Florida’s oceanfront Shelborne South Beach, an iconic and glamorous 1960s destination, was revamped for 21st-century families. Its fanciful allure — and fabulous pool and tropical beach access — is an exciting family destination in the heart of the historic and walkable Miami Art Deco District.
Now owned by hotelier Keith Menin of Menin Hotels, the property was originally designed in 1940 by modernist Igor Polevitzky, and stunningly improved in the 1950s by famed Miami Beach architect Morris Lapidus. Lapidus, the architect of Miami Modern and a Neo-Baroque design master, shared some of his lifetime experiences with my late husband and me on a memorable Sunday afternoon in the late 90s, when he was in his late 90s. He was proud of his floating white porte cochère above the entry drive and the curved glass-windowed entry with a view of the reception area, impressing guests as they arrive.
The recent $150 million revitalization project incorporated some of the property’s original elements in the historic venue, including the original Tennessee Rose granite. In the recent refurbishment, designers incorporated 1950s vintage elements, including crystal chandeliers, terrazzo floors and mid-century modern furnishings and added modern elements throughout. A wide gallery leads back to the lobby lounge with animal prints and tufted banquettes, a pool table and photo wall and to Chef Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka’s Bar Tanaka.
A wide, white exterior walkway leads to the new infinity pool, a MiMo-style staircase with glass bubble roof and a sun deck with an arc of shower water connected by a catwalk bridge. On the pool deck, in addition to the cabanas and kid-friendly pool, there’s a lovely Oasis beach garden; the Vesper American Brasserie, named for a James Bond movie; and Lucy’s Cantina Royale, a poolside taco stand. A keyed gate gives access to the Miami Beach boardwalk, a paved path, and the private beach club with its lounges and umbrellas and water sports activities.
The Shelborne South Beach welcomes families with a children’s area, family programming and a package for families with kids under 5 years old. The package includes a welcome toy and a kid’s cup for unlimited soda and juice refills. Kids eat free breakfasts at the Shelborne Caffe (the menu offers chicken tenders, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches and other kid-friendly foods). Also included in the price is a one-day rental of a poolside cabana with no food and beverage minimum. Blackout dates apply.
The 200 well-designed new hotel rooms mix vintage chic with contemporary sophistication. Ours had an ocean view, crisp white bedding and decorative pillows. Bathrooms feature custom wood and marble vanities, and polished white marble flooring. Rooms with two double beds work for families as does the 980-square-foot duplex Townhouse suite with a full kitchen and the two-bedroom suite. And there’s a spa on the lower level.
The hotel offers handicapped access to rooms, restaurant and restrooms and two mechanical chairs, one for the pool, the other for the Jacuzzi. Even with a stroller, walker or wheelchair, the distance from Collins Avenue at 18th Street to Lincoln Road, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach Convention Center and New World Symphony (with outdoor family concerts) and countless shops, restaurants and Time Out Market (a food court) is definitely and easily doable.
Even more families and avid travelers are taking to the open road this year, seeking the great outdoors and wide-open spaces — can you blame them? Following this trend, Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International's frequent-stay program, knows its audience and is partnering with the National Park Foundation to offer benefits and discounts for loyalty members and nature lovers alike, as well as an easy roadmap to discovering our nation’s parks.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
Fall is in the air! Leaves are changing color and the weather is starting to get cooler. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I get to experience all four seasons and fall is easily my favorite. There is just something about all the colors and activities that come along with the season, especially in Pennsylvania.
Most museums tend to be boring for children — they have to be quiet, they may not be interested in the exhibits and they can’t touch anything. At the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, kids are encouraged to run around, play and have fun while learning. The beloved museum will safely reopen in 2021 for kids and families to run, play and touch exhibits as they used to, and now is a great time to plan a visit next year.
We’ve seen our fair share (and then some) of drama, trials and tribulations this year, so any reason to celebrate or plan a trip is an exciting opportunity. For the chocolate lovers and sweet aficionados in your crew, Zürich should be on your list this year or next — for many reasons, but specifically for the Lindt Home of Chocolate.