Como Metropolitan Miami Beach is a soothing refurb of a 1920s art deco grand dame with an enviable beachfront perch, set in the hushed historic district. Stroll the private beach, lounge poolside with a revitalizing smoothie from the juice bar and dine on fresh Floridian flavours at Traymore's. Feeling relaxed yet?
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £170.11 ($222), including tax at 14 per cent.
Rates include the daily continental breakfast buffet (à la carte breakfast dishes and espresso-based coffees are available for an extra charge).
Private yoga classes and personal training sessions are available on request.
At the hotel
Private beach, swimming pool, fitness centre, concierge, valet parking and WiFi. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, coffee and tea service, WiFi and Como Shambhala bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms share contemporary styling by Italian designer Paola Navone in a soothing palette of subdued greys and frothy sea-foam greens. But we we’re all about the sparkling Miami Beach views, like those glimpsed from the Metropolitan Ocean View rooms with a balcony. Of course, we’d never turn down the chance to linger over coffee or cocktails in the smart sitting area of the one-bedroom Ocean View suite with a breezy balcony right off of the bedroom.
White-canopied cabanas and sunloungers trim the heated pool that's surrounded by swaying palm tress and situated just steps from the beach.
Channel Agador Spartacus in tiny jean shorts. Just a suggestion.
Disabled-access and hearing-impaired rooms are available.
Bask in those balmy beach breezes at a table on the elegant Traymore terrace.
You'll chill out by day here, but the Traymore is certainly a spot worth dressing up for at night. Maxi dresses and platform sandals for her and crisp button downs and linen trousers for him.
The Traymore (the name a nod to the former hotel housed here) puts a contemporary spin – elegant globe pendant lights, high-backed banquets that hug stately columns – on this classic art-deco space. And the menu takes a seafood-to-table approach, focusing on fresh local catch such as stone crabs and yellow tail snapper, along with American classics. Snag an outdoor table or a private cabana for poolside dining on brick oven pizza, juicy burgers and bright salads.
Sling Bar is the centerpiece of the lobby, serving small plates inspired by the street food of Singapore: cured scallops, shrimp skewers and samosas. The cocktail menu is equally exotic – try the SB Sling (Bombay gin, Benedictine and cherry) or the Secret Remedy (scotch, angostura bitters and honey).
Traymore serves breakfast 7am to 11am; lunch 11am to 3:30pm; dinner 6pm to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until noon Friday and Saturday. Poolside dining is available 11am to 7pm.
The full menu from the Traymore is available as room service from 7am to 10.30pm; a limited snack menu is served until midnight.
A seven-block stroll from the buzz of South Beach, the Metropolitan is close enough to the action but set far enough away for a truly relaxing escape.
Miami International Airport (www.miami-airport.com) is the nearest option, a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Airlines including American Airlines, United, Spirit, JetBlue and Delta fly direct from major US destinations. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer non-stop service from London.
The main Amtrak station (www.amtrak.com) is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, and the TriRail (www.tri-rail.com) line connects with beach towns along Florida’s southern coast.
It’s a good idea to hire a car for exploring Miami and the coastal towns stretching north. There are rental desks available at the airport, and the hotel has on-site valet parking that's free for Smith guests (usually $46 a day).
Worth getting out of bed for
With its private patch of prime oceanfront property, the Metropolitan is ideally placed on one of the world’s sexiest stretches of white sand. The warm, subtropical climate attracts sun and surf lovers, and the hotel’s concierge can make arrangements to take full advantage of the tropical outdoors with, say, a deep-sea fishing excursion or a private yacht cruise. For more water-based adventure, give kiteboarding or paddleboarding a whirl through local outfitter Skybanditz. Those preferring to stay on land can have the concierge arrange tee times one of several public or private area golf courses. Rent a cycle through bike share program DecoBike and take a spin through the nearby historic district on two-wheels. Or embark on a guided stroll led by Miami Design Preservation League docents.
If you’re on the hunt for unique souvenirs or just a few things for yourself – you’ve come to the right place. Miami is one fabulous city for shopping. Browse the boutiques, dine in one of the cafés or refresh with a cool drink at any number of bars found lining the Lincoln Road Mall. This pedestrian-only promenade has everything from French bakeries to J Crew. Every other Sunday from October to May, the Lincoln Road Mall plays host to the Antiques and Collectible Market. Score vintage finds, mid-century marvels and any number of treasures from the over 100 stalls selling their unique wares.
Make your way south on Collins Avenue to the Bazaar by renowned chef José Andrés. Occupying the opulent lobby of the SLS Hotel South Beach, the globally-influenced menu is ever-mindful of Miami’s strong Latin influence, and features innovative dishes such as Cuban coffee-rubbed churrasco and a Japanese taco with grilled eel and pork chicharrones. For a bit of Miami history, make a reservation at The Forge Restaurant and Wine Bar an artisan blacksmith’s forge that later became an it-steakhouse and casino hosting everyone from Frank Sinatra to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor over the years. Today’s farm-to-table menu has an emphasis on generous steaks along with rich short ribs, fresh seafood and house-made pastas. Award-winning Hakkasan restaurant chose Miami for its US debut, and the creative haute-Chinese menu makes the most of locally-sourced ingredients.
