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Couples Revel in the Spice of South Beach at the Luxurious Ritz-Carlton Resort
 
The Ritz Carlton South Beach illuminated by the rising sun over the Atlantic Ocean

The luxurious guest bedroom, dressed for a special occasion with fresh flowers
Indulge yourself at a luxury VIP cabana
The modern MiMo décor is plush and sexy

By Theresa Catena
Photography by Paul Aizaga

It’s no secret that South Beach, Fl continues to be one of the hot and sizzling places to see and be seen, but when the Ritz-Carlton acquired the famous DiLido property on Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue, many wondered if it would maintain the former hotel’s local spice and flavor that was masterfully created in the 1950’s. Mission accomplished. Although the exterior marquis still say DiLido, the new beach-front Ritz-Carlton has skillfully restored the original Art Moderne/Miami Modern (MiMo) design style, while establishing the elegant surroundings and superior service the Ritz is renowned for.

Despite the vast number of rooms, (the hotel hosts 376), the staff never forgets your name or face as they welcome you into the grand lobby, which boasts the original black terrazzo flooring and a two-story, cherry wood, arching wall that has been adorned with neat rows of silver illuminated, circular-shaped wall sconces. Couples seeking that hard-to-find full service resort in South Beach will be pleased to discover that the Ritz has created such a luxurious environment, while it continues to feed the fire of Miami’s sensual and laid-back ambiance, all topped off with stellar service that extends to the balmy waters of the Atlantic.

Poolside on the weekends, the hotel presents its South-Beach-twist on the formal English Butler, where they’ve replaced him with the only known “Tanning Butler,” a young buff man in designer swimwear holstering a mix of complementary sunscreens for guests who require application to their hard-to-reach back and shoulders. The resort also offers an extensive poolside menu of Day Bed packages that start from posh, double chaise lounges with overhead canopies and pillows, to VIP cabanas with services that include massages for two, lunch and free-flowing champagne.

Inside, the Ritz has created a 16,000 square-foot spa featuring La Maison de Beauté Carita, the first of its kind outside of Paris. Already an award-winning spa, it offers indulgent treatments for couples, as well as signature pampering amenities that cater to Miami’s party-going clientele, which either get you ready for, or help you recover from – a wild-time out on the town. Be sure to ask for either the Avant SoBe or Apres SoBe, depending on your nécessitent.

Although a newcomer, the resort is known for its fun and revelry, which begins with lunch and cocktails at the DiLido Beach Club. The only beachside restaurant in all of South beach, they serve mouthwatering, Moroccan-inspired cuisine beside a shimmering, blue-tiled bar. Dinner under the stars, and if you’re lucky like we were – a full moon, is available at the Americana Restaurant, where they dish up delicious American Nouveau fare with both pool and ocean views. Next door, the Lapidus Lounge, which features plush banquettes and eye-catching original artworks, serves up cocktails and tunes on a nightly basis, (a resident DJ spins on the weekends).

And when your sun and fun-filled day comes to an end, hallways reminiscent of a luxury cruise liner will lead you back to lavish and indulgent rooms, where you can catch some beauty sleep fit for royals. Coming soon to the Ritz in South Beach, keep an eye out for the opening of renowned chef, David Bouley’s new signature restaurant in fall 2005, his first outside of Gotham.

www.ritzcarlton.com/resorts/south_beach/default.html

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