Hotel at a Glance: Four-Star Intercontinental Miami
The Intercontinental Miami's downtown location puts it less than 15 minutes from South Beach's Lummus Park, which Frommer's calls Miami's "best beach for people-watching." Though the white sand and curving palms are gorgeous, they're almost overshadowed by the chiseled beach-goers. If you want to avoid the crowds, you can easily take in views of Biscayne Bay from this four-star hotel's sun deck and heated outdoor pool.
- Pan-Latin cuisine—such as saffron risotto with chorizo, calamari, and scallops—is among the offerings at the three onsite restaurants.
- Treat yourself to a massage in the onsite spa, replete with a steam room, sauna, and fitness center.
- City or bay views from oversize windows in guest rooms
- Rooftop garden supplies the organic herbs used at the onsite restaurants and at the spa
- Green initiatives: The hotel is 100% wind powered, and a 2011 renovation added energy-efficient lighting and recycling bins to guest rooms.
Miami's Brickell Neighborhood: Upscale Shops and Restaurants in Thriving Financial District
Bustling professionals en route to their offices set the pace in Brickell, where glittering commercial high-rises share the skyline with upscale condo buildings. Boutique spas and high-end restaurants stay busy throughout the day, but the scene really picks up around happy hour. To the north, causeways connect the neighborhood to Miami’s South Beach.
Sometimes called the "Manhattan of the South" for its high concentration of banks, Brickell has long served as Miami’s financial district. In recent years, however, the area has seen a boom in luxury residences, and gourmet restaurants and posh boutiques followed in their wake. You’ll find these new storefronts on the area's two main thoroughfares—Brickell and Miami Avenues—which are also home to eclectic art galleries, wine-tasting rooms, and chic bakeries. At night, an array of stylish clubs and VIP lounges offers everything from live blues music to DJ-dropped electronic beats.