When tourism is business, where do Miami’s top hospitality professionals want to travel in the New Year? We caught up with a handful of hoteliers, executive chefs and general managers to find out what they’re dying to discover in 2016—both near and far. From far-flung locales like off-roading in Patagonia or sailing through Thailand to nearby curiosities like the culinary offerings at the newly opened Faena Hotel Miami Beach, let these travel resolutions inspire your own adventures in the New Year.
Ciro Campagnoli, Owner of Sense Beach House
Near: The new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is definitely on my must-visit list for 2016. The best thing about science is that it’s accessible to everybody, and I’m positive the museum will live up to its expectation in showcasing this. It’s going to feature a 500,000 gallon aquarium tank as part of its design/decor (and anyone who knows me knows all kinds of art fascinates me). It is so exciting to witness the growth of Miami’s cultural scene.
Far: Number one on my 2016 bucket list is most definitely exploring Patagonia and Terra del Fuego on a BMW motorbike 1200GS. I constantly like to push myself to the limit and find beauty in the tranquility of a barren landscape. This type of travel experience allows me to do my best thinking; I find personal growth through charting interesting, less-explored territory.
Jason Bamford, Chef at Bianca at Delano
Near: Being relatively new to Miami there are several places I am dying to check out. I can’t wait to get over to Faena and check out what Chefs Francis Mallmann and Paul Qui have done with the place. I also want to take a trip through the Everglades.
Far: I want to eat my way through Europe and make it down to Morocco. Having worked in the food business for some time now, I have developed many friendships with people that have moved on throughout the world. It would be great to travel and see some of them again.
Near: The new Flagler Club opening inside the famous Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. It is an ultra-luxury boutique hotel with loads of amenities and a dedicated team to see to the guest’s every need inside one of the premier hotels in South Florida.
Far: If I can find the time off, I’d love to stop in at New York and London in 2016 to enjoy the many places and new restaurants during the spring to early fall period.
Near: I’m really excited to check out our new neighbor, Faena. They will be having Alinea here for almost a month. Ever since reading about Chef Grant Achatz and his first restaurant, I have always wanted to try his food and possibly meet him. It’s been a bucket list item for me for a long time now. I am super excited that he will be here in Miami just feet away from The Palms Hotel & Spa and Circa 39. I’m also excited to see which other chefs and restaurants make their way to Miami Beach via Faena.
Afar: Key West! I have always wanted to go to Key West. Throughout my life I’ve seen it on TV and heard about all the interesting festivals, events and amazing places to eat there. The ocean highway also seems like a great drive and experience. So far since relocating to Miami Beach from San Diego, I’ve only been as far as Islamorada with my family. I also can’t wait to get over to one of the Caribbean islands. It’s really cool to be so close to some really great destination islands. Any island will do for me.
Alex Ferrer, GM of The Setai, Miami Beach
Near: Our Executive Chef, Mathias Gervais recently participated in a competition in Key Largo at the Ocean Reef Club. I wasn’t able to attend, but it looks like a tremendous place to take the family on holiday and go fishing.
Far: I would really like to see Cuba for many reasons. Not just for the romanticized, nostalgic tourism attractions, but to also have a better understanding of one of Miami’s largest cultural groups, which has had such an influence on our city.
Dustin Atoigue, Executive Chef at Mondrian South Beach
Near: I really want to check out The Continental because I once worked for Stephen Starr, and his restaurants are really great. I also would love to check out Alter. I hear amazing things about the restaurant. I also want to go and try Delano Bianca’s new menu.
Far: I’m dying to go to Sao Paolo, Brazil and Cartagena, Colombia. Living in Miami, it’s not too hard to travel to and explore. South America and those two cities top my list.
Shayne Benowitz, Hotels & Travel Editor at Miami.com
Near: I drove through Palm Beach on a road trip to Vero Beach this year with my mom and sister. We had a blast and especially loved Palm Beach; how quiet and civilized the whole area was, especially shopping on Worth Avenue, the beaches and cruising past the outrageously beautiful mansions. I’d love to go back and spend an entire weekend to discover more restaurants and hotels and, of course, report back. In Miami, I’d also like to check out the ICA and see what it’s all about.
Far: I’ve been Insta-stalking the Sailing Collective (pictured at top, photo by Kalim Armstrong) for the last year and I’m dying to join them on one of their sailing trips. I love sailing and don’t get to do it often enough. I also think it’s one of the most rewarding ways to discover a new destination—from the water! They make it super eas
y for every type of traveler (solo, couples, friends) to join them on weeklong sailing adventures to such far-flung locales such as Thailand, Greece, Madagascar and Croatia. I’d happily join them at any one of those places.
Rick Ueno, GM at W South Beach
Near: I’m excited to check out what’s new in Wynwood, from art and shops to installations and design. W South Beach’s ‘passion points’ include art and design, and it’s always great to see how our local community is contributing to the arts.
Far: W is opening two new properties in Latin America in 2016 that I’m thrilled to visit: W Bogota and W Punta de Mita. W Bogota is in the heart of it all, just outside the stylish Usaquen district, and W Punta de Mita will sit along the Pacific coast of Mexico — two completely different vibes and ways to vacation in 2016.