Ria Michelle, Fashion Blogger and Content Creator – Q and A with Local Fashion Blogger Ria Michelle

The MBVCA sat down with Ria Michelle, fashion blogger and content creator in Miami, to give the inside scoop on Miami Beach’s fashion and dining scenes. For more information, visit http://riamichelle.com/.  



Photo: Daniel Zuliani


1. Tell us about yourself. How did you start your career as a blogger?


I started my career as a fashion blogger after designing websites, having a LiveJournal, etc. when I was younger, dabbling in modeling and styling. I discovered bloggers not just documenting their lives with text anymore but with images, specifically chronicling their outfits and that just seemed right up my alley at the time.


2. Miami Beach is known for its vibrant culture! What are some hotspots and hidden gems that you would recommend to tourists that are looking to experience the city’s culture?


I love the whole Sunset Harbour area, there’s a lot of cute retail shops, places to grab a bite and it’s just a chill vibe. When I want to go to the beach, I like to go South of Fifth. Tap Tap is a must for anyone visiting Miami. It’s a perfect example of the mix of culture in Miami.


3. As a fashionista, what do you love most about Miami Beach’s fashion scene? What are some of your favorite boutiques to shop at on the Beach?


I love how much Miami Beach’s fashion scene has grown and how it’s ever expanding. More and more brands are hosting events, doing pop-ups, taking notice, etc. of Miami. I’m mostly an online shopper but walking around the city; there’s always something new to discover. I just discovered a shoe brand called Sabah hosting a pop-up shop at The Standard. One of my favorite hotels in Miami. Their shoes are perfect for Miami in every way. Earlier I mentioned the boutiques in the Sunset Harbour area, but I also love places like The Webster on Collins and of course major staples on Lincoln Road.


4. Miami Beach has a robust food scene that’s always expanding to offer the latest culinary trends. In your opinion, what are three restaurants you’d suggest visitors must try during their visit to the destination and why?


Byblos for delicious Mediterranean style food, Tap Tap for authentic Caribbean Haitian food and a cool island vibe and The Standard for those amazing fries and that view.


5. As an avid traveler, what makes Miami Beach a city like no other place in the world?


Miami Beach is its own little world. It’s attainable but can be luxe, you can live your best life in Miami and not break the bank, or you can ball out and do the absolute most. There’s so much to explore even for someone like me that’s lived here for a while–there’s always a new experience.




Jaya at The Setai, Miami Beach – Q and A with Executive Chef Vijayud “Vijay” Veena


The MBVCA sat down with Vijayudu “Vijay” Veena, executive chef of Jaya at The Setai, Miami Beach, to discuss the unique culinary experience at Jaya and Miami Beach’s evolving food scene. For more information, visit http://www.thesetaihotel.com/jaya.




  1. Tell us about yourself. How did you jumpstart your career as a chef?


I started working for my parents in their restaurant, and then went to Switzerland for my formal culinary education. It was there that I met the General Manager and HR Director of The Setai, Miami Beach during my internship. The rest, as they say, is history.


  1. Jaya is widely known in Miami Beach; how does it feel to be a part of a restaurant that provides such a memorable experience for all food-lovers?


It’s a feeling of great pride and responsibility. I feel that ultimately the measure of success is returning guests. This was especially the case when we changed the concept for our main restaurant from the Mediterranean back to Asian-inspired, and the support from our regular client base as well as newcomers have been very rewarding.


  1. South Beach Wine and Food Festival is quickly approaching, does Jaya have anything special in the works for this annual event?


Jaya has been a part of the Festival since its opening in late 2015 and in particular The Lucky Chopsticks event, which was a great way to introduce the concept. This year, we are fortunate to be a part of “The Best of The Best,” and strive to be authentic in Jaya’s concept, while showcasing the complexity of the dish which we think that “The Best of The Best’s” crowd will truly appreciate. 


  1. Miami Beach has evolved into a hotspot dining destination, what do you believe to be the driving force behind this growth in dining on Miami Beach?


