Moments From a Week in Miami

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Apart from a fleeting layover in Miami Airport on my journey home from Aruba just six months before, this was my first visit to the Floridian city that I’d been told I’d either love or hate. 

It became a very last-minute decision when my original travel plans fell through, but it turned out to be a pretty great place to spend a week under the scorching sun while the autumn leaves were busy crisping back at home.

Where I stayed 

I couldn’t decide between two hotels so decided to split my stay across both. It can be a faff moving your luggage from A to B, but clearly I love hotels enough to bother doing that. Even on my honeymoon I stayed in three different rooms just to mix it up.

We booked Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach for our first four nights. Recommended by a friend who stayed when they were known as Palihouse, this tropical hideaway in Mid Beach felt like a tiny slice of paradise.

Even with its modern touches the interior design of the hotel took us back a few decades, and the palm-fringed pool invited us to unwind into the five-hour time difference. I did however get eaten alive by mosquitoes after swimming during a thunderstorm, so slap on that repellent if you plan to do the same.

For our final three nights, we travelled down to South Beach and checked into Esmé Miami Beach. A boutique Instagram find that was conveniently situated in an incredibly central location, this hotel was a not-so-secret gem. The pool and room were smaller than our previous stay, but the suntrap rooftop bar and terrace were a very good compromise.

One of my core memories from this stay is devouring tacos and getting tipsy on frozen margaritas nearby, stumbling back to Esmé, and popping my head through a velvet curtain to discover a jazz show unfolding in their tucked-away Saloon Bar. We spent the rest of the night there and to this day talk about how good the show was.

My seven-day itinerary 

In all honesty we planned very little, because this trip was all about lay-ins (as much as jet lag would allow) and slow-paced adventures. 

The best part of the holiday was starting every single morning at the beach, a short walk from both hotels, and watching the sunrise burst up across the horizon. On the first and final days when the waters were calm we even went for a swim, whilst most of the city was sleeping away hangovers. 

We only ventured out of the city twice, once to the mall to escape the downpours and once to the Everglades for a riverboat experience. I wasn’t a fan of the mediocre alligator show, but I did love getting to see them floating in the wild as we hurtled across the water powered by a gigantic fan.

Aside from that we simply ate, drank, and strolled our way around the city, taking many moments to escape the intense humidity and snap photos of the pastel-coloured art deco architecture along Ocean Drive.

I was also fascinated by the ginormous cruise ships honking their way in and out of the port, which you could watch from the beach and the path that winds around the harbour.

We didn’t blow the budget on this trip, instead enjoying the challenge of seeking out amazing little eateries that the locals probably want to gatekeep. My favourites included Taco Rico, La Sandwicherie, Las Olas Cafe, Huahua’s Taquiera, and plenty of good spots along Espanola Way.

To celebrate our wedding anniversary we went a little more luxe and dined at Carbone. But sadly no celeb sightings to report, despite hearing that Drake is a regular.

I’ve been fortunate to visit America many times over the years, but Miami felt entirely different from all the places I’d previously visited. It’s not for everyone, and I can’t comment on the party scene as I steered well clear of that, but I’d definitely recommend a Miami trip to anyone who can handle the heat.

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