CheckOut: Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami

30 10 2017

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTHE RITZ-CARLTON KEY BISCAYNE: TOP/BOTTOM LINE

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is a luxurious escape that’s great for gay families, including those of us aiming to fulfill our guncle duties with a little extra help. Drop your kids off at Ritz Kids for a kickball game or an interactive marine biology lesson, and enjoy a cocktail by the adults-only pool. Or take your princ(ess) out for a mani-pedi, complete with complimentary shirley temples. Secluded on an exclusive barrier island, this Ritz-Carlton feels far removed from the other three Ritz-Carltons in Miami – it’s more private, peaceful, and family-focused. This is not your resort to have a crazy weekend to meet new guys. It’s a tropical getaway for you to share with your partner and family.

LOCATION

Convenient and private. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is just 20-minutes from the Miami International Airport, yet feels secluded from the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami. Key Biscayne is an exclusive barrier island, and this Ritz-Carlton is the island’s only hotel. Guests have front door access to hiking and biking trails of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It’s a 20-minute taxi or Lyft ride to the gay bars and clubs in South Beach.

RATES

Ocean view guest rooms start at $400. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is not an all-inclusive resort. For breakfast, snacks, cocktails, a private concierge, and a private kids room, add club lounge access. Offerings of snacks at the club lounge during our stay included raw oysters and sushi. Club level rooms with ocean views start around $700. If you’re bringing kids, Ritz Kids offers full-day activities for kids from 9AM to 3PM for $120. ESPA menu items include “THE Mens Facial” at $160 for 50 minutes and a deep muscle massage at $175 for 50 minutes. Our favorite, the 110-minute Tequesta Ritual is priced at $330. Prices for rooms and spa treatments lower during low-season (July to September). The Ritz Carlton Key-Biscayne spa also participates in Miami Spa Month (usually July and August) and even extends these discounted offerings to October.

ROOM/BATHROOM

Just renovated this past year, each of the 490 guest rooms now offer a lighter, more casual and open aesthetic. The new color-schemes more closely reflect the hues of blues and greens of the beach-front tropical landscape. We appreciated the convenience of bedside outlets during our stay. We also appreciated the efficiency of the layout for the marble bathrooms, though we wished there had been more space to place our champagne during our bubble bath. Rooms with oceanfront views include balconies that look over the resort’s two pools. Open the windows at night to be lulled to sleep by the waves. For the ultimate family escape, book the new Ritz-Carlton Suite, which includes 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, and 2 balconies offering panoramic views of the ocean.

AMENITIES

Testament to the quality of the hotel’s restaurants and spa treatments, guests return year after year, as do the local elite. The Tequesta Ritual, our favorite of the spa’s 3 signature location-specific treatments, is a 110-minute detoxifying ritual. The algae wrap, sticky at first, warmly envelopes you and awakes your skin even as your thoughts drift away. The aromatherapy massage and scalp massage bring you back into your body. Request Adrian. After getting re-centered at the spa, take a private class at the resort’s tennis center, or take a jog down the white sand beach to Florida’s third oldest active lighthouse.The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Enjoy a beachside cocktail in the St. Tropez style cabanas at DUNE, and if you’re feeling extra hungry and carnivorous, try their giant bison burger with foie gras. Keep an eye out for Gino, DUNE’s bartender who has been at the resort since the beginning, and ask him to make you his famous 3-rum mojito. The resort’s newest restaurant, Lightkeepers, offers coastal-inspired dishes, including a Sunday brunch with caviar and a full-room dedicated to desserts. Cantina Beach, the resort’s second oceanfront restaurant, offers Mexican food, South Florida’s largest tequila collection, and their own in-house “guacamologist.” Rumbar, their Cuban lobby lounge, offers rums, cigars, and live music Thursday through Saturday. Wrap-up your tropical escape with a complimentary photo shoot with staff photographers.

GAY FACTOR

This resort may not look like a typical gay getaway. Key Biscayne was Richard Nixon’s favorite vacation destination, no gay weddings have yet been hosted at the resort. But look closer, and you see that the resort has been made with a gay touch. Take a complimentary workout class with Mauricio, or ask Omar at the spa front-desk for some green-tea scrub he stashes away for family. Timothy Williams, the Spa Director, who is currently leading a re-imagination of the resort’s shops, tells us that part of why he has enjoyed working here is that the “Ritz Carlton has always focused on equality.” Tim adds that as our community starts to think more about where we want to take our children, nieces, and nephews on vacation, “nothing else compares to this property… nowhere else in Miami has a kids program like here.”

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

READY TO GO

For rates and reservations check out the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne,  Miami’s website.

ABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know.  We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here. This hotel was reviewed by ManAboutWorld correspondent Allister Chang.

