Get That Money Honey: Facts About Wealth & Miami Beach

Imagine Lifestyles is here to give you the low down on wealth and Miami Beach. Listen up because at some point these little factoids will probably help you make money, make a trip to Miami or, at least, help you sound a bit more intellignent in an elitest world.Miami


•      25% of the World’s wealth is in Florida during the winter season Miami Beach receives a huge influx of Europeans, especially during the winter season, due to the falling dollar and rising Euro this demographic spends copious amounts of money.

•     South Florida is home to some of the richest communities in the world such as: La Gorce Island, Millionaires Row, Fisher Island, PineTree, Palm Island and Star Island, Naples, Palm Beach and Marcos Island, Coral Gables

•    Miami has the 2nd largest banking/finance industry after New York

•     South Florida has a massive international trade industry

•    Nearly 1,200 multinational companies, 41 of them billion-dollar companies, collectively manage over $200 billion in revenue from South Florida.

•     In Miami Beach alone, numerous celebrities and athletes like Jennifer Lopez, Billy Joel, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Gloria Estefan, Kelly Rowland, Lenny Kravitz, Dwayne Wade, Alonzo Mourning and Enrique Iglesias have homes here.

Plus according to the USB 2008 survey of the Richest 70 cities in the World, 
Miami was ranked:

•    the world's 29th-richest city(net earnings),Only 4 U.S. cities were listed Miami, NYC, LA and                  Chicago.

•    4th-richest in the United States

•    22nd in the World's richest cities by purchasing power

Bottom line, if you have money then spend the coming winter months in sunny Miami Beach. You can't go wrong!

Roll Over Gianni the Versace Mansion is Going Public

Versace Mansion, Miami BeachWe are always at home in Casa Casuarina a.k.a the Versace Mansion and now you can be too, sort of.  Versace Mansion in Miami Beach is the fabulous manse that used to belong to the late, great Gianni Versace.  Now the magical multi-million dollar Mansion is owned by Peter Loftin and for $50 bucks a head he's opening up the flood gates.  From August 18th to September 30th tourists can wander through the mansion on a 45 minute guided tour. What gives Peter?  One of the best parts of Versace was the members only select, the mystery behind the wrought iron gates and you just sold out for a 50 spot.  Rumor has it that in these harsh economic times of ours, Loftin needs some extra dough to maintain the property and keep it looking fabulous.  We are not happy about opening Versace Mansion to the public, it feels so dirty and for $50 so demeaning.  Gianni Versace is probably rolling in his grave right now, way to take the sophistication out of a place that was meant for the sophisticated.

The New Batmobile! An Extreme in Exotic Luxury Cars.

SVS codatronca TS

If you have a lot of money like Bruce Wayne, you can afford to be Batman too.  Thats right, you can drop your kid off at school in a Batmobile.   This exotic car will make the real Batman jealous, plus your kid will probably think you're a better real life superhero. Isn't that just heart warming? Not to go all Oprah on you but the SVS Codatronca TS luxury car is a seriously sweet car that looks like it came straight from Gotham City.

Ercole Spada is the ex-Zagato Design Chief with a knack for designing light weight, aerodynamic car classics like the 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, the 1962 Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ, and the 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ.  Now Spada has revived his design philosophy through SpadaConcept which is his Italian design studio, with son Paolo Spada (former designer at Smart and Honda). Their first model likened to an updated, Italian take on the Batmobile, is called the SVS Codatronca TS or "truncated tail, turismo sportivo." The SpadaConcept company's focus is on “functional design”, which, according to Ercole Spada, means to express functionality of an object through its shape. Thus, the first Spada Vetture Sport has an undeniably avant-garde shape, it is a car that is both bold and daring.

svs codatronca tsA laundry list of big name partners like Alcantara, Sparco, Aznom, Pirelli, and O.Z. Racing, will supply parts for the stealthy-looking SVS luxury sports cars. The Corvette-sourced 7 liter LS7V-8 engine, supercharged for 622 horsepower and 493 ft pounds of torque, catapults the 3000-pound tubular aluminum frame and fiberglass body to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. In 6th gear the Codatronca TS exotic car will attain 211 mph; an onboard data recorder stores up to 80 hours of track telemetry and a digital readout on the tail displays the car's lateral g-forces. The Codatronca TS will also be available with a flex-fuel modification that will allow the car to run on BioFuel E85. This exotic car has an engine with both mechanical and electronic components designed to respect the specification of the client's needs. "Client's needs," has a nice to ring to it doesn't it? SpadaConcept doesn't seem to be just about profit or race track records but rather designing for the pure pleasure of driving.  Ercole Spada insists that he has a moral obligation on his part to create hand-built niche vehicles and he will limit production to just 20 cars per year.