I feel that it has to do with the awareness of the food scene as well as willingness for the market to try new things.


  1. What are you most excited about for the future of Miami Beach’s food scene?


The quality of the chefs, especially the celebrity chefs, that continue to raise the bar and challenge all of us.


  1. What would you say is unique about Jaya’s restaurant atmosphere and a menu that cannot be found elsewhere?


The ability to dine in The Setai’s Courtyard is very unique, as well as the Pan-Asian journey we endeavor to take you on.


  1. Anything to add about what’s upcoming at The Setai, Miami Beach?


We also offer one of Miami’s best brunches in our weekly Sunday jazz brunch, which is complemented by live jazz, free-flowing Roederer Champagne, rotisserie, seafood, Asian and dessert stations. At our Ocean Grill, food-lovers can discover light Mediterranean fare with one of the best views of the ocean to dine beside in Miami Beach, with dishes crafted on our custom wood-fired grill.


Guillermo Antonini – Hotel Concierge at W Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach



1.      Tell us about yourself! How long have you been a hotel concierge at W South Beach?


    • I have been a concierge at W South Beach since returning home to Miami in January of 2015, after studying in Boston and beginning my career as a concierge with W Boston. I am passionate about discovering what is new and next in our city, and in turn using that to personalize our guests’ experiences.


2.      What’s your favorite part about working in Miami Beach?


    • My favorite part about working in Miami Beach is the fact that our city never stops changing and evolving; the fast pace of the city always keeps our guests busy, even those who come back more than once throughout the year.


3.      As a hotel concierge for W South Beach, what are two unique experiences that guests can have during their stay at the hotel?


    • At our hotel, I always recommend that guests take advantage of dining at Mr. Chow and enjoying our nightclub; Wall, as I feel both provide a high-level guest experience.


4.      With winter travel season upon us, what makes Miami Beach a premier destination for snowbirds this season?


    • With average highs of 75 degrees, it makes sense that snowbirds flock to Miami Beach for the warmth our city provides during winter.  It also helps that we have some of the city’s busiest events held during the winter months when the rest of the nation is still chilly – most notable are Art Basel and South Beach Food & Wine. 


5.      A host of art-savvy travelers will be visiting Miami Beach for Art Basel, what is W South Beach doing to gear up for the event? Will there be art on display at the hotel during Art Basel?


    • Of all the hotels that I have visited in my travels, I have yet to stumble across an art collection like the one we have at W South Beach. With original works from George Condo, Kenny Scharf, Tom Sachs, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, there is no doubt in my mind that we will have our collection on display. We cannot announce what we have up our sleeve just yet, but our team is working very hard to finalize the schedule of events for Art Basel 2017. I can personally guarantee that W South Beach will be a hub of activity during that whole week.

6.      Finally, what are your three go-to suggestions for travelers that wish to experience the culture of Miami Beach during their visit?


    • No matter how much time you have in Miami Beach, I recommend you do the following:

                                                              i.      Hop on a bike and cruise down Ocean Drive, where you will discover our famous Art Deco architecture and neon signs, and a beautiful view of Downtown Miami from South Pointe Park.

                                                            ii.      Make sure to stop off at an authentic Cuban café for pastries and coffee – my favorite is the chicken empanadas from Las Olas Café on Sixth St.

                                                          iii.      Put your bathing suits on and rent a daybed on SAND, our beach area, where you will not even have to think of lifting a finger as our amazing team will cater a perfect beach day. After all, what is a visit to Miami Beach without catching some sun and feeling pampered?


Paula Walker – Yoga Instructor at Greenmonkey Yoga on Miami Beach


1. What inspired you to pursue yoga?

I was inspired to do yoga because I was seeking something that brought me balance in my mind, elevated my energy and raised my vibrations to be a happier human. The very first yoga class I took reminded me of the happiness I felt when I was a competitive gymnast as a kid. 


