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DG Amazing Experiences
Insider Travel Briefs For Private Aviation Travelers

Vol 5, No 7:
Miami’s 5-star hotels (says Forbes) and their spectacular suites
Check out our DGAE Library featuring:
Insider reviews of unique experiences from VIP supercar tours of Italy, treks to see the Polar Bears, safaris in Africa, Cuba by private jet and previews of top suites and villas at hotels and resorts across the USA, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brasil, Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Seychelles, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Tahiti, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam, plus on the high seas aboard Regent Seven Seas Explorer, Seaboard Encore, Crystal Esprit, Crystal Mozart, Crystal Symphony, Norwegian Breakaway, and Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas

Spectacular Suites at Miami’s Five 5-Star Hotels

One award hoteliers wait for each year is from the ever expanding Forbes Travel Guide since they are based on paid, anonymous multi-day inspections. A former colleague of mine is actually an inspector - not a bad job you might say, but quite intensive from what I’ve been told. For 2019, there are five 5-star hotels in Miami, and in this issue we give you a look at the best suites at each, two that span more than 10,000 square feet, and one that includes a 3,000 square foot deck with private pool.

All the best,

Doug Gollan

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Table of Contents 

A.   Private Aviation Headlines
B.   Before You Buy Reports - Jets, Yachts, Villas
Best Suites at Top Miami Hotels
1.    Acqualina Resort & Spa
2.    Faena Hotel Miami Beach
3.    Mandarin Oriental Miami
4.    The Setai Miami Beach
5.    The St. Regis Bal Harbour 
6.    Executive Security Reports
7.    Jet Card Insider Reports
8.    Best Of DG Amazing Experiences Library

A.  Private Aviation Headlines

Jet Card Buyer’s Tips

1.  Buyers Tip #1  Know the company behind your program
2.  Buyer’s Tip #2  Fixed rates or dynamic pricing?
3.  Buyer’s Tip #3  Do I need guaranteed availability?
6.  Buyer’s Tip #6  Roundtrip and one-way pricing

Los Cabos Villa Spotlight

Voted as one of the 101 Best Villas in the World by Elite Traveler Magazine 321 Beachfront Palmilla offers 138 feet of beachfront access with seven bedrooms spread over two homes and 6,400 sq. ft. of interior space. There are five Oceanfront Master King Suites with furnished balconies making it great for multigenerational families and groups of friends.

Located in an ultra private luxury community, you have access to Club 96 and all its amenities, include a 5-star restaurant, world class spa, kayaks, paddle boards, boogie boards, fitness center with personal trainers, basketball court, tennis and VIP access to top golf courses in Los Cabos. Of course, you may just spend you entire vacation in the 321 compound with your private staff, including personal chef. For more information, click here or call +1 949.388.8590 ext. 200.

Miami's Top Suites
Recently Forbes Travel Guide released its list of accolades for 2019, and Miami found itself with five 5-star properties. In this issue we take a look at the top suites at those properties, which include two at least 10,000 square feet, one with its own 3,000 roof deck and swimming pool. Ive also added links to more suites in case you don’t need something as expansive.
1. Acqualina Resort & Spa
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Service is top-notch at the hotel, and you’ll always be addressed by name and with a smile. We were amazed at just how quickly everyone — from our waiter at breakfast to the staffer who set up our pool chairs — remembered us by name after our first day.”  It adds, “The secluded Acqualina Resort & Spa makes an excellent getaway for honeymooners and those seeking a bit of quiet and romance. It’s also great for families, thanks to a separate swimming pool where the kids can cannonball to their hearts’ content or take part in a marine biology-focused kids’ club.”
Grand Deluxe Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
The 2,031 sq. ft. 32nd-floor Grand Deluxe Three-Bedroom Oceanfront Suite offers floor to ceiling windows for Atlantic Ocean views. The entry foyer with chic marble flooring has three round-mirrored sconces, linear polished nickel light fixture, and hand-painted wallpaper. The suite’s living room features modern end tables with a geometric design pattern, a 65-inch 4K TV and a flush mount chandelier. The sitting area has a queen sofa sleeper with quilted back cushions and accented pillows, antique brass coffee table and an area rug.