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Miami and Gay Ski Events in ManAboutWorld’s November Issue

11 11 2015
ManAboutWorld's November cover: the Miami skyline at night

Miami, our November cover

We don’t mind the unseasonably warm weather enveloping most of the U.S. as we go to press, but it’s not helping us mentally prepare for winter ahead. Where nature fails, ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine delivers though with our insider-y guide to Miami, an easily accessed, LGBT-popular destination that’s undergoing an exciting evolution.

Download ManAboutWorld to discover a city bursting well beyond gay-centric South Beach. Wynwood is home to some of the most exciting galleries on the planet, especially at this moment when they’re preparing for next month’s Art Basel, which we also cover this month. Brickell feels like the capital of Latin America, filled with dining, drinking and hobnobbing. And discover some of the most exciting new hotels in the country that have recently opened their doors, a number of them located in Miami’s newly emerging Mid-Beach district.

In winter, not everyone flees to warm-weather destinations. Some people actually run towards the cold. Gleefully. For you we present a

Aspen gay ski week in ManAboutWorld (gay travel magazine)-November issue which also includes Miami

Aspen gay ski week

hot list of cool snowy events encircling the globe. Aspen Gay Ski week is still the daddy of all gay winter events, and it seems to be getting better with a reinvigorated leadership and truly welcoming vibe. We’re proud to be media partners with this event which benefits a number of worthy LGBT community organizations.

Have you seen our new Radar section? These are discoveries around the globe sent in by our correspondents and friends. We encourage you, dear readers, to send us your discoveries, which you may see included in an upcoming issue. Use our “Contact us” page on the blog.





City Seen: Your Global Gay Destination Update

5 10 2015
Gay destintation update includes the new Whitney Museum in New York

The Whitney, New York

Every issue of ManAboutWorld is packed full of essential and inspiring travel information including City Seen, a round-up of new (or new to us) hotels, restaurants, attractions and events brought to us from global gay destinations by our correspondents.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
The first of a new Hyatt lifestyle brand that aims to be at the center of where you want to be, the 257-room hotel set in a historic building stakes its claim in Chicago’s premier business district. It couldn’t be more perfectly placed if we picked it ourselves. Oh, that’s right, we did. From museums and architecture boat tours to the Magnificent Mile and every kind of restaurant you can imagine — the Windy City is yours for the taking. The renovated 1920s-era Art Deco skyscraper (with some stunning views) offers bright, modern rooms with free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Upgrade for a city view room with separate sitting area. Hotel amenities include a decent fitness center, the Cochon Volant (flying pig) French restaurant, with a casual yet crisp air, a bakery and a rooftop bar with fab views.

— Rich Martino

DALLAS, TEXAS Cafe Momentum
For a unique dining experience that will also make you feel good about yourself, head over to Café Momentum, a non-profit restaurant designed to provide troubled youth with valuable skills that will prepare them to enter the workforce and teach them responsibility, hopefully setting them on the right path for the future.  Under the guidance of Chef Eric Shelton, the “interns” here work as servers, dishwashers, cooks, and even do the laundry for the clothes worn here by the workers.  Not only is this place a great opportunity to see some terrific service to the community in action, but the food is good too!

Michael Verdirame

MIAMI, FLORIDA 1 Hotel South Beach
Opened amid a flurry of new hotel brand launches around the world, 1 Hotel South Beach has been living up to its hype and has been garnering a lot of favorable press and attention among hotel critics and guests alike. This months-old oceanfront resort boasts spacious, light-drenched rooms (700 square feet on average) and an eco-consciousness baked into its DNA: the very comfortable mattresses are hemp-blend, there is a fleet of electric Teslas at your disposal (distance parameters apply), there are no bottled waters or disposable shampoo bottles and the entry key is made of wood! Also in tune with the major hotel trend of experiential travel, you’ll find a range of experiences on offer from kayaking in a nearby mangrove (which we did … it was amazing!) to stargazing and more. Tom Colicchio’s Beachcraft restaurant is delicious and well worth visiting even if you don’t stay at the hotel. Hotel development plans call for an 18,000-square-foot fitness center and a spa.

Ed Salvato

NEW YORK, NEW YORK Whitney Museum of American Art
My god, where do we start? The Whitney is a triumph of art and architecture and it represents an emphatic exclamation point on the development of a part of town that was once best known for its slaughterhouses. The Meatpacking district’s cobblestone streets are now dotted by chic boutiques, tony bistros, camera-toting tourists and the starting point of the fabulous High Line elevated park. The industrial-looking Whitney sits at the very beginning of the High Line and offers views from every level of the museum both inside and outside. The art is, of course, simply stunning. The current exhibit, America Is Hard to See, includes a who’s who of modern American art works from the early 1900s through the present, opening with one of Marsden Hartley’s iconic images of gay love and war. Start on the 8th floor and make your way down to the 5th floor via the stairs to enjoy the unexpected views from each level. Check this link out for free tours.