2. Greenmonkey® Yoga is widely known in Miami Beach, how does it feel to be part of a brand that provides such a memorable experience for all yoga lovers?

I have been part of the Greenmonkey® team since 2009.  I am proud of the community that management, staff and teachers have built together as a team.  Greenmonkey® has a very friendly, welcoming front desk staff and some of the best teachers in Miami.  As a team, we pride ourselves on the community that we have built, our teacher training programs and our brand recognition around the world.  We have yogis that come practice at Greenmonkey® Miami Beach from all over the world!


3. What are your three favorite poses that can be done anywhere at any time?

Handstands: Handstands are fun, playful and natural anti-depressants. I love doing handstands in unique places—especially while I’m traveling. My nickname is Handstand Paula!

Forward Folds: Forward Folds are accessible for everyone.  Fresh blood rushes to my brain, slowing down my brainwaves and quieting my mind.  Forward folds are extremely beneficial if you are stressed out and about to react negatively to a person or situation. Forward folds assist with responding rather than reacting to people and situations.

Boat Pose: I love doing core work, especially the boat pose, because a strong core is vital to holding handstands.  A strong core is also extremely beneficial in our everyday lives lifting children, carrying our groceries and eliminating potential back injuries.


4. Which places in Miami Beach inspire you to do yoga?  

I love practicing yoga inside our brand-new studio in Sunset Harbor.  The floor to ceiling windows provide so much natural light, and I love practicing and teaching yoga while a storm rolls by. Another one of my favorite places on Miami Beach for practicing yoga is at the Flamingo Park track on Alton Road—I love to power walk at the track and then stop, drop and do yoga! Also, South Pointe Park is a great place for yoga because of its breath-taking sunsets, making it a beautiful backdrop for handstand pics.

Greenmonkey® leads yoga classes at the South Pointe Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Robert Siegmann – owner of Icebox Cafe at Sunset Harbor Shops on Miami Beach


1. Are you originally from Miami? If not, why did you decide to move to Miami Beach?\

I moved to Miami from NYC after 20 years of weathering cold, grey winters.  The weather was a big determining factor and overall beauty of Miami Beach.  In the late 90’s I saw Miami Beach as a young city with a lot of potential, especially for those willing to roll up their sleeves and do some heaving lifting in the hospitality and restaurant space.

2. How did you choose the name *Icebox Cafe* for your restaurant?

 I wanted a name that conjured up images of the 50’s when the concept of a home cooked meal meant that food was always made freshly, never frozen of from a can.

3. Why did you choose to open the *Icebox Cafe* on Miami Beach?

Coming from NYC, the beach reminded of the village – similar feeling and vibe. I felt comfortable and fit right in. I also saw the opportunity that Miami Beach had in terms of growth both personally and professionally.

4. What do you appreciate most about Miami Beach as a business owner?

Miami Beach is beacon for tourists and offers a constant infusion of energy, ideas and perspectives.  We have a very loyal and local following.

As a resident?

Although Miami Beach has grown a lot and continues to expand, it still has that village feeling that I continue to enjoy after 20 years of calling the area home.

5. For a potential customer that’s thinking of visiting your establishment, describe the atmosphere at the *Icebox Cafe*.

Icebox cafe is designed to feel like your stepping into someone’s home. It’s inviting, comfortable, airy and grounded. We see diners from around the world and all are welcome and feel at home when spending time with us.

6. Finally, name two of your favorite menu items that every customer should try. Why are these your favorite?

Gulf shrimp is amazing and includes flavors of India (Indian Style Dahl) paired with beautifully prepared shrimp and chermoula – a Moroccan sauce. And, you can’t skip dessert…the carrot cake is a must and will perhaps be the best you’ll ever have!


Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel


Q&A with Alena Stavnjak

With Miami Spa Month in full swing, the MBVCA sat down with Alena Stavnjak, Director of Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel, to discuss special offerings and the brand’s first U.S. location here in Miami Beach. For more information, visit https://www.1hotels.com/south-beach/spa.




