By Drew Limsky
With its sweeping beach and city views, floor-to-ceiling windows, and elegant living spaces, it can feel like a challenge to venture out from the 2,375-square-foot Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Oceanfront Suite, the unquestionable crown jewel of Acqualina Resort & Spa’s luxurious accommodations. That is, until you recall the suite’s exceptional amenity on wheels: your Rolls-Royce Ghost. The stately English “motor car” is available for the day to guests who book this premier suite for a three-night stay.
It only takes around 11 minutes to cruise down Collins Avenue to get to the posh Bal Harbour Shops — during the drive, you’ll turn heads as you feel the power of the vehicle’s twin-turbocharged V12 engine. As the Ghost glides south on A1A, glance at the yachts on the Intracoastal and take in the beauty of Sunny Isles Beach. With water on both sides, it’s shockingly skinny — little more than 1,000 feet wide in some places — making this pristine stretch of Miami all the more prized.
Minutes later, you’ll be seated at Carpaccio, arguably the buzziest dining venue at Bal Harbour Shops. The appetizers are too enticing not to share, particularly the fresh mussels and scallops sautéed in a touch of tomato and wine sauce. The mozzarella dishes are not to be missed as well, such as the veggie Siciliana (mozzarella with roasted peppers, onions, and mushrooms) or the heartier Inglese (mozzarella and sliced tomato topped with smoked salmon). Take a hint from the restaurant’s name and enjoy tuna or swordfish carpaccio with slices of orange, pink peppercorns, lemon, and olive oil.
While you’re at Bal Harbour Shops, take advantage of the designer names around every corner. For women’s apparel, Bal Harbour gives Fifth Avenue a run for its money, with luxury outposts including Dior, Chanel, Tory Burch, Fendi and Oscar de la Renta. Scope out men’s fashions at Brioni, Zegna, and Brunello Cucinelli, or freshen up your wardrobe with something light and quintessentially Miami with a smart pastel shirt at Thomas Pink. For a final South Florida touch, swing by the Vilebrequin boutique for their chic, eye-catching swimwear.
Photo: Bal Harbour Shops
Then it’s time for the Ghost to conquer Miami’s mainland. There are several ways to cross over from the beach to the city, but the most scenic route is to stay south on Collins for as long as you can. This path offers the chance to take in the highest concentration of art deco and low-rise midcentury architecture in the world—which, of course, is South Beach.
You’ll make it to the mainland’s Miami Design District in around 30 minutes after departing Bal Harbour Shops (depending on traffic), and the journey is well worth it — the stylish neighborhood is better than ever. You can easily valet the Ghost and stroll around Palm Court, a vivid public space lined with jewelry boutiques and anchored by the fanciful Fly’s Eye Dome designed by the architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. Originally dominated by furniture showrooms, now the uber-exclusive neighborhood is more of a mix of interior design and global fashion brands like Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes. But the area remains one of the most important interior design destinations in the country, so it would be a missed opportunity not to pop in to some showrooms for ideas and inspiration.
Photo: Miami Design District
During your visit, make a beeline to Citco — the Italian stoneware brand worked closely with Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize in architecture, to fabricate one of her largest commissioned collections in the world. “We’re honored to house Hadid’s world-famous Luna table,” says general manager Mohamad Radhi. “It’s carved from a solid piece of granite, and its lines are incredible.” Citco has also worked with famed architect Daniel Libeskind and the beloved internationally renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor. Quite simply, the biggest names in architecture, art, design and fashion are all represented throughout the greater Miami area.
From the Design District, the artsy neighborhood of Wynwood is just a mile away. Wynwood Walls, featuring murals by some of the country’s most noted street artists, is the epicenter of the neighborhood, but even Wynwood’s “unofficial” walls are adorned with outrageously beautiful and daring illustrations. The works are so colorful and passionate that you’ll want to stop the Ghost there for a moment at golden hour just to take a photo, parked alongside some of the most brilliantly creative facades in the world.
As the day’s shadows get longer, it’s time for you and the Ghost to find home again at Acqualina’s Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Oceanfront Suite, back to lavish coastal living as Miami’s signature sunshine turns to dusk.