Brickell Key Skyline Aerial Credit Gmcvb
By Lucy McGuire | 09 April 2018

A Luxury Guide to Brickell, Miami

Home to world-leading financial companies and exclusive real-estate, Brickell is becoming the fastest growing business district in Miami. Yet its impressive choice of luxury hotels and burgeoning food and leisure scene are attracting the luxury-seeking traveller, just as much as those on business.

The history of Brickell, Miami

Brickell lies just south of the Miami River and Miami’s historic Central Business District. And beyond the gleaming skyscrapers, it has a rich and layered history.

When modern settlers began arriving into the now Downtown area, much of the innovation began in Brickell. Pioneers, William and Mary Brickell opened up a trading post on the south bank of Miami River. And they, along with the ‘Father of Miami’, Henry M. Flagler, and businesswoman, Julia Tuttle, pioneered the Florida East Coast Railway, which opened up business into the city.

By the 1920s, property in Brickell was booming with the arrival of sought-after real estate and the former ‘Millionaires Row’. Flagler went on to develop hotels and the two man-made islands known as Brickell Key, which are now a single island, home to luxury property.

Today, more than 50 banks, insurance and real estate organisations occupy Brickell’s ‘FiDi’, forming the largest financial district in the United States, behind Manhattan. It only seems natural that an upscale leisure and social scene should follow.


Photo: Icon Brickell low angle view | credit GMCVB

A destination for the discerning traveller


Brickell City Centre is, without a doubt, the best destination for luxury shopping in Brickell. Housed within a sophisticated, 500,000 square-feet open-air space, this multi-layered mall houses a variety of beauty, home décor, jewellery and apparel stores. Expect premium labels such as Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue, Acqua di Parma, and Lululemon, as well as a selection of nail and blow-dry bars. Mary Brickell Village offers a range of beauty salons and barbers, jewellery and fashion stores too.

Lucy Mc Guire Brickell City Centre
Lucy Mc Guire Brickell City Centre 2

Photos: Brickell City Centre | credit Lucy McGuire


For a chic breakfast or Pan-Latin inspired lunch, drop into B Bistro & Bakery, run by Peruvian chef Henry Hané. Highlights include guava and cream cheese pastelito pancakes and delectable pastries.

B Bistro Bakery Interior
Cuisine At B Bistro Bakery

Photos: B Bistro & Bakery

Quinto La Huella is the first American outpost of the much-lauded restaurant Parador la Huella in Uruguay. Situated in the stylish EAST Hotel in Brickell City Centre, executive chef Nano Crespo serves prime steaks and seafood cooked in a traditional wood parrilla, alongside a sushi counter and excellent South American wines.

East Miami Quinto La Parilla 1 Withpeople
East Miami Quinto Terrace Copy 2

Photos: Quinto La Huella restaurant

The award-winning NAOE, on Brickell Key Drive, impresses gourmands with bento boxes, sushi and a traditional ‘omakase’ concept. Chef and owner Kevin Cory is known for his premium sake, imported from the family-run Nakamura Brewery and his shoyu (soy sauce), which has been produced in the Japanese town of Oono since 1825. Guests are asked to book around 90 days in advance.

EDGE Steak and Bar wins over diners with its succulent Kansas-reared steaks and elegant setting. Occupying an inside-outside dining room at the Four Seasons Hotel, highlights include a Wagyu Thomas Farms New York strip and 18oz boneless rib eye. Consider dropping by for Sunday brunch.

Spa & Leisure

For the most sought-after fitness class in Miami, book a session at SoulCycle. This high-intensity indoor cycling class has almost reached cult-status in the US and this stylish studio on 25 SW 9th Street is one of three in Miami.

Relax and unwind at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key Drive. This five-star retreat comprises of sauna and steam rooms, 11 treatment rooms and a wide range of eastern-inspired treatments. Book a VIP spa suite for added luxury and views over Biscayne Bay.

Bars & Nightlife

Sugar occupies the 40th floor of EAST, Miami and attracts Miami’s most fashionable crowds. Enjoy Asian-inspired tapas, premium spirits and Champagne as well as Eastern-inspired cocktails. Sit in the stylish bar or in the Balinese-inspired rooftop garden for impressive views.

East Miami Sugar 3

Photo: Sugar rooftop bar inside EAST Miami hotel

La Petite Maison Miami on Brickell Bay Drive is the fourth outpost of the famed London eatery. It’s primarily a restaurant and is worth visiting for their sharing plates of fois gras-stuffed chicken and Osetra caviar. Alternatively, take a seat at the bar amongst the Miami socialites and try their award-winning Tomatini cocktail.

Arguably one of the most glamorous nightspots in Brickell, MO Bar + Lounge is a favourite spot for sipping expertly-crafted cocktails into the early hours. At weekends, guests can enjoy live music acts such as acoustic guitarists and Cuban jazz.

BLUME is one of the key nightclubs in Brickell for the chic Miami night owls. It promises a contemporary nightclub experience with live music, psychedelic lighting, a garden terrace and a large dancefloor overlooked by a huge LED chandelier. VIP reservations are available.

History & Culture

At the mouth of the Miami River at Brickell Point, is a National Historic Landmark where indigenous Tequesta people lived for 2,000 years. The site, known as Miami Circle, is a 38-foot ring of post holes, carved into the bedrock, where the foundations of a wooden dwelling once stood. Brickell Point is recognised as a place where Europeans, Cubans and other immigrants arrived into Florida through history and offers a pleasant place to admire the views and luxurious yachts.

Although not strictly part of Brickell, the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, is a glorious place to spend an afternoon and offers an intriguing look back at the early years of Miami city. Built by socialite and retired millionaire James Deering in the early 1900s, this opulent Italian villa, a couple of miles south of Brickell, is arguably, one of Miami’s most opulent homes.

Miami Circle National Historic Landmark 1 Credit Gmcvb

Photo: Miami Circle National Historic Landmark | credit GMCVB

Stylish stays

EAST, Miami is a five-star hotel in the heart of Brickell City Centre. Owned by the Swire Hotels property group, guests can expect sleek, Feng Shui-inspired guest rooms, a sustainable ethos and fantastic city views, with a sprawling 5th-floor swimming area. For the height of luxury, opt for the private Residence Suites which boast spacious living areas and kitchens with mod cons.

East Miami Pool 1
Eastsuite 1
Eastsuite Bathroom

Photos: exterior pool and suite room, EAST Miami Hotel

Real Estate

The manmade island of Brickell Key, also known as Claughton Island, has long been a sought-after Miami neighbourhood amongst Real Estate investors. This exclusive island plays home to luxurious high-rise condos and a small collection of shops and restaurants, encircled by the lush Brickell Key Park.

One of the newest property additions to Downtown Miami is Reach & Rise, two 43-storey residential towers that soar high above Brickell City Centre. These sophisticated condos masterminded by Arquitectonica feature a swimming pool, spa, fitness centre, interior design by Richardson Sadeki and concierge.

Brickell Point Buildings And Biscayne Blvd Credit Gmcvb

Photo: Brickell Point buildings and Biscayne Blvd | credit GMCVB

Lucy Mc Guire Downtown Miami

Photo: Downtown Miami | Lucy McGuire 

Getting around

Brickell and Downtown Miami are very walkable, however a number of public transport options such as UberLyft and taxicabs are also available to reach other areas of the city. For luxury transport, ask your hotel concierge for their recommended chauffeur service, or try booking a limo service such as International Limo of South Florida. Or why not try a classic car rental such as Florian’s Classics? Companies such as Tropicalboat Charters can also arrange yacht charters and tours.

The writer was hosted by EAST Miami Hotel

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