Category

Florida Finds

ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Happy Father’s Day!

By | Dining, Events, Family, Florida Finds, Holiday, Music, Sports

I had a really special relationship with my dad, so Father’s Day is especially meaningful to me. I also have watched my son and son-in-law become incredible fathers and admire their commitment, patience and love. Let’s honor the fathers in our lives and all the hard work that they do by treating them to special tokens of our appreciation.

Here’s a gift guide for ideas. Have a wonderful holiday!

Yacht Rock

The British royal family, Aristotle Onassis, Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley moguls and more have loved being at sea, and their vessels are now celebrated in a comprehensive anthology published by Assouline. “Yachts: The Impossible Collection” spans the inspiration behind the America’s Cup to today’s high-tech superyachts that often dock in Florida.

https://www.modaoperandi.com/home/p/assouline/yachts-the-impossible-collection/521532

 

Fancy Foosball

Recreation meets sculpture in Teckell’s 90° Minuto foosball table. Made in Italy specifically for indoor use, the gorgeous design features solid milled Canaletto walnut and ash woods, stainless steel and tempered clear crystal and glass. It boasts the qualities of a well-constructed yacht and makes a timeless heirloom for all ages.

https://www.modaoperandi.com/home/p/teckell/90-minuto-glass-stainless-steel-foosball-table/520749

 

See-Through Speaker

Transparent Speaker is both the brand and the object. The minimalist addition to his home stereo system—it’s engineered to seamlessly tie into virtual assistants and setups—also makes a great conversation starter. Featuring black aluminum and tempered glass, it creates a crisp, full-bodied sound.

https://www.mrporter.com/en-us/mens/product/transparent-speaker/lifestyle/speakers/small-transparent-speaker/25458910981460197

 

Apple of His Eye

Hermès brings its luxe factor to the Apple watch. Its Apple/Hermès Series 7 single tour 45 mm features a space black stainless steel case, black calfskin band made in France, and ceramic and sapphire crystal back. Good for the Florida lifestyle, the watch has a water resistance rating of 50 meters (approximately 164 feet).

https://www.hermes.com/us/en/product/space-black-series-7-case-band-apple-watch-hermes-single-tour-45mm-1AWHS744BLACKpH0008321v89pH078741CZ89/

 

Celebrate Good Times

For summer barbecues and other occasions, dad can break out his champagne bucket from Ralph Lauren Home. The imported piece comes in muted gold stainless steel with navy leather handles. For a more festive gift, fill it with his favorite chilled beverages and let the party begin.

https://www.mrporter.com/en-us/mens/product/ralph-lauren-home/lifestyle/barware/wyatt-gold-tone-and-leather-champagne-bucket/46353151654997163

 

Foodie Fathers

Treat foodie fathers to a meal at one of Miami’s 12 newly awarded Michelin-starred restaurants in the first Florida guide. They include the two-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, as well as the one-starred Ariete, Boia De, Cote, The Den at Sushi Azabu, Elcielo Miami, Hiden, Le Jardinier, Los Felix, Stubborn Seed and The Surf Club Restaurant.

https://guide.michelin.com/us/en/florida/miami/restaurants

 

McLaren Model

For fathers who were glued to the TV (or track in person) for Formula 1’s inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Amalgam Collection has created a limited-edition model car of British-Belgian racing driver Lando Norris’s McLaren for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. Only 500 MCL35M were handcrafted in a spectacular papaya hue.

https://www.mrporter.com/en-us/mens/product/amalgam-collection/lifestyle/art-and-prints/lando-norris-mclaren-mcl35m-2021-monaco-grand-prix-118-model-car/25185454456713758

 

Beach Reading

Check off some of the books on dad’s summer reading list at Books & Books. The Miami-born bookstore even put together a special Father’s Day list to make shopping more convenient. Visit locations in Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, Bal Harbour, the Arsht Center, Key West, Miami International Airport and online.

https://www.booksandbooks.com/great-books-for-dad/

 

 

Thaw Out

By | Culture, Florida Finds, Travel, Wellness

Escape winter’s chill with a Florida holiday at one of these hot hotels.

When there’s even a nip in the air in Miami, you know it’s freezing up north. I thought you’d like to know about some wonderful new resorts around the Sunshine State to book your next holiday. You may fall in love with Florida and just have to get a place of your own here. It’s been known to happen!