Billy Kolber 

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA Cockscomb Restaurant
Open since December 2014 and set in a former shoe factory in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, the suggestively named restaurant is the brainchild of Top Chef winner and James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Cosentino along with partner Oliver Wharton (who’s known for his nightlife-related projects in Las Vegas). Bring your carnivore friends. You’ll find meat-centric fare with a Spanish accent and lots of pork dishes like crispy pig’s ear and wood oven-roasted pig’s head and more daring offerings like sweetbreads and bone marrow and offal. We love the exposed concrete walls and high ceilings and the local artwork though it can be a bit loud when it’s crowded, which is like every night. But that’s ok. Start with a Negroni aperitif and work your way through some of the fabulous Spanish wines on offer and you will become one with the joyful din. After, head over to one of the many gay bars clustered in the SoMa area including Powerhouse on the weekends (if you’re feeling naughty).

Kenny Porpora

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ManAboutWorld’s Free Guide To Ft. Lauderdale Is Live!

11 08 2015
Check it out in the ManAboutWorld app — the cover is animated, the result of a aerial drone's videotaping the be beach, in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Check it out in the ManAboutWorld app — the cover is animated, the result of a aerial drone’s videotaping the be beach

 

Fort Lauderdale may just be the best gay American city we’ve got, where gays have been welcomed for decades to live, explore, and enjoy a taste of the good life. It’s 38 square miles of sprawling, sun-soaked metropolis and miles of white sand beach, and in the center of it all, one of the great gayborhoods in the world — Wilton Manors.

Our free guide to Fort Lauderdale delves deep into the city, highlighting the best of its restaurants, nightlife, shopping, culture, and gay guesthouses. In the years before the Stonewall riots, when ideas like gay marriage were still far-fetched pipe dreams, these guesthouses were sanctuary’s, a place where gay men could be themselves, free to flirt and frolic (among other F-words) without fear of prejudice.

The free guide puts the spotlight on gay locals who reveal their favorite hotspots and hidden gems, and we even dish out a few fabulous day-trip ideas, for those mornings when you want to get out of town for the chic fast-paced buzz of Miami, or the laid-back opulence of Palm Beach.

Download the ManAboutWorld on the iTunes App Store or Google Play for tablet or smart phone and get the guide for free. For a free three-month subscription to the magazine, click here.





Green With Envy: The Fabulous New Eco-friendly 1 Hotel South Beach

10 06 2015
IMG_4488

A living wall at the entrance to 1 Hotel South Beach

The 1 Hotel South Beach recently opened, and we had a quick preview. It’s the first hotel we’ve heard of (and new hotel brand from the brains behind the W Hotel brand) with sustainability as its driving force and DNA. Here are a few photos; expect a full review in an upcoming issue of ManAboutWorld. (Here’s asubscription offer to get you started.)

The photo above is a living wall (that green/black color is actual living plants). Below is chef Michael Fiorello at the Tom Colicchio farm- (and sea-) to table restaurant Beachcraft at the hotel. At the bottom, the eco-friendly “lover’s kit” amenity found in the spacious, sundrenched rooms of the hotel.

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Chef Michael Fiorello at Beachcraft

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The sustainable ‘lover’s kit’ at the 1 Hotel South Beach

 





Meet Florida’s Other Half

22 02 2015
St.Pete's Beach pier as seen in ManAboutWorld, the gay travel magazine

The beautiful St. Pete Beach pier

This month, we hit the road, up and down Florida’s west coast, intent on solving one of the great travel mysteries of our time: if the Gulf Coast of Florida is still in the shadow of Miami, then how the hell is it so sunny? It’s a good question and one we were determined to get to the bottom of. And we mean “the bottom.” So we set out to explore some of the Gulf Coast’s best cities: St. Petersburg and Tampa and their small town neighbors like the pristine family harbor town of Clearwater, and the strange Greek enclave of Tarpon Springs. We drove down to Sarasota, and further still to the idyllic islands of Captiva and Sanibel, where we sailed into sunsets and watched dolphins leap like trapeze artists.

And what we found was a region ready to burst out of the shadow of Miami and into its own as Florida’s undiscovered gay hot spot. We found cities like St. Petersburg, young and bustling with first-rate museums and cool, hipster restaurants, a vibrant live music scene and cute gay boys holed up inside straight bars.

Click here to subscribe now!





Art Basel Takes Over Miai

4 12 2014

artArt Basel begins today in Miami – known worldwide for its fascinating art exhibits that have recently taken a backseat to the celebrity sightings and A-list after parties. The event runs until Dec. 8.

We covered Miami in our Winer 2013 guide, and our pal Jack MacKenroth shared his favorite Miami hidden gems with us last month! You can read about all our secrets by subscribing here!








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