A Labor of Love: Miami Beach hosts dozens of Cultural Culinary and Cool events Labor Day Weekend

 

 

Miami Beach – August 8, 2017 – With dozens of fun, cool events rocking Miami Beach over Labor Day weekend it’s not difficult to see why the city is a mecca for visitors from all over the country and the world during the holiday.  As Labor Day weekend approaches, events and celebrations on Miami Beach run the gamut from a Home Design and Remodeling Show at the Miami Beach Convention Center to the WeTheKeyDJs Conference at the Fontainebleau Hotel. Singles, families, BFFs, and even those who may find themselves here on business will love the multitude of entertainment options available all around the city from September 1-4.  They can find out about many of those options by downloading the Miami Beach Information (MBI) app from the Apple or Android app stores. MBI features events, hotels, restaurants, shopping, arts and culture and even deals. It’s a traveler’s best friend when visiting Miami Beach.

 

“Miami Beach is an increasingly must-visit global destination for travelers around the world,” notes Peggy Benua, Chair, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). “So it’s not surprising that Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times of year for the city. But we don’t take our popularity with tourists for granted. The city is proactive in encouraging event producers to bring their productions to Miami Beach during this national holiday, and the MBVCA certainly supports, in any way we can, the staging of a wide array of events to ensure that our visitors have numerous choices throughout the length of the extended weekend.”

 

While visitor numbers increase all year long, the Labor Day weekend is an especially vibrant few days. Below is a sampling of just a few of the events and activities available to travelers during the Labor Day holiday.

 

Miami Beach: The Perfect Weekend Getaway.

·         Dine at the best local restaurants for lunch or dinner for less than 40 dollars. Miami Spice runs August 1 through September 30 and features three-course lunches for $23 and dinners for $39, plus tax and tip, at more than 200 restaurants. Visit ilovemiamispice.com.

·         Discover new design. The Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show returns September 1-4, 2017 to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Celebrity Interior Designer and lifestyle expert Sabrina Soto of HGTV’s High/Low Project will offer design seminars at 2 pm on Sunday, September 3rd and Monday, September 4th.

  • Take note. The Coast 2 Coast Music Conference is an annual networking event bringing together top industry DJs, producers, A&Rs and more to speak on panels and give practical advice to artists. All of it leads up to their World Championships showcase, where the top performer of the year is crowned and awarded a cash prize; http://coast2coastlive.com/.
  • Dance, dance, dance. WeTheKeyDJs Conference – Labor Day Weekend. Some of the hottest DJs in the world perform at the Fontainebleau Hotel.

 

“Music, food, design, and DJs. Where else can one find such a potpourri of diverse events in one weekend,” says Grisette Marcos, Executive Director, MBVCA. “Combined with our seven miles of beaches, museums, shopping and outdoor activities, Labor Day events will make this an epic time to visit Miami Beach.”

For more information on events and updates in Miami Beach, download the Miami Beach Information App at http://www.miamibeachapi.com/app/

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Holly.Winter@hkstrategies.com

 

ABOUT MIAMI BEACH

Recently named the World’s Leading City Tourist Board in 2016 and 2016 North America’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards, first place in the 2017 and 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia in the categories of “Best LGBTQ Destination” and “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a winner of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the categories of “Destinations | Mobile App”, “Overall Spa Destinations| U.S and Canada” and  “Overall Beaches Destinations| U.S and Canada” respectively, Miami Beach is a favorite destination among travelers worldwide. Renowned for its unparalleled culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to unique museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks; it is no wonder the beautifully diverse city is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat. Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination has been ranked by TripAdvisor as a Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations, Top Romantic Destinations, Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

 

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

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.


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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.

 

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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

 

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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!!!

Miami Beach Welcomes Travelers with Hot Summer Hotel Deals and Savings all Season Long

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – School’s out, temperatures are rising and Miami Beach is calling all travelers to experience some of the hottest summer deals and events. Traveling to a world-renowned destination this season is easier and more affordable than ever thanks to hotel deals up and down the beach, putting travelers at the forefront of savings and the magic of Miami Beach. Known for its resorts, pristine beaches and vibrant events, summer time is the best time to head south.

“Summer brings some of the best deals throughout the year to travelers looking to discover and experience why Miami Beach is like no other place in the world,” says Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). “Visitors can take advantage of offers only available during the summer months and enjoy the wonder and beauty of Miami Beach at great value.”

