A Hotel for All Seasons

At The Four Seasons in Miami, the stay is both down to earth and over the top

At The Four Seasons in Miami, the stay is both down to earth and over the top

By Kylie Wang

On the day I arrived at the Four Seasons on Brickell, it was pouring down Miami’s infamous “white rain,” the blinding drench that Miami locals know all too well. Still, despite lashing winds

that drove the rain partway into the covered underground driveway, the well-oiled machine of the Four Seasons’ service arm didn’t miss a step, directing us out of the storm and into the warmth of the tower’s ground floor lobby. This is what the Four Seasons does best – service that negates the need to think. Want an umbrella? Ask the concierge and he’ll quite literally go running to find one. Want a bottle of wine at EDGE, the hotel’s on-site steakhouse, that’s only available at one of the restaurants downstairs? The manager will return with it in a matter of minutes.

The result of this fluid service is a personalized experience, something unexpected from such a large corporate hotel chain. Worldwide, the Toronto-based company currently operates more than 100 hotels and resorts with tens of thousands of employees. But at the Four Seasons Miami, the space feels oddly intimate – not cramped, but certainly less grand than the 70-story skyscraper (Miami’s second-tallest) might boast on first impression. The reason is a combination of factors, some due to the hotel’s relative size compared to the entire tower (the Four Seasons hotel occupies floors seven to 36 with the rest of the building devoted to office space and condominiums) and the design of the common spaces, which encourage close communion.

The hotel has 221 rooms and suites and 84 residential units. On top of that is another 14,831-square-feet of meeting space, including a 5,830-square-foot ballroom and five breakout rooms. There may be better sites for huge conferences, but an outdoor reception at the Palm Grove Pool, where palm trees grow out of the water and pop-up bars can be strategically placed in the shallows, is a very Miami way of doing business.

For one-on-one meetings, however, it would be hard not to seal the deal at EDGE, Steak & Bar. The restaurant, located in the seventh-floor lobby, focuses on contemporary American cuisine under the direction of executive chef Aaron Brooks and restaurant chef Juan Jimenez. Brooks is Australian, which might explain the sourcing of the Wagyu churrasco ($52), which is grade seven (of nine) and mouthwateringly tender, paired with au poivre sauce and cipollini onions that fall apart into bite-sized pieces. Jimenez is from Ecuador, and the menu is his, which explains the snapper ceviche ($22) paired with leche de tigre sauce and mariquitas (plantain chips).

The restaurant manages to be both social and private, offering the seclusion of comfortable booths. The same is true for the pool, which has 11 private cabanas, and for the on-site Equinox gym, which offers private instruction. The facilities are expansive: 50,000-square-feet with all the usual equipment, plus a bevy of additional machines, studios for boxing and Pilates, a steam room and sauna, and daily classes in spinning, yoga, and the like. For anyone planning on daily workouts during their visit, the gym is reason enough to stay at the Four Seasons.

Similarly, anyone worn out from a long international flight will want to visit the spa, also operated by Equinox, for a signature regeneration package. Running over three hours, the package includes a full body scrub, hydrating body wrap, aromatherapy massage, and regenerative facial, all designed to reduce jetlag and increase serenity. Other offerings are available, as well as salon services at Rik Rak, which does everything from highlights to manicures.

With hospitality down to a science and a close-knit experience that makes a visit feel more like coming home after a long day, the Four Seasons makes traveling easy and, beyond that, comfortable. Most of the client-facing employees come from international backgrounds, which facilitates communication, and the service is exceptional. Also impressive is the atmosphere created by the design of the hotel. In the lobby along the hallway leading to the pool, there were small booths and tables, full of guests planning their excursions for the day or deciding what time to meet a client for dinner, everyone choosing to be in a comfortable shared space rather than their private rooms.

As I departed the next day, now under clear skies and fresh from a morning swim in the pool, I wondered if it was possible to stay here forever. The answer is yes, of course, which is why the Four Seasons offers permanent residences. As the hotel’s website declares, “We can arrange virtually anything.”

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