Closing in on its centennial, The Boca Raton reopened after a $200-million makeover that included the breezier name change and reverting to the original, cream-colored façade chosen by its legendary Florida architect Addison Mizner. The property’s sheer size—five distinct hotels set on 200 waterfront acres with a private beach spanning a half mile—and abundance of amenities will pique the interest of seasoned hotel hoppers worldwide. It will take several repeat visits to experience everything from the four-acre Pool Club to the 50,000-square-foot Spa Palmera to restaurants such as the Flamingo Grill and Sadelle’s by New York-based Major Food Group. There’s even an old-fashioned supper club for dinner and a show. Other perks are golf, pickleball, a 32-slip marina, two Michelle Farmer boutiques (love her stuff!), and fitness partnerships with Orangetheory and Hydrow. Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or multigenerational family, everyone is going to have a ball here.

Rich and I often head over to his neck of the woods on Florida’s west coast. We’re huge fans of its laid-back lifestyle and breathtaking sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. You really feel like you’re getting away from it all without giving up creature comforts such as great restaurants, services and activities from golf to yoga. One of our favorite spots is The Gasparilla Inn & Club, having stayed there during our courtship. Among its many room types, I suggest reserving a private cottage at the new Beach Club designed by Kemble Interiors. Beach Club guests also have their own pool and personal golf cart. No matter where you stay here though, you’ll relish the nostalgic appeal of playing backgammon, sipping potent punch at BZ’s bar and rocking on the front porch.

If you fall in love with Gasparilla like I did, you may want to check out a new luxury residential and resort that’s just over the bridge from Boca Grande. Set on 16 acres of secluded waterfront with a 75-slip marina, Banyan at Gasparilla Sound recently launched preconstruction sales for nearly 200 decorator-ready residences and fully furnished condo-hotel suites. I’m beyond excited about this project since there’s really nothing like it in the entire area from its modern design to its wellness-minded lifestyle. I also like how it honors the area’s heritage as a fishery that still lures world-class anglers to this day. Integra Investments development firm, whose projects includes St. Regis Residences Miami and Boca Beach House, commissioned SB Architects and Exteriors by Koby Kirwin for landscape design naturally centered on the namesake banyan tree. If you’ve ever been to the spas at Auberge du Soleil, Hotel Jerome or the Miami Beach Edition, among so many incredible properties around the world, you understand spa consultant Tracy Lee’s immense expertise. For Banyan, she’s creating the 11,000-square-foot Sea Salt Spa that extends to the outdoors with a serenity garden and yoga lawn. Dining at Blue Waters restaurant is like having a personal chef, while the Light House juice bar serves quick healthy fare. After lounging by the pool in a private cabana and partaking in water sports, owners and guests can end the day around fire pits. I’m so proud of Rich, whose Gulf to Bay Sotheby’s International Realty has been selected to represent sales and marketing for this magnificent addition to the area.

The Venice of America finally receives the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences Fort Lauderdale that it deserves. Slated to open in March, developer Fort Hospitality’s fourth Four Seasons property in South Florida features yacht-inspired architecture by Kobi Karp, interiors by London-based Tara Bernerd and New York-based Martin Brudnizki, and landscape design by Fernando Wong. Nearly 200 guestrooms, suites and private residences also mimic the city’s signature boating lifestyle from marine décor to Honey Fitz coffee and cocktail bar named after the Kennedys’ presidential yacht. The Ocean Terrace pool deck perches above A1A for ocean views and two horizon-edge pools. In addition to spa treatments with Tammy Fender and Pietro Simone products, guests can dine at Evelyn’s, which honors one of Fort Lauderdale’s first ladies who gifted the nearby Bonnet House Museum & Gardens to the people.

 

Fresh Beginnings

By | Art, Family, Florida Finds, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

My big and small goals for the brand-new year.

Happy new year, and hope it’s off to a good (and healthy!) start. At the beginning of every year, I like to reflect on the road ahead. Building my business, raising my family and supporting my circle from colleagues to community dominated my life for so long. When we give and give, it takes its toll on us. Self-care has received a lot of attention in the media during the pandemic. It forced people to take a break from the rat race and focus on how they were really living. Many of us weren’t happy with what we saw. I’m reassessing what makes me happy and how to grow as a person. It can be challenging, even scary, but I know from my previous accomplishments that there’s no easy way to create change. I’d like to share my to-do list for 2022 from simple, everyday fixes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve always dreamt of doing.