Kicking off the Summer season,  Fontainebleau Miami Beach is hosting a special iHeartSummer ’17 Weekend, a two-day event featuring live performances by notables including DJ Khaled, Halsey, Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony and more.  The package, available Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10, includes accommodations, two passes to the event and breakfast for two each morning at Vida, one of the resort’s on-site restaurants. Tickets to the show are limited and only available through the exclusive package offer.

“Miami Beach is ready to welcome travelers from around the world this summer,” says Grisette Roque, Executive Director of the MBVCA. “With a variety of seasonal hotel packages and exclusive events, every vacationer will find offers and savings to fit their budget and needs.”

Travelers in search of a summer getaway can soak up the Miami Beach sun with a number of offers only available between June and September including:

·         Summer Cabana Life at the Kimpton Surfcomber South Beach

o   Complimentary Cabana (Valued at $150)

o   Bottle of Bubbly

o   Bottle of water per Cabana guest

·         A Summer Staycation at the Faena Miami Beach

o   Daily American breakfast for up to two guest at our poolside Veranda

o   15% off on treatments at Tierra Santa Healing House

o   Complimentary access to Wet Spa area at Tierra Santa Healing House for up to two guests, once per stay

o   Complimentary valet parking

·         Summer Beach Escape at The Ritz-Carlton

o   Deluxe overnight accommodations

o   Welcome drink for two at DiLido Beach Club

o   Daily breakfast for two at Bistro One LR

o   Valet parking

 

·         South Beach Summer Escape at Loews Miami Beach

o   $250 resort credit once per stay

o   Kids eat free with paying adult

o   Complimentary state of the art kids club half day access daily for up to two kids

 

·         Summer Vacations at Pestana South Beach

o   Free breakfast and Wi-Fi

o   Two-hour bike ride

o   One welcome mojito per person

 

While Miami Beach offers sun-kissed and white-sanded beaches year-round, these travel offers are only available for a limited time.  For more information on events and happenings on Miami Beach, download the Miami Beach Information App at http://www.miamibeachapi.com/app/.

 

About Miami Beach

Recently named the World’s Leading City Tourist Board in 2016 and 2016 North America’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards, first place in the 2017 and 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia in the categories of “Best LGBTQ Destination” and “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a winner in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the categories of “Destinations | Mobile App”, “Overall Spa Destinations| U.S and Canada” and  “Overall Beaches Destinations| U.S and Canada” respectively, Miami Beach is a favorite destination among travelers worldwide. Renowned for its unparalleled culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to unique museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks; it is no wonder the beautifully diverse city is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat. Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination has been ranked by TripAdvisor as a Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations, Top Romantic Destinations, Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

Q and A with Sandy Shapiro, Executive Director – Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

 

Q&A with Sandy Shapiro, Executive Director

 

The MBVCA sat down with Sandy Shapiro, Executive Director of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (MBBG), to discuss why she loves the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and discuss how the MBBG is developing community relationships and drawing in visitors. For more information about the MBBG, visit: http://www.mbgarden.org/

 

Tell us about the current offerings of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (MBBG). Are there plans for future renovations or garden expansion?

 

In the 5 years since the reopening following Raymond Jungles’ (RJI) redesign, the Garden has grown into a rich tropical oasis.  We have been emphasizing additional plantings of Florida natives, rare palms and unique tropical fruit trees, showcasing botanical specimens which educate our visitors to the natural tropical habitats.

 

This year, thanks to an award from the City of Miami Beach’s Environmental and Sustainability Grant, we will be creating a Pine Rockland demonstration garden.  This area will focus on the indigenous fauna that attract pollinators and imperiled species of butterflies. There will be added educational opportunities presenting examples of how locals can find alternatives for their landscape pallets that contribute to our environment. 

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The top of our wish list is to open the Garden on the north side with a gate onto the Collins Canal incorporating the area banking the Collins Canal into our landscape thus enlarging our footprint.    The Canal will be undergoing seawall refurbishment this year – what a perfect time to implement the 3rd stage of the RJI plan and extend the Garden’s landscape to the water’s edge.  This would allow visitors who stroll along the Canal access to enter the Garden from the water side.  The walkway goes from Meridian to the Bass Museum – can you imagine how beautiful it would be to stop at the Botanical Garden. I envision this as being Miami Beach’s version of “High Line.”  It is an organic activation which best utilizes this space.  Imagine coming to the Garden by kayak!

 

What’s the most popular – or unique – event the Botanical Gardens hosts? Does it draw in locals, tourists or a blend of the two?

