Set at the crossroads of Latin America both in geography and culture, Miami is a scintillating destination for travelers from South America, Europe and Canada thanks to direct flights, great highways and a range of chic accommodations and attractions for all budgets and lifestyles.
Miles and miles of white-sand beaches, bluer than blue skies and annual temperatures averaging 76°F don’t hurt, either. In a city where more than 100 languages are spoken and where just as many different points of view exist, a “live and let live” philosophy keeps locals grounded, and makes residents of the many visitors who came here to play and never went home. Is it any wonder that Miami comes in second in our People category and sixth for Place?
Miami’s historic embrace of a crossroads of the Americas has also meant a business advantage few cities claim. With its soaring office towers and ultra-modern condominiums lining Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami is a hub for international business and one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the U.S., as well as the largest hub, outside of Mexico City, New York and L.A., of Spanish-language media.
In Downtown Miami the luxury hotel boom continues with the recent addition of names like the W Hotel, EPIC, JW Marriott Marquis and Hotel Beaux Arts, along with standouts like Conrad Miami, and the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. The latest luxury development is Brickell City Centre, Swire Properties Inc.’s $1-billion mixed-use development.
The highlight of the project is the EAST, Miami Hotel, which connects directly to dozens of vibrant Brickell restaurants and shops and offers 255 contemporary rooms, eight modern suites and 89 serviced apartments. In 2019, the city will see the opening of the highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida.
All these hotels are good news to the hordes of cruisers who arrive in Florida each year. Known as “The Cruise Capital of the World,” PortMiami continues to help fuel the Greater Miami hospitality industry’s growth. Displaying a strong commitment to the Miami market, Royal Caribbean invested $250 million of private capital to build a new terminal at PortMiami to house the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, which began to sail in October 2018.
Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Line is building a landmark terminal to open in fall 2019 in time for the arrival of its new ship, the Norwegian Encore. The port’s unique position in Downtown Miami provides cruise passengers with direct access to world-class hotels, shopping, dining and attractions, encouraging visitors to stay longer and enjoy pre- or post-cruise vacation in the city.
The City of Miami Beach is also pursuing events and conferences aggressively, with the recent approval to lease public land for a privately funded convention headquarter hotel to be connected to the $620-million redesign of the Miami Beach Convention Center.
To be located at the intersection of 17th street and Convention Center Drive, the future 800-room hotel is considered the missing ingredient in the destination’s meetings and convention package. The privately funded future hotel will make Greater Miami more competitive in securing meetings business, thereby fueling more travel and tourism jobs and increasing economic impact to the community.