 

Move More
It’s all about movement for me this year. That may mean a brisk walk outdoors with the bonuses of vitamin D and fresh air, or more rigorous workouts that keep me on my toes so I don’t get bored. Consistency is key if you really want results. I hope to discover some new fun ways to keep my weight in check, strengthen my bones and core and glow from within. Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve mental health, so I definitely would like to incorporate more dancing into my exercise routine. Though you can certainly dance solo anytime, anyway, it’s also a great way to connect with your partner and friends. I just may get my grandkids to join me in a dance-off, too.

The Great Outdoors
I’d like to spend more time outdoors regardless of the activity. I’m going to listen to our ancient ancestors and benefit from nature’s healing powers, a practice that the Japanese refer to as forest bathing. Simply by living in Florida, we’re lucky to have close contact with the ocean and healing salt air, as well as its towering trees, wildflower-filled meadows and freshwater rivers and springs. I also hope to visit more places that offer outdoor activities with a wellness component like hiking and biking. It can be somewhere in my backyard or a faraway destination.

Bucket List Trips
I would love to take my family on an unforgettable vacation this year, such as Florence and its surrounding Tuscan wine country with stops along the Italian seaside too. Exploring this rich region’s nature, culture and history with loved ones has always been a dream of mine. After a long hiatus from my initial visit to St. Barth, I’m excited to vacation again in this piece of paradise. The Bahamas are one of my greatest loves, and their waters in surreal shades of blue are a continual source of rejuvenation and wonder for me. I take this image everywhere with me.

Creative Spark & the Pursuit of Knowledge

For many people, a bright spot in the pandemic has been picking up new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. I’d like to get back to my photography. I find the whole process very calming and rewarding. It makes you see the world differently, and there’s always room for improvement and the next amazing shot. It’s something I can do as I age too. It’s important to have a mix of activities that include those you can do more long term. I’d like to make time to read and review my books about art and photography for inspiration, and listen to podcasts especially on the subjects of wellness and self-improvement.

Setting Boundaries & Me Time

I won’t feel guilty about taking time for myself and focusing on my inward journey. When I’m at my best, I benefit those around me most. It’s also important to se boundaries for myself with people who zap my energy or don’t bring me joy. It’s okay to let go and live my best life!

My Gift Guide to You

By | Art, Beauty, Family, Florida Finds, Holiday, Wellness

Don’t panic when it comes to holiday shopping. Here are some great gifts to wow them.

Like me, you have probably been busy with Art Basel fairs, holiday engagements, peak season business affairs and family life. There’s barely been a moment to think about holiday presents, let alone browse and shop for them in-person or online. I thought I could lend a hand by suggesting some beautiful and interesting gifts. Most importantly, take a moment to de-stress and enjoy this special time. Happy holidays.

Cool Books

I love to share “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” with everyone in my circle since it’s helped me so much. The authors reveal the Japanese philosophy about ikigai, which means “a reason for living,” and why the Japanese never retire because they love what they do. Readers hopefully come away with discovering their ikigai.

I treated my son Daniel to a copy of “Art House: The Collaboration of Chara Schreyer and Gary Hutton” published by Assouline. A visual feast for the eyes, it chronicles their 40-year collaboration of Hutton designing Schreyer’s five homes that showcase her magnificent collection of 600 artworks.

The Perfect Handbag

Need I say more than Chanel?! The Parisian fashion maison recently opened a flagship store in the Miami Design Distict. I love its longtime architect Peter Marino’s work inspired by the brand’s iconic, black and white packaging. The location carries ready to wear, eyewear, jewelry, shoes and yes, those coveted quilted handbags.

Posh Pajamas

Campo Collection’s chic pajamas for women, men and children are made locally and sustainably with natural fibers and dyes. Its Brazilian founder, a former stylist for Armani and Marc Jacobs, moved here from New York. She also offers robes, dresses and intimates.

 

Ballet Tickets

Everyone knows and loves Miami City Ballet’s annual performances of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” but really wow them with seats to the North American premiere of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s new version of “Swan Lake” in February. This is making big waves in the ballet world, and it’s quite a coup for our hometown company.

