Better in Brickell

This Miami neighborhood puts a South Florida spin on big-city living

Hotel AKA Brickell’s porte cochere
Hotel AKA Brickell’s porte cochere.

Miami is a metropolis all its own, but Brickell offers a taste of Manhattan that consummate city dwellers will find hard to ignore. Nestled between Downtown and Key Biscayne, Brickell is famous for its top financial firms, high-rise condos, upscale shopping, hip new restaurants, bayfront views, and walkability. This is a neighborhood where high-energy Miami vibes give way to luxe livability, and few hotels capture that quite like Hotel AKA Brickell. 

Light-filled interiors at Adrift Mare
Light-filled interiors at Adrift Mare.

Known for hotels that bring top-notch lifestyle amenities to destination neighborhoods stateside and globally, the AKA brand purchased this spot at the Brickell Arch in 2021 and embarked on a $16 million reimagination of the 201-key property. Lauded architecture firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates stepped in to elevate the aesthetic and guest arrival experience. This included moving the lobby from the twenty-fifth floor to the ground level, enabling visitors to disembark at a porte cochere—enhanced with greenery and water features—and enter a tranquil space that sets the tone for their entire stay. 

Grilled branzino at Adrift Mare
Grilled branzino at Adrift Mare.

That twenty-fifth floor is now home to a central lounge as well as Adrift Mare, a new restaurant by Michelin-starred chef David Myers. Situated within an 11-story atrium topped with a custom installation of more than 100 lanterns, Adrift Mare fuses cosmopolitan style with a captivating menu of Mediterranean delights. Everything from the grilled king prawns finished with Fresno chili and lobster oil to the shish kebabs with pickled vegetables is thoughtfully conceived and layered with flavors sure to ignite every corner of your palate. Even simple side dishes—such as the crispy eggplant fried in an activated charcoal batter—are deceptively complex. 

New twenty-fifth-floor lounge at Hotel AKA Brickell
New twenty-fifth-floor lounge at Hotel AKA Brickell.

Hotel AKA Brickell also boasts a spa, fitness center, and rooftop pool. When you’re ready to explore elsewhere, however, take advantage of the myriad eateries and hot spots within walking distance, or hop onto the Metromover to discover other Downtown pockets. 

Brickell City Centre
Brickell City Centre.

A short stroll away is Brickell City Centre, a massive indoor-outdoor complex with dozens of big-name stores and such headline-grabbing culinary outposts as The Henry and Casa Tua. Augment your retail therapy with a stop at Marabú. Here, Miami meets Cuba across a menu of modern classics like truffle yuca fries, pan-seared salmon with sour orange, and a divine rendition of ropa vieja.

Walking back to the AKA, you might cross paths with a food-delivery robot, a young couple on their way to school pickup, or a barrage of bankers skirting the sidewalk in single file. They’re all a part of the fabric of this community and what make it one of Miami’s most exciting enclaves.

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