Mayfair House Hotel & Garden, Miami, Florida
Mayfair House maybe in its second act, but it’s only just beginning. Set in the heart of leafy, low-key Coconut Grove, the lavish hotel opened in 1985 and, with its gaping interior atrium, was then a distinguished example of the typology of that era. But over the years the property has fallen into disrepair and, after a long hiatus, reopened in 2022, following its purchase by Brookfield Asset Management and a mammoth revamp by interiors maven Matthew Goodrich. Now everything looks fresh; its signature, vegetation-laden atrium is a place of respite rather than a mall, and rooms express modern style with clawfoot tubs, jewel-toned walls, and tropical-print accent pieces. But the F&B is the real scene stealer. It’s thanks to Chris Hudnall and Randy Alonso, co-founders of downtown Miami’s hit bar Lost Boy, who pioneered concepts that are exciting enough to keep you going all night. The vibe is cool, calm, collected and fun – so slip on a floral ruffled dress or button-up, khaki shorts and head to Mayfair Grill, where the centerpiece is – you guessed it – a fire grill. Aromatic Wood, which touts Miami’s first Sonora culinary offering (think wood-fired Navajo bread sprinkled with roasted bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and Mexican Chihuahua cheese, and hand-ground corn tacos). Sipsip, the cocktail bar by the hotel’s rooftop pool, serves rum-centric cocktails best enjoyed with the stunning views of Biscayne Bay.
But it’s Miami’s oldest continuously occupied neighborhood, and as such there’s plenty to see beyond the hotel walls. Grab a vanilla cold brew at Panther Coffee, the city’s first specialty roaster, then head to Barnacle Historic State Park. Once the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of the original inhabitants of the grove, you can still see his 1891 home, the oldest in the county, which sits under an old canopy. (For something with a little more “wow” factor, you can’t do better than Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, just a 10-minute drive down the coast – the expansive Mediterranean-style villa and estate, built in 1916 for the (industrialist James Deering, well worth a stroll.) And while exotic birds no longer roam Peacock Park, you can at least sit down to a free fitness class. If you happen to be in town on a Sunday, the Coconut Grove Foodie and Farmers Market operates out of nearby St. Stephens Church, where you’re guaranteed an enviable selection of handicrafts and handicrafts. . —Betsy Blumenthal