I’ll bet that if you circle the globe, you could ask just about anyone you meet if they have heard of this hotel and they would know exactly the place you mean. An icon since its inception, the Fountainebleau Miami Beach is the rare gem that fully lives up to its hype while maintaining its historical integrity.
The bright and spacious lobby not only welcomes you to this resort, it provides the backdrop for some of the best people watching on the planet at any time of the day or night. Bleu Bar is the lobby’s obligatory watering hole, but with a full-on Miami Beach twist of white fixtures with chrome accents. At night, this place is packed and you will feel much more attractive and vibrant than you actually are, just by being in such a cool and lively space.
Guestrooms are scattered across the hotel’s four towers. The Chateau Tower is the original structure and is the backdrop for legendary scenes in “Goldfinger” and is quite literally in the center of the action. The Versailles Tower is adjacent to the convention facilities and the Tresor and Sorrento Towers are at the southern end of the property and each feature their own pool as well. Guestroom furnishings are sleek and modern, but comfortable and the beds are divine. It might sound silly now, but know that the window coverings are really good as well. When you have been out late, that ocean sunrise can be brutal, but the drapes in the guestrooms are heavy and thick, offering all of the protection you need from an unwanted sunbeam in the face. They are so good, in fact, that I wished that I had brought my sunglasses to breakfast the first morning since the sunlight in the lobby nearly blinded me (there might have been a bit of a hangover too, but still, come prepared…the Florida sunshine is no joke).
Obviously, there are a million ways to spend your day(s) in Miami Beach, but lounging poolside at the Fontainebleau is most certainly one of the most decadent and entertaining (again, the people watching is unrivaled). A variety of cabana options are available and I will warn you that their “chairs left unattended for 45-minutes” rule is strictly enforced, even if you leave belongings on them to mark your space. The staff is polite and efficient about it, but the pool area is crazy busy, so chairs go quickly and demand for them is high. Of course, with chairside service of food and a full bar, there is very little reason to ever leave your space, especially with delicious little concoctions like a Coconut Caipiroska and a Phantom Mojito hand delivered on demand.
Fine dining options are numerous, including the famed Hakkasan and Scarpetta, along with a new addition, Strip Steak, by the acclaimed Chef Michael Mina. During my most recent stay, we visited these three restaurants as well as Michael Mina 74 for some pre-dinner cocktails and they did not disappoint. We also hit La Cote, the poolside dining establishment for lunch. With its extensive wine and cocktail list as well as an on-site kitchen, it is a great spot to grab lunch with proper tables and chairs if you would prefer to have a meal outside without having to sit in your lounge chair or cabana. There are other food and beverage outlets in the resort, including the fabled LIV, but our schedule has always taken us elsewhere, but they are all on the list for future visits.
And to put the “art” in art deco, there are some beautiful and no-traditional art installations throughout the resort. My personal favorite is a neon piece by Tracey Emin that unassumingly hangs in the long hallway between the main lobby and the entrance to Hakkasan