Each Concierge has their pulse on their cities. For the Mandarin Oriental this is so important that we have a Concierge Standard stating that “we give our guests superb recommendations based upon our first hand knowledge and meticulous research.” This requires us to explore our city, eat out, visits museums and take public transportation. Basically, just about anything a tourist would do.
The sun moved above the horizon, a small group of ibis poked around in the wet grass and green parrots chirped in the coconut palms overhead. Homeless worked furiously to snooze a few more minutes while Nikes tapped past their heads on early morning jogs. Cafes on Ocean Drive served the first customers of the day and a small group of tourists in Lummus Park studied the architecture in the warm morning light. Their intense curiosity about how so many buildings had been built during the depths of the Great Depression, when supposedly everyone in America was broke, required an explanation.
Last month Miami Beach celebrated its 35th Art Deco Festival, hosted by the Miami Design Preservation League. Locals and visitors enjoyed walking tours, noir genre movies, live jazz music and the by now famous dog parade along Ocean Drive. At the center of all the festivities was of course the Art Deco district. Together with our magnificent coastline, it has given Miami Beach its quintessential look, often featured on postcards, as a colorful backdrop in movies and in a myriad of fashion photography shoots.
When visiting the district, I always tell our guests to start at the Art Deco Welcome Center on 10th street and Ocean Drive. The Art Deco Welcome Center is the home of the Miami Design Preservation League. Without its founders, Barbara Capitman and Leonard Horowitz, the district would not exist in its current form.