There are three bedroom options including an oceanfront master bedroom with a king-size bed, a large bedroom with two twin beds with a wall-to-wall panel and a bedroom with a queen bed. The oceanfront master bedroom with terrace access is furnished with a midnight blue rug, a king bed, walk-in closet, side table with nightstand, high definition TV and a sparkling chandelier reminiscent of a jewel box with its exquisite ring pattern. The master bathroom features imported marble flooring, beautiful chandelier, double sinks, custom vanity area, bathtub, and glass-enclosed shower.
2. Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Forbes Travel Guide says, “When it opened in December 2015, Faena Hotel Miami Beach made a splashy debut. Not only did the Miami hotel unveil decadent décor courtesy of big-name Hollywood players, but it christened a newly formed arts and culture hub in the city.”

It continues, “Faena’s reimagining of the hotel brings back that Old Hollywood glamour with a modern take in an attempt to catalyze a cultural renaissance in Miami. The experience starts as you walk into The Cathedral, an expansive great hall lined with…original columns (now gold-leafed), vivid floor-to-ceiling murals by famed Argentine painter Gatti and an intricately patterned mosaic floor made from 632,000 tiles. At the far end…back doors open out into the terrace, where the hotel’s signature art piece — a 10-foot-high woolly mammoth skeleton encased in 24-karat gold by artist Damien Hirst — will take your breath away.”
Penthouse Suite
At 14,507 sq. ft and four bedrooms, including two Masters, you get Oceanfront, Southeast, Northeast and Northwest view with floor to ceiling windows and furnished wraparound balconies. The suite features two levels of spacious gathering areas and dining rooms making it ideal for entertaining or business meetings. The suite’s elegant design and custom furnishings by Frank Pollaro offers light colors of ivory and beige with gold and black accents that highlight the vibrant colors of the Atlantic. If you dont need quite as much space, there are a number of very nice Signature Suites.
3. Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Located on Brickell Key steps from the Brickell District and five minutes from Downtown Miami, Mandarin Oriental provides an ideal venue for business travelers as well as those of you that don’t want to be caught in the traffic of Miami Beach. It’s also about 10 minutes from American Airlines Arena, convenient to the major museums and performing arts center. Forbes Travel Guide says, “Rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the water and Miami skyline; the lobby and public areas are flooded with natural light and offer plenty of space to move around; the luxurious spa goes beyond to pamper you; and the location offers easy access to all the city has to offer,” adding, “The Miami hotel’s private beach, the Oasis Beach Club, includes a 20,000-square-foot stretch of white sand overlooking Biscayne Bay complete with comfortable day beds, lounge chairs, an infinity-edge swimming pool and a pool bar.”
Oriental Penthouse Suite

The 2,368 sq. ft. one-bedroom suite offers a suite length balcony, kitchen, dining room for eight, media room, living room with piano and large bedroom with walk-in shower.
4. The Setai Miami Beach
Forbes Travel Guide says, “With its Asian-inspired, streamlined decor, The Setai, Miami Beach is a…luxury oasis in a sea of crowded, overdesigned South Beach hotels. Instead of bright colors or bustling public spaces, The Setai, Miami Beach sticks to soothing, understated neutrals in the rooms and lobby, giving the space a residential feel.” It says, “That concept extends to the guest suites; spread over a historic 1930s building and newer tower, they're stocked with everything you need to feel at home, from rainshowers to Bose surround sound stereos. The hotel's three Art Deco pools are maintained at different temperatures to give sun worshippers a variety of places to take a dip, while the beach and Atlantic beckon just beyond the property.” About the accommodations, Forbes reports, “The floor-to-ceiling windows in the newer Tower suites offer sweeping views of the Atlantic and what seems like a mile long stretch of South Beach.”
The Penthouse Suite

