Es­cape the stir of South Beach and dis­cover the posh pool­sides, luxe shop­ping, and gourmet din­ing Bal Har­bour has to of­fer.


in Mi­ami can be less than restora­tive. The busy beach­fronts and late nights as­so­ci­ated with South Beach can be ar­du­ous for even the most sea­soned trav­eller; you leave need­ing a sec­ond va­ca­tion to re­cu­per­ate from the first. But jour­ney only 30 min­utes north of the neon mini dresses that lit­ter Ocean Drive, and you’ll find Bal Har­bour: a slice of sandy heaven that is in­fin­itely more re­fined.

This teensy area of Mi­ami is a blip along Collins Av­enue—blink and you’ll have passed through— but what Bal Har­bour lacks in size, it makes up for in lux­ury. Here, you’ll dis­cover more high-end restau­rants, ho­tels, and ex­otic cars per square me­tre than al­most any­where else in the world, and some of the most up­scale shop­ping, too. With a foot­print of only one-and-a-half square kilo­me­tres, park­ing is lim­ited, and the ma­jor­ity of ocean­front ac­cess is pri­vate, re­served solely for res­i­dents ( just 3,000 peo­ple ac­tu­ally live here) and ho­tel guests, so it im­me­di­ately feels exclusive.


Sit­u­ated on the shore­line over­look­ing the At­lantic is the St. Regis Bal Har­bour Re­sort, a sprawl­ing lux­ury re­treat with a sur­pris­ingly in­ti­mate air. Just a few steps into the ho­tel, and its op­u­lence is pal­pa­ble. In the lobby, guests are greeted with a flute of Cham­pagne, and floor-to-ceil­ing pen­tagon-shaped mir­rors—an el­e­vated, yet sub­tle nod to the Art Deco in South Beach—make an im­pres­sive state­ment. Ev­ery suite has an ocean view and a bal­cony—an ideal break­fast spot.

Out­side, white lounge chairs line the two sleek pools. For pri­vacy, guests can en­joy one of the re­sort’s ocean-fac­ing ca­banas, which are es­sen­tially minia­ture suites con­tain­ing a bed, bath­room and tele­vi­sion, with am­ple seat­ing out­side. Each ca­bana has an ap­pointed but­ler—an at­ten­ta­tive staff mem­ber who will bring drinks, charge your iPhone, or an­swer any press­ing ques­tions—and can be booked daily. You’ll feel like an incog­nito celebrity by the day's end.


The Shops at Bal Har­bour can­not be missed. This year marks the open-air mall’s 50th an­niver­sary, and the cal­i­bre of stores is some­thing worth cel­e­brat­ing in it­self. Saint Lau­rent, Alexan­der Mc­Queen, and Go­yard are a few note­wor­thy bou­tiques, all of which carry sea­sonal col­lec­tions and hard-to-find pieces. On the sec­ond floor, Mi­ami’s own multi-brand bou­tique, The Web­ster, of­fers an ex­pertly cu­rated range of fash­ion (think colour­ful Cé­line trio bags, Chloé cu­lottes, and Margiela belts).

But there’s more to do than shop. Skin­care stu­dio Gee Beauty pro­vides a va­ri­ety of treat­ments like makeup ap­pli­ca­tion and eye­brow shap­ing. On the third floor, an in­ti­mate gallery space, Fash­ion Project, hosts ro­tat­ing exhibitions and is open seven days a week, free of charge. Sit­u­ated next door is a beau­ti­ful book­store, Books and Books, that’s worth a browse, too. Cap off the day by peo­ple-watch­ing over a cock­tail at the open-air bar in the court­yard, sur­rounded by tall, sway­ing palms.


Din­ing op­tions in Bal Har­bour are de­li­cious. Makoto, a mod­ern Ja­panese restau­rant, serves up unique dishes like char­coal-grilled cau­li­flower and deep-fried sushi. Its dark dé­cor is cozy and invit­ing, the kind of lo­cale you could hap­pily lose sev­eral hours in. Nearby, Le Zoo’s clas­sic French cui­sine can be en­joyed out­doors on a charm­ing ter­race.

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