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Discovering what’s fresh and delicious at the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, Miami’s Zen-chic Japanese beach house

By Glenn Harris on 4th April 2019

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past 30 years, you know Nobu as the exceptional Japanese restaurant chain led by the power team of Robert DeNiro and Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. What makes Nobu so special is not only the  great food; there are countless Japanese restaurant that do not have his cult following. It is the irreverent style and culinary excellence of Chef Nobu and his quest to make Japanese food better and to give guests a memorable dining experience.

Nobu’s success comes from Japanese and South American culinary influences as well as the restaurateur finesse of Robert DeNiro. The Nobu team has now done that same for the hospitality industry by infusing style and taste into a group of exquisite hotels that blend  luxury, Japanese style with local influences. These locations also happen to be strategically located in the most coveted jetsetter locations around the world such as in the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach.

The Nobu Hotel chain is blazing a path around the world opening hotels and getting it right just as they have with their string of global restaurants. The Miami Nobu was no accident. It is a hotel within a hotel located within the Eden Roc Hotel of Miami Beach.  The Eden Roc Hotel was built in 1956 by Miami’s design legend Morris Lapidus who was the founder of the Miami Modern (MiMo ) architecture.  Fate would have it that in the sixties,  Robert DeNiro vacationed there as a child with his grandparents and fell in love with the hotel. Fast forward to this era and when it came time to plan for a hotel in Miami, DeNiro immediately sought out to create his Nobu Hotel there and today has a 206 room hotel within the Eden Roc Hotel complex in the original building designed by Lapidus.

The hotel has managed to recreate it’s brand of cool by fashioning a Japanese Beach House in the middle of Miami. The hotel shares common spaces with the Eden Roc as well as offering exclusive spaces, amenities and benefits for Nobu hotel guests. The bar area of the hotel is the original soaring central bar created by Lapidus in the 50s and redesigned by heralded architect David Rockwell.  There guests congregate accompanied by a hand-crafted cocktail in the evenings or as a place to gather before hitting the beach during the day. The hotel exudes a barefoot luxury experience from the design and décor and level of service.   In addition to the accommodations, the Nobu Hotel Miami is home to the Nobu restaurant and other dining outlets, several pools and large swath of idyllic  beach as a full service pampering spa.

Like the Nobu restaurant, the hotel concept takes the Zen cool of Japan and fuses with local trendiness creating a distinct and hip vibe. The concept is a Japanese Beach House in the Middle of Miami Beach and that compliment and contrast is found in the feng shui of the hotel with the calming color pallet of natural colors of the blue sea and wood of the forest. The hallways are accented with Japanese lantern wall fixtures yielding soft light over cherry trees designs in the wall coverings and black-and-white photographs of Japanese landscapes.

One can instantly draw similarities between the accommodations and dinner at Nobu. Only the finest fresh ingredients perfectly plated and ready to be enjoyed. The difference  here is that the “ingredients” of the 206 rooms and suites offer a fresh and calming feeling from the minimalistic décor nourished with a natural color pallet of brown with blue accents,  luxurious high quality furnishings and unforgettable views of the sea or bay.  The “ executive chef” is the highly regarded architect David Rockwell who continued the Japanese Beach House perspective with organic woods finishes, textured surfaces with silk cherry blossom wall prints and fine objects d’ art found in the rooms and suites.  The bedrooms are uber comfortable with Nobu signature bed by Simmons with pillow top, Fili D’Oro Italian bed linens while the bathrooms feature rainfall showers with subway tiles,  teak benches, and custom Natura Bissé bath amenities infused with a rosemary white tea fragrance.

The suites and villas are another level of comfort, amenities and space to spread out. One suite that is an ideal way to fully enjoy what the property has to offer is the Umi Suite.  The minimalist and  tranquil décor creates a calming and Zen like restful stay as does the rich brown wood complemented by plank wood floors , Japanese art pieces and artwork by Marke Edward Harris. Other amenities include a walk in closet, one and  a half bath, and dining area with table sized for six persons as well as 65” Smart televisions in both the living room and bedroom.

What guests will also love are the incredible views from the UMI suite which is located high above on the 15th floor of the hotel. The floor to ceiling windows flood the rooms with natural light as well as giving incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond the interiors there are outdoor dining areas ideal for breakfast room service or to take in some sun as well. With the wrap around corner suite, guests will find plenty of time for their private balcony delicious sunrise vistas over the sea’s horizon as well as the yachts coming and going up the Intercoastal waterways or Biscayne Bay and Miami skyline toward the west.

Many  of today’s  hotels start out with a great place to stay and then bring in a well-recognized restaurant chain to give the hotel cache. Nobu did it the other way around, they created a dining experience recognized for being hip and unique and then decided to build hotels to complete the lifestyle circle. Needless to say the dining experience is what you would expect at Nobu; imaginative, memorable Japanese-fusion cuisine and a place to enjoy good food with friends. It also happens to be the largest Nobu restaurant in the group.

For those who don’t know, Nobu has also added another unique dining experience under its hospitality umbrella with Malibu Farms which focuses on fresh healthy locally sourced food. Their location at the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach is ideal overlooking the sea and beach with a robust menu of wholesome farm-to-fork  organic food with ingredients sourced from local producers.

Like New York, Miami is a city that never sleeps, with so much to do it can be a dizzying proposition to figure out.  Away from the property there is the Bal Harbour Shops which is an exclusive  mall filled with luxury brand and high-end boutiques  or one can wander down to the Lincoln Road promenade for some retail therapy. Just next door to the property is one of the hottest clubs in the world, Liv,  and after a night of clubbing, partiers can wobble back to the Nobu Hotel which is only yards away. There are endless offerings of clubs, restaurants and things to do in Miami Beach or just a short uber ride is Midtown, the Wynwood District, Brickell  and many other fun places to check out in Miami.

Back at the Nobu, guests will more often than not choose to stay put. There are four pools with one for exclusive use by Nobu guests as well as the fantastic beach with rows of white umbrellas, chaise lounges and nattily dressed beach boys at the ready with a cold drink and fresh towel.

For another level of relaxation Nobu hosts a world class  Esencia Wellness spa.  The 22,000-square-foot spa offers special complimentary access and services for Nobu Hotel guests including access to hydrotherapy circuit of whirlpools, plunge pools, saunas, and hydro-experience showers. The spa menu is comprehensive and includes special Nobu-centric treatments such Nobu Nagomi Ritual (an Asian-inspired foot bath, exfoliation, and massage), Nobu Zen (a customized aromatic oil massage) and Japanese Silk (a stimulating treatment featuring a hot stone massage and hair mask).To keep those bodies beach worthy there is also a state-of-the-art gym equipment and daily fitness classes.

Nobu is really a wonderful business concept that has carefully taken their brand known for outstanding culinary experiences and pivoted to hospitality with the same sense of comfortable luxury, attention to details, and hip vibe. The hotels are sure to be a success in their hipster hangout meccas around the world just as you’ll find in the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach.

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