The VIBE agency is grateful to have been very busy during the month of October.
From Oct. 19 – 22, the VIBE agency put together a familiarization trip for agencies arriving from France. The purpose of a “Fam trip” is for journalists, tour operators and travel agents to discover or rediscover a destination and everything it has to offer for their future clients.
Miami, the “Magic City”, is a popular destination for tourists worldwide. In a city with a vibrant diverse culture and tropical weather year-round, Miami can be as steamy as a sauna room. Our clients got to experience the best this great city has to offer during a four day stay.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted by Valerie Bihet, VIBE Director, and Judith Patron, Director of Sales from the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and were transferred in a Sprinter minibus to the Standard Hotel for a welcome cocktail. Soon after, our clients checked-in to one of two hotels, the Fontainebleau and the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The Fontainebleau recently remodeled its look and expanded with renovations estimating at $1 billion. With 1,504 rooms and suites, 22 oceanfront acres, 11 restaurants and nightclubs, 40,000-square-foot spa, and 107,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, this hotel has developed a new meaning for indulgence.
The Ritz-Carlton South Beach brings together sophistication and impeccable service in Miami’s most famous beach community. “It is the only oceanfront restaurant on South Beach and the newest Happy Hour gathering spot with exotic Hookahs and flavored tobaccos Chef de Cuisine Jeff McInnis procured during travels to Egypt,” as quoted by their website. The hotel includes 375 rooms and has great spaces for events offering 20,000 square feet of meeting and banquet facilities, an executive boardroom for up to 14 guests, extensive outdoor function space, a business center, audio-visual equipment, high-speed Internet access and themed entertainment.
The evening began with a cocktail and Mojito demonstration from a bartender of the Ritz-Carlton South Beach. The hotel also offers room service “make-it-yourself” Mojitos as an amenity. All of the ingredients and recipe are delivered to your room for you to create your very own Mojito.
Clients were then escorted to Espanola way, a historic Spanish village located in the Art Deco District of South Beach. With architecture dating back to the 1920s, the area was considered a meeting place for the wealthy. Today, it is filled with restaurants, music, shops and art. Dinner was served at Café Nuvo, a restaurant known for its ambience, perfected Mojitos and great food.
Day two began at sunrise, on the beach outside of the Fontainebleau Hotel with a personal trainer who conducted a cardio/yoga session.
Breakfast was served at the Fontainebleau followed by a site inspection. Afterward, guests also got to experience an amazing Art Deco Tour by our great friend, Charles J. Kropke from Dragonfly Expeditions, on Miami Beach. The tour consisted of visiting several famous locations including the Art Deco Museum, Casa Casuarina (Gianni Versace’s House), Old City Hall, Miami Beach Post Office and Art Deco Hotels.
At the end of the tour, they visited the W South Beach hotel for lunch a la Carte. We would like to send a special thank you to the catering department for creating a healthy, fresh, and light course. Our clients had the opportunity to be welcomed at a penthouse of the hotel for an amazing lunch with impeccable views of Miami.
The W South Beach is paradise by the sea with five star restaurants including the latest addition, Mr. Chow. Located in the heart of Miami’s hottest nightlife, the W is the new trendsetter. The hotel opened earlier this year with 220 rooms and 10,000 square feet of event space and studios. With fully adaptable conference equipment and more than 2,000 square feet of exclusive outdoor event space, meetings or events can combine sophistication in addition to a unique experience. Stay tuned for Bliss Spa which will open February 2010 for pampering and relaxation spread across three fabulous floors.
Following lunch, our clients enjoyed shopping at the Dadeland Mall, a Miami trademark located in Kendall. The mall includes Florida’s largest Macy’s as well as Macy’s Home Gallery & Kids, J.C. Penney, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Limited, Nordstrom and our European clients favorite store Abercrombie & Fitch. The main entrance of the mall was featured in the 1985 Chuck Norris film “Invasion USA” and was featured in the 1990 Alec Baldwin film “Miami Blues”. The mall is easily accessible by Miami Metrorail.
