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!

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!

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.

SoBe Scene This Weekend

Stay up to date with the haute SoBe Scene. For Miami Beach clubs, events on the fly and dope nightly happenings stay on
Weekend of August 14, 2008

•    Florida Room @ The Delano Hotel
•    Skybar @ The Shoreclub Hotel
•    Rotten Apple Party @ Set Night Club
•    Rok Bar

•    Special Event Alert @ The Setai (9PM) Y-3, & MIAMI magazine celebrate the launch of the Y-3 Fall/Winter '08 Collection. This Summer Style Series hosted by Ernesto Arambatzis & Erica Freshman
•    Love Hate Bar
•    Mokai

Y-3 Fashion Show @ The Setai Hotel

•    Mynt Lounge
•    Heathrow Night Club
•    Elements @ Aero Bar
•    So Late It's Early @ Space Club After Hours

•    Black Sunday @ Bella Rose

You Wish this was Your House but Dream On…

What Ocean Drive Says about Casa Tua

Casa Tua is a little romantic Italian restaurant, hotel and lounge hidden @ 1700 James Ave in South Beach. We love the members only lounge upstairs because it keeps the riff raff out and the scenesters in. The name Casa Tua translates into "your house" but don't be fooled because this isn't your house and you most likely won't get in. You have to be a member paying annual dues or have seriously deep pockets to buy this kind of privacy. The tranquil serenity that Casa Tua offers is priceless in the vibrant, party scene city of Miami Beach.

At Casa Tua famous people intertwine with high society over burratas that are to die for. Last time Vince Vaughn flew into Miami he joined his Wedding Crashing pal Owen Wilson. The two chilled together at Casa Tua until around 5:30 in the a.m. If Vaughn and Wilson dig it, enough said.

If you want seclusion on Miami Beach then do like the A-listers do and hideaway at Casa Tua. Impress a girl when you whisk her away to Casa Tua for a romantic Italian soire in the garden. Join the club if you can afford it or stand aside because it is for elite people only and high society Miamian memebers do call this place home. 

Gansevoort Hotel South’s Phillipe Chow Restaurant is just S.O.S.o

This past Saturday night started off with high expectations as we drove towards the recently debuted Gansevoort South Hotel on Miami Beach. We were going to the Gans Hotel to try Phillipe Chow restaurant, owned by the same restauranteur as famed hotspot Phillipe New York. Our high expectations quickly fell, as we sat in our black Bentley Continental Flying Spur for what seemed like forever. Trying to get into the hotel driveway to valet was an impossible nightmare. In fact, as the valet man yelled at us to wait our turn in the ungodly line, we watched the clock tick on way past our 9:30 PM reservation time. And let me just say, being yelled at by the valet man is neither a pleasant way to start the evening off nor a good first impression for a new hotel or restaurant. We felt like we were in Manhattan rather than Miami Beach and not in a good way. We finally valeted and made our way into the restaurant to the right of the Gansevoort South's main lobby.

Gansevoort South's Phillipe Chow Restaurant

We walked in and were pleasantly shocked by the restaurant décor. Phillipe Chow was avant-garde with white washed walls that added to the red Asian flare, ultra high ceilings and a massive lantern chandelier. A killer water wall cleverly separated the main dining room from the crowded bar scene. The hostess’ at the front desk where model-esque, gorgeous and we were seated in a New York minute, a part of New York that we could gladly handle in Miami Beach. We scoped out the scene and saw young, chicly dressed people. A couple at the next table, fiercely made out and a group of businessmen eyed us from across the room. We even spotted LeBron James which wasn’t, by any means, a challenge in his circa 1980's Kanye West inspired sunglasses. Face it, LeBron, you are a gigantic (literally and figuratively) athlete, not a pop-star trendsetter like Kanye so don't be rude and take your shades off at dinner!

We ordered basically everything off the menu to get a feel for the food. The wait staff could barely manage, it was pathetic how they messed up the entire order minus the drinks. Three waiters and a manager had to go back and forth between our table and the kitchen a dozen times to fix their mistakes; it was such a struggle and dissapointment for a restaurant of this caliber. The service didn't come close to Phillipe New York or for that matter any of the other high-end restaurants on the beach. After the entire production, the food was good but not worth that hassle. On a side note, for you futuristic Vegans and Vegetarian out there, the menu is quite forgiving.

There are serious issues to be worked out at Gans South still, we are firm believers that the opening was rushed at the patrons expense. Hopefully the hotel will get it right soon because the name “Gansevoort” won’t be enough to keep people in this town coming back. Don't cut corners or you're going to sink in Miami Beach. Miamians are always looking to pay a high price for a stress-free night out, its what keeps us looking young Cool.

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