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Kirk's Traveling Kitchen News and Blog

Favorite Miami Hotel


My family and I made a late spring visit to the food/culture capital of Florida, Miami, before heading off to the opposite side of the panhandle to visit a friend. While I typically laude culinary experiences in this blog, I wanted to take a moment to applaud what was a thoroughly exceptional hotel experience. As a young traveler the quality of the hotel was not typically important to me (i.e. 'you just sleep there'), but as I've gotten older my feelings on this have changed. (This is probably best exemplified by the Relais & Chateaux App on my phone.) When I travel I've come to appreciate good accommodations almost as much as good food experiences. That is why I was so pleasantly surprised by The Raleigh Hotel on Miami Beach. Perhaps because my expectations were modest, my memories of Miami Beach hotels were thumping house music and way too many white loafers, I was simply hoping for a place where we could allow my two-year old some pool/beach time without having to worry about her crib vibrating from the omnipresent bass. This is why The Raleigh came as such a pleasant surprise. Right in the center of it all on Collins Ave. on S. Beach, The Raleigh truly is 'an oasis and respite' as their website proclaimed. The staff was overwhelmingly Cuban and thoroughly friendly, in fact the whole experience took me back to images of pre-Castro Cuba (see scenes before Fredo broke Michael's heart in The Godfather Pt. 2). The hotel is recently renovated to accentuate it's Art-Deco strengths and is shrouded in giant palm trees to make it seem like you're secluded on a remote island and not across the street from the W Hotel Miami. My travels have taken us to many nice places over the years, but this is only the second time my wife/I agreed we'd go back to experience the hotel again (Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence is the other). If you're in Miami it's worth a look.http://www.raleighhotel.com/