ELLE Escapes: Art Basel Miami 2021

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Whether you’re sneaking away for a mid-winter retreat (highly recommended for those of us East Coasters suffering from seasonal affective disorder) or visiting for the annual Art Basel fair—it’s summer vibes all year long in Magic City. Here’s our guide on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Miami Beach. Will Smith really did say it best: “Welcome to Miami.”

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Planta

You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the menu at this 100 percent plant-based restaurant. Chef David Lee’s imagination has taken classic dishes like burgers, nachos with queso, and ceviche and reincarnated them using in-season and sustainable vegetables.

Mandolin

Tato Gomez

In 2009, husband-and-wife duo Ahmet Erkaya and Anastasia Koutsioukis restored a gorgeous 1940s home, transforming it into a Greek and Turkish restaurant. The food, the weather, and the atmosphere all make it feel like you’re sitting on the coast of the Aegean sea—though Miami isn’t bad, either.

Taquiza

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Order the blue corn-tortilla tacos. Full stop. There are 13 different fillings (everything from mahi and Impossible chorizo to chapulines) to choose from, topped off with homemade salsas. First bite will have you thankful you can order it for delivery anywhere in the nation on Goldbelly.

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The Freehand

Justin Namon

Forget any preconceived notions you have about hostels—The Freehand is an Insta-worthy haven that just happens to have hostel-style accommodations. Sleeping quarters include bunk rooms (that all have full-size beds—great for a bachelorette party or girl’s trip) and private suites, and it’s within walking distance from both nightlife and the beach.

Casa Tua

This renovated villa is both a boutique hotel and a romantic dinner spot in one. The name translates from Italian to “your home,” and the cozy vibes will make you feel that way, too.

The 1 Hotel South Beach

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If you’re looking to stay within walking distance of all the action (whether you’re here for Art Basel or just going out for the weekend and beach), try this mid-Beach hotel. Bike rentals make scooting around sans-car a breeze.

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The Standard Hotel’s Basement

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A rave-worthy light show meets your favorite birthday party activities—bowling and ice skating—inside The Standard Hotel’s basement. Everything from your shoe rentals and accessories glow, too.

The Art Basel Fair

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Last year’s fair was canceled—so 2021’s is coming back bigger and better. Wind your way through the U.S. outpost of the famed Art Basel, where more than 270 galleries from across the globe will display their work. Art Basel Miami is open from December 2nd to 4th and all visitors must wear a mask and either provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.

La Prairie Beach Club

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Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie is hosting a pop-up event on December 2nd with Taiwanese artist, dancer, and choreographer Wen-Chi Su. La Prairie will also debut the newest addition to their White Caviar skincare line, White Caviar Essence Extraordinaire, which will be coming out in March of 2022. You can register for a ticket here.

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