We took the opportunity to drive down to Key West to witness the remarkable island lifestyle and experience that the Keys offer. The drive in itself is spectacular and the moment you cross over to the first Key from the mainland the landscape changes drastically. Mangroves line the border between island and open water, and the blend between blue sky and turquoise water is breath-taking.
We made a stop to see and feed Tarpons from a dock, drink a cold drink at a kitschy fisher-mans hide-out and after crossing the 7-mile bridge we eventually made it to Key West.
Sunset Key Guest Cottages, a Westin Resort, is located on gorgeous Sunset Key, a secluded 27-acre Florida island. Comprising seven acres of the island, the cottages are designed for the sophisticated traveler who demands the very best. Nestled amid this tropical paradise are luxurious one, two, three and four bedroom cottages, each designed in traditional Key West architecture and offering magnificent ocean or garden views. Every detail of the cottages captures tranquility and charm, from the pastel-colored wood finishes to the authentic Victorian-style tin roofs. Spacious wrap-around verandas, with Adirondack chairs and tables, are the perfect location to sip a glass of champagne or enjoy your complimentary breakfast basket and newspaper delivered each morning.
We got settled in our cottage and headed out to watch the sunset from the arrival dock. The temperature still remains warm despite the sun setting and not even a breeze is enough to cool you down. We headed into the mainland to go for dinner and decided to eat at Mangoes on Duval Street. The fresh seafood was outstanding and didn't disappoint visually or in taste.
The city centre remains buzzing long after dark and people from all over the world casually stroll up and down the street, browsing through shops with varying touristy merchandise.
We returned to our island residence and wrapped up the evening with a leisurely swim in the pool. After a long day full of colourful impressions we called it a day, falling asleep to the sound of waves rolling in over the beach and some distant lightning charges in the clouds.
The Miami Design District is made up primarily of old low-rise warehouses and gallery spaces, that have been reconverted into over 130 retail spaces, art galleries, showrooms, creative services, architecture firms, stores, antiques dealers, restaurants, cafés and bars. The area was not too long ago a lesser desired part of town, but has rapidly developed into a 'to-go-to' place for high-end design products and services.
We had recently come across a feature of a interior store in Elle Decor that showcased pieces custom-made by one of DaDe's craftsmen. Jalan Jalan carry the same custom made line of stainless steel cabinetry that we import from Beijing, and a line that we exclusively represent in Canada. Visiting this showroom was one of our main focuses for the trip. It was inspiring and interesting to see a different show-room, with a different flare, showcasing pieces that we have in our gallery in Calgary.
lunch with Jonathan Adler
We had lunch with Jonathan Adler at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink. Okay well not at the same table, but just one table away.
Jonathan Adler is a designer renowned for his "happy chic" approach to home furnishings and interior design, dedicated to bringing style, craft & joy to your home. Adler launched his eponymous line of furniture and accessories in 1993.
Adler is also a sought-after interior designer for luxury residential projects as well as large-scale commercial projects like the celebrity hot spot Parker Palm Springs Hotel.
cocktails by the pool at the MONDRIAN SOUTH BEACH
The Mondrian is located on newly-fashionable West Avenue, Mondrian is a quiet enclave just minutes from the bustling center of South Beach, offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. The visionary style of designer Marcel Wanders is apparent from the moment you pull into the porte-cochere: guests walk through a grand entryway appointed with custom-designed furniture, lighting and accent pieces, evoking Wanders’ design homage of “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle”. Upon entering the soaring lobby, the floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of Biscayne Bay. Immediately the eye is drawn to the masterpiece of the room–an iconic, signature “floating staircase.” Black and gold patterned furnishings and oversized brass bell shaped lights add a touch of whimsy and welcome guests to sit and socialize or enjoy the view.
The outside pool area is tastefully designed and perfect for lounging in the sun with full pool-chair service at your fingertips.
We headed off to the beautiful city of Miami for eight days, to be inspired and research art & design in Miami for DaDe.
dinner on OCEAN DRIVE & cocktails at the SETAI
OCEAN DRIVE is known for its Art Deco hotels, and is the location of the famed Versace mansion, one of the most photographed houses in North America. The street is the center of the Miami Art Deco District, which is home to about 800 preserved buildings, restored and converted into hotels, restaurants and bars.
It was an incredibly vibrant area with beautiful colours and atmosphere. The temperature was above 27 degrees Celsius long after the sun had set and just watching the vast diversity of people strolling by was mesmerizing.
The Setai is an intimate, serene oceanfront resort in the heart of South Beach. Its design vision artfully combines the rich architectural history of the neighborhood and its cultural diversity with the International Art Deco movement, particularly its influence in Asia.
We were brought to The Setai for an evening cocktail by our friend and local guide that had invited us to Miami. The outside courtyard lounge area, with its subtly lit palm trees, dimmed pool lights and fountain was the perfect setting for relaxing after a long day of travels.
The Art Deco landmark building was originally built between 1936 – 1938 as the famed Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel. Next to it is our 40-story glass tower that surpasses all around it in elevation, views and design.
Our first impressions of this incredibly vibrant city were juxtaposed with a barefoot walk down the beach, to dip our toes in the warm water that rolled in over our feet. A perfect welcome to Miami.