A Quick Little South Beach Jaunt!
A week and a half ago, I went down to South Beach for two nights with my best friend. I love going down there for Art Basel (it is the best time of year to visit Miami if you ask me) but I joke that I can really only handle two nights. We pack it in and then I go home to my quiet house and sleep!!!
I booked the whole trip with Expedia. They made it wildly easy (booking my hotel, airfare, and airport transfers in a few easy steps). We stayed at The W South Beach which is my favorite of all of the W Hotels and one of my absolute favorite places to stay in South Beach. The rooms are spacious and beautifully designed, the restaurant is great, it has easy access (and daybeds) at the beach, the pool scene is super fun (as is the lobby area and bar). Probably most importantly: it’s right in the middle of all the action!
I am a big fan of loyalty rewards and I love One Key, the loyalty program across Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. I also love that I can double dip. When I book using Expedia I enter all of my frequent flyer and hotel rewards #s so I continue building my airline status; but One Key is Expedia’s own totally separate loyalty program. You will earn status and perks on eligible bookings with Expedia, Vrbo. And anything you earn or unlock is applicable across all three apps!
It’s totally free to join One Key and there are different tiers: Blue, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As you unlock membership tiers, you get access to higher discounts with Member Prices and more perks. Something I love is that you unlock membership tiers by collecting trip elements. So this trip I earned 6 trip elements (my two flights, two nights in the hotel, two airport transfers). You gain status pretty quickly, and you also earn OneKeyCash quickly to use on your next trip.
I want to talk about the rooms at The W! I have stayed here several times and always have a really positive experience. Last year I did not book my trip in advance and by the time I did, prices were exorbitant and all of my favorite spots were booked up. Lesson learned! This year, we booked our trip in early October. We booked a Wonderful Studio Suite on Expedia and the property very generously upgraded us which was so nice.
If you have followed me for a while and read my travel content, you know I love a view! Sitting out on the balcony before dinner with a drink was our favorite!!!
I do have some tips and tricks for visiting Art Basel!
- The biggest thing is to book your trip early. Like I said, I recommend early October (September would be better to be honest!). Last year our trip was a bit of a mess as we booked it just a few weeks before. Our hotel was not so great (but still super expensive) and I wasn’t able to get a direct flight out of Charleston so I spent 6 hours getting there (I flew through Atlanta!) for what is typically a 90 minute flight. Book early, and use Expedia!
- Along those lines, make your restaurant reservations in advance (I’d say 30 days!).
- If you can, stay on the main strip on South Beach. The W is in a great location; I say this as the city gets super congested during Basel. So you want to be somewhere centrally located or you will spend a lot of time in ubers (and getting car sick if you are anything like me!). We walked everywhere!
- People think Art Basel is this super elite/special insider-y thing but it’s not! You can easily buy tickets to the main exhibition at the convention center (do this at least a few weeks early) as well as exhibits like Untitled. And then because we were staying at The W, we were given passes to a couple other galleries.
- Leave lots of time before your flight home. The traffic getting out is always a bit chaotic.
Also, a few of my favorite spots!
(I’m not an expert here but these are a few places I really love!)
- Byblos is just so good. I dream of their little gem salad (seriously, sounds like a boring thing to dream about but the dressing is heaven) and also love their rock shrimp crispy rice and truffle tarte.
- The bar area at The W is actually awesome at night. Super convenient and easy to get home from!
- Faena! The bar is so fun but get tickets to the theatre if you can — it’s amazing.
- Mila for dinner — super fun and dancey!
- Even more recommendations in this post from April!