Uncommon Candles

Since Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson is all about celebrating craft, it’s no wonder his candle line features uncommon scents. Loewe’s Miami boutique, which recently unveiled its new art installation, a large-scale mural by Sol LeWitt, carries the full range of fragrances more akin to kitchen gardens and yards. Some are oregano, juniper berry, coriander, black licorice, tomato, ivy and honeysuckle. Each vegetable wax candle comes in a glazed terracotta holder whose color matches the scent.

Gifts for Guys

Crémieux, the luxury menswear label from St. Tropez, opened a Bal Harbour store just in time for finding the perfect gift for your guy. I love its cashmere sweaters in Miami colors like rose pink and azure blue.

Beautiful pastries, panettone, cookies and chocolates

Who wouldn’t want to bite into a baked good that’s as pretty as delectable? Some of my favorite sources for edible works of art are Sant Ambroeus, which ships its signature panettone and holiday tins of Italian cookies; and Bachour, whose social media star pastries are available at its several bakeries around town. Another great idea is caftan queen Marie France Van Damme’s bean-to-bar collaboration with Hong Kong’s Conspiracy Chocolate. Flavors are inspired by her boutiques’ exotic locales like Dubai, Morocco, Singapore and Miami (smoked pineapple!).

Museum & Botanical Garden Memberships  

Give them an experience that lasts all year long while supporting local institutions at the same time. Think about what they love and where they live when choosing a membership to places like PAMM, the Bass, ICA Miami, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Frost Science Museum, Fairchild Garden, Miami Beach Botanical Garden and more.

Jeans for Teens and Twentysomethings

Re/Done, the Malibu-born women’s and men’s brand for reconstructed Levi’s denim and other reimagined vintage apparel and accessories by heritage brands that’s all the rage with celebs from Cindy Crawford to the Hadids, opened a Miami boutique. Gen Z and Millennials love its sustainable mission and retro styles and fits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Jewelry with Purpose

Awe Inspired, a New York-based, feel-good jewelry collection, donates 20 to 100 percent of proceeds to partner charities like CancerCare and The Trevor Project. Its popular goddess series with signet rings and pendants is now available in solid 14K yellow and white gold. In addition to mythological and religious goddesses, pieces honor real-life goddesses throughout the ages. Choose from many including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale and Frida Kahlo.

Charcuterie Boards

Chaya’s Craze Boards is making a name for itself with mouthwatering, overflowing charcuterie boards. Savory and sweet options feature classic items like meat, cheese, nuts, pickles and dried fruit, as well as other less common additions like veggies, fruit, cookies and candy. They come in various sizes on handcrafted wooden charcuterie boards or in boxes.

 

Savoring Summer

By | Dining, Fashion, Florida Finds, Travel

Rather than rush into fall, enjoy the last month of summer to the fullest.

Many of us are back from summer break and getting the kids ready for school. But truth be told, we still have nearly a month left of summer to go. I thought it would be a nice to explore summery tips to squeeze out the last bit of this sweet time before the daily grind begins again. I hope you make the most of it!

Get Out of Town

Maine is known for its many grand hotels, but the Claremont stands out for its proximity to Acadia National Park. A Kennebunkport Resort Collection cofounder bought and refurbished the 19th-century property that had been owned by different families over the years. Thanks to his redesign’s thoughtful balance of the old (the beloved croquet greens) and new (transforming one of the greens into an outdoor swimming pool, which is heated for my fellow Floridians, with chic cabanas), it delivers the quintessential Maine experience.

In addition to croquet and swimming, a typical day might involve taking a yoga or pilates class on the lawn with sweeping views of Somes Sound, visiting Botanica Spa for a treatment with Osea products and winding down with a Berry Smash made with Maine’s famous seasonal fruit at Harry’s Bar. Among other drinking and dining options, Little Fern offers duck, steak and local seafood delicacies without overlooking vegetarians through dishes like sweet potato stew with hints of coconut and lime.

I also like all the choices for accommodations. The main hotel’s 24 guestrooms come in three types and three colorways. For more privacy, book the Ocean View and Woodland cottages. Larger parties appreciate the Phillips and Summer houses; an interesting note about them is that they were originally built by separate families as summer homes and were acquired by the hotel as its demand grew.