Nearby, the Broken Shaker has a leafy fairylit terrace with a ping-pong table and mixologists who shake up tasty concoctions made using house-made fixings. Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company is a lively, neon-lit spot and serves cocktails with unique ingredients, such as the Sweet Potato Pain Killer with sweet-potato juice, coconut cream, orange juice and rum.
There aren’t many more exciting things than a sunny holiday in soggy spring, especially when you’ve been asked to covertly review the hotel where you’re staying. However, secrecy requires a level of restraint and composure that certainly doesn’t marry well with wild-eyed excitement.
And so did the two most unlikely spies arrive at a newly opened spa retreat, Como Metropolitan Miami Beach, wearing the thrill of their mission all over their faces. Mr Smith, in particular, needed to be reminded that he was no Will Smith, either – sunglasses are not to be worn inside and you can’t blink and suddenly disappear from sight.
Yet, the arrival in Miami is very Will Smith. In many ways, the city is the breathing cliché of every song and movie about it. Stroll down South Beach and you’ll witness all manner of horrors, wonders and joys – towering apartment blocks, flashing neon lining the streets and muscle-flexing gangsters roaming them.
But drift past this garish display, and you’ll find your way to a shining white art deco façade, the former home of the Traymore hotel, that’s been elegantly reimagined (without scrapping its historic charm) as a tranquil stay.
Bienvenido a Miami, is right. Staff with perma-grins greeted us in the luxurious lobby set with imposing columns, sheet-white walls and marble floors. Everybody was so cheerful that we suspected they were onto us, and our brief espionage careers was now in tatters.
A smiling (of course) bellhop showed us to our Ocean View Room styled with pistachio walls, speckled marble floor and, crucially, a huge bed. Ample wiggle room so that I might escape the blaring nasal trumpets of Mr Smith is key to us having a nice stay.
Upon closer inspection of our surroundings, we realized that all this grinning was not because the staff had been tipped off to our covert status, but, it was a reflex of being surrounded by such beauty. Specifically, the hotel’s private stretch of sand – a refuge of simplicity and chic design in what is otherwise sprawling South Beach. You’d think there was no space left to build on Florida’s most overpopulated sand pit, but the hotel has somehow carved out an idyll of calm right in its centre.
Strolling waist-high into the sparkling clear Atlantic Ocean, I glanced back at the hotel glimmering in the sunlight and wondered why you would ever step out of this shawl of comfort into anywhere else in Miami. Bouncy nautical servers even brought oranges for us to suck on in the heat, alongside incredible lunches of humungous prawns, kale and beet salads and all manner of healthy and not so healthy (Mr Smith, ahem) treats.
Unfortunately, not as content as me to sit and blissfully do nothing, Mr Smith was craving adventure. After my flat-out rejections regarding jet skiing and the somewhat alarming beachside adverts to visit an AK-47 shooting range, this couple’s concord was made on a bike ride.
Cruising along a pedestrian walkway between the hotel and the beach, we spied on all the other hotels lining the beach and congratulated ourselves on having chosen the best one. It was a pleasant enough trip, well, until Mr Smith decided to take us on some godforsaken mission to find the mainland. Fast forward 40 minutes, multiple wrong turns, the searing afternoon sun and soon we were cowering in the shade, heat stroke setting upon us and huge lorries flying past on the dual carriage way we had mistakenly chosen for our sojourn. My advice: do go cycling but stick to where the hotel tells you – trust their smiling advice.
Just as this Mrs Smith considered becoming a Miss, we arrived back at the hotel to be greeted with brownies, macaroons and orange chocolate. Confirming what was by now all too clear – you need a very good reason to leave the Metropolitan, even for an hour.
Being model students, by day two we had learnt our lesson and spent the evening dining in the hotel rather than chance venturing out to the sprawling promenade nearby. Retiring to our room, we made use of the excellent in-room music system to have our very own rave of delirious tequila-fuelled dancing and singing on beds to Jarvis Cocker. And, until I decided that my pillow was actually far more interesting than Mr’s very best hip wiggles and vocals, there was really no better place to be in Miami.
Relaxed (ok, hung over), bronzed, a bit pudgier round the edges and crucially, relationship in tact (thank you, massive bed) our stay had come to a close. What’s more, the front desk even humoured us by pretending that they had no idea that we were reviewing them after all (surely they couldn’t have been that nice?), and thus allowing Mr Smith his certified undercover status.
Well, it was the perfect holiday until disaster struck and we missed our flight. Whose fault (definitely mine but we shan’t be admitting that)? Really, it’s simply more evidence that all good things in Miami happen within the soothing confines of the Como Metropolitan, and all else is at your own risk once you step outside of this sleek sanctuary.
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