At 10,000 sq. ft with its own private terrace and swimming pool The Penthouse is situated beautifully atop The Setai's ocean front tower spanning the entire 40th floor. There is a gourmet kitchen, dining room for 10 guests, four bedrooms, including two master suites with king-sized beds, one bedroom with a queen and a kids media room with two twin trundle beds. You get double living rooms both with floor-to-ceiling ocean views, as well as a music foyer outfitted with a Steinway piano. The private rooftop terrace spans 3,000 sq. ft. Of course, there are other choices worth reviewing as well.
5. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
Forbes Travel Guide says, “The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in northern Miami, furnished in a contemporary residential style with spacious terraces and oversized lounge chairs. All rooms allow you to enjoy great ocean views, thanks to the hotel’s zigzag configuration.”
Presidential Suite

Located on the 24th floor, you arrive at the 2,800 sq. ft. Presidential Suite by private elevator. An elegant entryway features an accent wall with exclusive wallpaper depicting an aquatic scene, as marble floors open into the expansive living area with a galley-style chef’s kitchen. Supplemented by the butler’s pantry with a sub-zero refrigerator and a separate service entrance, it features a wine refrigerator, a four-burner stove, and a sink.
Floor-to-ceiling windows from a dining area seating up to eight. To the left, a curved couch frames an entertainment area with a 70-inch Sharp LCD HDTV, a Blu-ray player, and a surround-sound system. In the center of the room, a sitting area—furnished with a plush couch and chairs. Sliding glass doors open onto a 1,200 sq. ft. wraparound balcony featuring views of Miami—from the harbor to the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. Rattan couches, oversized recliners, and lounge chairs invite guests to enjoy the panorama. Presidential Suite guests also enjoy a complimentary poolside Presidential Cabana.

6. Executive Security Reports

7. Jet Card Insider Program Reviews

8. Our Most Popular Special Reports

If you are looking for more ideas and inspiration, check out some of our most popular Special Reports below...

Cuba with your own private jet

From driving classic cars to cigars, nightlife, nature and the arts, Cuba has so much to do. Johnny Considine, the Irish owner of Cuba Private Travel, who has been living in Havana for 15 years, has been featured in the likes of the Financial Times, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler and The Telegraph. He recently told How To Spend It, “The quality of experience that you can have now in Cuba is top-notch. He can also arrange a tour of the island nation using your own private jet. Read more..

Seven hot superyachts for charter this Winter

We checked in with Northrop & Johnson’s top brokers to find out which superyachts are hot for the charter market this winter, and in our report are seven picks arranged by pricing, high to low. For each super yacht, you’ll find a summary of length, builder, launch and renovation dates, capacity for guests, number of cabins, range of rates, where each boat will be based for the winter season, minimum charter length, captain as well as list of toys.

Crystal Esprit is perfect for groups up to 64

Crystal Esprit sits in the wide gap between chartering a super yacht and even the smaller luxury cruise ships that take 200-300 passengers. There are 91 crew and 62 guests, and the passenger areas are spread across four decks. 

Explore hidden harbors and out of the way island beaches, swim to shore, splash out on wave runners, water toys and your own private submarine. Crystal Esprit is a 5-star floating resort for just 62 guests. You even can charter the entire yacht for celebrations or meetings. Read more

Tour Italy Like a VVIP By Super Car

1000 All’Ora combines its insider auto industry connections with the best of Italian luxury experiences. They arrange everything from hotels to restaurant reservations, sourcing the specific super car types you want and accompany your group providing VVIP service. 

