How To Spend It

Destinations | Perfect Weekend

Alan Faena’s Miami Beach

The Argentine developer and hotelier has enlisted Pritzker Prize-winning architects Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas to design his new cultural and residential Faena Miami Beach

June 24 2014
Christina Ohly Evans

I love spending weekends in Miami Beach because I find the mix of South American and Caribbean cultures so energising. I wake very early on Saturday mornings and start the day by saying a little prayer overlooking the ocean. This is followed by some quiet meditation, a cup of maté – the typical Argentinian tea – and playing with my son, Noa. I enjoy a light breakfast accompanied by the music that is a big part of my life. I have an extensive collection of rare albums that includes everything from tango to cumbia – Colombian music with European and African influences. I enjoy making playlists that set the tone of everything I do.

Later I go to the Equinox gym on nearby Collins Avenue. Or if I am in a quieter mood, I might take a yoga lesson at Green Monkey in Sunset Harbor, where classes are built around the core values of positivity, balance and community.

I don’t like to plan things too far ahead; I prefer to feel the vibe of the day and embrace it. If the weather is beautiful – and it almost always is – I’ll take a long walk on the beach before lunch. I like the area near our new development at Collins Avenue and 32nd Street, which has one of the widest stretches of white sand in Miami Beach.

I often take a small boat from our marina to Garcia’s for a lunch of fresh seafood – ceviche and grilled lobster – served at outdoor tables along the Miami River. Then I like to explore this dynamic city by just walking and absorbing the eclectic architecture. Afternoons are often spent at Vizcaya, an incredible villa with elaborate gardens, or museums and galleries such as the Wolfsonian in the Art Deco District. Another favourite is the Wynwood Arts District, an area full of restaurants and shops; it has a massive open-air art installation and the annual Red Dot Art Fair, an enormous tented space where I always find sculpture and photography by emerging artists.  

Afterwards I’ll return home to catch up on the news or read a good book – often Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom, which I find inspiring – with a nice glass of wine from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. In the evening, I like to join friends at Casa Tua for Italian food served in a magical garden with Moroccan lanterns. It is just like being in a private home and the tagliatelle with black truffles is always excellent. For fresh fish and mezes, I’ll head to Mandolin, an Aegean bistro in the Design District that feels authentically Greek. After a delicious meal and some good conversation, I’m typically home by midnight.

Sunday starts at JugoFresh with a Vamos Green juice – a smoothie packed with apple, cucumber and kale – followed by croque-monsieurs and croissants at French-owned La Sandwicherie. If I feel like brunch, I’ll go to Michael’s – a vibrant bistro in the Design District with excellent frittatas and people-watching.

Afternoons are often spent shopping – mostly for books or records along Lincoln Road – or visiting the Bass Museum of Art. If I am looking for unique clothes I’ll visit The Webster, a three-storey art-deco boutique that has a great café. I also like Taschen for books on art and design and I always find curious objects and new music at Base, a quirky store full of limited-edition finds.

In the evening I’ll invite people over and prepare an enormous barbecue with all kinds of meat and vegetables, best enjoyed watching the sunset with a good Malbec. And after an exciting weekend of art, food and friends, a bath with essential oils leaves me refreshed for the busy week ahead.