeous, luxurious little getaway. It had all the elements of a perfect vacation: a spa day, amazing food, shopping and lounging in the sun. Not gloating, just giving you all the reasons for you to book your next trip!
My favorite hotels are usually the ones with large properties that you rarely have to leave. The Mandarin Oriental, Miami is situated on a secluded private island called Brickell Key. It's only 20 min from the airport, but it's far away from the craziness of Miami Beach (my least favorite part of Florida).
It's like a little oasis! It even has it's own private beach!!
We took an early morning flight from NYC and after checking in to the hotel, went STRAIGHT to the spa! That will definitely be my game plan for every vacation from now on. It's the perfect way to destress, clear your skin and get into 'vacation mode'. The Mandarin Oriental, Miami has spa suites which overlook the pool, so Mike and I had side-by-side facials, customized to our preferences and skin types. It's a world-class spa! I would have spent the entire day there if we didn't have dinner plans and sites to see.
There are several restaurants on the property. La Mar by Gastón Acurio is an Asian-Peruvian fusion restaurant with an incredible menu. I would describe it as modern-gastronomy meets classic-Peruvian meets Asian-flare. Crab was whipped into pink foam noodles, fried rice was mixed table-side and chocolate truffles were served on ice cream that looked like pebbles.
I would recommend doing the tasting menu so you can try the full range of flavors. It was a really cool (and tasty) experience!
Afterward, chill on the back patio, which recently opened as YAKU by La Mar. The DJ plays late into the night and it has a perfect view of the Miami skyline.
We did check out the Brickell City Center. It's a partial-open-air shopping center a 10 min walk from the hotel. It's probably one of the most sleek malls I have ever shopped in. The architecture is a mix of glass, wood, stainless steel and plants.
Aside from the quick shopping trip though, we honestly spent the entire weekend by the pool! The weather was PERFECT during our stay and I was determined to even out my farmers tan. The Oasis Pool Cafe is only a few feet away and the servers give you a little button to press anytime you need food or a drink refill.
It told you... it's like an oasis.
If I were to sum it up, I would say I really loved the spa, the views, the private beach and quiet pool area, the convenient shopping and the amazing food.... but what really stood out to me (that you don't experience in a lot of beautiful hotels and most of Miami) is the service!
Mike and I have worked in customer service for most of our lives, so quality service and attention to detail really matter to us. It can make or break a trip. The staff at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami were attentive, courteous and always went above and beyond with their service gestures. From offering to take us up to our room and tour the hotel, to guiding us to a pool chair and 'setting us up' with towels, chair coverings and water. It was a multitude of little things and made one massive difference. There are free headphones in the gym and almost all areas of the hotel have someone primed to answer your every need. I could go on and on, but it was just really special.