Classic Roc: Miami Beach hotel hasn't lost any of its cool, class

View of the Atlantic Ocean, beachfront and one of the hotel's pools from the 22nd floor of the Eden Roc Miami Beach.
View of the Atlantic Ocean, beachfront and one of the hotel's pools from the 22nd floor of the Eden Roc Miami Beach. Photo Credit: Holly V. Kapherr

Built in 1956, the Eden Roc Hotel was one of the properties that helped turn Miami Beach from a sleepy barrier island to a sun-worshipper's mecca. And while the building itself is one of the destination's grande dames, it is now home to the Nobu Hotel. The Eden Roc brand, meanwhile, has moved to an attached 23-story tower built about a decade ago.

On a recent visit to the hotel, I found that the newer digs haven't devalued the Eden Roc's currency -- it's still stylish, cool and one of the hottest addresses on the sand.

Like every other unit in the Eden Roc's tower (which start at $415 per night), my room, on the 22nd story, faced the north end of the beach. The view is unbelievable, and I made sure to draw back the blackout shades in the evening so I could be awakened by the sunrise over at least seven shades of blue in the water. While other guests, both young and not so young, splashed in the three resort pools below, I spent several quiet moments just gazing out from my balcony into the horizon. Even as a Florida native, it never gets old.

Eden Roc is a family-friendly luxury property with plenty of opportunities for parents to steal away for a couple of hours of quiet time. Options include a beach yoga class or the trendy SurfSet class, an indoor group fitness class first seen on the TV show "Shark Tank," where participants stand on a surfboard-style platform and follow the instructor's lead for a mega core-and-leg workout.

Adults should also make plans to dine at Nobu, the on-site temple of Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine known as nikkei. The restaurant, co-owned by chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert DeNiro, is sleek and sexy, adorned in black and bamboo, with a distinctly Miami soundtrack so you can eat to a gentle techno beat. We sipped sake and enjoyed a bevy of the kitchen's classic dishes. Nobu's menu is the same at all of its locations, so you can enjoy the snapper tiradito, a ceviche-sashimi hybrid, the same way at any of the 32 Nobu locations.

The arched, white stucco, candlelit hallway leading to the Eden Roc's spa feels like an ancient monastery, inviting hushed tones and a sense of peace and calm. The 110-minute South Beach Revival treatment ($320) is a decadent escape, combining a body scrub and green-clay wrap plus a 50-minute massage to regenerate skin and reverse sun damage. After the treatment, I sat in the plush relaxation room for another hour, gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows, willing myself not to return to reality.

The Eden Roc hotel is on Collins Avenue, Miami Beach's main drag, and the area is highly walkable.  Many of the city's main attractions (the Art Deco District, South Beach, the shops at Lincoln Road and the newly opened Time Out Market food hall) are within a mile or less by bike-share, rideshare, or ZipCar. Even a ride into downtown, if you time it right, doesn't take long. We spent an evening on Calle Ocho in Little Havana checking out chef Michelle Bernstein's new Cuban-fusion hotspot, Cafe La Trova, and arrived within 25 minutes. Coconut Grove, where we visited the Vizcaya Museum House & Gardens, was a 40-minute trip.

Also nearby -- just a few steps away, actually -- is Malibu Farm, the hyperlocal farm-to-table restaurant that originated on California's Pacific Coast Highway and is helmed by chef Helene Henderson. I started my visit there with a delightful lunch at an oceanside table as I waited for my room to be ready for check-in and enjoyed a salad Nicoise salad. It was one of most beautiful salads I'd ever eaten; I found it impossible not to Instagram.

Correction: Eden Roc Hotel was built in 1956. An incorrect date appeared in a previous version of this article.


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