 

This year marked the 12th Taste of the Garden, on Jan. 27th.  This primarily had been supported by a local audience of Garden & Garden Club members and friends, yet we are seeing more out of towners coming each year.  The 16th Miami Beach Tour of Gardens is March 11th, a great way to explore behind the gates of residential gardens.  That culminates with an afternoon of activities back at the Garden, including one of the best “Gems & Junque” sales ever!  We are marketing to the Concierges and hoteliers to encourage guests to visit. 

 

Tells us about the 2017 social calendar. What can we expect to be different this year compared to previous years?

 

We are adding more family friendly activities.  We recognize how children react to being in this habitat.  The turtle, fish, butterflies and birds trigger the children to explore and it is a comfortable place for families.  We are adding family yoga, continuing Art in the Park with Marie and adding mindfulness programming.   We experimented last summer with Sunday afternoon pop-up dinners, it worked – we will continue it again this summer.  The Garden doesn’t stop in the summer. 

 

Our Earth Day celebration will be Friday, April 21st when we will be screening, Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio’s, “Before the Flood,” courtesy of RatPac Entertainment.  The festive evening, co-sponsored by Whole Foods Market, will start with a yoga class on the Great Lawn, and have various environmental organizations available to discuss their missions and how we can help and support them.

 

What unique flowers or plant species can a visitor find here in the MBBG that cannot be found elsewhere?

 

This year we have been feverishly replenishing the beds where we removed masses of specimen bromeliads last summer.  We were fortunate to have the support of our advisory board member, and friend, Raymond Jungles help redesign the beds.  We have added an assortment of gingers, begonias, and a special philodendron named, Outrageous!  They have massive leaves with a red underside.  It really is outrageous – it is the “Christian Louboutin” of plants.  We acquired three – come check it out.

 

The MBBG is a popular wedding venue – which season is ideal for a wedding?

 

The Garden is a magical setting 12 months of the year, something is always blooming.  January through May are the most popular months for weddings, being the most temperate season.  Late October and November are also a great time of year. 

 

The sultry days of summer may seem warm for an outdoor event, but it still is a dreamy time for a wedding.  The Banyan Room is air conditioned and opens out to our shaded patio. The longer days allows more time to enjoy the outdoor areas, the shade canopy offers solace and the fragrance of the ylang-ylang waifs throughout the year as the sun is setting. 

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Tell us about the weekly events – know that there’s the Guided Garden Tours, Yoga in the Garden and the Second Saturday Seminar. What appeals most to these weekly visitors?

 

The appeal is access to a natural sanctuary, escape from the buzz of South Beach and the surrounding construction.  Yoga at sunset in the Garden on Thursdays feels like a privilege.  We promote the approachability of all our activities and events. Intimate, elegant and informative – our staff is committed to welcoming guests and offer assistance where ever we can.  We are open to new partnerships to diversify our programs which broaden our reach. The events calendar are on our updated regularly on our website, http://www.mbgarden.org  and always being updated on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/miamibeachbotanicalgarden/?ref=bookmarks. Things are always happening!

 

How are the gardens different this year? Anything special you want Miami Beach visitors to experience?

 

I am amazed how many residents are first timers and pleasantly surprised to find this oasis. We offer scheduled docent tours on Saturday at 11:00 AM, if that is not convenient our On Cell, self-guided cellphone tour is a terrific way to learn more the plants and fun facts about Miami Beach history.  Currently, there are 13 stops on the tour within the Garden, an informative way to enrich the experience.  We consider the Garden to be everyone’s back yard, only this one you are not required to weed!  On that note – we love volunteers, so if residents have a desire to toil in the soil, we would love to have help.

 

Our ‘Botanical Boutique’ is a new addition – it’s a place to shop for souvenirs, gifts, plants and a curated assortment of cool finds.  We are always adding “Made in Miami Beach” products to the inventory.  This year we commissioned Kawaii Universe to design a series for shirts for the Garden.  The three designs focus on our elements – native plants, butterflies and koi. 

 

 

Why do you love Miami Beach?

 

I have traveled all over the world, when I tell people where I live, the response is a universal WOW!  With all the destinations, I never mind coming home.  Think of the ride from the airport, crossing the Causeway, you look left/right – oh yes, this is just fine! This is a sexy city, we embrace diversity and the rich flavors that contribute to our culture.  The norm is walking around and hearing an array of languages.  After 39 years here, I feel there is a sense of community, people who want Miami Beach to remain a world class destination without sacrificing the charms and natural beauty we are so fortunate to live with each day.                         

