St. Regis – Ritz Carlton – W South Beach.

1. The St. Regis, Bal Harbour, Miami.

Perhaps what has become my favourite brand over the years as its perks sets it apart from the rest. The last I ventured into Miami was 1989, we stayed at the Hilton Fountainbleu and had this amazing view facing north with the ocean and river perpendicular to one another, I will never forget it. For some reason I always wondered how or where this river ran from until now.

Bal Harbour is the start of the Miami Beach area and more exclusive than the over crowded South Beach.

Is Miami South beach the most famous beach in the world?

The booking.

Initially I had a booking on their points + cash rate option of 15k +$275 however all the taxes and fees made 0 sense so I opted to use the full 30k points per night rate.

Note: the 30k was the highest tier amount in SPG, currently its at 60k after the August merger into Marriott Rewards ( where it should have been 90k !), after Jan 1 2019 in the new program this hotel will go up to 100k in peak on points.

The upgrade.

“Yes Sir, as a Platinum guest we can upgrade you to the Royal Suite but can you please get here in 45 minutes” said the Reservations Manager on the morning of check in.

My reply: ” I’m just down the road, I’ll be there in 10!”

St. Regis comes with the best of everything. All the appliances in both kitchens of the Royal Suite were kitted out from Sub-Zero Wolf. Try $7000 for a Fridge, $2000 for a dishwasher and $10,000 for a stove. This Suite had it all and in duplicate.

The Royal Suite.

Shattered! My upgrade benchmark as well as my personal nomination for Suite of the year 2018 in TL travels.

I posted videos of the upgrade via Instagram of the stay, check it out dated 4th April 2018.

This 183 sqm Suite had 2 wings joined by a lounge and dining room on a high floor in the middle of the hotel with full sea views. It boasted private lift to suite, whilst we have previously had private lifts in previous upgrades such as Gold floor, Fairmont Royal Clock Tower Makkah however never to the Suite alone. All in all it had:

2 King bedrooms.

3 Full Bathrooms.

2 Walk in closets

5 TV’s

Full Living room + Dining Room.

2 Full Kitchens ( with 2 Dishwashers)

3 Balcony’s with 6 deck Chairs.

A Laundry

The St. Regis Personal Butler. ( Loved this 24 hr service that includes tea/coffee/milk and cookies as well as unpack and hang service – all in white gloves) See previous St. Regis trips to Bangkok and Kuala Lampur for more on this.

Royal Suite Private lift where art thou?

Ahh there you are. Jolly good. Shall we venture upwards.

The front door view does not have the normal carpeted passage, just an elevator waiting.

Upon entry, the normal guest bathroom.


Kitchen number 1 with Sub-Zero Wolf appliances.

Kitchen number 2 sits between one of the King bedrooms and bathrooms.

Walk in closet one.

King bedroom number 2.

Bathroom number two, or is it number three?

Walk in closet two.

Zar 45,000 for a dishswasher.. theSubZero way

Electronic drapes.

The Lobby.

The complimentary breakfast.

Served at the restaurant Atlantikos, Greek themed.

Love this energized theme.

The resort.

Kids Club and schedule, complimentary for Royal Suite guests.

2. Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour.

This is where the river bends in causing much of the beauty Miami Beach is known for.

A free night here is 70,000 Marriott Reward points. With 5th night free = 280k. This all changes on 1 Jan 2019!

The source of the river that runs down into South Beach.


3. W South Beach.

This hotel costs 30k for a free night on points but on cash you could go up to $20,000 per night before taxes!

Honestly speaking if South Beach is on your bucket list don’t expect to find Maldives nor Seychelles type beauty nor exclusivity.