The cockpit is light and airy with a technological air-conditioner system, a rear camera keeps the back view visable at all times and a clock designed by Meccanicheveloci with automatic recharge, is just another taste of fine Italian craftmenship. For $432K you can own this fierce, Italian retro-twist on a classic American comic-book hero.

Always a Shore Thing. Shore Club Hotel

Ian Schager is God and the Shore Club Hotel is a little piece of heaven.  The Shore Club Hotel is the most socially demanding on Miami Beach, A-lister like Matthew McConahey, Jay Z, Matt Damon and the Olsen twins frequent the hotel and, of course, Nobu.  Nobu restaurant has celebutaunte requirements, the sushi is light, expensive and always to die for. Dinner never starts before 10 and unless you have high connections, good luck trying to get in.  The bungalows that surround the back pool a.k.a Skybar, are celebrity hideaways. Baseball star Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter rented Bungalow 8 last time he was in Miami Beach.  Bungalow 8, named after the famous New York City club, is actually the largest bungalow of the Shore Club bunch, it comes with its own private pool, 2 floors and a 24 hour butler service.  On that trip, we had our champagne served around the clock and played in the pool until the wee hours of morning with Jeter and friends.

Shore Club day pool sceneOn sundays the main pool is uber-sceney, probably the best day party on the Beach and always teaming with models. The actual hotel rooms are minimalist with splashes of color and the gym is 24 hours for the gym-arexics. The Scoop store and Me&Ro jewelry store in the lobby are always fabulous to shop and a phenomenal way to end the beach day.

The private penthouse on the roof is perfect for small parties and high-class get togethers, boasting crisp city views and a Shoreclub Penthouse Suitestunning pool. The Shore Club is located in the prime of Miami Beach on 19th and Collins Avenue and we always adore it!

The Mac Daddy Caddy Escalade ESV

If you're part of the hip hop set or a larger than life athlete, you need to know that the upgraded Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition isn't the best anymore. Just when you thought you couldn't pimp your Escalade out much more, think again because Becker Automotive Design has teamed with STRUT jewelry design company and they are bringing bling to the upmarket. The dual company's brainchild is a new kind of Cadillac Escalade ESV, standard with a woven diamond-mesh and stainless-steel front grille and matching side vents. The diamonds will withstand all weather conditions, the driving elements, plus trips through the bad neighborhoods. In addition to the diamonds, this Escalade features an iPod-ready audio-video system with satellite HDTV, DVD and digital surround sound on par with your home entertainment system. The bottom line is that this Escalade is going to get all the attention now, people will either see it or hear it flowing through the streets. The Becker/STRUT Cadillac Escalade ESV is the best of the best and this gleam machine is all yours for about $225,000.

Interior    Interior

The Wealthy Jet to South Europe in August

Roberto Cavalli's Mega-Yacht

If you are of the upper class echelon then you are reading this on your way to Marbella or St. Tropez or another South European hot spot.  In August the rich and famous are getting some much needed R&R in the lavish hotels and mega-yachts of another continent.  Last summer we played on a yacht in St. Tropez, we found ourselves in good company sandwhiched between party-man P-Diddy Combs and designer Roberto Cavalli.  Cavalli's floating palace was one of the most fabulous yacht's we have ever seen, pure class on water.

We hung with Chris Paciello the legendary ex-convict Club owner, credited with establishing the first true club scene on Miami Beach.  Paciello's yacht-mate was HBO Entourage star Kevin Connolly who was incredibly funny and laid-back.  After our first dinner aboard ship, Connolly led our group towards the renowned Hotel Byblos, which houses one of the most famous night clubs in France, Les Caves du Roy.  We walked right into Les Caves which was blinged out with a circa Club 54 vibe.  Fifteen year old European supermodels to 70 year old billionaires graced the tables. After we got sick of Les Cave we all headed over to VIP to watch Puff Daddy give the club a solo performance.  That was last summer, this summer is sure to have more adventures in store for us.

