Recommend August 2018 - 33


The stunning 1-bedroom
Oceanfront Suite.

Eden Roc =
Luxury All-Inclusive
Steve Grasso

The iconic Eden Roc Miami Beach launched
an all-inclusive option earlier this year, and
invited Recommend along to experience
the new offering. Basing itself on similar
all-inclusive packages that have become
synonymous with luxury resort properties in
Mexico and the Caribbean, the Eden Roc is
the first hotel in the Miami area to make such
an option available.
"We know that all-inclusive options like
this are relatively non-existent in Miami and
we consciously look for ways to differentiate
and offer an experience to our guests that is
truly unique," says Ash Tembe, v.p. of global
field sales, AIC Hotel Group, umbrella
company to Eden Roc. "From staycations to
family getaways and romantic escapes, adding
an all-inclusive option provides a great added
value for those looking to enjoy each aspect of
the hotel's curated offerings."

Hipster Vibe
Built in 1956 and designed by architect Morris
Lapidus in the Miami Modern style, the Eden
Roc quickly became the quintessential Miami
destination for luminaries from the 1950s
such as Frank Sinatra. Lapidus had previously
designed the neighboring Fontainebleau
Miami Beach, whose owner objected to a
rival hotel by the same designer opening right
next door. In retaliation, he built a "spite
wall" on the Fontainebleau property intended
to block the sunlight from the Eden Roc's
pool. Today, the wall has been covered over
with a new tower of oceanview guestrooms
at the 418-room Eden Roc (and if you're
wondering, the original pool still gets plenty
of Florida sun). The resort has also partnered
with Nobu to create a hotel-within-a-hotel
concept of 206 additional Nobu guestrooms
featuring a Japanese beachhouse feel, as well
as a signature Nobu restaurant.

What's on the Menu
Our first night at the property began at
the Malibu Farm restaurant, the first East
Coast location of Chef Helene Henderson's
celebrated California eatery. Meals at Malibu
Farm are part of the all-inclusive package,
and we sampled several sharing plates from
its healthy vegetable-forward menu such
as avocado pizza, cauliflower crust pizza,
vegetable paella and whole fish of the day.
The wellness vibe continued the next
morning with a Surfset fitness class in the 24hour fitness center. The surfing-inspired class
challenged our balance, flexibility and core
strength with a series of exercises on a Surfset
fitness board. All fitness classes and use of the
center's state-of-the-art gym equipment are
included as part of the all-inclusive option.
We spent the rest of the day at leisure
at the resort, enjoying its three swimming
pools and direct access to the beach. It's
hard not to feel a little like Sinatra when
you're sipping a cocktail in such iconic
surroundings, and the storied history of
the resort adds a certain filmset quality to
relaxing on one of its poolside cabanas.
After a 50-minute highly recommended
Workaholics massage at the resort's Esencia
Wellness Spa, I tried out its sauna, steam room
and hydrotherapy experience.
Guests can top the day off with dinner
at the Nobu Miami restaurant, with
its Omakase-style multi-course tasting
menu. Here, I tried a Kikori old fashioned
made with Japanese whisky followed by a
dizzying array of sushi, sashimi and tempura
showcasing the latest trends in Japanesefusion cuisine.

Explore the Magic City
Recommend an off-property dinner at Local
House on South Beach's Ocean Drive, where

the lobster mac & cheese made with black
pasta and smoked gouda cream is divine.
Afterwards clients can take a stroll through
the Art Deco District, which includes some
900 preserved Art Deco hotels and other
buildings built between 1923 and 1943.
A must is a culinary tour of Miami's Little
Havana neighborhood. During the 1960s,
following the revolution in Cuba, this area
became a cultural center for Cubans fleeing
the Castro regime and settling in South
Florida. Our tour guide explained some of
the history and traditions of the district as
we sampled local staples such as empanadas,
coladas (Cuban espresso) and the famous
Cuban sandwich at El Pub Restaurant. We
also tried fresh mango juice at Los Pinarenos
Fruteria, guava y queso pastelitos at Yisell
Bakery, and traditional Cuban ice cream
at Azucar. A highlight of the tour was a visit
to the historic Ball & Chain music venue and
restaurant, which originally opened in 1935
and played host to jazz greats such as Billie
Holiday, Count Basie and Chet Baker. The
bar reopened in 2014 and preserves its cultural
heritage with live Cuban jazz and salsa nights,
as well as a specialty cocktail menu that
includes some of the best mojitos in town.

Who's Your Customer
"We are targeting a combination of high-end
luxury clientele who understand the highcost of vacationing in Miami and high value
of staying at Eden Roc and the all-inclusive
customer that wants a beach vacation
without having to travel outside of North
America," says Tembe. "A lot of our selling is
done through travel agents. Since acquiring
the responsibility of producing sales for the
property, we have turned into a sales force
by having our travel agents fully trained on
knowing who our clientele is by being able
to target them and produce bookings. Travel
agents can learn about the property from the
business development managers in their area
as each agent's needs and questions differ.
We host webinars to support them as well as
hosting FAMs for them as we do for media." ■
Contact Information
Eden Roc Miami Beach:
august 2018 33

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