Hidden within the heart of South Beach, The National Hotel Miami Beach reigns as one of the area’s original art deco masterpieces, a beachfront landmark conceived by architect Roy France in 1939. As recent guests, my husband and I can attest to the timeless allure of this treasured gem.
The National Hotel has embarked on a journey of rejuvenation and is now under new ownership. This adults-only oasis elegantly weaves together the evocative charm of its iconic heritage and the contemporary comforts that today’s travelers crave. The result is a sanctuary away from home where you can let your worries drift away.
We were welcomed into a world of vintage elegance and modern luxury, where each of the 137 individual guest rooms and suites pays homage to the golden age of travel. It’s in the little details, the nods to a bygone era, that we found our first hints of nostalgia.
For the ultimate in exclusivity and relaxation, we chose one of the Cabana rooms. These rooms come complete with private balconies overlooking the breathtaking 205-foot infinity-edge swimming pool, a signature feature of the National Hotel. As we sipped our morning coffee or enjoyed a glass of wine in the evening, the view from our private sanctuary was nothing short of magical.
The historic exterior of the National Hotel stands in contrast to its eclectic interior, where you’ll discover a comfortable lobby lounge and bar, the award-winning Spanish restaurant Mareva 1939, a recently opened Martini Bar, and the Aqua Grill located near a second pool area. Whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing cocktail or a memorable dining experience, this hotel has it all.
Our mornings began with serene yoga sessions on the beautifully maintained grounds, a tranquil start to our days of relaxation. The refreshing pool offered respite from the Miami sun, inviting us to unwind in its crystal-clear waters.
Nothing sets the mood better than an exquisite dinner for two. We decided to embark on a romantic culinary journey at Mareva 1939, and our evening was nothing short of extraordinary. To begin our enchanting dinner, we decided to whet our appetites with a round of crafted cocktails. I sipped on the refreshing “Melon or Sandia,” a delightful concoction blending Bruxo Mezcal, fresh watermelon, lime, agave, habanero tincture, and Me Gusta salt. The hint of habanero added a tantalizing kick to this sweet and smoky drink. My husband opted for the “Hibiscus Beauty,” a Kettle One-infused hibiscus elixir with St. Germain, lemon, ginger syrup, and sage, creating a harmonious blend of floral and herbal notes.
For our appetizers, we couldn’t resist the allure of Spanish flavors. The “Patatas Bravas” made for a zesty start to our meal. These crispy potatoes, served with aioli and a spicy tomato sauce, were the perfect marriage of textures and tastes.
My absolute favorite of the evening was the “Spanish Octopus.” Tender and succulent, the octopus was accompanied by a luscious potato cream, smoked paprika, and arbequina olive oil. Each bite was a burst of the ocean’s essence, enhanced by the comforting embrace of potato cream. It was a true culinary masterpiece.
As our main course, we delved into two tantalizing options. The “Seafood Rice” was a delight for seafood lovers, featuring perfectly seared scallops, mussels, shrimp, and clams, all nestled in a bed of flavorful rice. The medley of flavors and textures made each mouthful a culinary adventure.
My husband savored the “Pan Seared Branzino,” a dish of pristine beauty. The fish was elegantly served atop a velvety potato cream and adorned with a delectable bilbaina sauce. The branzino’s crisp exterior gave way to a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, all elegantly balanced by the creamy potato base.
No romantic dinner is complete without a sweet conclusion, and Mareva 1939 didn’t disappoint. We indulged in two divine desserts. The “Caramelized Torrija Brioche” arrived with a scoop of coconut ice cream and a drizzle of pink guava, offering a heavenly blend of textures and temperatures. It was the perfect dessert to share with my loved one.
To finish our evening on a sweet note, we savored the “Burnt Basque Cheesecake.” Accompanied by a blackberry hibiscus compote, this dessert was a testament to simplicity done perfectly. The cheesecake’s rich and creamy center, coupled with the tangy notes of the compote, made for an exquisite ending to our culinary journey.
Our couples getaway was a perfect retreat, an opportunity to reconnect, and a reminder of the enduring charm of a bygone era. We left with our spirits lifted and our bond strengthened. We’re already counting down the days until our return to The National Hotel Miami Beach, where the echoes of the past harmonize with the pleasures of the present.
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