Dating back to the 1920s, when the land was purchased for development, a small region of Miami has drawn the country’s elite travelers. North of Surfside in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour was incorporated in 1946 and officially began a long legacy of exclusivity by the shore.
Approximately 1,000 feet of white sand is rivaled in beauty only by glistening turquoise waters. In 2002, a $1.5 million beach restoration project added a jogging path and native plants to the dunes. The neighborhood is also a stone’s throw away from the heart of Art Basel happenings in December, and it boasts its own public art projects in the village.
The crown jewel of the community, however, is the 450,000-square-foot Bal Harbour Shops. One of the most successful high-end malls in the United States, major designer brands including Valentino, Chanel and Chloé have set up shop here. Dining opportunities also abound, with prominent chefs creating a range of global flavors that entice the palate.
These elements come together to create a refined neighborhood of luxury experiences—dine, play, shop and explore the best that Bal Harbour has to offer this winter.
1. Enjoy a casual meal at Josh’s Deli.
“Josh’s Deli is my favorite restaurant in the area. After a visit to the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops, a meal at Josh’s Deli feels just right. Casual and simple, Josh offers great dishes like no else in the area.” (9517 Harding Ave.; 305-397-8494; joshsdeli.com) —Fernando Pochulu, chef concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Miami
2. Have lunch at Carpaccio.
“If guests would like to visit the Bal Harbour neighborhood, I would suggest to start the day with a light lunch at Carpaccio inside the Bal Harbour Shops before doing some shopping.” (9700 Collins Ave., Ste. 139; 305-867-7777; carpaccioatbalharbour.com) —Jorge Rocha, chef concierge at Viceroy Miami
3. Retreat to The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s Reméde Spa.
“Head to the Reméde Spa at The St. Regis and experience the ‘Spa Without Walls’ program, which offers guests the unique opportunity to enjoy an extraordinary spa experience [from massages to manicures or other treatments] anywhere on the property, even on the sandy beach.” (9703 Collins Ave.; 305-993-3300; stregisbalharbour.com) —Jorge Rocha, chef concierge at Viceroy Miami
4. Of course, indulge in luxury shopping at Bal Harbour Shops.
“The Bal Harbour area is known internationally for its luxurious shopping at Bal Harbour Shops. … If you are lucky, you will spot a celebrity during the day.” (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-866-0311; balharbourshops.com) —Maya Frenkiel, concierge supervisor at Acqualina Resort & Spa
5. Break for coffee at Santa Fe News & Espresso.
“Santa Fe News & Espresso is based on the Argentine [Republic]. Enjoy a great selection of coffee and paninis, and even a glass of wine. … You may be able to catch up on magazines from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as American magazines.” (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-861-0938; santafebalharbour.com) —Maya Frenkiel, concierge supervisor at Acqualina Resort & Spa
6. Stop by Books & Books for a daily read.
“BOOKS & BOOKS, one of the best bookstores in the area … [is] only a couple of minutes away from our best address. [Take] a few minutes walking to Books & Books, which is located at the third floor of the Bal Harbour Shops.” (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-864-4241; booksandbooks.com) —Kamal Kanahan, guest relations manager at Trump International Beach Resort
7. Be captivated by the service and cuisine at Cafe Ragazzi.
“Serving outstanding Italian food with an A-plus-plus service, Cafe Ragazzi is a restaurant that will actually awaken your senses. Ricardo Montaner, a superstar in the music industry, picked just the right place and assembled a team of dedicated professionals in the food, beverage and service industry. … His son and wife, Hector and Paola, … maintain the consistency of the restaurant and have done that through many years.” (9500 Harding Ave.; 305-866-4495; caferagazzi.com) —Giovanni Attardi, chef concierge at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
8. Go fishing with Therapy-IV charters.
“Therapy-IV fishing charters are the way to go if you are looking to have a true deep-sea fishing adventure. Capt. Stan [Saffan] only takes a small group of six or less at a time, [or] you can have the boat to yourself if you like, and the most important thing is having him as your expert on board. With him, you are bound to catch something, even if you have no experience. He knows exactly where to go, is patient and, most of all, you can tell he loves what he does.” (10800 Collins Ave.; 305-945-1578; therapy4.com) —Melany Ramsay, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
9. People watch at Makoto restaurant.
“I like to have lunch or dinner at Makoto restaurant, [which] offers a great outside seating area in the heart of Bal Harbour Shops. I enjoy people-watching of the rich and famous while I have chef Makoto [Okuwa’s] … personal touch dishes [that] respect the tradition of Japanese cuisine.” (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-864-8600; makoto-restaurant.com) —Ralph Chaoul, W insider at W South Beach
10. Find a new pair of shoes at Tod’s.
“Tod’s … is very famous for their handmade Italian shoes, especially the loafer style. … Their shoes are very comfortable and stylish, and every season they come up with new colors. The boutique also carries a large collection of women’s handbags, [and] the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about their products.” (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-867-9399; tods.com) —Ralph Chaoul, W insider at W South Beach
—Written by Allison Hata