They will also video your experience, including filming by drones, providing you with a memorable look back at your adventure. They arrange factory tours and behind the scenes visits to wineries, ateliers and museums. Below is a sample four-day itinerary, but at the end they will do whatever you want, wherever you want in Italy. Read more…
Takeovers in The Bahamas, Costa Rica and Panama

Sometimes you want to takeover the entire place. In this issue we look at three private resorts, visiting The Bahamas, Costa Rica and Panama. Each provides the privacy and personalized service that comes with your own residence, but offer more than a typical villa, and are perfect for friends, family and special events such as wedding and even corporate retreats. Read more


A billionaire’s private island resort in Fiji

Laucala Island in Fiji was once the playground of publishing mogul Malcolm Forbes. Now owned by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, it is a private island resort with just 25 oversized villas bringing together high luxury and South Pacific romance in a playground of soft adventure, and even an 18-hole golf course. Each villa is different, designed with an eye to traditional Fijian style and all come with private pools set amidst the palms of coconut plantations, white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and lush green mountains. Read more…

Why Waikiki is back as a luxury destination

Waikiki is back as a destination for luxury travelers. The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach has joined the Halekulani, Royal Hawaiian and Trump International as 5-star options. But the real change is that both Waikiki and Honolulu have become a destination fit for foodies, adding to the increasing quotient of luxury shopping. Most importantly, and often overlooked, a quick drive to the other side of Oahu and you will find deserted beaches, hiking, biking and all sorts of soft adventure on par with Hawaii’s outer islands.  Read more...

Montage Los Cabos is Mexico’s newest star

With luxury hotels and resorts popping up around the world like Starbucks, it says something that the lead travel story in the South China Morning Post’s luxury magazine was recently about a resort on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, in this case the Montage Los Cabos, which opened in May. Conde Nast Traveler already put the resort on its list of “New Hotels and Spas Worth Traveling For” with the headline, “You Can Finally Swim in Cabo,” a reference to its location on one of the destination’s few swimmable beaches. In this Special Report we give you a detailed, inside look at its suites, villas and residences and all the amenities and facilities. Read more

Luxury on the Bund in Shanghai

If you are visiting on leisure or have extra time, or this is your first time coming to Shanghai, The Peninsula should be at the top your consideration set. It also has a board meeting room with stunning views of The Bund on the west bank Huangpu River. The area is notable for its beautiful waterfront buildings, many of which have been restored. If you are doing a product launch, there is some nice rooftop space, indoors and outside. Read more…
Fine and Fun Skyscraper Dining in Bangkok

lebua at State Tower in Bangkok has become the epicenter of Thailand’s move to award-winning internationaining, with 2-star Michelin restaurant Mezzaluna, Breeze, Sirocco, and soon Chef’s Table under the direction Vincent Thierry of the 3-star Michelin Caprice in Hong Kong. Of course, the nightlife is not restricted to restaurants with a multitude of specialty bars from The Flute A Perrier Jouet and Al fresco 64, a Chivas bar, lebua No. 3, with its caviar shooters and of course the bar that launched a worldwide trend, Skybar (pictured left). Read more...
Views of the lake in Geneva

In the center of Geneva, convenient to private banks and the United Nations, Hotel D'Angleterre is hotel with a view of Lake Leman, both from its top suites and fine dining restaurant. Part of the Red Carnation group of boutique luxury hotels, each suite and room has its own unique decor. Don’t forget to check out its new cigar lounge. Read more...

About DG Amazing Experiences
My name is Doug Gollan. I am a strong advocate of the private aviation industry.  You can read my frequent coverage of private jets and luxury travel at Forbes.com.
I’ve chosen you to receive DG Amazing Experiences because I believe you share my passion for both business aviation and the best travel and luxury experiences in the world.
DG Amazing Experiences is your e-newsletter guide to the best places and experiences for private jet travelers like yourself. The content is personally selected by me with the help of some of the smartest and best travel advisors in the world. My goal is to give you a look ahead at what's new, what's hot, and the best of the best. To make it easy for you, the stories are short, but detailed, and I provide plentiful links to additional, relevant information.

If you are looking for private aviation solutions from on-demand charter to jet cards, fractional and even full ownership, please visit our sister website Private Jet Card Comparisons to access our buyer’s guide to over 250 jet card programs and our exclusive on-demand charter guide. Our VIP assistance program can help you decide which solutions are optimal for you.

Credit: Photos in the fireplaces story provided by each hotel

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