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MAVENS COVE, LE SIRENUSE MIAMI, AND THE SURF CLUB

James Andrew, Miami

James Andrew, Miami

It was our great pleasure to stay at the iconic Le Sirenuse in Positano along the Amalfi coast some years ago. While there, we met the impossibly chic owners, Antonio and Carla Sersale – they simply get everything right. When we heard that they were opening a restaurant/bar/outpost in Miami at The Surf Club Miami Beach – it instantly made the top of our list to visit. Well, I’m now very pleased to say that they’ve once again fulfilled every expectation! Le Sirenuse Miami captures all the old world elegance and glamor of The Surf Club re-interpreted with a modern sensibility. I’d say it is the chicest spot in town, with the most delicious cuisine, and superb Champagne bar. Bravo!

Le Sirenuse Miami

Le Sirenuse Miami

Le Sirenuse Miami

Le Sirenuse Miami

Le Sirenuse Miami

Le Sirenuse Miami at the Surf Club

Needless to say, on our next trip to Miami we’ll certainly be staying at The Surf Club Miami Beach and can’t wait to dine again at Le Sirenuse Miami and enjoy a few cocktails at the Champagne Bar!

For our recent getaway I wanted an ensemble that was casual yet elegant – enter my friends at Mavens Cove who provided me with the most perfect Uxmal by Manchester white linen shirt. Founded in Monterrey Mexico in 1939 by Espiridion Canavati, they combine the best aspects of English and Mexican craftsmanship – a contemporary take on the classic guayabera with a slimmer fit. Maven Coves’ motto “dress for the journey” certainly resonates with me – and this shirt was perfection for an evening out in Miami at a place like Le Sirenuse. I paired this with Tom Ford silk linen floral print pants, silk blue brocade tasseled slippers, and a Cartier Tank Divan watch. My fragrance was Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi – rather fitting!

DEBRA TORRES AT VIZCAYA

James Andrew at Vizcaya Gardens

James Andrew at Vizcaya Gardens

While on our recent marvelous Miami retreat, I just had to pry myself away from the pool for a bit of tropical splendor. Vizcaya was calling me! I hadn’t been for years and years and I was quite curious to see the restored gardens. Diego Suarez’s exuberant garden – designed for James Deering – is absolute heaven. There you’ll find an abundance of architectural structures and details, elaborate fountains, and antique and commissioned sculptures.

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya Gardens

The use of aged sculptures and of soft porous coral stone resulted, quite intentionally, in a weathered appearance that along with planting of mature trees immediately lent a feeling of a garden that had been there for many years.

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya Gardens

Vizcaya is one of those places one never tires of – I could return again and again and never get enough. It’s a must-see in Miami.

Vizcaya Garden

Vizcaya Garden

With a merging of Latin chic and Caribbean glamor, my exquisite friend Debra Torres’ gorgeous guayabera shirts were the most perfect choice for the elegant tropical setting of Vizcaya (top). The “David” model is my favorite and can be ordered in a slim fit for a more tailored look. The shirt goes perfectly with a pair of linen chambray shorts and royal blue suede espadrilles. I’m also wearing Tom Ford matte dark blue “Sergio” sunglasses. A spritz of Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi completes the look.

PARADISE LOST: THE RALEIGH HOTEL MIAMI

James Andrew at the Raleigh Hotel, Miami

James Andrew at the Raleigh Hotel, Miami

Under the ownership of Andre Balaz, the Raleigh Hotel in Miami once flourished – it was one of THE go-to destinations of choice for a sophisticated/sexy getaway or simply a lovely dinner.

Sadly, under its present stewardship, this iconic hotel has been sorely neglected. Soiled lounge and seat cushions, dirty carpets and awnings, and a general lack of maintenance plagues the venerable old hotel. Of course, an operation like this in the tropics requires constant care, but if you are in the hotel business, well…there should be no excuse for anything less. Compounding things is the fact that the place is under-staffed, and generally the people who ARE working there seem rather overwhelmed. There are some exceptions of course – for instance the concierge Fernando and the bar man, Peter, are brilliant. I’m also relieved to say, the food is still quite good. It’s not all bad, but I chose the Raleigh because I remembered how gorgeous it was under Balaz – at that time, the place truly captured a sense of old Miami glamor, and everything was pristine and beautifully done! Needless to say, had I known the hotel had deteriorated so since then, I would have never booked a room there!

We still managed to have a pretty great weekend – with a beautiful pool and beach just steps away, we focused on all the best aspects of the trip.

In contrast to the Raleigh, a visit to Le Sirenuse at the Four Seasons Surf Club offered us a glimpse of how things should be done – this is classic Miami splendor perfectly interpreted for today – and it’s no surprise, since our friend Antonio Sersale simply gets everything right! You can be sure you’ll find us at the Four Seasons on our next trip to Miami.

Dressed for dinner, I’m sporting a palest pink silk Tom Ford jacket, Mark Pomerantz custom shirt in a blue Liberty of London print, Tom Ford blue silk pocket square, Uniqlo white jean, Tom Ford blue silk brocade slippers, Cartier Tank Divan watch and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.