Boarding a Mega-Yacht in St. Tropez by you.

Brooke Hogan for Playboy in Miami Beach

Brooke Hogan PosingWe last told you that Brooke Hogan had happily moved into the Flamingo Residencies on Miami Beach. It seems that since she's settled in, Hulk Hogan's not so virginal daughter seems to be headed for the pages of Playboy. Playboy has asked Brooke to do a photo shoot, possibly even a cover. The men's magazine features a WWE Diva in the nude every year and this would be the legendary Hulk Hogan's 18 year old daughter. Plus, Brooke fits the platinum blonde bill that Hef holds so dear to his own, ancient heart. The good news for all you Hogan fans is that Brook hasn't said no yet. The big bleach blonde hasn't posed nude but she had no qualms about posing in a teeny tiny bikini for the cover of FHM Magazine in 2006. The "Brooke Knows Best" (lamo) famo needs all the publicity she can get right now since her singing career bombed in 2006, when her album entitled "undiscovered" was undiscovered and only sold a dissapointing 127,000 copies. To the list of no talents, add can't act and also no fashion sense. We saw Brooke out in Miami Beach looking like a tranny streetwalker and who could ever forget those horrible jean chaps? However, we found a small talent so drumroll please, apparently, the ditzy blonde can roll around the Miami Beach shoreline without looking too much like a beached whale. When all else fails in the pursuit of fame, you either make a sex tape or take off your clothes for a risque photoshoot. A sex tape might be premature for her "good girl" image but Brooke does have large breasts, so flaunt what you got for Playboy honey.

Following the filming of the "Hogan Knows Best" reality show that followed the whole family, the Hogans fell apart. The Hulk had an affair, got divorced and his youngest son, Nick, went to jail.  The whole over-protective father thing has to be an act for the cameras.Brook Hogan

We bet the Hulk taught his daughter some serious wrestling moves that she's not just using in the ring, if you catch our drift. You know you're not even surprised, reality television is never that real anymore. What is real, is that the WWE icon Hulk Hogan is a wrestling has-been and someone still needs to bring home the money; so the Hulk is going to have to pimp out his daughter every chance he gets.

Ashlee and Jessica Simpson’s Very Private Performance at the Delano Hotel

Ashlee Simpson in the Delano 2005 Pre-nose job hottness and before divorce, Roma, Wentz, wedding and baby. When Ashlee Simpson was known as the not so cute, not so talented younger sis of Jessica Simpson, we spotted the sisters at the Delano Hotel. Along with the full family clan and Nick Lachey in tote, the girls were set to give a live exclusive performance in the Delano's back Water Salon and Orchard Garden. Jessica Simpson sang the wrong songs first line and stomped off stage, good thing there were no cameras present or it would have been another Simpson lip-singing fiasco. If you're wondering why this celeb gossip is relevant now, it's really not but the point is, that the Delano Hotel was a posh celeb locale back in '05 and in 2008 it still is. The Delano Hotel remains to be one of the most iconic hotels in South Beach.

Lenny Kravitz recently opened a lounge called Florida Room in the Delano Hotel. Florida Room @ the DelanoFlorida Room is a modern day piano lounge that boasts a see-through grand piano, that has been tickled by Kravitz himself and Jamie Foxx. A low, bronze mirrored ceiling and custom-designed chandeliers give the room back that classic South Floridian glamour of a bygone era. Over thirty specially concocted cocktails are infused with fresh exotic fruit and make getting drunk taste really good.

The Delano Hotel is located at 1685 Collins Ave, in South Beach is the lovechild of Philippe Starck and Ian Schrager. For those of you living under a rock, Philippe Starck is a famed French designer who is noted for his futuristic design style. Ian Schrager is an original founder of Studio 54, more importantly, he is the American hotelier and real estate developer who established the "boutique hotel" genre.

The hotel rooms are decked in all white and invibe a casual chic, urban resort feel. Chill in back by the surreal life-sized chessboard or take lunch on furniture placed whimsically in the pool. Let renowned chef Claude Troisgros serve up a modern French meal in the grand dining room or opt to alfresco on the terrace under the stars. Then hit up the lobby for some post-dinner drinks at The Rose Bar. There is a pool table, more mirrors and a la carte sushi all housed under custom Venetian chandeliers and opulent white drapes. Rose Bar has the most sophisticated and trendy social scene on Tuesday nights in South Beach.

