Conference in Miami Beach

I hadn’t been in Miami for nearly 30 years.  When I used to go as a little child, the inhabitants of Miami beach were senior citizens with flowered swim caps.  Much has changed since.

But one thing hasn’t.  Fontainebleau is still the beautiful maiden.  When it was built it was the place to stay and it still is.  It is a huge resort but because there are so many towers and expansive grounds it doesn’t feel crowded.  I had a conference and I didn’t think it was too far to go up to my room to change during lunch and go for a dip in the pool or a walk on the beach.  Some places it takes you half hour to get anywhere.

My conference was great in part due to the great catering. Every morning for breakfast we had a great variety of fruits, bread, eggs, bacon, chicken sausage and a huge selection of pastries.  There was also a great selection of juices plus coffee and teas. For lunch we had several different salads everyday. My favorite was a green salad with a mango vinaigrette. It was delicious. We also always had several different meats, potatoes and other dishes for vegans.  The best part was that there was always a great dessert buffet. For snacks every afternoon we had something different. One day they had different types of popcorn and cookies and the next day they had pretzels and several different brownies.  Yum

I have to say I was very impressed with the room we were given. We stayed in the Sorrento tower. We had a corner 1 bedroom suite. It was lovely.  It had a living room and a dining room and a full kitchen including a washer dryer. The bathroom was beautiful and the bed was very comfortable and most importantly the curtains shut off all the sunlight. But the best part of this fabulous suite was the beautiful bathroom. It was a marble dream with two sinks, jacuzzi tub and and a separate will rain shower. It was simply beautiful.

While I was bored to death at my accounting conference my husband spent most of his time sitting out on the beautiful wrap around porch. We had ocean front views and from the side we could see all the pools and the grounds at the hotel. I was very surprised when I got this room. The lady at the front desk wasn’t very friendly. But we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the room. My impression of FONTAINEBLEAU is that it is a beautiful hotel with a lot of great features however, it does have some stuff missing. For instance in the room we didn’t have slippers or a bathrobe to wear and there was no turn down service.  The people at the front desk and at the concierge desk very professional but not friendly. They didn’t offer any extra information or provide any gesture to make my stay more comfortable. For instance upon check-in we could have been told about the resort fee and what that what perks that gave us. We only found out about it when we wanted to use to chairs at the beach.

The guys at the beach took care of us and explained about the fees and asked us to go to the front desk next time we wanted to use the service. I also have to go out of my way for a towel at the pool even though there were some employees just sitting around. One thing I did notice that they had everywhere was a lot of water. It would its a nice feature in a  hot day to be able to just walk a few steps and get a cup of ice cold water.

This hotel is in North Beach so it is far from all the South Beach action.  However, the hotel has some very nice (and expensive) restaurants.  The lobby bar was happening on Sunday night and the night club is supposed to be one of the best in Miami.  But for me and my budget it was a little out of my reach and I had to walk really far to get anywhere.

But one day we did take the bus to South Beach. It is a party place, not the refined atmosphere of the Fontaineblue.  Lots of restaurants, bars, shops and a lot of crazy people there.  I’m glad were weren’t staying down there because I don’t think I’d get much sleep.  It was like being back in Las Vegas.  A big tourist trap with all the things tourists want.  Too bad I’m not a tourist.

We did find a great Cuban restaurant called Havana 1954.  I ate the best chicken in my life there.  It sits on the corner of a small little passenger street and it felt like I was in Barcelona. The only annoying thing was that the Mexican restaurant next door was playing really loud mariachi music. Otherwise, I want to go back for some wonderful chicken, rice, beans and yucca.

The only thing I wonder is why people live anywhere else.  It was paradise, warm, beautiful and with great food.  What else is there to life?

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