How to make the most of a South Florida vacation this winter season

Carbone — Traditional Italian Fare South Florida Restaurant — Photos by Giovanny Gutierrez/Chat Chow TV

South Florida is loved for many reasons, beginning with the fact that vacationing here can be as toes-in-the-sand or sophisticated as you’d like.

From Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to Miami and the Florida Keys, we have all that’s new and worth the escape to South Florida this winter.

New Hotels

South Florida has flourished with new hotels, particularly in Miami. 

In 2021, Life House Hotels opened a Little Havana outpost inside a mission revival house in the barrio, complete with a gorgeous rooftop bar that is filled with tropical Caribbean plants.

Ocean Drive added another art deco address when The Balfour Hotel opened over the summer. Another noteworthy 2021 Miami Beach hotspot includes Dave Grutman and Pharrell William’s The Goodtime Hotel on Washington Avenue, where its sprawling pool lounge and DJ-filled parties rule the weekends.

Esmé Miami Beach along Española Way in South Beach was a youth hostel that has been completely renovated for $40 million. It is now a boutique hotel surrounded by a curated village-like setting with an Andalusian-inspired gin and tapas bar.

Up north, White Elephant Palm Beach opened in the fall of 2020. The 32-room hotel was built in a 1924 building right between the beach and Lake Worth, with private outdoor spaces to relax in the winter sunshine.

In Key West, the Margaritaville Beach House opened in late 2021, right across the street from Smathers Beach. The resort is perfect for those looking for an apartment-like place to stay that’s comfortably placed away from hectic Duval Street. Meanwhile, Kimpton is taking over Old Town Key West with five hotels all within walking distance from each other—and each with its own unique vibe. The tropical Lighthouse Hotel is located right across the street from the historic tourist hotspot, the Hemingway Home and Museum, while Ella’s Cottages have a one-of-a-kind charm and private guesthouses.


Must-Have Restaurant Reservations

Italian-American hotspot Carbone debuted its Miami restaurant in early 2021 on Collins Venue in Miami Beach. Here you can enjoy spicy rigatoni vodka and veal parmesan complete with a celebrity-spotting scene.

New York French bistro Le Bilboquet opened along Worth Avenue in Palm Beach in February 2021. Regulars swear by the lobster curry and bouillabaisse. 

Following the straight-out-of-New-York theme, the Michelin-starred Korean Steakhouse, Cote, landed in Miami’s Design District in 2021, bringing a complete steak omakase menu, creative cocktail infusions, and Butcher’s feast (four cuts of prime dry-aged beef with Korean accompaniments).

Coming in 2022

Slated for early 2022, the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale is set to open about a mile north of Las Olas Boulevard’s shops and boutiques. The hotel will spare no luxury on the South Florida Riviera.

Palm Beaches’ Singer Island will welcome the immersive, oceanfront wellness resort, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences, by the summer of 2022. The resort will hold 153 hotel rooms and 185 condominiums.

Florida’s first Yotel will open in March 2022 in the heart of downtown Miami. As a tech-forward brand loved by millennials, hotel guests will be able to enjoy a rooftop pool with a birds-eye view of Biscayne Bay.

CitizenM Miami World Center has plans to bring 252 affordable luxury and app-controlled bedrooms to Brickell when it debuts in downtown Miami later this year.

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