Just off the coast of Miami, the Forbes Five-Star rated Mandarin Oriental hotel glitters on a tiny triangular island called Brickell Key. Its location on this island gives guests of the hotel an unexpectedly spectacular view, but that isn’t the only reason to choose this hotel for your next luxury vacation to Florida.
Just a week ago, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. Escaping the biting cold of Colorado was a gift in itself – Floridian weather in winter is heavenly. We arrived in the early afternoon of a gorgeous day. After a gracious welcome, we were shown to our Deluxe Bay View room on a high floor and received a brief and helpful introduction to the many room amenities from the bellman. The view from the balcony, however, stole the show. Because the hotel is on Brickell Key, connected to Miami by a bridge, it has a unique up-close view of the city skyline much like the view you’d imagine taking in while on a yacht floating off the coastline. The view of the ocean and bay was just as spectacular as was watching the cruise ships drop anchor at the port.
Our room was spacious and elegantly bedecked in high-end modern furnishings and décor. My favorite touches included the ability to open up the bathroom to the bedroom to enjoy the bay view while getting ready for a night out and the entertainment system that allows guests to connect their own devices to the HD LCD TV.
Many hotels in the luxury category offer designer bath amenities, but none compare to Mandarin Oriental’s Shaghai Tang, especially the bath gel and body lotion. These aren’t available online, so plan to enjoy the pampering while you can during your stay.
The Mandarin Oriental Miami is home to two restaurants, a lounge and poolside café. As our stay was regrettably short, we took advantage of just one of these, La Mar by master chef Gaston Acurio. The cuisine at La Mar is Peruvian with a focus on fresh seafood and features indoor and outdoor dining. We asked to be seated on the heated patio to continue to take in the sparkle of the city.
Years ago, I lived abroad in Peru and developed an incredible love of the food. Since I haven’t had the opportunity since to enjoy an authentic Peruvian meal, I was thrilled to have the chance to once again eat Peruvian cuisine and to share the experience with my husband. The meal did not disappoint! Many may be surprised to find out that Peruvian food is strikingly different from that of every other South American country. Entrees have a deeply savory quality and are rarely spicy. The food is best eaten slowly so as to not miss any of the changing nuances in each bite. Without a doubt, La Mar rivals the best restaurants in Peru.
We both ordered the churrasco a lo pobre from our exceptionally professional and knowledgeable server. Churrasco a lo pobre roughly translated from Spanish means a barbequed steak in the common fashion. The entrée consists of perfectly grilled ribeye angus beef medallions topped with the most common (and uncommonly delicious) sauce in Peru, chorrillana. On top rests a slightly sweet fried banana. To put it simply, the food was incredible and I’ve craved it every day since. For dessert, our server brought us a work of art – coconut ice cream with pineapple chips and ginger jelly decorated with the words “Happy Anniversary.” It was the ideal conclusion to an exceptional and memorable meal.
My recommendation: The Mandarin Oriental in Miami lives up to the high standard the brand has set in every way. Its superior views, décor that shows impeccable taste, one-of-a-kind restaurant (La Mar) and focused service are all excellent reasons to choose this hotel over the many luxury hotels Miami has to offer. Book your stay without hesitation.
For more information on Mandarin Oriental Miami or to reserve your room, please visit their website.
Examiner’s note: My thanks to Director of Communications, Alexandra Wensley, for kindly arranging my stay and restaurant reservation.