Improve Your Health

Many of my clients have home gyms, but Anatomy is a terrific alternative. The upscale boutique gym with locations in Sunset Harbour, 1 Hotel South Beach and Midtown Miami expanded to Coconut Grove’s new waterfront development called Regatta Harbour. Its advanced fitness concept is built around integrative wellness and personalization, not to mention making workouts interesting and fun. Tremble, just one of its popular classes, packs in all the necessary components in 50 minutes. Anatomy’s owners understand their clientele’s busy schedules by creating a one-stop, seamless hub. Beyond premier equipment and exclusive classes, members have access to healthy dining, child care services, vitamin infusions, a hair salon and spa amenities.

Devour a Good Book

We are so blessed to claim one of the most incredible bookstore chains in the world. Books & Books has several locations around Miami, but out-of-towners can also order its vast inventory online, including a nice selection in Spanish, online and partake in year-round, virtual literary events. Two authors who are speaking in September particularly inspire me. On September 12, tennis legend and women’s equality activist Billie Jean King talks about her new autobiography with Katie Couric. FIU’s Cuban Research Institute co-hosts “Cuba: An American History: An Evening with Dr. Ada Ferrer” on September 14.

Eat Light

One of my favorite things do to with my fiancé Rich is to have a delicious sushi dinner with just the two of us. Miami’s sushi scene has exploded with newcomers, but one that you should definitely try is Uchi. It began in Austin, Tex., of all places, and opened its first East Coast outpost here in Wynwood. Once you’re inside, you don’t feel like you’re in Wynwood though. The décor is chic, the crowd is mature and professional, and the service is impressive. But most importantly, the food is melt-in-your-mouth good. Each piece of sushi is created as a perfect bite, so you can skip the wasabi and soy sauce (though they’re happy to bring you some). There are elevated versions of Japanese hot dishes, too. Just in writing this, I’m already craving dinner here.

Wear Something Summery

One of the best things about Miami shopping is that it’s always summer—I think that’s why visitors love to shop here! On top of the latest runway looks, including fall and winter collections to wear in colder climates, clotheshorses can find resort looks any time of year. We have so many great resortwear boutiques like En Avance, Beach and Curio at Faena Bazaar. They have great dresses in all lengths that go from beach to night, caftans and adorable matching sets with tops and shorts. Throw on a wedge sandal, and you’re good to go.

 

Ice Cream Social

By | Dining, Florida Finds

Cool treats are one of the benefits of living in a city with year-round summertime bliss.

Now that my grandbabies are out of school and summer is about to set in, I love to spoil them with a trip to the ice cream parlor. This is the very activity that grandparents are made for. Miami has always had its share of ice cream shops, but choices have really ballooned over the last five years. Here are some of my new and old favorites to savor one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Newcomer Salt & Straw is making the biggest splash for its handcrafted, small-batch gourmet flavors. The Oregon import already opened two locations here in Wynwood and Coconut Grove. They get very creative in product development; one of their June flavors is called “Smile: Words & Pictures.” Kids will love it, but they’ll probably go for “Goosebumps: Monster Blood” for the name alone. If this sounds too weird, don’t stress. They also serve classics like chocolate gooey brownie and sea salt with caramel ribbons.

Founded in the Grove with another location in Bal Harbour Shops, Bianco Gelato is dedicated to 100% organic, non-GMO recipes (so you don’t have to feel as guilty when you treat the kids). Its Milanese maker sticks to the standards when it comes to flavors, which instantly transports me to an Italian piazza. Hazelnut, pistachio and cookies and cream are on the menu, plus paletas, smoothies and more.

I always recommend Azucar to visitors who are looking for a taste of Cuba by way of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. The owner opened it to honor her Cuban grandmother’s love of ice cream, even naming one of her most popular artisanal flavors abuela Maria (a vanilla base with chunks of cream cheese, ripe guava and crushed Maria cookies). Flavors rotate depending on what’s ripe at the fruit stand. Summer brings mango, mamey and a sugarcane pineapple blend, while grownups always enjoy café con leche ice cream. There are also branches in Dadeland and South Beach.

Soraya Kilgore, chef Brad Kilgore’s secret weapon when it comes to sweets, launched her own culinary concept in the Miami Design District. Made for Instagram, which your tween and teen grandkids will appreciate, her adorable MadLab Creamery goes far beyond traditional ice cream with dozens of cool toppings. We’re talking edible glitter, cotton candy in exotic flavors, Japanese cheesecake and gold sprinkles. These chic works of art are on par with their fashionable neighbors.

