In the heart of downtown, Kimpton's pet-friendly, freebie-heavy Epic Hotel has 411 guest rooms, each with a spacious balcony (many of them overlook Biscayne Bay) and fabulous modern amenities—Frette linens, iPod docks, spa-inspired luxury bath products—that match the modern grandeur of the trendy common areas, which include a supersexy rooftop pool. The hotel caters to business travelers and groups, but its association with the young and fun Kimpton brand ensures a steady intake of pleasure-seekers. The 16th-floor pool area comes to life seven days a week, especially during the complimentary wine hour at 5 pm. Area 31 is an elegant, delicious seafood restaurant also on the 16th floor, flying high with an advanced concept of sustainable cuisine. A second restaurant, Zuma, is Miami's hottest London invasion—just brace yourself for some of the city's longest wait times. The hotel also has a full service marina and the fabulous Exhale Spa.
Rooms start at the 18th floor of the hotel, so you'll have a sweeping view of the Miami skyline. Each room offers a 55-inch flatscreen Tv and Frette bedding. Rooms feature private balconies for sunrise or sunset views.
If you're tall, ask for a room with an extra-long bed.
The lobby is decorated in earth tones -- the better to showcase the rotating modern art collection. Seating areas look on to Biscayne and the hotel's marina on the Miami River.
The Exhale Spa offers 12,000 square feet of relaxation. Services run the gamut from manicures and facials to detox acupuncture treatments. After your treatment, book a yoga class or get pool-ready with a bikini wax.
Area 31, named for an international zone designated by the U.N. as a sustainable fishing area, offers local seafood with a stunning view of Biscayne Bay. London-based Zuma offers modern Japanese sushi and grill items with a marina view.
Lilt Lounge offers cocktails made with seasonally fresh ingredients. In addition, the lounge offers a good selection of port, wines, and Champagnes.
A nightly cocktail hour offers select Champagne by the glass and cocktails for $10.
The Epic is walking distance from most Brickell-area shops and restaurants.
Venerable Spanish chef, Jose Andres, offers seafood in a whimsical setting at Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres (10-minute walk). James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz serves classic Italian dishes at Fi'lia (10-minute walk). Don't forget to order a classic Caesar salad, prepared tableside.
Sugar (5-minute drive) offers Asian-inspired cocktails on a rooftop setting. Blue Martini (10-minute walk) serves dozens of martinis in a lively setting that's frequented by young professionals.
WHY WE LIKE IT
At the corner of Downtown Miami and Brickell, the Epic offers a room with a view at a location that convenient for both business and leisure travelers.