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48 Hours in Miami

What do you do when you haven’t seen sun in a week, rain is lined up in the forecast and you need some serious R&R time by the pool? You book a trip south and head to the Sunshine State for some serious Vitamin D.

We’ve been go, go, go since the beginning of May and with concrete plans to stay put for the summer, we were looking forward to our last trip before the kick off of summer: Miami. We actually spent a bit of our honeymoon there and while we had a blast, we both had forgotten much about the city and what it had to offer. 
Considering our slammed schedule we put our faith in the American Express Travel Team and our Platinum Concierge team to arrange for our travel arrangements. I can’t stress enough how in tune these services are for travelers on the go. I always love waiting to see what type of property recommendations they’ll suggest for us. High on our list of must-haves was a pool, beach access, a great restaurant on site and in a fun neighborhood. The team sent over their list of must-see spots and at the top of their list was the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, which lucky for us is part of the Fine Hotels & Resorts program with our Platinum Card.

Hat | Blouse | Jean Shorts | Sandals | Bag 

 Though I was only planning on staying for the weekend, I was eligible for a complimentary third night at the hotel through the limited time offer from the same program for Platinum Cardmembers. I had to be back for Monday, but if I didn’t I would have definitely taken advantage of this. How could I not have? The place is host to celebs such as Beyonce, Jay Z, Leonardo DiCaprio and more – it’s really made a splash on the Miami scene in recent months. After flipping through pics and seeing the bright and punchy décor, I was immediately sold.

I forgot how convenient and close by the city is to Toronto – perfect for a weekend getaway. We headed to Toronto Pearson on a Friday after work, valeted the car for free thanks to our Platinum Card and jetted past the cringe-worthy security line thanks to Amex’s Cloud 10 benefits. These perks alone make weekend jet-setting a breeze knowing the airport process is a no-fuss process.

Friday Evening 

We arrived late on Friday evening and despite being a tad tired from our travels, immediately perked up to hear about our complimentary room upgrade. 
We can’t always book suites so knowing we’d have early check in and the fact that Amex grants us access to a complimentary room upgrade (when available), our trip experience always goes from good to great. Especially when hearing that we now have a junior suite with an ocean view – cha ching! 

The photos of the Faena Miami definitely don’t do it justice. The seashell-clad bar is a sight for sore eyes and definitely worth an Instagram pic, the Damian Hirst golden Mammoth installation is the perfect conversation piece and the red and white striped umbrellas are instantly recognizable. I have to say – it was one of the most eclectic and inspiring properties we’ve ever seen. 

Saturday Morning

Thanks to all your recommendations, we dined at Yardbird on Friday evening for southern fare. I highly recommend the braised short ribs, fried chicken and bourbon lemonade – SO good! 

Dress | Sunglasses | Shoes

The following morning, we dined poolside at the Faena restaurant, Veranda. Remember those perks I mentioned earlier about booking at a Fine Hotels & Resorts property? Coming at you with another one: breakfast for two on the house! We sipped freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, huevos rancheros for me and eggs benny for him and boy oh boy was it tasty.

Saturday Afternoon

After a walk on the beach to snap some must-have photos (you MUST pay a visit to SLS Miami for their unforgettable pink umbrellas), we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and hang by the beach for the early afternoon. If you are going to visit Miami in June, I suggest going sooner than later in the month as we were teetering on the beginning of storm season, which can call for iffy weather.

In addition to breakfast offer, we had a $100 Food and Beverage credit that we received just for being Platinum Cardmembers, which also happens to include cocktails. Can you say beach-side mojitos? I also recommend the frose at the Faena Miami Beach – you won’t be disappointed! 
Bathing Suit

Post beach and all cleaned up, we gave the Platinum Concierge team a quick holler on where to go for happy hour drinks. They suggested paying a visit to Cecconi’s at the exclusive Soho Beach House and off we went. Not only is the spot gorgeous (herringbone tile floor, strung patio lights, colourful cushions) but the drinks are to die for. I sipped the Lavender Collins and Adam opted for a Negroni while we munched on the Dirty Burger and Calamari. It’s definitely a must-do in the area and a great way to see the space if you don’t have reservations in advance! 

A few cocktails later and the weather looking a tad grim, we headed to Bal Harbour for some shopping. The Shops at Bal Harbour is a perfect outdoor shopping centre with names such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chloe, Prada and more. And since shopping with our Amex earns us 1.25 points for every dollar spent, my new Chloe sunglasses not only look great but also earned us points towards our next stay (fingers crossed for the Italian Riviera this summer!). 

Dress | Clutch | Sunglasses

A little tired, a lot shopped out and wanting something close by, we dined at Carpaccio in the shopping area. It’s not the hippest or chicest spot but we did eat there in the past and loved the food and the people watching.

Sunday Morning 

A sip of OJ and grapefruit early Sunday morning and we were on our way to the highlight of our trip: brunch at the Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at the SLS Brickell. I mean I thought I’d seen my fair share of fancy brunch options, but we’d clearly never been here. A must-do from the Amex Platinum Concierge team, this new to the scene restaurant is a seafood style brunch that features free-flowing Moet champagne, caviar by the spoonful, amazing paella and don’t even get me started on the décor. I highly, highly recommend a visit here and book an opening reservation to get an infamous snap at one of their booths. 

We wanted to walk off our brunch bods so we took an Uber over to the Wynwood Walls district and perused the area for an hour or two. I actually wished we had spent more time here but with the sun shining and my ill-attire, we thought it was probably best to melt in the pool and not the heat. 

Sunday Afternoon

Our last few hours in Miami were spent poolside at the Faena, another frose for me and a Mojito for Adam. By late afternoon we hailed a cab and headed back to Miami International Airport for our flight home.

Since we left a tad early given the questionable weather and our flight mishaps this year, we found ourselves checked in with ample time so hopped on over to the Centurion Lounge within the Miami Airport. As American Express Platinum Cardmembers, you get access to a swanky lounge with sweeping views of the planes taking off, complimentary beverages (their wine selection is impressive!) and gourmet meals from Michelle Bernstein, an award-winning chef. Oh and did I mention the spa?!? I love how the Centurion Lounge was the perfect send off from an already amazing trip. And icing on the cake? Coming home to Toronto past midnight but seeing your car waiting for you at the Pearson Airport Valet hub – I mean does it get any better?

Scarf | Tee | Jeans | Similar shoes

Needless to say, our trip was filled with great sights, food, R&R and of course – all the perks of being a Platinum Cardmember. I can’t stress enough the additional access one receives with this card and the enhanced experience of travelling it offers! I had a blast in Miami and would definitely consider going back for another weekend getaway – it was just the perfect amount of Vitamin D we needed! 

This post was sponsored by American Express Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

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Since its first post in 2012, Krystin Lee has become a daily destination for women with varied interests in fashion, home decor, beauty and travel. My hope is to inspire you as I share my journey and I encourage you to join in on the adventure!