Does the Bamford Haybarn Spa draw inspiration from Miami Beach?


Bamford Haybarn Spa was originally inspired by natural elements of the English countryside of the Bamford Farm in The Cotswolds in southern England. In debuting the first U.S. location at 1 Hotel South Beach, design aspects were taken from the beachfront location by incorporating the natural, relaxing hues of Miami Beach, using nature and the ocean to inspire us every day. 



Why did the spa open its first U.S. location in Miami Beach as opposed to other cosmopolitan destinations? What makes the Beach so special?


Miami Beach as a destination has a very natural ambiance, with sun, sand and the ocean just steps outside, encouraging visitors and locals to experience the outdoors. Bamford and 1 Hotels’ philosophy matches Miami Beach’s spirit, putting an emphasis on connecting the outside world and nature with lifestyle and wellness. In such a wellness-focused, nature-inspired destination like Miami Beach, it was a seamless decision for Bamford to make 1 Hotel South Beach and Miami Beach its first U.S. destination.




What are some unique offerings that guests will find/ experience at the Bamford Haybarn Spa that aren’t readily available at other spas?


We are the first place in the US that guests can experience the Bamford brand, services and philosophy. Most of the products that we use in the treatments are organically certified by the soil association, the UK’s highest level of organic certification meaning that at least 85% of the product excluding the water needs to be produced organically. It is a very tough set of standards to meet and we are proud to have achieved this. Guests will experience some of the best therapists in Miami Beach, as we have sought out exceptional staff that have extensive therapy and luxury backgrounds. They are all trained under Bamford’s philosophy, creating a consistent experience whether it’s the Miami Beach location or England location.




What makes hospitality offerings on Miami Beach so different from everywhere else?

The diversity of staff working here on Miami Beach. Nowhere else can you find people from as many diverse backgrounds as Miami! Our employees are from all over the world, whether it’s South America, Europe or Asia, and I believe that creates a truly unique experience for our visitors. 


What is your favorite thing about working on Miami Beach?


I love working in a place where people vacation all around. It’s a truly unique lifestyle here that I enjoy every day.




With so many visitors in town for Miami Spa Month, what are some deals, treatments and experiences that our readers can find at the Bamford Haybarn Spa this month?


We provide a relaxing oasis environment where our guests can disconnect from the hectic outside world. My personal favorites are the Himalayan Salt massage and Radiance facial. The Himalayan salt stone massage has immense benefits such as alkalizing the skin; it’s full of minerals to replenish the body; it lightly exfoliates the skin and is incredibly relaxing. Our radiance facial uses a range of our Bamford natural skin care and holistic therapeutic techniques leaving the skin nourished and the mind relaxes and balanced.




Washington Park Hotel / Employees Only


The MBVCA sat down with Vikash Maharaj, General Manager of Washington Park Hotel and Billy Gilroy, Owner of Employees Only, to discuss the newly minted Washington Park Hotel, what’s exclusive on the Miami Beach menu of Employees Only and why they both love Miami Beach. For more information, visit wphsouthbeach.com and employeesonlymiami.com.


Q&A with Vikash Maharaj, General Manager of Washington Park Hotel




What makes the Washington Park Hotel so unique? / What makes the Washington Park Hotel stand out from other lodging options in the area?


WPH is perched only two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and situated on an entire city block in South Beach with Art Deco buildings and exclusive location to shopping and South Beach best nightlife, including Employees Only on property.


WPH is focused on the guest experience with service standards second to none. Additionally, we have a variety of programming opportunities on site such as weekly ping pong tournaments, movies on the lawn, as well as weekend croquet and much more. It’s a meeting point for our guests, as well as locals.




You were previously quoted comparing the shifting dynamic of the Washington Avenue strip to the transformation of neighborhoods like Brickell and Wynwood; What do you think makes them so similar? / How would you compare them?

Like Brickell and Wynwood, Washington Avenue once had a bit more grit to it. Similarly in recent years, we’ve seen Washington Avenue undergo renaissance that will bring high end shopping and dining options that will be comparable or even more upscale than Brickell.




