Loving the vibe at South Beach

I had the pleasure of staying at the Metropole Apartments Hotel with a friend last fall in South Beach, when business brought me to Miami.  How fortunate we were to have found the South Beach Group of properties–each with its own distinct personality. Several of the properties are older, refurbished hotels with small rooms. There’s something for every budget.

I loved the funky black and white lobby of the Chelsea Hotel, another property in the South Beach Group.

I loved the funky black and white lobby of the Chelsea Hotel, another property in the South Beach Group.

We’d originally booked into the budget-minded Hotel Shelley thanks to a fabulous deal on Expedia, but were thrilled to be upgraded to a room at the Metropole, where we were offered a spacious two-bedroom suite with full kitchen and a lovely pool and tropical courtyard. Yes!

Our suite at the Metropole Hotel included a dining area that overlooked the beautiful courtyard.

Our suite at the Metropole Hotel included a dining area that overlooked the beautiful courtyard.

The cozy courtyard at the Metropole Hotel is a great place to enjoy a drink.

The cozy courtyard at the Metropole Hotel is a great place to enjoy a drink.

The Metropole has an ideal location, situated just around the corner from Ocean Drive and the beach. We loved both! The nostalgic art deco colours of Ocean Drive are like eye candy to those of us who appreciate the colour in life.

The Metropole Hotel and most of the other South Beach Group's hotels are located on Collins Avenue, which is just around the corner from nostalgic Ocean Drive.

The Metropole Hotel and most of the other South Beach Group’s hotels are located on Collins Avenue, which is just around the corner from nostalgic Ocean Drive.

And South Beach is a fabulous strip of beach worth strolling–for people watching, and to get your fill of the fresh sea breeze. How I wish we’d had more time to just hang out.

My friend Christine enjoying an early morning stroll on South Beach.

My friend Christine enjoying an early morning stroll on South Beach.

But we were there for the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards (at which I won a Bronze Medal for volume I of Chocolatour) and to search out some fine Floridian chocolate (and yes, we found some!) Stay tuned for future posts on both, as well, as some of the highlights of our whirlwind trip to South Florida.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

35 Responses

  1. South Beach is so unique. I love the blend of art deco and craziness! Every inch of it is a story in itself. Congratulations on your award that is a major accomplishment. The images are wonderful and you look so happy on the beach.
    Pamela Chollet recently posted…Parents, Kids And Self-Esteem: The TruthMy Profile

    • Welcome to the blog, Pamela, and thx for your comment. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised by South Beach. I had thought it would be too trashy for my taste (and there certainly is some of that!) But for the most part, I really loved the vibe, the location of our hotel, and everything we experienced.
      P.S. That’s my friend Christine on the beach. How we wish we’d had more time to just chill on the beach, but at least we had time for a walk!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Sisterhood of the World BloggersMy Profile

  2. sofiane says:

    I’ve never been to South Beach, but if I get there I’d like to stay at The Metropole Hotel.

  3. Congratulations on your award! What a charming one-of-a-kind place to stay~
    Irene S. Levine, PhD recently posted…What is it like to fly United BusinessFirst?My Profile

  4. I’d love to visit South Beach mostly for the architecture, but also for the ocean.
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted…A Day of Butchery at Casamonti – Part 1My Profile

  5. Susan Moore says:

    I loved South Beach when I visited Miami during Christmas a few years ago. It was a last minute trip and I just googled “warmest US city in December” and besides Hawaii, the top choices where Phoenix and Miami so naturally I picked Miami 🙂
    Susan Moore recently posted…Arc de Triomf Barcelona Spain – in 21 photosMy Profile

  6. Ok, I think I could live at the Metropole Apartments Hotel, that’s all I’m saying. Oh, and congratulations to you o your award for Chocolatour. You deserve fine accommodations.
    Kristin Henning recently posted…Discovering European Capitals of CultureMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thx so much for your kind words, Kristin. And yes, the Metropole is an apartment hotel, so I imagine there are people who live there long term. The bedrooms were quite spacious and it really was a comfortable place to stay with a great location. Thx for stopping by the blog.
      Doreen recently posted…Loving the vibe at South BeachMy Profile

  7. I’ve never been to South Beach, but if I get there I’d like to stay at The Metropole Hotel.

  8. Carol Colborn says:

    Congratulations on your medal!!! We visited South Beach two years ago for Valentine’s Day but were booked in a hotel in Miami. It looks like it would have been better had we stayed right there. Thanks for bringing back some memories. Looking forward to more.

