by Bill and Barbara Scarduzzio
We both work seven days a week (it seems like 24 hours a day) and there comes a time when you just have to get away from it all. Recently, we both realized it was “that time” and needed to get on an airplane and be whisked off to relaxation. Fortunate to live in an area that is only minutes from the Atlantic City Airport and, of course, Spirit Airlines’ convenient service to Florida, we realized Miami was the place we just had to go. We were looking to relax and needed a great hotel; a beach; an ocean; and some spectacular weather. Forget about running around (as so many tourists do), we simply wanted to relax for a few days with zero pressure to be anywhere.
One of our business contacts suggested the classic Eden Roc Renaissance in Miami Beach. It looked interesting on the internet so, in approximately fifteen minutes, we were planning our escape to paradise and to the highly-acclaimed Eden Roc Renaissance.
Yes, we both agreed – it looked very good on the web, but it looked ten times better when we arrived at the actual hotel. It was one of those experiences when the reality is so much better than your expectations. Maybe it was the fact that the hotel is located on a beautiful beach on prestigious Millionaire’s Row and, of course, a dramatically beautiful ocean. Once you enter the hotel, the Eden Roc Renaissance embraces its role as a timeless treasure, flawlessly blending iconic style, modern architecture, and contemporary glamour. Years past, the hotel was the site for a private party honoring Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd for the premiere of the film Around the World in 80 Days, where elites such as Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Durante, Groucho Marx, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Gleason, Esther Williams, Liberace, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway and others danced the night away. Famous for being host to Hollywood greats since 1956, Eden Roc continues to enchant guests and celebrities alike - providing an alluring escape with seamless, legendary service.
Our majestic room overlooked the world-famous beach and was first class. The hotel itself was spectacularly dramatic in every respect. For three nights and four days we were treated like royalty. Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach was originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau next door. With the completion of its lavish restoration, Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has defeated the spite wall once and for all, with the construction of its new 21-Story Ocean Tower. Its new guest rooms, ballrooms, restaurants and spa will continue to place the legendary property among the best on Miami Beach.
There was really no reason to leave the property, so a visit to the attractions of Miami Beach would have to be somewhat limited. We came to relax, and it worked in every respect. Of course, a visit to the hotel’s new ELLE Spa, which is home to 18 luxurious treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness center, had something to do with it. We did manage to make a few visits to spots in and around Miami Beach. This incredible destination occupies approximately 18.7 square miles and is noted for its Art Deco buildings, great restaurants and shopping, as well as all kinds of art-related activities.
There is a rather dramatic Miami Beach boardwalk, which is not to be confused with our boardwalk in Atlantic City. Both the boards and the rides are noticeably absent, but it is a popular attraction for walking, jogging, and is a people watching favorite. Actually, if you are into walking, forget about the car and enjoy the perfect way to discover the treasures in the beautiful Miami Beach area, by foot.
Speaking of treasures, we absolutely must include the food. It was of the Five-Star variety. If you visit Miami Beach, don’t leave until you try the Eden Roc’s 1500 Degrees. Paula DaSilva is the executive chef and her food is a reason by itself to visit the hotel. The restaurant embraces the farm-to-table service while striving to support local farmers through the use of the freshest ingredients available. Enjoy dining alfresco while overlooking the infinity pools and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Or you might choose a more intimate experience in one of the private dining rooms.
Their wine program is first-class, and this creative chef’s food is nothing short of amazing (and this definitely includes Paula’s chef-crafted, knocked-out desserts). The menu, which changes daily and according to season, will showcase local food products from farmers she knows and trusts. As rich and unique as each pairing, the simple yet sophisticated dining ambiance elevates the farm-table dining experience to a new and exciting level.
The superb restaurant was just a part of our exhilarating, restful, and oh-so-memorable experience. We hated to leave, and that tells you all you need to know. One thing is for certain … we will be back!
Timeless glamor, celebrity sightings, and sweeping ocean views abound at the magnificent Eden Roc Renaissance in Miami Beach