Fort Partners have redeveloped it as a 77 room Four Seasons (spending US$700MN?). Having stayed at Four Seasons New York Downtown - the new New York Four Seasons - and Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square - the new London Four Seasons - and adoring the incredible staff at both - I was excited to try the new Miami Four Seasons.
I love smaller Four Seasons like Four Seasons Dubai DIFC and learning that the new Miami Four Seasons' General Manager (Reed Kandalaft) is from Syria meant I was thrilled I would be able to talk to him about my stay at Four Seasons Damascus. With all the Qatar related problems in the Middle East right now, I need someone to talk to about all that too.
I flew Business Class with Cayman Airways. The journey from Grand Cayman to Miami only takes around 1 1/2 hours.
There is no lounge, or fast-track, at Grand Cayman airport but it is such a small and friendly airport that this was not a problem.
On the 737 I was impressed by the Business Class seating configuration.
There was Tortuga rum punch - the Tortuga rum company was founded by employees of Cayman Airways - which is served in a 'faux' glass in Business Class. We were also served a turkey sandwich, which was passable. I was hoping for a Tortuga rum cake but was out of luck.
Arrival at MIA was easy and a Four Seasons Cadillac Escalade SUV was waiting for me. The hotel is 9km from South Beach. It was such fun being driven in 'gangster rap style', even if the WiFi did not work.
At the entrance on Collins Avenue I was surprised to be asked my name, given I had arrived in a hotel car and am an Elite Four Seasons customer, but it was late.
At reception Assistant Manager Chadd was waiting for me. Check-in was seamless and Chadd escorted me up to my 12th floor room.
It was fun chatting to him on the way about my various Four Seasons experiences (eg piloting the Four Seasons App at Four Seasons Dubai at Jumeirah Beach when it did not recognize the 24 hour clock correctly).
My Oceanfront Room
I was disappointed not to be in a cabana on the beach but I later learnt they are not open yet. The 12th floor is the highest in the hotel and my Oceanfront Room must have had one of the best ocean views in the hotel. There are no suites in the hotel.
Veuve Clicquot champagne and a chocolate 'reef' filled with berries were waiting for me in the room, along with welcome notes from GM Reed and Cheverton (the In-Room Dining Manager I know from Four Seasons Doha).
I had a quick shower and noted that it was another Four Seasons that had specially obtained Bvlgari bath products for me. The huge marble shower was bliss.
The Champagne Bar at Le Sirenuse, Miami
The Le Sirenuse Miami Champagne Bar is in what was the ballroom of the historic Surf Club. It is a 'branch' of the hotel on the Amalfi Coast. 10 of the 105 Four Seasons now have Michelin stars.
It has been decorated in pale neutrals and green by Parisian designer Joseph Dirand who works for Givenchy but the main attraction is the cathedral-like ceiling and tropical palms.
I sat at the bar and had to try their Winston Churchill cocktail. It almost seemed like a crime to 'adulterate' Dom Perignon champagne with plum-infused Cocchi Rosa (a more bitter aromatized wine), a sugar cube and orange bitters but it had a delicate taste that meant you could still appreciate the expensive champagne. A very high quality cocktail, which it should be for US$52.
I pointed out to the bar staff that Pol Roger was Winston Churchill's favourite champagne and they have created a Prestige Cuvee in homage to him.
At the bar I got talking to two fun ladies from New York and Jon (the Lounge & Bar Manager who I also know from Four Seasons Doha) came to say hello, while I drank perfect very dry Grey Goose martinis. I also got to meet Assistant Champagne Bar Manager Kevin.
I ended my time in the bar trying the shrimp canapés served on toasted brioche, a perfect snack.
Back at the room I used the hotel iPad to arrange for my shoes to be polished. It was an incredible first night back in Miami.
The First Full Day
Breakfast in Le Sirenuse, Miami
I wanted to try the truffle omelet for breakfast but was told it could not be served via room service and so I headed to Le Sirenuse, Miami for breakfast, taking my Weekend Financial Times and part of 'the gang' with me.
Fresh truffles were grated over the Robiola buttery cheese omelet, which was that fluffy American style and came in beef juice with small potatoes. I ate this with double espressos and GM Reed came to say hello. I told him how amazing his staff were and how impressed I was by a hotel so recently opened.
Shopping in Aventura Mall
After breakfast it was off shopping for a new laptop for www.sifrew.com. I decided on Apple again.
I was driven to the Aventura Mall in a hotel Mercedes. I started in Bloomingdale's where the Clarins staff were so worried about my sunburn that I was given a free facial. It was like being in a toy store, after the more limited shopping in George Town, Grand Cayman, and the Bloomingdale's staff said they loved my laugh and energy.
