The iconic Eden Roc Miami Beach launched an all-inclusive option earlier this year, and invited Recommend along to experience the new offering. Basing itself on similar all-inclusive packages that have become synonymous with luxury resort properties in Mexico and the Caribbean, the Eden Roc is the first hotel in the Miami area to make such an option available.
“We know that all-inclusive options like this are relatively non-existent in Miami and we consciously look for ways to differentiate and offer an experience to our guests that is truly unique,” says Ash Tembe, v.p. of global field sales, AIC Hotel Group, umbrella company to Eden Roc. “From staycations to family getaways and romantic escapes, adding an all-inclusive option provides a great added value for those looking to enjoy each aspect of the hotel’s curated offerings.”
Built in 1956 and designed by architect Morris Lapidus in the Miami Modern style, the Eden Roc quickly became the quintessential Miami destination for luminaries from the 1950s such as Frank Sinatra. Lapidus had previously designed the neighboring Fontainebleau Miami Beach, whose owner objected to a rival hotel by the same designer opening right next door. In retaliation, he built a “spite wall” on the Fontainebleau property intended to block the sunlight from the Eden Roc’s pool. Today, the wall has been covered over with a new tower of oceanview guestrooms at the 418-room Eden Roc (and if you’re wondering, the original pool still gets plenty of Florida sun). The resort has also partnered with Nobu to create a hotel-within-a-hotel concept of 206 additional Nobu guestrooms featuring a Japanese beachhouse feel, as well as a signature Nobu restaurant.
What’s on the Menu
Our first night at the property began at the Malibu Farm restaurant, the first East Coast location of Chef Helene Henderson’s celebrated California eatery. Meals at Malibu Farm are part of the all-inclusive package, and we sampled several sharing plates from its healthy vegetable-forward menu such as avocado pizza, cauliflower crust pizza, vegetable paella and whole fish of the day.
The wellness vibe continued the next morning with a Surfset fitness class in the 24-hour fitness center. The surfing-inspired class challenged our balance, flexibility and core strength with a series of exercises on a Surfset fitness board. All fitness classes and use of the center’s state-of-the-art gym equipment are included as part of the all-inclusive option.
We spent the rest of the day at leisure at the resort, enjoying its three swimming pools and direct access to the beach. It’s hard not to feel a little like Sinatra when you’re sipping a cocktail in such iconic surroundings, and the storied history of the resort adds a certain filmset quality to relaxing on one of its poolside cabanas.
After a 50-minute highly recommended Workaholics massage at the resort’s Esencia Wellness Spa, I tried out its sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy experience.
Guests can top the day off with dinner at the Nobu Miami restaurant, with its Omakase-style multi-course tasting menu. Here, I tried a Kikori old fashioned made with Japanese whisky followed by a dizzying array of sushi, sashimi and tempura showcasing the latest trends in Japanese-fusion cuisine.
Explore the Magic City
Recommend an off-property dinner at Local House on South Beach’s Ocean Drive, where the lobster mac & cheese made with black pasta and smoked gouda cream is divine. Afterwards clients can take a stroll through the Art Deco District, which includes some 900 preserved Art Deco hotels and other buildings built between 1923 and 1943.
A must is a culinary tour of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. During the 1960s, following the revolution in Cuba, this area became a cultural center for Cubans fleeing the Castro regime and settling in South Florida. Our tour guide explained some of the history and traditions of the district as we sampled local staples such as empanadas, coladas (Cuban espresso) and the famous Cuban sandwich at El Pub Restaurant. We also tried fresh mango juice at Los Pinarenos Fruteria, guava y queso pastelitos at Yisell Bakery, and traditional Cuban ice cream at Azucar. A highlight of the tour was a visit to the historic Ball & Chain music venue and restaurant, which originally opened in 1935 and played host to jazz greats such as Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Chet Baker. The bar reopened in 2014 and preserves its cultural heritage with live Cuban jazz and salsa nights, as well as a specialty cocktail menu that includes some of the best mojitos in town.
Who’s Your Customer
“We are targeting a combination of high-end luxury clientele who understand the high-cost of vacationing in Miami and high value of staying at Eden Roc and the all-inclusive customer that wants a beach vacation without having to travel outside of North America,” says Tembe. “A lot of our selling is done through travel agents. Since acquiring the responsibility of producing sales for the property, we have turned into a sales force by having our travel agents fully trained on knowing who our clientele is by being able to target them and produce bookings. Travel agents can learn about the property from the business development managers in their area as each agent’s needs and questions differ. We host webinars to support them as well as hosting FAMs for them as we do for media.”
Eden Roc Miami Beach: edenrochotelmiami.com