The hotel is in Downtown Miami, close to the Miami Metro Mover station, Knight Centre Station (from which you have to walk through the neighbouring Hyatt Hotel). The easiest way of getting around from here is either by local transport (which takes you to South Beach, Little Havana, Bayside, Little Haïti, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, the Design District and Wynwood as well as Key Biscayne).The newly-built Mary Brickell Village is within walking distance; here you will find a large range of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. This area has become the place to be for the young and upcoming crowd, especially on Thursday nights. Hardly rowdy, however don't be surprised if you see a few leggy blondes falling in a heap after a few drinks! If you fancy something a little quieter and more intimate, you can also explore Miami's oldest bar. Opened in 1920, Tobacco Road is located five minutes away from the hotel on foot and often has live music in the evenings.
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- A sumptuous, multi-layered palette of emerald green, onyx and slate complements classic forms and organic finishes ranging from antiqued wood and mirror to veined marble and reflective brass creates a smart yet cosy atmosphere. Despite the rooms looking like every item of furniture was handpicked, the 162 rooms are decorated very similarly. This could instigate disappointment at the lack of uniqueness of your room which you will find exquisite, but actually, this 'mass-production' approach perfectly reflects the Art-Deco movement at its root: the industrial revolution. The process of mass production was revered; especially in late 30s America as goods became readily available to the average lay person. However, this theme has been embellished by Wearstler's exceptional taste. There are five room categories in total, with 14 rooms that have been adapted for guests with restricted movement. All the rooms are extremely spacious and start at 38m² for the lead-in category (a Viceroy Kings) to 73m² (Viceroy one bedroom suite). Originally supposed to be residential, the rooms not only look absolutely dazzling with their lime green leather arm chairs, mock marble desks, and extreme marble floors, all dressed with Art-Deco lamps (at least six in each living room) and a small dining area, with kitchenettes hidden in closet, but they are also extremely comfortable.
The pièce de résistance of the rooms are the living areas but the rooms are a little more sobre. The main feature is a contemporary king size four poster-bed dressed in luxurious crisp white Sferra linen also designed by Wearstler especially for the hotel. The bathroom is adjoined to the bedroom. Although spacious, the walls are entirely covered in mirrors which can be a little creepy at first! However a highlight of our stay here was the bathroom products: the Neil George essential oils range left us feeling as freshly pampered as if we had spent the day at the spa.
The downside to the room is the unfurnished balcony and the lack of complimentary tea and coffee making facilities in the room. Another detail that would have been good to add, are sockets around the bed so that guests can lie in bed while catching up with some work.
- Open in 2009, the Viceroy Miami is an all-round excellent hotel with extremely high standards, from the front desk on the ground floor to the Eos hotel restaurant on the 15th floor. Upon arrival, look out for discreet sliding doors under the Viceroy sign on the front of the building. As soon as we entered the lobby, which is unusually small, we were taken aback by the unexpectedly quirky Art-Deco decor, which could have toppled into the kitsch category, if it were not for talented designer, Kelly Wearstler's keen eye for detail and coordination. The floor to ceiling drapes printed with turquoise ocean waves in a classic Japanese style tie the lobby's myriad textures together in an elegant twist. A giant white partly complete sculpture of a head lies on the counter like that of a sleeping Buddha's in a Thai temple, but despite the seas of blues that decorate the lobby, the spotlight usually falls on the chair in the shape of hot pink lips placed in the centre.
The lobby is nothing but a mere glimpse as to what wonders the hotel holds however. Unlike most places, the Viceroy has two pieces de resistance: the first is the Eos restaurant, on the 15th floor (the top floor) and the second is the sublime Starck-designed spa.
The building itself consists of three towers but only the central one is the hotel; the rest are Icon residences. On the 15th floor, you will find Eos, the hotel restaurant and the record-breaking roof-top pool, which is the longest roof-top pool in Florida. Olive trees planted in oversized flower pots dotted around the pool make the area very appealing for relaxing. There are also lovely views out to the sea and Brickell Key from the very end of the pool on the sun deck. There is regular pool service here.
The spa and gym can be accessed via the pool area and are located in one of the side towers. There is also the Icon café here, which serves snacks and beverages throughout the day. The clean white environment of the tower where the gym and spa are located, is like stepping into another world after the seemingly cluttered Art-Deco world of the main hotel building. As we walked to the spa across the gallery above the spa pool, we could not help but stop to take it in, and you will see what we mean as soon as you walk in. With seating plunged into the pools, an oversized fireplace with cosy couches dressed in tartan at one end, mirrors and book cases lining the walls holding an enormous bay window up on either side, a giant chandelier in Starck's typical elegant romantic style in the centre, the spa pool alone is a perfect area to come to relax for a few hours. With soothing music and lime greens to lift the entirely white area, the spa is the raison d'être of the hotel for many in-house guests and day visitors.
- The hotel has a main restaurant, EOS on the fifteenth floor, where you will also find the hotel's impressive roof-top pool. The Art-Deco corridor, complete with a spin on Matisse's 'Escargot', leads to a real bijou of a restaurant, which we highly recommend, even if you are not staying at the hotel. The restaurant has a European Art-Deco interior, which you will see varies largely from the typical examples of the movement in South Beach. Although gaudy, the restaurant decor remains tasteful. A mix of cream leathers, highly polished brass and Aztec friezes, the restaurant does grow on you after an initial cold first impression. The decoration aside, the food is also to die for! Our meal here was easily one of the best we have had in Miami. A strong Greek influence runs through the cuisine whipped up by chef Michael Psiliakis. The refined menu ranges from sashimi dressed with a sweet apricot and pistachio jam topped off with a delicate rose petal, to a tender and succulent Loup de Mer as a main, which will undoubtedly leave your taste buds pining for more. The waiters are very friendly; however make sure you have your brain in fast-mode as they run off the menu and specials of the day. Expect to pay about $150 per head for a three course meal including wine.
Breakfast is also served here, but the restaurant changes from its elegant and sophisticated robe to a more casual look. Even its name, Eos, becomes 'Bistro e'. The heavy decor takes a back seat as the views of Downtown Miami seep in through the restaurant's large bay windows. The menu is simple, with the expected salmon bagels and pancakes, or muesli for the more diet conscious. A big advantage to having breakfast here is the generous servings of tea, which is very welcome after a good night's sleep.
- The nearest beach is in South Beach, which is a 25 minute car drive away.
- The hotel entrance is easily missed as it is fairly discreet, so beware not to head to the car park belonging to the adjoining Icon residential tower. The Viceroy Miami is part of the Viceroy Group, which runs several brands such as The Tides in South Beach (that's the hotel in front of which Will Smith did his jig for his 'Miami' video - see our review of this hotel) as well as the Jalousie Plantation St Lucia, Avalon, l'Ermitage and Maison 140 all in Beverly Hills, The Tides in Miami Riviera Maya and Zihuatanejo and Viceroy hotels in Anguilla, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Snowmass and in June 2011 in the Maldives.