The new ME Miami hotel beckons guests to the pulsating heart of downtown Miami.
ME Miami works hard to earn its avant-garde vibe.
For starters, the lobby has some mesmerizing fish in its tank. Sure, there might be real ones across the street at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, but the fish projected onto the lobby wall are just so, well, virtual.
Head upstairs to your room, past photography by Alberto Van Stokkum (featured in all ME hotels from London to Cabo) and down dimly lit hallways meant to evoke a sexy and artistic aesthetic.
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Feeling intrigued and relaxed? Could be the hotel’s signature cucumber-melon scent that wafts through the vents (candles with this unique scent are, of course, available for purchase).
FIRST IN THE UNITED STATES
It’s fitting that this hotel lands smack in the middle of Miami’s cultural mecca, a stone’s throw from not only Frost but the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center and the American Airlines Arena, with cruise ships and Biscayne Bay glistening beyond. It’s the nation’s first ME by Melia, the lifestyle hotel brand based in Spain.
Before your arrival, so-called Aura Experience Managers are busy researching so as to personalize your stay. If you’re celebrating an anniversary, you’ll find a romantic quote scrawled on your mirror; a birthday beckons a celebratory one, etc. Mine — as, I suppose, the travel writer — warranted some Henri Matisse wisdom: “Creativity takes courage.”
“It’s a unique experience you can only get at a smaller hotel like ours,” concierge Bianca Soto told me.
STAY IN OR GO OUT
Floor-to-ceiling windows take advantage of the dazzling views, while blackout curtains preserve your morning sleep. Some rooms feature clawfoot bathtubs along picturesque windows; others have large marble rain showers.
Algotherm natural bath products stock the shelves. Well-equipped in-room bars entice you to relax with snacks and a drink on the spacious balcony. Smart technology allows you to dim the lights, control the thermostat and work the phones with the touch of a finger.
Head to the 14th floor for the fitness center, main swimming pool and infinity-edge lap pool. Weekends bring a complimentary morning yoga class and an afternoon DJ.
Between cultural jaunts off campus, summon your bookish side and curl up in the third-floor Library Bar, a dark-paneled room featuring a selection of works curated by Books & Books.
Or head to the new Dermanova Med Spa & Salon. Sure, you can indulge in a relaxing hair treatment that smooths and brightens your locks, followed by a blowout that’ll last days. But with an MD on staff, why not choose something more permanent like Botox injections or micro-dermabrasions? The spa even has an infusion room for Liquivida IV therapy, which is said to boost immunities, recharge energy levels and rehydrate – get this! – your brain.
GLOBALLY INSPIRED LATIN FOOD
When dinnertime arrives, wander back downstairs and find the made-for-Instagram silk flower wall announcing new restaurant Cvltvra by Argentinian chef Sebastian La Rocca. Made to feel like a mercado from Argentina, the restaurant specializes in South American cuisine with Mediterranean inspirations.
Definitely try the avocado hummus, king crab with chilled lettuce soup, and, of course, My Grandmother’s Pork Milanesa, a La Rocca family recipe. He credits his grandmother with igniting his passion for cooking during their countless hours together in the kitchen, and this dish explains why. For a sweet and playful ending, order the dulce de leche panna cotta, which comes topped with caramelized popcorn and cocoa nibs.
As we headed back to our room, we noticed that the lobby’s projection wall had morphed from fish in a tank to Miami’s skyline. We kept walking, through cucumber melon-scented air and dimly lit hallways, to find soothing music piping through our room, the curtains drawn.
Without a doubt, ME Miami makes it all about you.
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