Any Miami local will tell you that the oceanfront city has a constantly changing list of places to stay, dine and play — from Star-Rated hotels and restaurants to a vibrant nightlife and beach scene. We caught up with Miami-based interior designer David Bromstad, host of the current hit HGTV show Color Splash and the original winner of the network’s popular design series, HGTV Star (where he now serves as a mentor on the show) to find out his picks for hotels, restaurants and can’t-miss culture around the city.
What’s your favorite place to stay in Miami these days?
My favorite property is the world-renowned Standard Spa, Miami Beach, which overlooks the gorgeous Biscayne Bay. I think they have the best pool in Miami, great food and the drinks are always flowing. In terms of how to describe the décor, it’s where The Brady Bunch meets The Love Boat.
Which restaurant do you recommend to friends visiting Miami?
J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. The view is phenomenal and the food can’t be beat. For dessert, I’d highly recommend the salted caramel ice cream sundae, which is topped with peanuts, popcorn, caramel and a decadent chocolate sauce. It’s a gorgeous and refined dining spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach.
Where are your favorite places to shop in Miami?
The Bal Harbour Shops. Everything is right there — Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Saks Fifth Avenue, you name it. I actually saw Jay Z and Beyoncé shopping there a couple of years ago, and it’s a prime spot for people watching. You’re also surrounded by lush landscape, and they have some fabulous restaurants if you’re looking to take a break from all of the shopping. I love to visit Las Tias in Wynwood, which is this incredible consignment shop that has some really fun things. They aren’t the cheapest finds but you can go home with some amazing mirrors, furniture and designer clothes.
Where should visitors go to experience culture in Miami?
The Wynwood Art Walk tour takes place on the second Saturday of each month and can’t be missed. Participants have an opportunity to check out some incredible galleries as the city continues to surge as one of the top art destinations in the world. The pieces you see are stimulating and, naturally, with many Latin influences.
Sum up how you would describe Miami to a first-time visitor.
People think of Miami as this big giant city, but it feels more like a large small town to me. You see this grand skyline, but the city is not as massive as people think. Miami is also crazier than I think most people actually realize as it’s super busy and fun — an infectious place really. The cool thing is that you can make it as hyper and grand as you want or be mellow and beachy. There are so many layers to this city.
Photos courtesy of David Bromstad LLC