 

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Q and A with Josh Weissenstein

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The MBVCA sat down with Josh Weissenstein, Director of HFZ Capital Group, to discuss why he loves developing in Miami Beach and why HFZ’s Fasano Residences & Hotel Miami Beach will be like no other upscale luxury resort in Miami Beach. The Fasano is located at 1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. It’s scheduled to be completed in early 2019.

 Tell us about yourself!

 I’m originally from Texas, but have been living in NYC for quite some time. I joined HFZ Capital Group three years ago, and was at Tishman Realty before working here. My past projects in Miami Beach include the redevelopment plans for the Miami Beach Convention Center. I spent a lot of time on that project and fell in love with the city during that time.

Tell us about the Fasano Residences & Hotel Miami Beach, what makes the development unique to Miami Beach?

 The Fasano Residences & Hotel Miami Beach is unique in its combination of old and new. We paid careful attention to respect the property’s rich heritage. By bringing in leading operators to offer food, beverage and amenity services, we aim to create unparalleled offerings on Miami Beach– creating an energy aligned with our Latin American brand and international clientele.

What is it like working with Brazilian designer Isay Weinfeld? He is designing both the interiors and architecture, what can we expect from the design?

Working with Isay has been an absolute pleasure. Isay has the ability to meld indoor and outdoor environments, creating timeless understated luxury. The Fasano will be a sanctuary within bustling Miami Beach. We have the benefit of three private acres, allowing ample size to work in, to create comfortable protection and immediate access to the world’s most energetic city, located right outside the front door.

 HFZ Capital Group is one of the most prolific developers of luxury residential condominiums across the country and collaborates with world-renowned architects and designers. How does developing in Miami Beach compare to other markets like NYC?

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The most blatant and obvious difference is the surrounding environment. I’ve worked and developed a lot in NYC – a rich, ultra-dense urban environment – but Miami Beach is more serene and nature focused. The condos here contain a unique set of amenities, with the most profound being the ocean. It’s wonderful having such an immediacy to nature. Each city presents its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to work alongside such a fantastic team and a wonderful city, to shepherd the Fasano project forward

Who is buying real estate in Miami Beach? Some recent surveys (such as by Bendixen & Amandi International) seem to suggest that the market is becoming less reliant on foreign buyers. What do you think is driving this, and do you think it is a trend that will continue?

 The Miami Beach buyer base is highly diversified – Brazilian, New York and beyond. The benefits of having an award winning designer and a world renowned brand creates a real universal appeal. The international buyer base – in my opinion – is not drying up. If recent surveys are suggesting otherwise, the trend hasn’t been affecting the Fasano. However, I believe this is a testament to our range of attractive features: location, size of campus, the brand itself, etc.

 I predict that the future of the international buyer base will continue to expand – Miami Beach is continually growing its cultural diversity. Paired with the natural beauty and energy of the city itself, this creates an intensely attractive destination.

 What key factors do you think are going to drive the Miami Beach real estate market over the next couple of years?

The fact that so many New Yorkers are now buying here. It basically takes the same amount of time to go from their home in Manhattan to a property in the Hamptons, as it does going from Manhattan to Miami Beach – 3 hours driving versus a 3 hour flight. Seasonality, museums and galleries, outdoor activities, beautiful beaches among other factors play into tourist and buyer expectations in a culturally diverse city.

 

Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority named North America’s Leading Tourist Board

The Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority has recently been named the World’s Leading Tourist Board in the 2016 edition of the prestigious World Travel Awards. Competing against other top destinations, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority was chosen by almost 1 million industry voters in competition against Auckland Tourism, Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cape Town Tourism, Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission, and Visit London.

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Just two months ago, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority was named North America’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards, facing competitors including the Arizona Office of Tourism, Destination DC, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NYC & Company, Visit California, Visit Orlando and VisitFlorida.

This most recent award, World’s Leading Tourist Board, is a testament to the global appeal of Miami Beach and recognition and respect for the destination on the world stage.

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The World Travel Award win caps off a year of accolades for Miami Beach. The City also won first place in the 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia in the category of “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a Silver medal winner in the 2016 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the category of “Overall Beach Destinations | U.S and Canada”.

http://www.traveldailymedia.com/244561/katara-hospitality-named-worlds-leading-hospitality-company-at-wtas/

Q and A with Nathalia Arja

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The MBVCA sat down with Nathalia Arja, Principal Soloist for the Miami City Ballet, to discuss her love of Miami Beach and how she became a ballerina. The Miami City Ballet is located at 2200 Liberty Ave, Miami Beach. Make the Miami City Ballet a holiday treat for the whole family, as they present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® starting on Dec. 9. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.miamicityballet.org/subscribe

 

What inspired you to become a ballet dancer? 

