It is one of the favorite destinations for Argentines. It brings together the main fashion brands and offers high level experiences.
From the 16th floor of the Ritz-Carlton , in a suite of 50 m2, overlooking the sea and the Intracoastal Channel of Bal Harbor, little matter the rain and news coming from Buenos Aires, with a shot of the dollar that could try ? against the beach and shopping destination preferred by Argentines: Miami. Luxury is present in each five-star space, located on Collins Avenue , a few blocks from Bal Harbor Shops , the mall that brings together the most fashionable brands, jewelry and beauty of the planet and with greater profitability per m2. This is: bill more than giants like the Adventure , the Dolphin or the Sawgrass . Specially designed for the luxury consumer, it also offers a selection of designs and a shopping experience superior to that of Coral Gables . “Personalized attention, professional and exclusive treatment”, summarizes Paola Bursch, director of marketing and tourism at Bal Harbor Village . This modality is applied in its almost 100 international firms, from the Saks Fifth Avenue Collection stores to the Ralph Lauren, Prada, Fendi, Moschino, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli stores or multi-category stores like The Webster .
Go shopping for that paradise of fashion is not for anyone. The stained glass windows of Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Chanel, Gucci and even Oscar de la Renta exhibit their collections at open doors. At your fingertips there are D & G portfolios at US $ 3,695, Celine dresses at US $ 2,600, Chanel sweaters at US $ 3,500 and Gucci loafers at US $ 1,163. The company that sells the most? “It’s confidential,” says Gotmar Giron, director of Public Relations and Special Events at BHS. Although we all know that Chanel and Gucci are the most sought after brands, Roberto Cavalli, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Salvatore Ferragamo or Emporio Armani await tourists to offer an authentic shopping experience.
Gucci invites from its stained glass window, set with motifs inspired by the 50 years of French May. Liberté, Igualité, Sexualité , reinterprets true to his style. Only jewelry stores such as Bvlgari, Van Cleef & Arpels or Chopard attend closed doors for security reasons. Not in vain in David Yurman get pink-rinks of emeralds (the ring for the little finger that is trendy) to $ 7,300. In this jewelry they combine emeralds, diamonds, rubies and sapphires with exotic stones such as black onyx, red tiger eye and river stone . There are even pearl necklaces that cost $ 58,000.
Who buy? Which are the most outstanding clients? “As the years go by, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Russia and Canada. This is a tourist center “, defines Giron. And it remains at the forefront of sales, despite the opening of international mega-stores, with the main brands, in the Design District . “It is not the same to buy in Bal Harbor, in these galleries, than in a district on the street and in the open air,” he compares the PR without mentioning the 30 ° C temperature.
As an example of the “good weather” he alludes to, the exhibition of products offered at the Diptyque perfumery, founded in Paris, in 1934, is enough. From aromatic candles with essences of lemon, linen, banana or gardenia to US $ 65 up to 34 exclusive, unisex fragrances, inspired by different cities around the world, that can be shared and freely chosen to assemble the travel set. Even its packaging is interactive. Designed by the artist Carnovski, they are modified according to the color you look at when playing with 3D glasses.
Arming the box of chocolates in Vasalissa (yes, the Argentine brand of chocolates, which landed in Bal Harbor) or eat in restaurants like Makoto (one of the best Japanese cuisine in the United States), Carpaccio (the favorite of celebrities as Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian), Le Zoo and The Grill is part of the shopping offer that is about to expand. With signatures on the waiting list, Bal Harbor Shops plans to renew and invest US $ 400 million in its remodeling , which will double the current space. Fifty years after its inauguration, the heirs of Stanley Whitman, its founder, want to ensure that the shop is “the global leader in the luxury shopping business”.
The expansion will add about 32,000 m2 and double the number of premises it currently has. They anticipate the arrival of the first Barneys New York , improvements to the Neiman Marcus store and new restaurants, such as Freds at Barneys . With the expansion they will include 60 more stores, without losing their DNA. Saint Laurent needs more space to bring his men’s collection. Several stores want to have two floors, like Valentino , and grow vertically. This new investment will provide the neighborhood with more than US $ 100 million in public benefits, in addition to millions in annual taxes. It is a maxim: money attracts money.
100% tourism “They say that there is a millionaire here per square meter, more than anywhere else in the United States,” says Carmen Florio, representative of Bal Harbor in Argentina. Within Miami, this is the most exclusive neighborhood, he says, and also the most accessible. In the low season, a five star hotel like the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbor charges US $ 399 for the double standard and between US $ 700/800 for the suite. It also has a special promotion for Latin America, with a 15% discount and a check-out .
“Argentina is a very important market for us. It is a very demanding public “, says the Venezuelan Beatriz Lobaton, Senior Travel Industry Manager of this boutique hotel. With 95 rooms, barely two per floor, a gym open 24 hours, pools with individual jacuzzis, private beaches, bikes, shuttle service (free up to 6 miles, on board a latest model of Mercedes Benz), jogging circuits, a collection of art valued at US $ 3,000,000 and a program of Couture Concierge (by the hand of the personal shopper and stylist Elysze Heldse), became the preferred destination for Colombian, Brazilian and Russian tourists, who can stay for up to six months .
Spa does not lack. The exclusive Exhale, located also facing the sea, offers massages, facials, acupuncture, sauna, steam baths and beauty salons. It is part of the holistic orientation chain with offices in California and other US cities. After a ” fusion massage ” decontracting one hour (not 50 ‘) with peppermint oil, as the masseuse says, “you’re ready for Miami.”
The high season begins in November / December, with New York tourists arriving after the first Black Friday .
The Argentines land from May and take advantage of the accommodation offers of the four hotels that Bal Harbor has , in addition to The Ritz-Carlton: Quarzo , an intermediate between the department and the hotel, with kitchen, bedrooms en suite, living and service of maid (from $ 180 a night for three people); the traditional Sea View Hotel, opened in 1948, one of the oldest in Miami, with 220 rooms (at US $ 165 for four people with breakfast in the off-season), and The St. Regis , the only 5-diamond resort in Miami Beach , with 227 rooms facing the sea and Bal Harbor shopping.
Any promo? Four days and the fifth free starting at US $ 499. In the St.Regis the transfers to the center are done in Rolls Royce , a luxury really, and they also teach macarons, among other experiences. “We live in the city of ‘ marble ‘. If it rains we go from the sea to the mall, “jokes Graciela Poggio, another Argentinean based in Miami, pastry chef at the hotel 15 years ago.
In truth, beach, shopping and art are part of this particular lifestyle. With residences already listed at 11 million dollars, private tours and cultural and artistic programs, special for those staying in the Village , which allow free access to all the museums of the city thanks to the Art Access card, BH competes ( and coexists) with Miami Beach. Two authentic jewels of the Caribbean.