Art Basel Miami Beach: Where to Stay, Eat and Shop
A guide to continuous indulgence for those flocking to the season's ultimate see-and-be-scene
This story first appeared in the Dec. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
From Dec. 4 to 7, Hollywooders from Michael Bay to Zoe Saldana to Jimmy Iovine will descend upon the Magic City for an art and party fix. This go-round, chic Art Baselites likely prebooked at the just-opened Edition Miami Beach (2901 Collins Ave.; rooms from $429 to $10,000 for a bungalow penthouse) by Ian Schrager, who delivered the Delano in 1995. Miami's hospitality king has hosted Madonna and Sofia Vergara and reigns again on the gone-glam Mid-Beach strip of Collins, which includes Soho Beach House, Thompson Miami Beach and pending boutique hotel Faena House, for which Baz Luhrmann and wife Catherine Martin are designing the interiors. The 294-unit Edition features two Jean-Georges Vongerichten eateries, an ice rink and Basement, a club curated by Ben Pundole. "I'm looking forward to staying there and experiencing Basel in a more mature way versus my younger partying days," says art promoter, Adult Swim's The Heart, She Holler regular and Harmony Korine's Kids breakout Leo Fitzpatrick.
No slouch either, the newly opened Thompson, with its restored art deco tower (4041 Collins Ave.; rooms from $349), ditched the former tenant's kosher kitchen for Seagrape from chef Michelle Bernstein, who has wined and dined Halle Berry and Enrique Iglesias at Michy's Miami. Oceanside offerings include the salt-crusted daily catch and Cuban-style guava- and-cream-cheese-stuffed doughnuts. Arriving via a private entrance, VIPs can immerse themselves in Raymond Jungles-designed tropic gardens and sip "ceviche" pisco sours beside the carved limestone fireplace.
Because it's close to the main fair, the Shelborne Wyndham Grand's new Morimoto (1801 Collins Ave.) will be a tough table to score. The Iron Chef's famous tuna and jalapeno pizza had just hit when Jamie Foxx dropped in. Beyonce and Jay Z, Michael Caine, David Beckham and Liv Tyler are some of the wattage illuminating Seasalt and Pepper (422 NW N. River Drive), last year's breakout on the Miami River. This year, the restaurant introduces Modern Garden, a crudo bar for all things raw — steak tartare, oysters and day-boat scallops. Sans signage, Drunken Dragon's secret den (1424 Alton Road) is where Miami regular Adrian Grenier and locals Gloria Estefan, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade grill Korean wagyu beef over hot stones. Watch out for such tiki bar concoctions as the Blushing Dragon with yuzu.
When it comes to shopping, three meccas draw crowds. Alchemist, with boutiques in 1111 Lincoln Road's "parking garage building," carries limited-edition streetwear by Rick Owens and always hits big, as will its new jewelry store in the Miami Design District (140 NE 39th St., Suite 104). Tilda Swinton, Wendi Deng and Kanye West make beelines for The Webster (1220 Collins Ave., 9700 Collins Ave.), the only place to find founder Laure Heriard Dubreuil's swimwear collaboration with Eres until February. Vintage collectors from Georgina Chapman to Sharon Stone, who wanted to buy owner Madeleine Kirsh's rhinestone glasses right off her face, trek to C. Madeleine's (13702 Biscayne Blvd.) before jetting off. Says Ovitz Family Collection curator Nu Nguyen, "Though the word is out, I can find something special there."