I raised my kids near Whip ‘n’ Dip, an institution for generations of families in South Miami, Pinecrest and Coral Gables. The family-owned shop has been around since the mid-Eighties and continues to hand-make its famous flavors from mint chip to cookies & cream beginning with a 14% butterfat base. Hot for summer are “Somewhere Over the RainDough” and “Nutter-o,” which is peanut butter ice cream with Oreos. They’re also known for soft serve, ice cream cakes and hand-blended milkshakes. There’s a reason this place has stood the test of time.

 

Luxe Landscaping

By | Art, Florida Finds

Create the garden of your dreams with these top talents along Florida’s East Coast.

Springtime makes me think of flowering gardens and the talented visionaries who create them. We’re lucky that so many premier landscape architects and designers call Florida home. Their touch affects every facets of our lives—our residences, whether single family or high rises, our state’s famous resort culture, and our welcoming public spaces and commercial centers. Here’s a short list of some top names.

Raymond Jungles

It’s impossible to escape the prolific Raymond Jungles’s contribution to the local landscape. His signature design schemes—modern, yet lush with native plants that attract pollinators and other fauna—are ubiquitous. His firm, which launched in the early Eighties and is currently located in Coconut Grove, specializes in both residential and commercial projects. Among the latter, a few are 1111 Lincoln Road (a direct homage to his mentor, the famous Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx), Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Pharrell Williams’s new hospitality venture. It’s always delightful to stay at one of the many Florida and Caribbean resorts whose grounds he’s designed, too, like Casa Morada in the Keys.

Fernando Wong

Panama City-born landscape designer Fernando Wong founded his namesake firm with his business and life partner Tim Johnson in 2005. Their partnership has blossomed into offices in Miami, Palm Beach and the Hamptons for numerous residential and commercial projects including Four Seasons properties in Surfside, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Town & Country recently featured Wong’s gorgeous garden makeover for a John L. Volk-designed home; among many feats, it required relocating a century-old, 90-foot kapok tree.

Enzo Enea

Landscape architect Enzo Enea’s headquarters are based in his native Switzerland, but he opened a Miami office to accommodate all the work he has here. I’m especially proud of his design for One Thousand Museum, a mindful mix of swaying grasses, palms and mangroves that links Zaha Hadid’s futuristic architecture with its natural setting along Biscayne Bay. Though he’s completed many other luxury residential towers like Park Grove, Apogee, the Setai and Oceana, Bal Harbour, he also designs landscapes for private homes. When you’re in Zurich, I suggest visiting his curated arboretum, the Enea Tree Museum.

Nievera Williams

After working solo and collaborating for years, Mario Nievera and Keith Williams went into business together as Nievera Williams in 2011. Their Palm Beach firm with offices in Miami and the Hamptons is behind luxe residential and commercials properties from Shanghai to the Caribbean to their home base like the beautifully restored Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping center. They’ve also dived into other creative areas including outdoor furniture design and garden books. Williams just published his first title, “The Graphic Garden,” which features select estates around the island. Nievera is active in nonprofits, too, including the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Horticultural Society of New York.

Hayslip Landscape

Heathcote Botanical Gardens board member Sam Comer founded the acclaimed Hayslip Landscape in the 1970s. The recent retiree sold his firm to powerhouse landscape and irrigation company Down to Earth, whose name is often associated with golf courses. Comer’s signature elegance and attention to detail continue with the changing of the guard. For Windsor, the new urbanism, luxury residential community in Vero Beach, Hayslip created much of the common areas including its olive orchard, oak allée and new beach club vegetation, as well as landscaping for many of its private homes. The firm’s work can be seen at other exclusive enclaves such as John’s Island, among its large footprint up and down the Treasure Coast.

Raymond Jungles

https://raymondjungles.com/project_categories/cultural-educational/https://raymondjungles.com/project_categories/single-family-residential/

Fernando Wong
Enzo Enea
tree museum
Nievera Williams

Get in the Golf Game

By | Florida Finds, Sports

Tee off at one of Florida’s incredible courses and watch the Honda Classic.

