Lodge in style at Miami’s EPIC Hotel

Miami is a lavish city. It’s people and beaches are beautiful, the food is tremendous and money and style reign. It takes a special hotel to cater to these traits, a special cut of class that not any old property can fully develop. Kimpton’s EPIC hotel fits this bill perfectly.

Situated on the edge of the Miami river and the Biscane Bay, Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel opened its doors only six months ago and is practically brand spanking new. A sprawling, 54 floor ellipse, the EPIC proudly stands out from the rest of the drab, downtown buildings, glowing white against the sublime Miami skyline.

Each of the 411 rooms is expertly and immaculately appointed, with the nicest sheets on the planet, large, open bathrooms and a private balcony overlooking either the city or the bay.

One of the most useful facets of the rooms is the connectivity. Each is equipped with a desktop computer, where you can log onto the internet, view your current room balance, manage your account or engage in a variety of other activities. You can even select your preferred pillow type for your return trip. If you prefer to work from your bed, you can tune into the free wireless as well, or just relax and watch your giant LCD flat screen TV.
If you’re going to relax though, you should head down to the 16th floor pool deck, where you can currently dock into any of the cabanas circling the pool for free, turn on your personal television and order a few drink as you lounge in the Miami heat. It’s an excellent way to spend the afternoon avoiding work and people watching, but do it soon before the deck gets popular and they start charging for cabanas.

After your swim through one of the two massive swimming pools, you can stop by John Critchely’s Area 31 restaurant for a Mediterranean inspired sea food dish as you gaze out at the sparkling city. Alternatively, the River Lounge on the first floor will cut you a top quality cocktail, as you munch on bar bites and watch patrons pull up to the lounge on their boats from the Miami River.

It’s true – the luxury afforded by the EPIC hotel comes at a price. You’re going to end up paying more for a beautiful room facing the Biscane Bay than you will for a motel on the highway. But the overall experience – the magnificent style, the spacious rooms, the ridiculous pool deck and the wonderful sleep that you’ll get at the EPIC – will be well worth your investment. Check out Kimpton’s website for rates after you go the gallery below.


Travel Read: Step Back from the Baggage Claim and book giveaway

To win a signed copy of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, follow the directions at the end of the post.

For Jason Barger, an airport is not only a place where people depart and arrive on airplanes in their quests to get from one location to another. Airports are a metaphor about life. In his book, Step Back from the Baggage Claim, a slim volume that is a perfect size for slipping into a carry-on, Barger does a tidy job of illustrating how we might make the world a nicer place by starting at the airport. Airplane behavior is included in the mix of what can make or break us as a society.

To test out his theory about the power of air travel and airports, Barger hatched out a plane to travel to seven cities in seven days with the goal of never leaving any of the airports. Along the way, he’d be the observer, testing out his ideas. He figured that in in the midst of airport activity he’d find people from different backgrounds, cultures and ages–all going to or coming from somewhere for a variety of reasons. In the process of their arrivals and departures, Barger theorized there would be behaviors that would illustrate each person’s version of the world.

The result was he logged 6,548 miles, 10,000 minutes, 26 hours and 45 minutes of sleep, and a whole lot of writing fodder to condense into palpable bites. Throughout the book–which I’ve read twice, Barger weaves in details about his life that prompted this undertaking.

Barger is is a guy who notices things. Like when the ding goes off on an airplane to signal that retrieving bags from the overhead bins is a-okay, who leaps up, who stays put and who helps others? It’s not just about what other people do, but what do we do?

At a baggage claim, who lets the older person struggle, and who offers a hand? In Barger’s world, wouldn’t it be a lot easier for everyone if we all just took a few steps back from the conveyor belt and worked together? He saw that system work with a group of adolescents he traveled with. Instead of each elbowing his or her way to the circling bags, those in the front, passed bags back making the task easier for everybody.

Even though the book is a missive in a way of doing better, but Barger also looks at the circumstances that creates a situation where we might not try harder. Frustration is a big one. (I have to put in a plug for stupidity.)

Seriously, haven’t you wanted to lob a shoe at someone while you’ve been stuck at an airport? I have. But, there is always the high road option of flowing more easily with a smile, no matter our circumstances. Barger saw the pinnacle of great decorum, for example, when one woman’s neatly packed carry-on was rummaged through by TSA as part of a random check and her belongs left in a pile for her to repack. Instead of fuming and fussing, she remained pleasant, repacked and dashed off to catch a flight–still buoyant.

Even if you want to remain a crab when you travel, Step Back from the Baggage Claim offers a glimpse of the various airports where Barger headed, and what it’s like to hang out in them for extended periods of time. After reading Barger’s book, I don’t think I’ll be throwing elbows anymore as I haul my own bag out of the mix of belongings that are circling by. (Actually, I don’t think I ever have thrown an elbow. Maybe growled, but nothing more.)

Oh, yeah. Where did Barger go? He started in Columbus to Boston to Miami to Chicago to Minneapolis to Seattle to San Diego and back to Columbus.

Here’s one of Barger’s thoughts to take with you when you travel. It might help you have a much better day.

“I’m going to embrace the quiet moments an airplane seat offers us. When the ding sends most into a frenzy, I am going to sit still.”

To read more about Barger and the book, here’s an article that was published in the business section of The New York Times.

To win a copy of the book Step Back from the Baggage Claim:

Leave a short comment about an act of kindness you witnessed while traveling. Maybe it was your act of kindness–or someone else’s. Even the smallest act counts. The winner will be randomly picked.

  • The comment must be left before Friday, May 1st at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing.
  • The winner will receive a signed copy of the paperback book Step Back From the Baggage Claim, (valued at $14.95)
  • Click here for complete Official Rules.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.