 

I remember sitting next to my mother as a little kid, while she was teaching her dancers. What inspired my desire to dance was seeing their high energy and joy while executing really hard steps. I was fascinated by moving and what I felt watching them. 

 

Why did you choose to perform in Miami Beach? 

 

Well, when I was 15 I sent an audition DVD to the Miami City Ballet school. They offered me a full scholarship to study in the school. Most students hope to one day join the company. In 2009, I was chosen by the artistic director to join the company as an apprentice. 

 

What do you love most about being in Miami Beach? 

 

I have to say that Miami City Ballet is a lucky company because we are literally across the street from the beach. I love that on my break I can just go enjoy the ocean and relax. But my most favorite thing about South Beach is that you can just about walk anywhere as everything is close by. There are some very cozy neighborhoods. 

 

What can Miami Beach expect with the new season? 

 

Every season is exciting because our repertory is so diverse and this season is no different. We go from Giselle, which is a historic classic in the ballet world, and end up with the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s, The Fairy’s Kiss. Of course you will be seeing great Balanchine ballets as well, so you’ll see a little bit of everything! We also have the open barre series, which is specifically built for arts education in Miami Beach. It’s a program we do only in Miami Beach twice a year at our intimate studio theatre, in which we have guest artists discuss their work while we perform short excerpts relevant to the upcoming programs. It’s definitely a great show for the community and a chance for them to see the dancers up close! 

 

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What makes the Miami City Ballet a unique company? 

 

Miami City Ballet is unique because it is a medium-large company that despite its size of 50 dancers, remains very united when it comes to support and emphasis on the success of the company rather than the individual. Ever since its inception, this has been at the heart of the company’s message: to have one soul made of a diverse roster of dancers, together under one banner for the sake of producing the art of the dance for the community at both a national and international level. 

 

Miami Beach is known for its art scene, would you agree that performing arts and ballet are becoming more popular in our city?

 

It’s been so refreshing over the years. I’ve watched the art scene grow and become more diverse. It’s an honor to be a part of the Miami City Ballet which I feel is very important  for the Miami Beach art scene. I’m so proud of that!

 

Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority named North America’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards

The MBVCA was chosen by over 600,000 industry voters

 

Miami Beach, FL – October 12, 2016The Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) has been named North America’s Leading Tourist Board in the 2016 edition of the prestigious World Travel Awards. Competing against other top destinations including Arizona Office of Tourism, Destination DC, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NYC & Company, Visit California, Visit Orlando and VisitFlorida. Miami Beach was chosen by over 600,000 industry voters.

 

Accepting the award on behalf of the MBVCA at the World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony, Peggy Benua, Chair of the MBVCA, says, “The board has worked really hard to leverage Miami Beach’s beauty and unique offerings. The Board developed a compelling strategic gameplan to inspire the world to experience Miami Beach’s 7 miles of exquisite beaches, luxury hotels, five star restaurants, cultural institutions and entertaining events. Our messaging certainly has resonated globally.”

 

The MBVCA will now be competing against other global winners including the Auckland Tourism, Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cape Town Tourism, Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administrative Commission, and Visit London, for the title of World’s Leading Tourist Board. The world winners will be announced at the Grand Final Gala Ceremony on December 2, 2016 in the Maldives.

 

“Over and over again Miami Beach has been recognized by the travel community and our peers for this amazing destination,” notes Grisette Roque, Executive Director, MBVCA. “This award is the culmination of a stellar few years of honors and accolades including first place in the 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, in the category of “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a winner in the 2014 and 2015 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the categories of “Destinations | Mobile App” and “Overall Spa Destinations|U.S and Canada. The MBVCA Board has successfully positioned Miami Beach as a top-tier, luxurious, sophisticated and cosmopolitan travel destination.”

 

The MBVCA Board continues to grow the Miami Beach brand and position the city as a pioneer in the travel industry with several initiatives in the works including launching the Miami Beach API and app. The Board is also dedicated to continuing to work with its partners to successfully market the destination as “Like No Other Place in the World.”