In Apple I bought a MacBook Pro, which they helped me to configure and they also helped me sort out the www.sifrew.com wallpaper on my iPad. My assistant was an 'Instagram Influencer' and so we had lots to chat about.
My Oceanfront Room Cont
Back at the hotel my room had been serviced and I could really appreciate it even more. I was stunned by the view revealed by the electric curtains, it was so incredible you felt you were on a movie set.
There is fluted moulding on the bright white walls and the rattan panels on the wardrobe door etc give a beautiful 'beach feel'. My only problem was the cantilevered balcony, which made me feel a little uncomfortable/nervous.
Relaxing at the 'Child-Free' Pool
Then I relaxed in one of the two pools currently open. I loved the fact, like Four Seasons Bahrain, it was a 'child-free' pool, something more hotel should adopt. However, as at Four Seasons Doha, it is a rule that it clearly difficult to enforce.
The pool is shallow at both ends and so not ideal for swimming but the pool attendants were so friendly and helpful you could forgive lots. They really embody the Four Seasons 'golden rule' of "treating the guest as you want to be treated yourself".
I got the mini lobster rolls for a late lunch and they were moist and delicious.
I met two people for dinner. One I know from Miami and New York and it was his birthday. I had a Cayman birthday card for him and it was so good to catch up with him and meet his French friend. We started the evening drinking the Veuve Clicquot while admiring the view.
Then we had some cocktails back at the Champagne Bar where Jon introduced F&B Director Stefan and we also met Assistant Manager Kelsey. It was such a brilliant way to start the evening.
A Sublime Birthday Dinner in Le Sirenuse, Miami
Le Sirenuse serves Southern Italian food. The hotel will also be getting a Thomas Keller (of the French Laundry) restaurant that will be opening later this year.
We were very late starting dinner but the staff were charming about this. We were even brought reading glasses, when it was spotted that my friends were struggling to share a pair.
There was a succession of delicate amuse bouche and I picked the silky and rich beef tartare with egg yoke confit and Grana Padano cheese reduction. It was an exceptional dish and my photo does not do its 'floral' beauty justice.
Pasta Main Course
For my main course I got the fusilli with Sicilian anchovies, Sicilian capers and Peranzana olives. All my favourite salty tastes in one dish. Sublime.
A Perfect Birthday Dinner
My friend was brought a birthday cake at the end of what was a memorable evening. The charismatic staff, and exquisite food, made it a perfect birthday.
I ended up back at the bar for one last very dry Greg Goose martini before going back to my room to eat part of the chocolate 'reef'.
I started my 'last day' with Cuban Eggs Benedict with a view to die for. The Eggs Benedict had pulled pork, ham, crispy papas fritas with a Mojo (spicy) Hollandaise sauce. A very Miami dish for my last morning.
Then the hotel said I could keep my room until 6pm and I took a call from one of my best friends in Houston, Texas. He calls me whenever I am in the US and we always have such a blast swapping stories.
Back to the Pool
I then spent most of the rest of the day at the pool being pampered by the staff with hummus canapés and ginger & lime shots.
I even found a grass spot to practice the meditation I leant at Four Seasons Bali.
In the late afternoon I toured the 9 acre Atlantic oceanfront site and spa with Eva. It is an upscale oasis of stunning beauty.
Lastly I went to take photos of the original coral-stone clubhouse designed in the 1920s 'Mediterranean revival style' by Russell Pancoast. Fort Partners have added 5 monumental rectilinear glass blocks by Richard Meier that dwarf the original club house.
Always Sad to Say Goodbye
I had a lovely chat with the lady who checked me out and felt sad leaving all these brilliant staff.
Mercedes to the Airport
Traffic was bad on the way to the airport but my driver was such fun to talk to the journey went quickly.
What a contrast with Grand Cayman airport. Almost two hours to clear security & immigration and grumpy unhelpful staff. However, the food in the American First Class lounge was better than I expected.
The Flight Back
The seating configuration was not as good but a Business Class cabin full of Cayman VIPs made for an interesting flight home.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(6 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - definitely a '6 teddy' new Four Seasons. The magical view of the ocean from my room; Veuve Clicquot; Bvlgari bath products; a memorable birthday dinner; freshly grated truffle at breakfast; Sarah Reed's PA; the incredible bar and pool staff all contributed to this impressive 'score' for such a new hotel. My tips: try to get a room on the 12th floor, talk to the staff and make the effort to try Le Sirenuse, Miami for breakfast.