Do you have any must dos for tourists (or locals)? / What do you love about working and operating a hotel on Miami Beach?


I love the culture and diverse ethnicity of our guests and taking the time to ensure that we extend world class service to each and every one. I highly recommend visiting the Wolfsonian Museum across the street from WPH, which our guests may visit complimentary.


What do you think makes Miami Beach most special? / What do you love most about Miami Beach?


The history that the city signifies in harmony with the Art Deco District, the abundance of culture along with the Cuban flair, the weather and, of course, the crystal-clear beach!








Q&A with Billy Gilroy, Owner of Employees Only


If someone had never heard of Employees Only before, how would you describe it to them?


Old world feeling. Deco. Classy and Sophisticated yet comfortable and casual. True Hospitality from the heart.



Does EO have a specialty recipe for a summer time favorite drink? What are some seasonal flavors patrons can enjoy this summer?


EO changes cocktails occasionally and we have our Ginger Smash (Rum served with fresh ginger & pineapple shaken with Berentzen liqueur, Maraschino liqueur & fresh lime juice) which changes seasonal as well depending on which season and fruits available are. We tried to keep the core of the NYC Menu in Miami and showcase what the drinks are in NYC while we added some cocktails on the menu to suit the Florida climate. Our El Diablo cocktail which isn’t on the menu is our Avion Tequila EO Barrel shaken with ginger root, fresh lime juice & ginger beer, topped off with Creme de Cassis. This is a great cocktail for the summer time and the sun. Seasonal flavors that are definitely hot right now at EO are: pineapple, ginger, citrus, coconut and different spices.





Are there any cocktail/menu items exclusive to the Miami Beach location?


Here is a list of menu items that are exclusively in Miami Beach:

The Snapper with mussels Kale and Fennel

The Roasted Cauliflower

The Charred Broccoli Rabe with garlic

The Marinated Green Beans

The EO Miami Burger

The Flourless Chocolate cake

The Key Lime tart




Do you think the culture of Miami Beach influences the Employees Only location at all?


Yes it’s a much later crowd. And so we open later and stay open later till 5 a.m.

And the seasonality even more than ever is why Employees Only has to depend on industry and local clientele to thrive. Fortunately we seem to be garnering a great reputation and following with the locals.


What do you love about Miami Beach?


The weather, the ocean, South Point, the pool, the palm trees and all the beautiful architecture and greenery and flowers. The Latin food. The nightlife. All the beautiful hotels. Stone Crabs!!!

World OutGames Miami



Q&A with Ivan Cano

The MBVCA sat down with Ivan Cano, CEO of World OutGames Miami, to discuss why the World OutGames chose Miami Beach as the first city in the U.S. to host the tournament and what makes the destination so unique. For more information, visit outgames.org


Miami Beach has long been considered a welcoming destination for all travelers. Why did the World OutGames choose Miami Beach as the host for the 2017 games? What made the city an attractive destination for the games?


We are thrilled to host America’s first ever World OutGames in the beautiful city of Miami Beach! This will put Miami Beach in the spotlight of the global LGBTQI human rights movement and bring to life events across the areas of Sports, Culture and Human Rights. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Miami Beach’s healthy, athletic lifestyle and inclusive community. International attendees will receive a warm welcome from a community that honors, respects and supports them and that celebrates diversity and self-expression. With registrants from 59 countries, World OutGames will be a life-changing experience that will inspire, motivate and celebrate the human spirit.



Along with being a sporting event, we know that the World OutGames prides itself in its cultural and human rights efforts. Can you tell us more about how the games tackle those issues?


It is important to maintain open dialogue and shared points of view to foster unity and inclusiveness for all – it is especially relevant at this moment in time. As part of World OutGames Miami, thought leaders from around the globe will converge on Miami Beach for the 4th Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference. This significant conference will offer a global view of human rights from 25 speakers representing Brazil, Cuba, Canada, St. Lucia, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela, among others. This powerful gathering of respected human rights activists, researchers, legal scholars and trade organizations will address more than 35 topics in the areas of Promoting Inclusivity in Sports, Health & Wellness and Social Justice.