 

About Miami Beach

Recently named 2016 North America’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards and first place in the 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia in the category of “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a winner in the 2014 and 2015 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the categories of “Destinations | Mobile App” and “Overall Spa Destinations| U.S and Canada” respectively, Miami Beach is a favorite destination among travelers worldwide. Renowned for its unparalleled culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to unique museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks; it is no wonder the beautifully diverse city is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat.  Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination not only produces its own branded sun care line, MB Miami Beach Suncare, but has been ranked by TripAdvisor as number one in 2011’s Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations and was also part of Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

 

Visit MiamiBeachGuest.com for more information. You may also contact Grisette Roque at  Groquemarcos@miamibeachvca.com.

CONTACT:

Daniel Sacerio, H+K Strategies  dsacerio@samcor.net 305.443.5454

About the World Travel Awards

World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel tourism & hospitality industry. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting  the  benchmark  to  which  all  others  aspire.  The World Travel Awards™ exists to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate excellence in travel tourism and hospitality, which is why your company was chosen by fellow professionals across the globe for a World Travel Award™.

 

Q&A with Chef Juan Loaisiga

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The Traymore Restaurant and Bar at COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach

The MBVCA sat down with Chef Juan Loaisiga, chef The Traymore to discuss why he loves Miami Beach and what it is like being a chef in the city. See what he has to say and check out his restaurant, Traymore Restaurant at 2445 Collins Ave, Miami Beach.

 

What did it take to make the Traymore one of the most highly-acclaimed restaurants in Miami Beach?

We feel The Traymore Restaurant and Bar has always been one of the most approachable and relaxed dining experiences in South Florida. We pride ourselves on not being the typical South Beach “see-and-be-seen” establishment, but more of a place you can speak with the person you’re with and be heard without having to talk over thumping music. The Traymore is a soothing place to dine that has an air of sophistication and romance.  Our cuisine compliments this ideology rather well and has been the driving force behind the restaurant’s popularity.

 

The Traymore has been referred to as “not your typical Miami Beach restaurant.” What would you say makes it different?

The relaxed environment and clientele we attract is what sets The Traymore apart.  Our hotel guests are always a priority, but locals also love our intimate setting and unpretentious service that has a traditional approach.  We don’t set aside private tables for celebrities, bring out sparkling bottles of champagne or turn up the electronic music after 11pm.  ‘Silent Luxury’ is the message we like to abide by for the property and The Traymore reflects COMO Hotels’ wellness philosophy that can be enjoyed through our COMO Shambhala cuisine, Gin Bar and wellness juices for example.

 

How do you find inspiration for new flavors to incorporate into your dishes?

Miami has such cultural diversity that always gives me inspiration for new flavors and ingredients.  Trying new ideas from other cities or simply stumbling across an unusual herb at a market can spark creativity.  I’m always looking for new ways to be inspired, whether it’s during my travels or when hearing stories from family and friends about new and exotic places they’ve discovered.  The newly published COMO Shambhala cookbook with a worldly array of recipes and techniques also gives me some great inspiration.  I keep it next to me when I’m in the kitchen at home and at work.

 

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How does working in Miami Beach compare to where you’ve worked previously?

Miami runs at a far higher pace than most people imagine. Restaurants in Miami like to have a high turnover every evening that often makes people feel uncomfortable, as though they are being rushed to make way for the next group of guests.  We like to adopt a far more relaxed and friendly approach, whereby no table is ever encouraged to leave when they’ve finished eating and we don’t bring the check to the table until it’s requested.  This is how restaurants operate in the most sophisticated cities and this is how we like to treat our guests as well – with utmost respect.

 

What dishes, or flavors, resemble the energy of Miami Beach the most?

Our seafood plates reflect the coastal energy of Miami Beach.  From the Octopus and fish to our fragrant Seafood Stew – we live in a beach town and therefore the produce caught in Florida’s waters is primarily what can be found on our menu.  I enjoy bringing a contemporary layer of flavor, and sometimes even spice, through the herbs and seasonings added to both the seafood and meat dishes that we offer.  Some of our dishes are also special additions or can be found on certain days of the week, so that we are always fresh.  Some of our small plates also resemble the energy of Miami Beach and we have also been known to collaborate with our resident mixologist at The Traymore Gin Bar to offer “Gin inspired” appetizers in the past, such as Ceviches from around the world, and even gin-infused sorbet.

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Why is it important for your food to be locally sourced?