With the stunning weather and the Honda Classic underway, I can’t help but think about golf now. If you haven’t attended the PGA tournament at PGA Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, it’s really worth your time. The beautiful, relaxing setting, fun vendors (don’t miss Lilly Pulitzer’s Print with Purpose limited-edition collection to benefit Honda Classic Cares), and incredibly talented golfers make for a dream day. In the tournament’s first round alone, Matt Jones, an Australian player who’s ranked 83rd in the world, came out of nowhere to tie the course record with a 9-under 61. It’s also your chance to see defending champ Sungjae Im, Shane Lowry, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka, among so many top players competing through March 21.

If you can’t swing it, I suggest at least playing a round of golf on one of our spectacular courses. It’s no secret that Florida is famous for its number of golf courses. There are so many private and public options to choose from, and it’s the reason why many executives and professionals live and retire here. I’ve created a quick guide for some of my golfing clients’ favorite courses.

Seminole Golf Club

Located on the Atlantic Ocean in Juno Beach, the Donald Ross-designed Seminole Golf Club debuted in 1929. The 18-hole, par-72 course ranks 12th on Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” and is compared to Royal Dornoch in Ross’s native Scotland. Though sitting on a compact 140 acres, the course boasts enough challenges and variety to host the 2021 Walker Cup on May 8-9. The competition, which is being played in the U.S. during spring for the first time, will give most spectators their first peek at the ultra-private club.

Riviera Country Club

Ross also designed the 18-hole, par-71 course at Riviera Country Club in Coral Gables that dates to 1924. Kipp Schulties, whose firm has done a ton of work in Florida, redesigned the course five years ago. The $10 million project was coupled with a new, nearly $40 million clubhouse. With a great pool scene and tennis facility, it’s very popular with families who reside in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Indian Creek Country Club

Indian Creek Country Club is one of the main attractions for residents of the ultra-exclusive Indian Creek Island that’s been getting a lot of press lately for several famous newcomers. But one doesn’t have to live on the island to be a member of Indian Creek Country Club. William Flynn, the visionary behind other iconic golf clubs like Shinnecock Hills and Cherry Hills, designed its 18-hole, par-72 classic layout in 1930.

The Dye Preserve

Named for Pete Dye, the Dye Preserve Golf Club in Jupiter is known for its natural beauty. Old Florida vegetation and wildlife add to the appeal of Dye’s 2002 redesign for his original, 18-hole, 72-par course dating to the Eighties. Though relatively new compared to other courses in South Florida, it has a very strong following and tops many golfers’ lists.

However long your time here, I hope you can get out and enjoy a day on the golf course to see what it’s all about.

Moving to Miami

By | Art, Beauty, Culture, Dining, Events, Fashion, Florida Finds, Interior Design

Here are some of my local tips for new residents.

Being in real estate, I’m often the first person someone meets when moving to Miami. It’s only natural that they want to know everything about their exciting new town and ask for local tips. Since so many people are in the process of relocating here, I thought I’d put together a quick guide to some of my favorite places, services and events. I hope you enjoy discovering them, as well as cultivating your own gems over time.

Shopping

Miami is a shopper’s paradise. I can’t get over how many incredible stores keep opening here. For a local lifestyle boutique, I recommend the Showroom. The owner has been in retail for decades and knows the market. The South Miami location is geared more toward homewares including Tina Frey’s handmade resin pieces, while Coconut Grove carries more denim. For home, I also shop the extensive collections at Luminaire and Artefacto. Both have huge showrooms in Coral Gables, among many locations, if you’re pressed for time.

For fashion, you can’t go wrong with Neiman Marcus’s two stores here. They cater to the stylish side of Miami with more runway looks and interesting designers. I can always count on their personal shoppers, too. The Miami Design District has really taken off in the last few years. It’s become a major worldwide destination for designer brands like Dior and Hermès, as well as contemporary labels. Recent openings include Alexander McQueen and Stone Island, and there are rumors that Chanel’s coming.

Beauty

I can’t say enough good things about Gee Beauty. I wrote about this family-owned spa and boutique’s 15th anniversary in my blog last year. The Gee women constantly amaze me with their knowledge and service. Their facials are the ultimate luxury, and I love loading up on skin care, cosmetics and supplements on my way out.

If you’re from New York or Los Angeles, chances are you’re already familiar with IGK Hair. The partners behind the salon’s initials actually opened their first location here. They’re also known for their inhouse line of healthy hair products like Good Behavior Blowout Balm, the perfect protection for Miami elements.