In addition, our Culture pillar is shaping up to be an amazing program. Attendees will enjoy various cultural happenings planned over the 10-day long event including, Pulse Points on June 1, an artistic response to the Orlando massacre at Pulse Nightclub, fusing dance, music, poetry and visual arts to honor the 49 lives that were lost. Live entertainment, art exhibits, a poetry reading with Robert Pinsky, and a film festival are also planned. Opening and Closing Ceremonies will offer a taste of Miami Beach with special surprises. These events are open to the public, and you can purchase tickets online.




Which event are you most looking forward to watch?


PULSE POINTS – which will feature more than 200 performing artists at the New World Center Miami Beach – is shaping to be a truly amazing event that will touch World OutGames Miami attendees, patrons and guests in an unprecedented way as an act of social courage. This fully-immersive event will transform the iconic New World Center into an interactive, roving exhibition, offering a perpetual expression of reflection, empathy, healing and positive action. This will be a space free of racism and bias that will transform negativity into a courageous forward direction, sending a global message of compassion, hope and love. The event is on June 1 at 6pm!


What has it been like in getting everything ready for the 2017 games?


As we near the kick-off to this event, each day brings an exciting, new challenge. Thanks to the help of our staff, volunteers, individual and corporate supporters and the City of Miami Beach, the momentum continues to give me the certainty that this will be a successful, well-attended 10-day event.

Why do you love Miami Beach and what aspect of the destination are you most looking forward to showcase?


Visitors will find that there is much to discover in this beautiful city, whether that be the beach or many local flavors, which are our diverse people, amazing food and unique venues. Miami Beach is my home, and I am thrilled to show to the world how we are a very accepting, open-minded, multicultural city.


When do the games begin? How can our readers attend and support the World OutGames?


World OutGames events start on May 26 and the opening ceremonies kick off our sporting events on Saturday, May 27. Registration for sports closed on April 30, but you can still register for the human rights conference and purchase tickets for our cultural arts events. Just visit our website outgames.org.




Q&A with Chef Justin Smillie




The MBVCA sat down with Justin Smillie, chef of Upland Restaurant, to discuss why he loves Miami Beach, the new Miami Beach Upland Restaurant and its unique cuisine. To learn more about the restaurant, visit: http://www.uplandmiami.com/


Tell us about yourself – What inspired you to become a chef?


Growing up in Southern California my mother always kept a garden and I just fell in love with the smell of the tomato leaves. I’ve always liked to work on my feet and to be active and kitchens are just a natural fit.




Tell us about the new Upland. What made you decide to combine California and Italian cuisines? What makes this so unique compared to other Miami Beach restaurants?


The combination comes from my personal experience. The California inspiration comes through in the treatment of the vegetables and Americana aspects — it’s really a melting pot. The pastas and Italian portions of the menu touch on my experience working in great Italian restaurants like Il Buco Alimentari — once you make fresh pasta you can’t not make fresh pasta!

Why did you choose Miami Beach for Upland’s 2nd location?


We like to say we’re bringing Upland back to its palm tree roots (laughs). My partner, Stephen Starr has a footprint here in South Florida with great restaurants including Makoto, and we both agreed that the Miami Beach guest would respond well to Upland. I love traveling back and forth between Miami Beach and New York — it’s the best of both worlds.


Are there any dishes on the menu inspired by local flavors?


Sure. The menu generally has a bit more fish and seafood to reflect the tropical environment and we’ve added a raw section that’s unique to Miami Beach.


What are some of your favorite local dishes? Are there any Miami Beach-inspired dishes?


The Drunken Snapper is a great example of the local influence — it’s like a margarita on a plate with local Florida Snapper, tequila, cilantro and key lime.



