It feels like you've been on lockdown forever and you're longing for an indulgent vacation. A trip to the South of France is still an elusive dream — but there's plenty to be enjoyed right here in the Magic City.
Beach clubs have been popping up around Miami like mushrooms after a rain, and while they're mostly aimed at the tourist trade, Miamians can take advantage of these day-to-night venues for sunbed napping and food-and- drink sampling all year round.
Best yet, these barefoot-luxury outposts provide some of the best entertainment our seaside city has to offer, providing a unique mix of amenities, programming, and stylish clientele.
"Our venue is often compared to Tulum or to Mykonos," says hospitality veteran Mio Danilovic, co-owner of Joia Beach, a club on Watson Island that offers a luxurious, family-friendly waterfront setting for dining and relaxation. "But the truth is, this is Miami, and we are reimagining it in our own way, hopefully pushing boundaries and setting the bar higher every day for our industry and our city."
Bear in mind that the beach clubs on this list are all working to keep guests safe, so don't forget to wear your mask and practice social distancing when visiting.
1 Beach Club2341 Collins Ave. (at the 1 Hotel South Beach), Miami Beach
A Tulum-inspired setting of sprawling daybeds, overstuffed pillows, and natural materials, 1 Beach Club debuted in 2020 and has quickly become a destination for those in search of creative cocktails and sea-to-table fare. Grouper ceviche, softshell crab, and seafood towers are all made with organic and sustainable ingredients. If the aesthetic of this venue feels more bohemian and unpretentious than its counterparts', it's intentional. "We wanted to create another outdoor space for our guests and members to embrace Miami’s warm tropical weather all while getting to sink their toes in the sand. But as the cultural climate has shifted, the vast landscape lends itself perfectly for social distancing," says Milton Sgarbi, vice president of hotel operations. In addition to the alfresco lounge area, guests can choose to unwind and renew at the on-site Anatomy gym and Bamford Haybarn spa. The club's health and safety protocols include thermal temperature scans at the main property entrances, touchless hand-sanitizer stations, tables arranged so as to provide a minimum of six feet of distancing, and QR-code menus. The weekly "Golden Hour" on Fridays is a big hit, while "Barefoot Sundays" features a special outdoor grilling station from noon to 5 p.m. Open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Baia Beach Club1100 West Ave. (at the Mondrian Hotel), Miami Beach
The Mondrian Hotel has been a Biscayne Bay waterfront haven for more than a decade, but thanks to a $20 million renovation it now also houses Miami's newest beach club. Embodying a Mediterranean coastal flair, Baia (the name means “bay” in Italian) brings together multiple areas for dining and entertainment, bayside cabanas and pavilions, and access to a full-service wellness facility. The mood is as chic as it is casual. Upbeat lounge tunes lull you into a sense of well-being amid the club's relaxed design of raw organic timber, billowing airy shades, and handmade macramé fixtures. "Baia Beach Club represents all of Miami’s beauty and culture under one roof," sums up Anamaria Tolci-Soare,the facility's general manager. The culinary program offers a fresh, healthy approach to Mediterranean cuisine that blends classic offerings and new takes on dishes such as the Greek horiatiki salad, citrus-marinated bay scallops, seared tuna bruschetta, and tagliatelle with shrimp. Every guest undergoes a temperature check upon entering the venue, signage is displayed outlining proper mask usage, and current physical distancing practices are in use throughout the club and hotel. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Joia Beach1111 Parrot Jungle Tr., Miami
A long, winding pathway surrounded by jungle greenery leads you to this blissfully removed 45,000-square-foot beachfront club, which debuted last summer on Watson Island. Designer Francois Frossard conceptualized the space, outfitted in a chic, rustic palette of neutral colors, wood, bamboo, natural fabrics, and eclectic furniture from Greece and Indonesia. "We chose to take all of the best pieces of our travels, experiences, and knowledge of the food-and-beverage industry and combine it into what we believe is a winning formula,” says Mio Danilovic, who, in partnership with hospitality veteran Chis Paciello, co-owns Liquid Hospitality and Joia Beach. From the venue’s full-service restaurant housed under a tiki hut, executive chef Erhan Ozkaya (the Bazaar, Mandolin Aegean Bistro, Soho House) turns out a menu of Mediterranean dishes, including an arugula and citrus salad with Tulum (Turkish goat's milk) cheese, Tasmanian trout crudo, Spanish boquerones, and Turkish grilled octopus. Reservations are required to enjoy the all-day venue's tables and daybeds, but from Wednesday through Friday all are welcome for the "Paradise Social” happy hour. Staff temperature checks are conducted daily, and guests must wear masks and make use of hand-sanitizer stations. Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Nikki Beach1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
Two decades after Jack Penrod opened its doors, Nikki Beach remains a local hotspot. It is a place unlike anywhere else: sprawled along 46,000 square feet in the South of Fifth neighborhood of South Beach, this Saint-Tropez-style lounge and eatery is perfect for a breezy toes-in-the-sand lunch or a languid evening under the stars. The menu ranges from sushi to slow-roasted meats to wood-fired pizzas and specialty cocktails, all served directly to beach chairs on the ocean. "Rosé Saturdays" are a prime time to visit and indulge in $5 glasses and $25 bottles of Côtes de Provence rosé. The weekly “Amazing Sundays” brunch is also a favorite, featuring unlimited options of prime rib, roast pork, omelets, waffles, vegetables pickled in-house, pastas, and a vast selection of desserts. Nikki Beach was recently added to Miami Beach's MB Standard Program for its best practices to curb COVID-19. Open daily.
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