What’s the Eiffel Tower to Paris, the Colosseum for Rome and the Statue of Liberty for New York, is undoubtedly Ocean Drive and the Art Deco quarter for Miami. Perhaps the most interesting street in the whole USA runs through 2 kilometers by the shoreline of Miami Beach, attracting millions of visitors every year to the southernmost large city of the USA.
There are only a few places in America, where we find this many architectural specialities concentrated in a leisure walk’s area; and what’s the most important, they are almost in perfect condition. Every Art Deco hotel and house has been renovated through the length of Ocean Drive, so visitors can see them in their old parade.
Art Deco in architecture appeared in the end of the 1910’s, but it started its world conquering way after the Paris world fair in 1925. That’s how it got to America, where they built the over 800 buildings between 1925 and 1940, which makes Miami’s historical Art Deco quarter today. This architectural style can be familiar to us from other American cities, as the Empire State Building in New York and the Chrysler Building also wear the Art Deco style marks. The fanciful, pastel buildings at Ocean Drive have little, porthole-like windows, staircases and balconies with gunwales, and shiny chrome and glimmering terrazzo floor in the inner areas, taking us back to the 20’s and 30’s America for a little time.
At the northern end of Ocean Drive in 14. street, The Betsy Hotel is a bit different from the other Art Deco hotels, as it rather wears signs of colonial architectural style. The elegant 4-star boutique hotel was built in 1942, and is awaiting visitors with 61 rooms after its reconstruction and remodeling in 2009. Each room is capacious, elegant and beside containing luxurious features like marvel bathroom, or TV built in the mirror, we still can feel the historical ambiance in the rooms, just as in the corridors or the hall.
The hotel’s speciality is the Zen style roof-terrace hosting wellness treatments in pleasant weather, where we can admire the beautiful sunrise while doing yoga, or just enjoy sunshine with a cooling cocktail. For consuming a cocktail, there’s another great and ambient place in the bar under the hotel, which hosts several events like weddings, birthday parties and corporate events. Its low inner height is made felt roomier with a nimble interior decoration solution – there’s a mirroring-surface aluminium panel running through the room.
Casa Casuarina stands not far from Betsy. The villa built in the 1930’s was bought by stylist Gianni Versace in 1992, and refurbished by his own imaginations for 20 million English pounds. Versace was keen on Miami Beach, and the near-by The News Café where he liked drinking his freshly extruded juices in the morning. The stylist considered Casa Casuarina his home and lived here until his death in 1997. The villa now operates as a luxury boutique hotel, but we need to pay the price if we want to stay in one of the 10 staterooms, as it costs nearly $3500 per night.
After the sunset, Ocean Drive is buzzling, and the seaside hotels’ neons light the night. Nice ladies are trying to invite passengers to the countless restaurants and cafes with the actual offers. It may be surprising, but January and February is absolutely the main season in Miami. Hotels are running with 100% reservation, and we got to know that these are mainly American guests arriving from the northern states. The usual 15-20 degrees in Miami is a perfect vacation weather for them. Despite this, clubs were not crowded, but we’re sure it’s different in the summertime, when most of the European and overseas guests arrive.
Probably one of the most famous club is Clevelander. Clevelander is a resort, restaurant and bar found on the corner of 10. street and Ocean Drive. Standing in front of the uniquely ambient bar it’s hard to resist hopping in for a cocktail, and they do everything to make us not resist. They try to invite tourists with live music, vibrating lights and erotic dance, and they usually succeed. But don’t expect too much from the restaurant – in case you don’t like classical fast food restaurant menus, you should rather choose Oceans Ten on the opposite corner, where decent food is guaranteed and the garden is nice too.
Ocean Drive and the Art Deco Quarter’s worth an entire day in Miami. Wander around from morning to evening and see how Miami Beach is waking up in the morning, and how Ocean Drive transforms to the citadel of nightlife.
Copyright © 2016 Világutazó. All rights reserved.