We offer the best seasonal products from local farmers. We are committed to supporting our local economy as we showcase the finest crops our Florida land produces and the fresh fish our oceans bless us with.  The menu at the Traymore is focused on showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients from Florida and other regions of the United States. We buy as much local and organic produces and products as possible. Our focus on local ingredients stems from our dedication to sustainability, giving back to our surrounding community and providing only meals of the highest standards to our guests.  We like to showcase ‘excellence’ from the region, from the seafood in Florida’s waters to the fruit and vegetables grown by Paradise Farm in South Miami’s Homestead area.

 

Our fish, shellfish and crustaceans are sourced from small-scale, reliable, sustainable 

fisheries from Florida and around the United States. We receive our fish in less than 24 hours from the time it was caught. Then, we are able to skillfully prepare it and serve it with pride.

 

How would you describe the experience of eating at the Traymore on Miami Beach?

The Traymore Hotel which reopened as the COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach in March

of 2014 was originally designed and built in 1939 by leading Art Deco architect Albert Anis

(1889-1964), the “father” of Streamline Art Deco. The hotel’s fortunate location between Lake Pancoast on the West and the Atlantic Ocean on the East granted almost every room a water view;1940’s postcards from the hotel describe a “Private Beach and Cabana Club”, still present 

today, as well as a “Continental Dining Room” and “Blue Angel Cocktail Lounge” both of

which have been redesigned by Paola Navone as our own Traymore Restaurant and Bar.  I would describe the experience at The Traymore as calm, rejuvenating and with every attention to detail taken care of. 

 

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Any unique dishes for Miami Spice?

Our Miami Spice lunch menu features Swordfish with garden vegetable ribbons, toasted pine nuts and Florida citrus, and the Steamed Mussels with bouillabaisse and prawn chips.  For our dinner menu, I’m particularly keen on the Trout with baby bok choy and yellow tomato coulis, the Squid Ink Linguine with seafood sausage and the Soft Shell Crab with savory corn bread cake and aji Amarillo aioli.

 

What do you have up your sleeve for the fall and winter menus at the Traymore?

We’re going to have a very down-to-earth menu for the new Fall and Winter season ahead.  I’ve decided to introduce some root vegetables to the menu, mushroom inspired dishes, some additional lamb and chicken plates, while bringing an array of interesting smoky flavors to the way we cook and prepare our fish dishes.

 

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About Juan Loaisiga

 

Juan Loaisiga, 30, was born in Nicaragua and moved with his family to Miami, Florida in 1992.  Juan always aspired to be a chef during his teenage years, after helping his Mother with their family restaurant in

Nicaragua.  She became a lifelong inspiration for his work in the kitchen.

 

After graduating from Miami Senior High, Juan took his diploma at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Miami, where he started his formal training as a chef in 2008.  His first job took him to Grove Isle in Coconut Grove at Gibraltar – a restaurant specializing in seafood, a cuisine that would soon became his specialty.  Over a three and a half year period, Juan became a line cook shortly after proving his capabilities as an intern.

 

A friend studying at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University saw an attractive job opening for Juan and notified him of the opportunity.  In January 2014, Juan became a line cook under Executive Chef Jonathan Lane at the newly opened hotel, COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, the inaugural U.S. property by COMO Hotels and Resorts.  Juan joined the team for what was to become a world class seafood destination at the hotel – The Traymore Restaurant and Bar.  Under the tutelage of Chef Jonathan, Chef Juan honed his skills to develop an expertise in locally sourced seafood fare to the delight of repeat restaurant patrons.  Chef Juan progressed to become Junior Sous Chef for a year, before becoming the restaurant’s Sous Chef.  Six months later, Juan took over at the restaurant’s helm as Chef de Cuisine, a position in which he currently resides.

 

Chef Juan enjoys the locally produced seafood ingredients harvested from the Florida waters, while adapting to the seasonal trends and experimenting with the fresh and rich variety the market has to offer.  He admits to seafood still being his favorite cuisine by way of its “delicacy” and the precise cooking techniques he adopts for locals and visiting hotel guests.

 

Miami Beach Chefs Spice it up for Two Month Foodfest

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Miami Beach Chefs Spice it up for Two Month Foodfest

 

 

Miami Beach, FL – August 9, 2016 – From August through the end of September, restaurants across Miami Beach will once again host the popular Miami Spice  promotion, offering three course, signature dishes by world renowned chefs to residents and visitors at super affordable prices: Lunch $23 and Dinner $39. It is one of the most anticipated times of the year, giving restaurant guests the opportunity to partake in their tried and true favorites or be a bit more adventurous and try some of the more daring and exciting meals on the menu. During Miami Spice, there is something for everyone.

