So, we returned from our spring family vacation. We always like to get away some place sunny and warm at least once a year, while it’s still snowy and chilly. Yes, in New Brunswick, Canada we still get snow in spring and still have some even now. That’s typically why we like to wait until early spring, as it’s usually the point we can’t bare seeing the white stuff anymore and it usually wraps ups few weeks after we return.
Although we typically like to try new places, we just wanted as little connecting flights or long layovers as possible. Travelling with a dog and toddler can be unpredictable, so we wanted to inject less unknowns into the equation. So we had decided to return to a South Beach Miami. We had been a few times before, but all pre-marraige, Elle and Sadie, so we were excited to return as a family and make new memories.
When we travel with Elle we always look for hotels with suites (true suites, with living room and bedroom separate). We need this in order to enjoy our vacation. Although we take her travel bed with us, she does sleep in our room and we are not planning on going to bed when she does – haha. This definitely increases the price of our trip, but it’s a comfort we can’t go without.
(newest addition to the hotel)
We opted stay at Kimpton Angler’s Hotel. We had stayed here last time we were visiting Miami and we were very pleased with it. It is a 4 star hotel and I must say, value for dollars, it is a great spot. It is currently undergoing some renovations, so although they had a bar and served breakfast, they didn’t have a restaurant onsite (yet), but we were okay with that because we like to explore and eat at different places and there were lots of options near by. They could still bring drinks to the pool and grab coffee in the morning.
We stayed in a spa suite which allowed us to have our own hot tub and fenced in courtyard. We had a living room, two bathrooms, and our bedroom was upstairs. FYI – the bathrooms only have showers, which is great if you don’t have a toddler. Elle is not a fan of showers, but we made due and it was fine. Also, it doesn’t have a kitchen, microwave etc. It does have a fridge – more like mini bar – but room to put your own drinks in as well. It has two pools and the property is quaint, but gorgeous and very well maintained.
(door to our spa suite)
We were just two blocks to Ocean Drive, so we could walk to the beach in minutes. They always have different companies on the beach renting umbrellas, chairs, towels etc. So you don’t have to worry about bringing too much. You can also get water and some areas even serve drinks. Also, this has been one of the most dog friendly hotels. They didn’t mind Sadie at the pools, which is sometimes an issue even at dog friendly hotels. So if you’re travelling with your pooch, highly recommend.
We went during American spring break, which we didn’t realize. Thankfully it was the tail end of it. We had wondered why the vibe had seemed slightly different this time. It was ultra busy on the streets with young (sometime intoxicated) people. Not exactly the vibe we were hoping for, but it didn’t effect tour trip. We would just be more aware of this next time.
(The Local House)
We ate at some really great spots and gained lots of inspiration for our own restaurant – something we love to do on our travels. My favourite brunch spot was called The Local House, it was on Ocean Drive, just steps form the beach. So we liked to start our morning here. The decor was a breezy, pinterest worthy, beach house vibe. The food was amazing. We tried as much as we could. My fave was the Crab Cake Benedict and Lobster Roll (it had truffle oil – yum!). They also had interesting sweet options like Key Lime Pie French Toast (so South Beach, Miami). Also, their fresh squeezed juice didn’t just consist of orange and pineapple, but cantaloupe and watermelon too – so fresh.
For easy take out breakfast, we would go to this little spot around the corner from our hotel called, Simple Healthy Food. That’s exactly what it was! It was great for fresh smoothies, sandwiches and also made this really amazing toast with cream cheese, strawberries and sprinkles of chia seeds (actually going to make this at home – so easy! Thanks for the inspo!).
(Entrance to Casa Tua)
For supper, we tended to go heavy on Italian restaurants. Casa Tua Hotel & Restaurant had a super enchanting setting, both indoors and out. Although, not well marked, if you follow the super high hedges you will eventually get to a gate. Once entered you will be enchanted with the outdoor space. The food was good, but not the best (based on value for dollars), but the atomsphere was incredible. So I would recommend for that reason alone. Probably be a beautiful spot to stay also.
(Casa Tua Terrace)
Then there is Gianni Versace, which I thought would just be cool because we would be dining in Gianni Verciace’s home. However, the food was really, really good and the service as impeccable. Possibly the best of all restaurants we dined at. So I definitely recommend this spot, even if you’re not a fashion lover like me. If you plan on going and are into true crime type shows, there is one that came out last year and it’s all about the assasiantio not Versace. They actually use the scenes from his home a his actual home, now restaurant.
(Gianni Versace’s Restaurant)
Another Italian spot worth checking out is Dolce Italian. They had a really nice patio, where you could people watch and didn’t feel crowded (which is hard sometimes, especially when dining with a dog and a toddler). I wish we had gone back to try some more of their dishes, because everything we ate – we loved! But, you only have so much time and we wanted to try some other spots. I ate the best beet salad I have ever eaten (that says a lot because when I see a beet salad on a menu – I order it). Also, their brussel sprouts were delicious and pasta – yum. Oh – lets’ not forget about the tiramisu – so good!
One of our drivers told us we needed to go to Prime, so we looked it up and realized there was Prime Steak House and Prime Italian. Us being Italian loves (have you figured that out yet – haha), decided to go to Prime Italian. It was very good. We sat on patio, which was okay – nothing special. However, the food was very, very good. I will warn you the portion sizes are huge. I could have shared the Spaghetti and Meatballs (which are kobe meatballs) with 3 other people and still took some home – I kid you not! The Red Velvet Cheesecake was so so good. It was so unique and yet it combine two of my favourite desserts. The deep fried oreos, although sounded really good – were not at all my favourite (maybe just preference), but too much dough and not enough oreo. 🙂
Now, to get off Italian, last, but not least, Komodo Miami was really good. It was asian fusion style. Very unique and delicious dishes. Very nice atmosphere. It had tree house style seating up high in the patio, which was really cool. However, it was not in South Beach. It was more in the financial district of Miami. So not sure it’s worth the drive, unless you’re staying over by that way or an asian fusion fan like us.
Those were some of our favourite spots. I am sure there are lots more great places, but we ran out of time. Please feel free to share some of our favourites if you have been. Maybe next time we go we can try those out too! We have really enjoyed every vacation we have taken to South Beach. They have all been completely different, but great. So if you have never been, I definitely recommend checking it out.
Until next time, thanks for reading – talk soon!