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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.

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