There’s a little something I love to do, and that is luxuriate. It’s a way to approach life. It’s a state of mind. It’s lounging in comfortable environs, savoring every morsel of a gourmet meal, reveling in a beautifully written sentence, relishing the touch of a fine silk or cashmere (even George Costanza said he’d drape himself in velvet if it was socially acceptable). It’s akin to the art of doing nothing. I’ve always said that I’m not much of a napper, but I can lounge like the Queen of Sheeba. And while you can luxuriate anywhere (I’ve tried to create a home built for it), it’s best done, of course, in a luxurious setting, like say, in a fluffy robe on a king size bed with lots of pillows and a fresh down comforter sipping a glass of chilled Champagne as you gaze through floor to ceiling windows looking out at sailboats and yachts cutting through the Miami River and Biscayne Bay from a 37th floor suite at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. See what I mean? It’s a picture perfect place to luxuriate.
I checked in last Saturday afternoon, and my room had a definite wow factor as soon as I stepped through the threshold. The color palette is rich in chocolates, caramels, honey and gold. Plush carpeting in a sunburst pattern radiates from underneath the bed. For the business traveler, there’s a large desk with all the accessories, and for the lounger, a pair of chairs and Â an ottoman in dark chocolate await.
I love a luxurious bathroom and this one was large with honey-gold marble his and her sinks with a glass shower and separate tub. The television inlaid into the bathroom mirror along with a cushioned stool to sit on makes doing your hair and makeup far less of a chore. I appreciated the special touches, like a bathroom stocked with quality bath products, bergamot bath salts by the tub and a small vile of essential oil aromatherapy at turn down with instructions to use in the shower to invigorate you in the morning.
Shortly after check-in, I headed down to the enliven Spa on the 20th floor for a deep tissue massage. While amenities are minimal (a dry sauna and shower in the ladies locker room), those floor to ceiling views (and high ceilings, at that) were something to marvelÂ atÂ in robe and slippersÂ while munching on a green apple and sipping water in a cushy chaise lounge awaiting my treatment.
Between years of working on boats and hours spent in front of a computer screen combined with an old yoga injury, my muscles manage to kink up into pretty extravagant knots. My masseuse Rosie didn’t mess around. It’s fabulous when a masseuse has a real knowledge of the body’s muscle tissue and is observant of individualized needs. She tackled some tender tissue that I wasn’t even aware of and figured out my yoga injury without my telling her. My only mistake was not upgrading from 50 to 80 minutes. You can’t rush luxuriating, after all.
While the spa itself may not be flush with amenities, the rest of the hotel certainly is. A spacious clean gym (floor to ceiling views, again) with state of the art equipment shares the 20th floor with the spa, and one floor down is an outdoor pool, full court basketball gymnasium, bowling lane and media room. The athlete and the sunbather has plenty of ground to cover in luxuriant pursuits.
JW Marriott Marquis Miami is also home to celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne, a modern interpretation on the classic French bistro. The dining room is gorgeous (high ceilings here, too) with cushy cloth upholstered banquettes in slate grey, white table cloths and playful models of the Eiffel Tower as decor.
But enough about the dining room, let’s dig into the menu. The restaurant is particularly famous for its $34 Original db Burger made with sirloin stuffed with braised beef short rib stuffed with black truffle foie gras served on a parmesan bun with pomme frites. That falls under the category of decadence to the extreme. As a lover of burgers, I knew I had to try it and it did not disappoint.
Db is also noted for its Burgundy escargots prepared in garlic, almond and parsley with potato croquettes, and they were positively sumptuous. We were also delighted with our salad course (my dinner guest Galena loved the red mustard greens in her Swank Farm tomato salad and I loved the garlic sausage in my Beaujolais salad). And as if all of that were not enough, my bourbon chocolate fondant dessert with caramel sauce upstaged the entire affair. A swoon-worthy meal, to say the least.
And where better to retire to after luxuriating over a three hour long dinner paired with martinis and rosĂ© Champagne? Back to my 37th floor suite and right in the middle of that king size bed. Sweet dreaming.