Not only was the trip my first visit to Miami but also my first experience with Wow air. We flew from London Gatwick to Miami with a brief stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland. I didn’t know much about Wow air until this trip, which is crazy as someone who is always on the hunt for a cheap flight. You can fly to Miami from as little as £139 one way! The flight time including the stop over is about 12-13 hours, so you’re adding about 2-3 hours onto your journey time, but saving more money for all the Mojitos you’re likely to consume when you get there. And in all honesty – I actually enjoyed the stopover, it gave us time to grab a decent breakfast at Reykjavik, have a freshen up, stretch our legs and dare I say it, connect to the wifi.
We arrived in Miami at around 9pm and headed straight to our accommodation for the next two nights – Loews Hotel, situated in the heart of South Beach. After a swift outfit change we reconvened at the hotels incredible restaurant, Lure Fishbar. We ate family style and ordered a huge range of sushi, oysters and the most delicious fresh shellfish. It was the perfect welcome to the city and we went to bed full of food and anticipation for the next day.
The mixture of jetlag and excitement meant I was awake in time to watch the sunrise from my balcony, coffee in hand, with views of the ocean to the left, Downtown Miami to the right and the hotel pool directly below. If there was ever a perfect wake-up call – this would be it…
ART DECO TOUR
When you think of Miami the first thing that springs to mind is likely to be Ocean Drive, it was for me. Lined with the most incredible Art Deco buildings in various pastel hues. With its myriad of sports cars and roller skaters cruising up and down the strip, it’s the perfect spot to people watch and take in the atmosphere. What I had no idea about was the history behind the district, thanks to Miami Design Preservation League, I learned that before the 1920’s the Miami area was mainly farmland, it was sold off cheaply and it wasn’t until the 1920’s and 30’s when Art Deco was in full swing that the area really started to boom. These days most of the buildings are protected and can’t be modified ensuring that the Art Deco design that it has become so famous for remains. Oh and the beach is man made!
We visited on a Friday afternoon and indulged in the eclectic lunch menu, they offer a range of sushi and tapas as well as classic American pizzas and burgers. We ate in the sun whilst the resident DJ’s played Beyoncé mixes and it’s safe to say I was in my ELEMENT! With cabanas and sunbeds aplenty we made our way down to the beach area (there isn’t a pool unlike other Nikki Beaches) to enjoy a cocktail, take in the views and listen to the guy on the Sax.
Side note: Their Coconut Cream cake is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.
Española Way is a charming historic street in South Beach which as you may have guessed by the name has a huge Latin influence. Reminiscent of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, there are plenty of restaurants and bars lining the street with the most amazing atmosphere to match. In typical Spanish fashion we had a tapas feast at the brilliant Tapas y Tintos whilst we watched the nightly Flamenco show. The street is also rumoured to do the best Mojitos in Miami, you need to try for yourself!
NEW WORLD SYMPHONY
I don’t even know where to begin describing our evening at NWS other than to say I was completely blown away. The New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships of up to three years. With more than 1,500 applicants and only 35 available fellowships per year, the competition is extremely high. Successful applicants are able to take advantage of the Frank Gehry designed New World Center, which boasts some of the most state of the art and innovative performance facilities in the world.
On the particular night we visited the programme was Pulse: Late Night at the Movies which TimeOut describes as ‘a great introduction to the world of classical music’ and I couldn’t agree more. Miami’s New World Symphony takes on iconic pieces of music from the world of cinema, such as James Bond and Star Wars but with help from Miami DJ Dude Skywalker. It was one of my favourite experiences of the entire weekend, you have to experience it for yourself to understand what I mean.
WYNWOOD BY BIKE
Wynwood is the trendy arts district of Miami, think London’s Shoreditch, but on a much grander scale. What started as a small warehouse neighbourhood is now home to the coolest galleries, bars and restaurants in the city. The famous Wynwood Walls is a great place to start
If you’re visiting the area. Then grab a Citi bike, (Miami’s Boris bike equivalent) like we did to try and cover as much ground as possible. There is so much to see that it’s impossible on foot. This area of Miami is a Graffiti lover’s paradise. We were given a tour by Miami’s Best Graffiti Guide who is also an artist himself, he showed us all the must sees as well as some places off the beaten track where we saw some artists in action.
A big thank you to Wow air and Visit Miami for hosting me.
WOW air flies from London Gatwick to Reykjavik twice daily. Prices start from just £29.99 one way including taxes (WOW Basic package)
As of winter 2018, the airline will service 38 destinations across Europe, North America and Canada including Los Angeles, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, Miami, Pittsburgh, New York and Chicago. WOW air also recently launched routes to Cleveland (inaugural flight 3 May 2018), Cincinnati (inaugural flight 9 May 2018), Detroit (inaugural flight 25 April 2018), St. Louis (inaugural flight 17 May 2018) and Dallas (inaugural flight 23 May 2018).
Flights to Miami started in April 2017 and operate 2x a week via KEF. Lead in fares LGW-MIA are £139.99 (one-way, WOW Basic package).
For more information or to book please visit www.wowair.co.uk or call 0118 321 8384.