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Marriott Reopens, New Best Place for Sunset Cocktails

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The new and improved Catch Grill + Bar.
The new and improved Catch Grill + Bar.
Lesley Elliott

The Marriott on Biscayne Bay held a preview of its $31 million renovation last night. Although Catch (the on-site restaurant) has been open for several months, the 28-year-old hotel has finally completed renovation on the remainder of the property.

A lounge-y atmosphere on the bay with a marina view makes the new terrace an ideal spot for sunset cocktails. The hotel has officially been modernized from Miami circa mid-'80s.

The raw bar was stocked with stone crab, oysters, shrimp and ceviche.
The raw bar was stocked with stone crab, oysters, shrimp and ceviche.
Lesley Elliott

Guests were treated to fresh Gulf oysters (take that BP) and the last

remainders of available stone crab, as well as a taste of the kitchen at

Catch. The house paella was made en masse, and there was plenty of

pulled pork sliders to go around.

Paella cooking in crowd sized servings.
Paella cooking in crowd sized servings.
Lesley Elliott

Michael Perez showcased his pop art brush strokes, while Maria Zouroudis warbled for champagne swigging guests. DJ Vidal played in between sets, allowing attendees a hand-rolled cigar break.

Hand-rolled cigars.
Hand-rolled cigars.
Lesley Elliott

The recent addition of an Illy cafe ups the ante, with free Wi-Fi and

coffee that surpasses the nearby Starbucks by leaps and bounds. This is

your new place for a midday business related meet-up. They are also

going for an authentic Euro-coffee house theme, serving wine and beer

along with espresso from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.

All in all, a good night

to witness yet another example of the downtown overhaul. This

refurbishment gives new life to old real estate; I would say that the

Hilton's DoubleTree next door has some serious competition. I'll be putting my relatives

up at the Marriott next visit, hands down.

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