Archive for 2010
Housed in a historic building on Collins Avenue the new 1500° restaurant is a result of a $220 million renovation of the property that houses it. Built in 1956 this structure was designed by the great Morris Lapidus, an original purveyor of Miami Beach style and design, and has now had new life breathed into it with the extensive renovations and the opening of the hotly anticipated 1500° this month. According to the restaurant’s website their firm belief is that “no dish can be better than its ingredients.” With that thought in mind Chef Paula DaSilva has prepared a seasonal menu made up of largely fresh and local ingredients with a decidedly steakhouse bent. Not only has the ownership here brought in DaSilva, a chef with more than 10 years of experience at Miami’s 3030 Ocean restaurant among others (she was also a finalist on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen), but also the experienced restaurateur Seth Greenberg who is tasked with collaborating with DaSilva to make 1500° the place a well-heeled gourmand will want to frequent whether they live in Miami or are staying on in a luxury villa rental. “Our goal is to appeal to visitors and locals alike,” Chef DaSilva states. “Whether you’re a foodie tourist on a culinary exploration of Miami’s best restaurants, or a local looking for an exquisite meal in a gorgeous setting, 1500° will fit the bill.”
Ever wonder what Karl Lagerfeld’s world would look like if he could design more than just the clothes in it? Well, you’re about to find out. Kaiser Karl has gone and done it–he’s designed his own island. Not content to rule just the world of fashion the celebrated designer, in collaboration with Miami’s Oppenheim firm, has rolled out plans for a man-made island twenty kilometres off the coast of Dubai dubbed, quite fittingly, Isla Moda or Fashion Island. The project, backed by the KOR Hotel Group and spanning 1.2 million square feet, will feature 150 luxury villas and three hotels. Word of this project first spread in 2008, but after the bubble burst the project seemed to go quiet. Now, with plans for the futuristic-looking buildings being revealed, it appears that Karl’s island is still a go after all. (more…)
If your summers are reserved for St. Tropez, the Amalfi Coast or the Spanish islands, one of the best places to turn for some warmth during the cold winter months is Miami. The lush and vibrant city is diverse enough to offer an ideal vacation for every kind of traveller and is one of the only places in the United States able to stack up to Europe’s A-list travel spots. While the middle class may flock to the Miami they see on CSI or Jersey Shore, there is a whole other dimension to the city not readily available to most travellers.
The recent bankruptcy announcement of the Ultimate Escapes private luxury vacation rental club proves that vacation and destination clubs are a risky investment and offer disappointing vacation experiences.
The private luxury vacation rental industry typically remains under the radar as far as the news is concerned. Lately, however, corruption and poor service has begun to affect luxury vacationers on a level that even the press is taking notice. Last month, we reported on how a Russian billionaire was frauded out of thousands of dollars by an concierge and luxury vacation rental provider in St. Tropez who charged their client for a fireworks show that was put on my the city. While this is an isolated case, it sadly has become indicative of many luxury vacation rental providers throughout the world.
New Florida hotels and travel services awaiting discovery
4. Top Of The Line. Villazzo, the concierge travel company that provides luxury rental properties all over the world, has just launched its newest service in Miami, V Villas. This concept provides travelers with luxury residences for rental anywhere from a week to a month. The new service also offers a selection of five-star hotel amenities that include private butlers, personal chefs, Bulgari spa products, and transportation services (limousine, yacht and helicopter charters). All amenities are available à la carte or in a package. (more…)
On the heels of the recent St. Tropez luxury villa rental frauds comes word that vacationers in high-end destinations are being preyed on in yet another way. According to The New York Post one Russian billionaire was duped out of 10,000 Euros by a concierge hired to make his time away the vacation of his dreams.
Most people who turn to luxury villa rentals for their vacations are looking for more privacy and luxury that your usual five-star hotel offers, but they also want the added perks of services like housekeeping and onsite laundry. Unfortunately, despite what some advertise, most luxury villa rentals don’t come with these extras. At best what you’ll find once you arrive is an estate agent who is generally unequipped to provide the kind of services that guests require. Another option is to hire an independent concierge service to fulfil your needs during your luxury villa rental stay, but even then it’s difficult to know what you’re getting and on what kind of a timeline.
The majority of people hoping for a memorable luxury villa rental vacation in gorgeous places like St. Tropez or Miami don’t want to have to worry about mundane tasks like cleaning or doing laundry, tasks that with most villas will fall squarely to them. If not that then the adventure of trying to find a housekeeper or cook in a foreign locale during high season will. Neither seems particularly appealing when one is hoping for a relaxing, luxurious getaway. Worse still is the reality that hiring a concierge service to fulfil your needs while you’re away from home can lead you to being duped out of large sums of money. There are many concierge horror stories floating around from harried concierges attempting to serve the needs of several renters at the same time to services promised but never rendered. (more…)
Lincoln Road in South Beach is one of those rare pedestrian-only streets in a city of cars and traffic that reminds one of Barcelona’s tourist-trap Las Ramblas in many ways. Except now several companies, developers, and designers have moved in to rethink Lincoln Road and regentrify the area, producing buildings, stores, and restaurants meant to usher in a new era for the foot traffic on this road. Real estate developer Robert Wennett’s 1111 Lincoln Road is the biggest and showiest of the projects here and seeks to “further Miami’s international prominence as a 21st-century destination for art, commerce, and culture.” While Wennett has managed to pull in several international retailers for his multi-purpose building, it remains to be seen if he will have the same success with Lincoln Road as he has had with his other projects, like the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. If you’re planning a vacation in one of Miami’s luxury villa rentals you may want to head down to Lincoln Road to see for yourself the evolution currently taking place here. (more…)