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/.  

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

Miami Beach Calls All Snowbirds to Enjoy a Tropical Getaway This Holiday Season

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Winter travelers can escape to Miami Beach’s warm weather to experience festive events, luxurious seasonal offerings and fine holiday dining

 

Miami Beach – December 8, 2017 – Snowbirds can easily escape the harsh winter weather and celebrate the holidays in sun-kissed Miami Beach with a number of festive events, luxurious, seasonal spa treatments, and fine holiday dining offers. Recently named Travel Weekly’s Best Overall Beach Destination in 2017 and recognized by the Travvy Awards as Best LGBTQ Destination in 2017, there’s something for everyone in Miami Beach this holiday season—a city like no other place in the world.

 

“Spending time with friends and family during the holiday season takes on special meaning in Miami Beach.  Travelers can find the perfect respite from cold weather and a variety of activities that will keep spirits warm and bright,” said Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority and General Manager of Dream South Beach. “A number of events, hotels and restaurants are adding to the holiday cheer with special offers and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.”

 

Travelers are invited to start packing now and head to Miami Beach to indulge in seasonal activities, including:

 

Seasonal Traditions at Lincoln Road Mall: Escaping to Miami Beach for the holidays doesn’t mean missing out on some of the season’s best traditions. On December 21 at 7 p.m., spend the evening shopping and singing Christmas carols at Lincoln Road Mall, stretching from Washington Avenue to Alton Road. End the night with an after party at the National Hotel with festive drinks, tapas specials and live music.

 

An Afternoon at the Ballet: Grab the whole family and take in the world-renowned Moscow Ballet and their performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at The Fillmore Miami Beach. A special matinee will take place on December 30th a 3 p.m. featuring life-sized puppets and nesting dolls to bring the holidays to life. Tickets are available online now at http://www.filmoremb.com.

 

Stress-Free Celebration: Go for a stress-free holiday season with an 80-minute Stress Fix Massage Special at The Palms Hotel & Spa. Available throughout the month of December, spa guests that purchase any 50-minute treatment will receive 50 percent off the second treatment.

 

Holiday Dinner at The Setai, Miami Beach: Cozy up at one of Miami Beach’s finest hotels with family and friends on December 24 at 10 p.m., and go on a culinary journey this Christmas with dinner at Jaya. The five-course meal includes dumplings, tantalizing Thai pumpkin soup, traditional holiday turkey, and ends with sweet and festive bouche de Noel that features fluffy white-chocolate mousse, pistachio biscuit and toasted almond ice cream. Dinner is $110 per person.

 

For more information on holiday offerings in Miami Beach this season, 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 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!

 

Miami Beach Helps Travelers De-Stress During the Holiday Season

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A number of specialty offers give tourists ways to relax and find their center

 

Miami Beach – November 13, 2017 – The official holiday season is approaching and Miami Beach is giving travelers a chance to gift themselves with a detox getaway through a host of seasonal deals.  Starting this month, vacationers can trade in their boots for flip flops and hot cocoa for healthy mojitos as they enjoy discounts at destination hotels, spa treatments rooted in wellness and restaurants serving up fresh and natural fare, all to help de-stress travelers during the season.

 

“Miami Beach is the poster child for relaxation and renewal under the sun, especially during the holiday season” said Peggy Benua, Chair of the MBVCA and General Manager of Dream South Beach. “As a destination that is truly like no other place in the world, Miami Beach is ready to pamper travelers and help them relax and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.”

 

With the finest spas, hotels and restaurants, Miami Beach welcomes tourists looking to experience a stress-free holiday season.  Travelers can choose from a host of options now available:

 

The Setai, Miami Beach:

·        Before the turkey and holiday cocktails comes a specialty slimming massage.  Enjoy a 60-minute treatment that reduces the appearance of cellulite and fluid retention, and a 30-minute Bourbon Tea Intense Body Wrap that leaves the body renewed. This treatment is priced at $260 for 90 minutes.

 

·        Indulge in a reinvigorating massage and facial that includes a take-home Infusion Tea Bag, perfect to combat the stress associated with holiday gatherings and events. This treatment is priced at $220 for 90 minutes.