  9. I just love that feeling that you have stepped back in time with all the beautiful art deco buildings in that area. We were glad to spend some time there during our USA trip in 2006.
    Congratulations on your award!
    Yasha Langford recently posted…We’re stuck, but there’s no better place to be!My Profile

  10. Congratulations on your well deserved award! I love South Beach. It is so different from where I live and I get a kick out of it. The Metropole looks like quite a find!
    Suzanne Stavert recently posted…A New Cooking Class With The World Cooking ProjectMy Profile

  11. Thx for the comments and good wishes, Michele. Indeed, the Metropole was a great homebase for us as we explored South Beach.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…cultural highlights of WinnipegMy Profile

  12. With its 2 bedrooms and kitchen, The Metropole looks like a great Miami hotel for our next family trip. I’ll definitely check it out as the location is tops too. Thanks! ( and congrats! )
    Michele Peterson recently posted…Mango Smoothie PieMy Profile

  13. Donna Janke says:

    The Metropole looks like a great hotel. It might be hard to leave it and explore the area. I’ve not been to South Beach, but think I would enjoy going there someday.
    Donna Janke recently posted…San Antonio Riverwalk and The AlamoMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Donna: Yes, I was thrilled to finally have some time to explore Miami. We’d stayed on the outskirts one year when taking a cruise, and I’ve stayed in nearby Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Beach, but this was my 1st time spending time right in Miami and I was thrilled to have been able to stay at the Metropole as it was affordable and ideally located.
      Doreen recently posted…Loving the vibe at South BeachMy Profile

  14. Kudos to you on your award! I’ve loved the South Beach vibe ever since “The Bird Cage” – the brilliant south Florida light, the pastels, the deco, bring it on! And how nice to get a fabulous upgrade while you were there! Cherry on the sundae!
    Betsy Wuebker recently posted…Become Location Independent: Ultimate GuideMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Betsy and thanks for your your comment and kudos.

      Yes, I’m really grateful to the South Beach Group for the fabulous room we ended up with. That’s part of the benefit of booking with a company that has numerous properties all within the same area. I would indeed love to go back!
      Doreen recently posted…embracing the changing roles of our livesMy Profile

  15. My sister and I were in Miami Beach a couple weeks ago and did an Art Deco Walking Tour. The history of the area is fascinating and now we keep meaning to watch a few episodes of Miami Vice! I agree that I expected it to be “wild and trashy” (and our stupid timing happened to be that we were there on Spring Break) but it was al well behaved, no public drunkenness and fascinating people watching!I love the looks of where you stayed and what a great location too! And congratulations on your book award!
    Kay Dougherty recently posted…What is it really like to travel to Cuba now?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Kay and thx so much for your comment and kudos.

      Oh, wow! I can’t imagine South Beach on Spring Break! I’m sure the whole city goes pretty wild!

      Isn’t the art deco stuff neat? We really enjoyed strolling along Ocean Blvd and seeing all the different colours of the bldgs.
      Doreen recently posted…Loving the vibe at South BeachMy Profile

  16. Catarina says:

    Congratulations to your award, Doreeen!

    South Beach looks like a nice place to be. Am sure you had a great time.
    Catarina recently posted…Renaissance for Muslim women?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Catarina and thanks for your comment. I was pleasantly surprised by South Beach. Based on the media, I’d thought it was just wild and trashy. There is a bit of that, but it’s a really nice part of Miami where there are small boutique hotels, lots of nice patios and restos to enjoy, a great stretch of beach, and the art deco nostalgia all in one place. I’d definitely go back!
      Doreen recently posted…embracing the changing roles of our livesMy Profile

  17. Cary Tardi says:

    I had an opportunity to spend some time on South Beach while filming a TV show there. We stayed at the Chesterfield on Collins, and although the hotel was nothing to write home about I really enjoyed my time on the strip. The area is loaded with shops and restaurants and we were a 5 minute walk from the beach. A few highlights that made my trip included surfing for the first time (most fun ever!), visiting a cigar shop in Little Havana and eating at the Puerto Sagua restaurant (have the “Midnight” sandwich!) Miami is by far one of my favourite places in the World and I’d definitely visit South Beach again!

    P.S. I miss my Cuban coffee in the morning…

    • Doreen says:

      Thx so much for your comment, Cary. Yes, Miami is really an amazingly vibrant city, and we, too, loved what we saw of Little Havana.

      Such a coincidence that you stayed at one of the South Beach Group’s properties! We didn’t have a chance to checkout the rooms at the Chesterfield, but I recall that they had a funky streetside patio where you could grab a drink or coffee and people watch. Stay tuned for more posts on South Beach!
      Doreen recently posted…Loving the vibe at South BeachMy Profile

  18. Cheryl says:

    Congrats on the well deserved award. That beach area looks lovely. So glad you found at least a little time to explore it.
    Cheryl recently posted…LifeSpan TR200 Compact Treadmill: Healthy WalkingMy Profile

  19. susan cooper says:

    First of all congratulations on your bronze award for your book. It is very well deserved. Looks and sound like you had a great time in South Beach. Great time of the year to go there. I’m sure the weather was spectacular.
    susan cooper recently posted…Footprints in the Sand: #Prose #PrayerMy Profile

  20. Thx so much, Christine. A trip like this is always so much better when enjoyed with a good friend.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…embracing the changing roles of our livesMy Profile

  21. It was indeed a whirlwind trip, Doreen, but so much fun, and a much needed get-away for me. I was thrilled to accompany you on this Chocolatour, and see you in action.
    Congratulations on all of the success your book has had. You’ve earned it all, and deserve every moment in the spotlight and sunlight!

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