 

“The entire city looks forward to Miami Spice,” notes Peggy Benua, Chair, the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. “Chefs in this city are bold tastemakers who aren’t afraid to bring their audacious vision to the kitchen and the table with dishes like crab toast, wahoo taradito and mushroom fricassee among many others. This year, diners will have no lack of choice, flavor or portions to suit their tastes.”

 

It’s going to be a fun month of food as Miami Beach’s most innovative chefs roll out their inimitable and distinctive selections for discerning diners. And they’re not holding back on creativity; restaurant-goers can expect to sample a range of incredible ingredients and flavors including green hummus, garlic chimichurri, roast beets,  sage butter with sausage, braised greens with lemon-rosemary vinaigrette and Balsamic strawberries with pistachio crumble among many other savory and sweet plates.

Michael Pirolo, head chef of Miami Beach’s Macchialina says, “I am looking forward to Miami Spice this year. We’ve become known for offering all of our signature dishes [during Miami Spice] so you can look forward to more of our creamy polenta this year on our Spice menu.”

Looking to spice it up? Then check out these restaurants and their chefs as they present some of their out-of-this-world dishes during Miami Spice and check out the Miami Spice website for a full list of participating restaurants. Bon Appetit!

SWEET LIBERTY

Located in the Collins Park area of Miami Beach, Sweet Liberty is the creation of award-winning bartenders John Lermayer and Dan Binkiewicz along with restaurateur David Martinez. Recently named the Best New American Bar at the annual Spirited Awards, this is a surefire option for world-class cocktails and creative American food.

 

Try the: Watermelon gazpacho appetizer, Crunchy green salad and Skirt Steak with terragon bernaise.

 

 

 

THE BAZAAR BY JOSÉ ANDRÉS

This playful restaurant, designed by Philippe Starck brings to life one of the most popular culinary experiences in the city. Helmed by James Beard award-Winning chef José Andrés, the bar and lounge also offer $1 oysters during weeknight oyster hour, a live DJ Tuesday to Friday nights, and happy hour specials during the week.

 

Try the: Tomato Heirloom salad, braised lamb shank with lemon preserve risotto and the crepes with sautéed apples flambé and rum

 

BEACHCRAFT

Top chef mentor and judge, Tom Colicchio, joined the already robust roster of celebrity chefs in Miami Beach with the opening of Beachcraft in 2015. The farm-to-table concept brings guests into an open kitchen where locally caught fish, home-made pastas, and organic ingredients are featured on the menu.

 

Try the: Chicken liver toast appetizer, roasted fish with braised greens and the house made donut with key lime curd and toasted meringue

 

MACCHIALINA

Macchialina has been a local Miami Beach favorite for 4 years with its casual neighborhood vibe and bold seasonally-inspired cuisine. Chef Pirolo is the most starred chef in Miami and continues to garner praise among critics with his soulful yet sophisticated Italian fare.

 

Try the: Sausage ragu appetizer, the spaghetti pomodoro and the vanilla panna cotta with pistachio crumble

 

 

About Miami Beach

Recently awarded first place in the 2016 edition of the Travvy Awards, presented by travAlliancemedia in the category of “Best Wedding Destination, U.S. & Canada” and a winner in the 2014 and 2015 Magellan Awards by Travel Weekly in the categories of “Destinations | Mobile App” and “Overall Spa Destinations| U.S and Canada” respectively, Miami Beach is a favorite destination among travelers worldwide. Renowned for its unparalleled culinary offerings, extravagant nightlife, rich culture, luxe shopping and plush hotels, Miami Beach is home to unique museums, the New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, Miami Beach Convention Center, international festivals and art exhibitions, boat and auto shows, over 187 boutique and resort hotels and 12 public parks; it is no wonder the beautifully diverse city is one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Boasting seven miles of breathtaking beaches, Miami Beach is easily accessible from the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. The City of Miami Beach has been named one of the top cities worldwide for ‘walkability’ and is equally easy to navigate by bike or boat.   Known for its year-round sunny skies, the vibrant destination not only produces its own branded sun care line, MB Miami Beach Suncare, but has been ranked by TripAdvisor as number one in 2011’s Top Winter Sun Vacation Rental Getaway Destinations and was also part of Top 25 Beaches in the World and Top 25 Destinations in the U.S. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world!

 

Visit MiamiBeachGuest.com for more information. You may also contact Grisette Roque at Groquemarcos@miamibeachvca.com.

 

CONTACT:

Daniel Sacerio, H+K Strategies

dsacerio@samcor.net

305.443.5454