The Betsy Hotel South Beach:

·        Take holiday relaxation to the next level with an extended Miami Beach stay. Book a seven-night getaway and receive two nights free, a $75 food and beverage credit, and a free 75-minute massage.

 

The Standard, Miami Beach:

·        Learn new yoga moves and find healthier ways to de-stress with $25 yoga classes on the deck and inside The Standard Spa. This offer is only available to guests.

 

GUYandGIRL Spa:

·        Immerse into a full-body detox experience with the 50-minute detoxifying massage priced at $129, or a deep pore detox for $139. These deep cleansing rituals rid the body of toxins and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and glowing.

 

 

Health conscious vacationers can find fuel at key restaurants that cater to those looking to stay on track despite the temptations of the season:

 

DIRT:

·        Seasonal items like the Autumn Poke Bowl, Gold x Innergy Smoothie and locally-crafted Kombucha are just a few healthy options available from $3-$15. With each purchase of the Gold x Innergy Smoothie, DIRT will give a voucher for a free meditation session at Innergy.

Icebox Cafe, Miami Beach:

·        Take a pre-holiday trip to Miami Beach and have a healthier start to the day with signature juices, like Robert’s Green Juice and Bet-A-Beet, which include spinach and kale or beets and celery for just $10. 

 

For more information and updates on additional ways to relax in Miami Beach this holiday season, 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 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!

 

 

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!

 

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!

 

Miami Beach takes hospitality service to new heights with comprehensive city-wide training

The city to receive coveted Forbes Travel Guide Hospitality Service Training Certification

MIAMI BEACH –– Miami Beach takes serving its guests seriously…really seriously. Miami Beach is like no other place in the world and is dedicated to making its service a major point of distinction; that’s why the entire tourism and hospitality community will meet for the largest ever interactive Hospitality Service Training led by Forbes Travel Guide, the prestigious Five-Star Rating system and global authority on luxury travel. After the intensive day of sessions, Miami Beach will become only the second city in the U.S. to ever receive a Forbes Travel Guide Hospitality Service Training Certification. The city of Miami Beach, ranked as one of the Top 25 Destinations in the U.S., along with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) and the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) are partnering with Forbes Travel Guide to conduct the training.

As the originator of the Five-Star Rating system – beginning in 1958 as the Mobil Travel Guide – Forbes Travel Guide provides the travel industry’s most comprehensive ratings system in the world, along with reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas. A Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating is considered the hospitality industry’s most prestigious achievement. Going far beyond aesthetics, it places a large emphasis on quality of service. This certification will add yet another layer to Miami Beach’s already outstanding hospitality services, where hotels, restaurants and entertainment providers are always striving to enhance and augment the guest experience.

“The Forbes Travel Guide Hospitality Service Training Certification is internationally recognized and highly esteemed. We intend to bring a higher level of service to Miami Beach, set new standards and continue to exceed hospitality expectations,” says Peggy Benua, Chair of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. “With events like Miami Spice Month and Art Basel around the corner, the training comes at the perfect time to renew, energize and revitalize our hospitality industry. Our hospitality partners have always brought best practices and passion to what they do and The Forbes Travel Guide training just brightens the diamond that is Miami Beach”.

 

Focused on providing front line personnel in hospitality-focused businesses such as hotels, restaurants, attractions, and tour companies with professional guidelines and tailored teachings, the day-long event will be broken into four unique sessions that will highlight the Miami Beach customer satisfaction experience. Led by a hand-selected group of travel experts, tastemakers and Forbes Travel Guide instructors, the event is open to property owners as well.

 

“The commitment from the City of Miami Beach is a testament to the passion of all of its tourism industry members to deliver extraordinary hospitality to each and every visitor. The city has been a beloved destination for decades and this commitment to elevating, expanding and ultimately delivering  exceptional service to its visitors, is all part of Miami Beach’s  longstanding tradition of renewal,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “On a personal note, this area holds a special place in my heart. I worked at Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 1978, in the formative stages of my hospitality career and am delighted that Forbes Travel Guide can come to this great city to help it achieve service excellence.”

 

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

 

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.

 

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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. 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.