Delano Pool     Delano Rooms   Rose Bar @ the Delano

Pay to Play with your Food @ Barton G

Popcorn Shrimp @ Barton GBarton G Restaurant is a very contemporary American style scene that will encourage you to play with your food . The restaurant is located on 1427 West Ave, in South Beach.  The larger than life portions are served in a fantastically witty way that would make Barnum & Bailey proud. Cirque du Ceviche, Mouse Trap Mac & Cheese, Flashdance Grouper, Naked Tuna, Veg-G-licious or Sizzling Brick Chicken anyone? The naked tuna is served on a beach scene that looks like a high school book report and the chicken comes out on an actual red brick sans cement. Hungry yet? Well eat up because the leftovers could probably feed a developing nation but hey at least it's amusing. Even if you're gorged don't leave without trying the Big Top Cotton Candy monstrousity, Cup Cake Picnic or the Chocolate Fun-Do for dessert to round out the full circus experience. Don't worry though you won't feel like you're sitting in one of those side show freak shows but rather more along the lines of the always posh Cirque du Soleil. Barton G has taken hoity-toity out of upscale dining and given us relaxed sophistiaction and an undeniably multi sensory experience. 

We Wouldn’t Give Kobe a Happy Ending

We might give Kobe Bryant a happy ending but this other Kobe, the Kobe Club Miami is getting nothing from us.  The new Kobe Club Miami restaurant is located at 404 Washington Avenue and harps on the current trend where New York City takes over South Beach. Yes, both cities are inhabited by extreme wealth, social hierarchy and everything fabulous but the similarities sort of end there. We like a touch of Manhattan in Miami Beach periodicly but a full fledge, replicated restaurant is a faux pas.

Restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and his partner Charlie Walk tried to bring their premiere New York, Kobe Club steakhouse to South Beach, the key word here is tried. We get that the NYC dig is fabulous, we've been there and we know that Chodorow is the success behind other Miami hotspots, like Blue Door, China Grill and Tuscan Steak. Since the the initial media buzz wore off the restaurant is desserted, so what went so wrong? For starters Kobe Club Miami is just a smaller, less cool version of the original Kobe Club New York. When you can just jet to New York for the real deal, no sane person is going to settle for less. There is nothing intimate about the "intimate" 52 seat space designed by Chris Kofitas, nor anything remotely avante garde or Miami-ish. It's almost as if the original Kobe Club New York defecated something sallow on the Miami Beach sidewalk, so gross.  

Kobe Club Miami Walking into 2,000 swinging Samurai swords wasn't exactly a heart-warming welcome and a few secluded booths with heavy leather curtains didn't exactly put us in the mood.  Overall the room was freakishly dark, heavy and drab; we know the dark brooding thing gets New Yorkers off but this is Miami Beach. The service at Kobe Club Miami was horrendous and although it's hard to shock us these days in SoBe, the fact that the help didn't speak English or Spanish left us speechless. The menu created by Corporate Chef Luke Rinaman, New York Regional Chef Scott Ubert of China Grill Management and Executive Chef Russell Titland of Kobe Club New York was just a replica of the New York Restaurant. Dishes like Kobe beef tartare  ($34) and 10 oz. Japanese Wagyu rib-eye ($240) where decent but we've all been there and done that. There was nothing exceptional we would ever go back to Kobe Club Miami for, especially when NoBu @ the Shoreclub Hotel kills it. Nobu made the City to City move gracefully, bringing a rich atmosphere, high quality service and food we now live for (including awesome Kobe Beef). The place got more popular in Miami Beach and to this day is celeb packed (Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Maroon 5, Anna Kournikova, Renee Zellweger, and on) and scene-y. Just proof that the high-end chain thing does work if it's done by the right people.

On a daily basis Miami socialites are spoiled by beauty, impeccable service and refreshing cuisine, Kobe Club Miami missed every mark. It's a bit condescending that no part of the restaurant was customized to fit our layed back, Miami Beach lifestyle. Here's some advice, when something looks haggard in Miami we do reconstructive cosmetic surgery. Try a face lift and augmentation Kobe Club.