Originating in Basel, Switzerland, Art Basel is an art show that brings together hundreds of art galleries from around the world into one show. Since 2002, Basel has been bringing their show to the sunny shores of South Beach, Miami, and this year we were lucky enough to get a chance to experience it, Amex style.
After a slightly harrowing experience getting to the airport (I may have slept through my alarm…) we let out a communal sigh when we saw the sign for Cloud 10, granting us front of the line access through security. These speedy movements gave us enough time to grab a quick complimentary refreshment at the Plaza Premium Lounge (thanks to my platinum card) and off to Miami we went!
After checking out the list of Fine Resorts and Hotels that Amex has to offer in Miami we chose The Four Seasons Hotel Miami. Perched on the upper floors of a stunningly tall building on Brickell, this hotel is and has been one of my favorites in Miami for a while. With guaranteed good service and a pool with the sickest view, the instant upgraded room and chocolate treat we received for being a Cardmember made the deal all the more sweet.
And then we were off to the shows. The cool thing about Basel in Miami is not only the incredible crowd of arty types that descend on this tropical outpost but the ‘off Basel’ shows that pop up everywhere.
Art Miami has quickly become one of our faves. Located in the now famed Wynwood area, Art Miami brings almost 80,000 visitors yearly to its tents that feature some of the most important works of the 20 and 21st centuries.
The Wynwood district, that I alluded to earlier, if you aren’t familiar, is one of the most amazing places to see street art. Entire blocks of buildings are covered with stunning original artwork that will blow your mind and leave you starring for ever.
Art Basel is held in the Miami Convention Center just a block away from the shops on Lincoln Blvd. We were thrilled when we first pulled up to see how packed it was. So many people interested in art! From Basquiat to Picasso to some very strange interpretations of what art actually is we spent hours in what felt like a makeshift museum of modern art. Complete with traveling champagne bar carts that delivered champers on the go to the chilled out astro-turf lounge section, it was a trip into the magical world of art and all of it’s interpretations.
Now, though the art is the main attraction at Basel, the food in Miami is something to get equally as excited for. From the steak and fried Oreos at Prime 112 to the chicken and waffles at Yardbird, you are not starved for choice in this little town. We had a few fantastic meals but the best had to be on our first night at Sea Salt And Pepper. A relatively new spot in midtown, Sea Salt sits on the Miami River and is forever packed to the gills with what feels like locals – people in the know. With no plans for dinner and a party of 8 wanting to dine, I called up my Amex concierge with a hope and a prayer to get a reservation. And score! We did! Within minutes of my initial call, my Platinum Amex concierge called me back with a promise of a prime table for 8 and a birthday surprise for our friend who was celebrating his 30th.
After that score I relied heavily on my Amex concierge to book the rest of our meals and even asked them for suggestions on where else to check out. They told me about the opening of a new hotel with insane penthouses, a bowling alley and a skating rink, this spot was one to marvel.
They also recommended that I go to a little party happening at Soho Beach House. Questlove – one of my favorite humans (whom I don’t personally know) was DJ’ing and it turned out to be one of the best nights of my life.
Beach, beats, beautiful!
Though I’ve been going to Basel for many years now, this trip was for sure the best. With the help of Amex’s amazing staff I was able to take away all the stresses of planning a trip – meals, entertainment, sights – for my friends and myself.
Living an Amex life is all about enjoying the moments and often when I travel I get so caught up in the planning that I get frustrated and miss the reason why I’m actually there. Being busy and over scheduled makes being able to lean on someone, like an Amex concierge, totally invaluable.
photos by @missevarosalia