What makes Miami Beach’s culinary scene different to that of other cosmopolitan destinations like New York City or Los Angeles?

I think Miami Beach — and South Florida in general — has a lot of people who are passionate about food and new restaurants, but it’s not yet oversaturated. Overall, though, I think that the culinary climate is the same around the country: people are looking for a great meal and a great bottle of wine without having to get too buttoned up.


Lastly, please tell us – Why do you love Miami Beach!


This community has been great to me! The reception has been so welcoming and I’m happy to be a part of the neighborhood. I feel really lucky to be here and the beach just adds to the appeal.


The Wordy Girl; Q and A with Maria Tettamanti, Editor of the Wordy Girl

Q&A with Maria Tettamanti, Editor of the Wordy Girl


The MBVCA sat down with Maria Tettamanti, journalist, digital influencer and Miami-based fashion & travel blogger, to discuss why she loves Miami Beach, emerging fashion trends and the upcoming social calendar for Miami Beach. To follow Maria Tettamanti, visit: http://www.thewordygirl.com/


How would you describe the fashion and style of Miami Beach? Tell us about your favorite Miami Beach fashion trends.


Hellooooo, bold fashion! The fashion and style of Miami Beach is colorful and sexy. I love that both women and men here embrace vivid hues and aren’t afraid to show a little skin. New York can keep their basic black! There’s no other place in the world like it!




How do you think Miami Beach influences your personal style in any way?


Miami Beach’s year-round warm weather and proximity to the ocean certainly influences my style. Airy frocks, bedazzled sandals and a funky fedora are my wardrobe staples. Oh, and don’t forget to apply SPF every day.


Tells us about the 2017 Miami Beach social calendar. What can we expect in 2017? Which events are you most looking forward to?


Miami Beach is packed with world-class events and social appeal. My favorite social event of the year is Swim Week — the premiere event in the world for swimwear fashion which brings with it a number of annual events peppered throughout Miami Beach. Art Basel is pretty epic, too!



What are some of your favorite spots on Miami Beach? In your opinion, what makes visiting Miami Beach so unique?


My favorite hangouts on Miami Beach are clean eats at Dirt and Jugo Fresh. For a major beauty haul, Gee Beauty is most definitely Miami Beach’s top beauty emporium. I also love Barry’s Bootcamp because it offers Miami Beach’s toughest workout. Miami Beach is so unique because its offers something for everyone — from beach bums to busy bodies like myself – it’s the perfect place to be!


Where do you love to take your kids/spend time with your family on Miami Beach?


My kids and I love lazy days by the pool at Soho Beach House. They make the best hamburger in town! You can quote me on that.



Know you keep your finger on the pulse of emerging fashion designers for your blog, the Wordy Girl, are there any local designers our readers should keep an eye out for?


Locally speaking, Miami Beach boasts a myriad of homegrown talents. I love Ximena Kavalekas’ python handbags. I adore ALEXIS’ dresses for special events. Christian Roth sunglasses are epic! Jacqueline Pinto makes fantastic fine jewelry. Samantha Gallacher of Art and Loom creates stunning rugs.  Romi Sarif of Lola James Jewelry makes the most whimsical and on-trend jewelry. I love Karina Grimaldi’s dresses, too.


If you were to take a “staycation”, where in Miami Beach would you stay and what are your “must-do” activities?


Choosing just one hotel is tough! Miami Beach is home to some incredible hotels and upscale resorts. But right now if I HAD to pick…I have an interior design crush on The 1 Hotel South Beach. Their freshly minted Bamford Spa is my vision of heaven. It has a heart motif running through it. Love that!


Why do you love Miami Beach?


Being a Pisces, I love Miami Beach’s long stretches of beaches. I’m also a fan of “mental health” days at The Standard or Soho Beach House. Also, I love to eat and my favorite restaurants — Joe’s Stone Crab, Continental, Byblos, Prime 112 and Dirt — are all located here. Miami Beach is simply the best!