Fitness

Miami has a serious wellness scene. There are many state-of-the-art gyms like Anatomy, but I trained one-on-one with Faheem Mujahid. Beyond being a master personal trainer, whose practices extend to yoga, meditation and breathwork, he’s a licensed life coach, mental conditioning expert and mindfulness speaker who’s helped moguls to corporate teams from major brands get on the right track. Check out his podcast and website for upcoming workshops. https://www.faheemmujahid.com/about

Dining

I like to eat light without missing out on flavorful ingredients and beautiful settings. Located on the bay in Brickell, Cipriani has one of the most gorgeous dining rooms in the city. It works on so many levels from power lunches to special occasions. Old World details and authentic cuisine instantly transport me to Italy. Milos in Miami Beach offers a similar vacation vibe. I feel like I’m in the Greek Isles with its airy décor and fresh Mediterranean seafood like whole, salt-encrusted fish and charred octopus. Its homey, private dining room is often booked, and the three-course, prix-fixe lunch is super popular.

Annual Events

Miami is as famous for its nonstop events as its moonrises. Many tourists time their holidays here around them, and locals never get any rest during season. Attending the Miami International Boat Show is a must. But of all of the events, December’s Art Basel fair is tops. Not only did it permanently transform Miami in remarkable ways, but the exchange of ideas and the people you meet during art week can’t be compared to anything else here. It feeds my soul, and I learn so much. I always come away with new inspirations and friends.

 

Miami, Mi Amor

By | Art, Culture, Events, Fashion, Florida Finds, Interior Design, Real Estate, Travel

An ode to our vibrant city’s many charms and its new chapter.

Miami is my home. It’s where I grew up, received my education, discovered my career, built my business, raised my family and invested my time and energy into the community. I’m not alone. People have been seduced by its charms going back to early settlers at the turn of the 20th century. They love to vacation here, too, and attend tony events like Art Basel, but many are just discovering our best-kept secret—that it’s also a great place to live and work. Florida has been one of the fastest-growing states for years, and the pandemic has compounded the trend, especially in South Florida.

Every day I hear about a new company, celebrity or mogul relocating to Miami, or at least strongly considering it. Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about collaborating with big tech and startups to establish headquarters or open satellite offices here. He even exchanged words with Elon Musk, who’s already put down roots in the Sunshine State with his SpaceX program.

Goldman Sachs is also scouting South Florida to potentially relocate its asset management arm. The firm’s openness to leaving Manhattan makes sense with the shift to WFH, which should continue post-pandemic for reasons beyond saving significant costs in leasing office space. Other factors for saying, “Yes,” to Florida are our residents’ tremendous wealth; tax incentives including no state taxes, and gorgeous weather to cater to clients on the golf course. It’s really kind of a dream situation for Goldman Sachs.

As an entrepreneur, I can also vouch that Florida offers a favorable climate for businesses of all kinds. Miami attracts a lot of people who are company founders and work for themselves. I always enjoy hearing my clients’ stories about how they worked hard and would like to enjoy the good life now but still stay in the game. The city was built on this independent spirit from visionary developers to the large population of Cubans who came here to be free and flourish.

Besides Miami’s professional opportunities, people are pleasantly surprised about how family-friendly it has become. There are numerous private schools to nurture every child’s personal needs and interests, and several of our neighborhoods offer coveted, A-rated public schools that parents strive to enroll their children.

Local institutions foster our young minds, too. In addition to the new Frost Museum of Science, our plentiful art museums, botanical gardens and even shopping districts provide regular kids’ programming. Sports and an all-around active lifestyle are very accessible to all ages. Indoor and outdoor soccer fields, skating rinks, private and public clubs for sailing, swimming, rowing, tennis and golf, and abundant parks and nature preserves are available to our kids.

Healing nature is just one key element in our growing wellness scene. New residents soon learn that Miami shed its party stereotype a while ago. They partake in yoga and meditation classes and dine on plant-based cuisine at stunningly beautiful wellness centers like The Sacred Space in Wynwood; run and bike Miami Beach’s lengthy beach path, and grab paddle boards and kayaks for a day on the water. Being outdoors is rejuvenating, especially now, and Miami excels in this advantage.

These are only some of my brief initial thoughts on why we’re a hot spot now. And I didn’t even touch on all of our incredible culture. There’s so much to love.