Diner took place at the Viceroy hotel over a delicious menu catered with nutritional and organic foods. The Viceroy is a glamour-infused Miami resort set with-in the ten acre Icon Brickell enclave. Guests toured the hotel along with the amazing spas and garden. The hotel offers 162 guestrooms and suites along with four venue choices including 2,666-square-foot ballroom space, a 860-square-foot meeting and celebration space, 580-square-foot meeting and celebration space, and a 9,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor rooftop lounge.
The Morgan group then hosted dancing and partying time at the Florida Room at the Delano Hotel. This is where the Miami action TV images came to life for our guests as they socialized with the elites of the town.
Day three began with breakfast and site inspection at the Mondrian South Beach hotel. Located in Biscayne Bay, its minutes from the hustle and bustle of South Beach with breathtaking view of the ocean. Features include Asia de Cuba, a five-star restaurant and the Agua spa which features wet and dry treatment rooms; and a fully-equipped gym over looking the bay. The hotel has 330 rooms, meeting rooms with bay views and state-of-the-art audio-visual and telecommunications equipment. The website also states that “executive boardrooms, as well as production, wardrobe, make-up and casting rooms are available and wireless internet access is provided in all meeting spaces and lobby areas.”
From the Mondrian Marina the day continued with a one-hour yacht ride to Bayside courtesy of the Venetian Lady. The Venetian Lady has hosted numerous weddings, graduation parties, bar mitzvahs, quinces, holiday parties, and family reunions. It is also a great option for cocktail parties, religious organizations, national guest speakers, team building events for employers and employees, new product launches by multi-national corporations, and private concerts by world-famous musicians.
Afterward, we sped things up on a sightseeing power boat tour.
Lunch followed with a Mediterranean menu catered by the Mandarin Oriental. The hotel exhales a Zen attitude and is known for their soothing spa. Asian serenity overcomes the mind, body and soul as you listen to the tranquil sounds and inhale the soothing aromas. The Mandarin Oriental has 326 rooms available and can accommodate large scale events with more than 15,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, a grand ballroom for 600, a boardroom, 15 breakout rooms, a business center and an oversized terrace. Clients left the Mandarin Oriental feeling refreshed and at peace with a new piece of serenity.
After lunch, filled with positive energy the adventure continued at the Everglades National Park which is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. “It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and Wetland of International Importance, significant to all people of the world,” states the National Park Service. Guests were greeted by Johnny Tigertail, a Miccosukee Indian, who “speaks gator” and knows this land from two centuries of cultural inheritance. Guests described the experience as “humbling and historic.” From alligators to pythons, guests experienced an educated tour with Mother Nature.
As an early surprise, we treated our guests to a pre-Halloween Spooktacular Tour where each client received a masquerade mask and black rose as a souvenir.
Dinner was served at Wish, notably one of the “50 best restaurants in the world,” as stated by Condé Nast Traveler.
The last day was sizzled with a The Cuban Heritage Tour, also done by Kropke from DragonFly Tours. Guided through areas such as Little Havana and connecting neighborhoods you can feel the ambience of Cuba right here in Miami. Everyone took home a Guayabera Shirt, a popular style within the Cuban community in South Florida.
Lunch and a site inspection was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, a 5 five star hotel located in Brickell, Mia. This hotel has 221 luxurious guest rooms including 39 suites. The rooms occupy floors 20 to 29 which are amongst the largest in the city. Four Seasons Hotel Miami can host a spectrum of events – from small board meetings or social gatherings to large conferences, galas and weddings – within its 14,931 sq. ft. of spectacular function space.
The final destination was at the Historic Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables. The Biltmore is a world renowned destination for World Leaders and celebrities. Amazing features include 275 guest rooms, which include an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, 10 tennis courts and the world-famous Biltmore pool with private cabana suites, acclaimed restaurants: Palme d’Or, Fontana, Cascade Poolside Bar & Grill, and the 19th Hole, a world-class spa and fitness center, 70,000 square feet of spacious state-of-art conference and meeting space; and full service catering for meetings, events, and weddings.
As the trip came to an end, our guests left with a little twist of Miami’s spicy culture within their souls. Miami is one of the top destinations for many events and we would love to work with those who can handle a sizzling and unforgettable event!