Did you know that Art Miami is Miami’s longest-running contemporary art fair? Hopefully you’ve made plans for Miami Art Week (December 2-8, 2019) because it is THE time to enjoy art at some of the 18 art fairs in Miami and Miami Beach. If you haven’t planned but still want to go, find a friend who will take you to the preview event because it’s too late to apply for Art Miami’s 2019 VIP status.
The Not So Budget-Friendly Art Lovers Vacation
If you’re going to Miami Beach for Art Basel and trying to figure out which art fairs to visit, don’t hesitate! See them all! Or, after reading this article, you should check out as many as you can.
There are a few survival tips to keep in mind:
- Book well in advance.
- Don’t bother renting a car (but you’ll need a healthy ride-share budget).
- Invest in a few pairs of comfortable but stylish shoes and/or sandals; and
- Stick to a champagne rather than cocktail diet to keep you happy but not hungover if you’re truly interested in engaging with art.
- Remember that traffic will be nightmarish, so rather than getting upset while sitting in your Uber or Lyft, use this time for a much-needed power nap or to catch up on emails.
If your goal is Miami Beach on a budget, you may wish to come back another time. However, art enthusiasts (because we can presume that serious buyers don’t have to budget for a vacation) should not miss an opportunity to see an infinite and diverse selection of world class art suited for all budgets, meet the artists and dealers, and enjoy the parties.
Plan for plenty of time on the mainland where there are more art fairs, installations, and concerts. There are many accommodation choices in Downtown Miami, Brickell, and surrounding areas, too.
Here are some top picks:
W South Beach
If money is no object and Art Basel is your fair of choice, the W South Beach should be one of your top luxury picks. Exquisite design and fine art greet you upon your arrival and in the lobby where you’ll find works by famous artists like George Condo, Julian Schnabel, David LaChapelle, Mike Kelley, Basquiat, and Andy Warhol. Enjoy the W’s private beach, heated pool and fitness center, onsite fine dining, and pampering. Your pet will be treated well, too. Rates begin at $1,700 per night and range up to $23,600 for the two-bedroom suite.
Art Basel and Design Miami
If you can afford to stay at the W, chances are that you probably have VIP access to Art Basel, Design Miami and all of the “by invitation only” soirées. However, if for some reason you didn’t make it on the Private Day guest list, you can purchase the Premium+ Card for $500.00 which includes the Vernissage on December 5. A one-day admission to Art Basel costs $65.00 and $32.00 for Design Miami, or you can purchase a combo ticket for $90.00.
Located in front of The Bass, the W is steps away from Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center (Design Miami is across the street), a short walk from Aqua, Art Miami.
Beacon South Beach
Beachside and boutique are an ideal combination when visiting Miami Beach. The Beacon South Beach specializes in personal, quality services and cozy, Art Deco décor. Enjoy complimentary breakfast and an in-room Nespresso machine, beach chairs, and more. Rates begin at $346 for a deluxe double and go to $431 for an oceanfront king suite.
UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach and SCOPE Miami Beach are across the street, and Art Basel and Design Miami are also within walking distance.
Eden Roc and Nobu Hotel Miami Beach
Head a little farther north of South Beach, and you find that Collins Avenue opens up and that the traffic congestion dissipates. Luxury abounds, and the Eden Roc expresses pampering at its best. Here you’ll find a beachside oasis, spacious rooms, and oversized balconies. Dine onsite at acclaimed Nobu Miami or Malibu Farm Miami Beach, or enjoy a room service menu that draws from rich local flavors, 24 hours a day. Rates range from $681 for a deluxe room with two queen beds to $951 for a one bedroom oceanfront suite.
PULSE Art Fair is situated next door to the Eden Roc, and Malibu Farm will provide all food and beverage for PULSE’s 15– year anniversary. PULSE is partnering with ICA Miami which is a quick trip from the hotel to the Design District. Check on the museum’s website for Miami Art Week special events and do not miss the opportunity to see Yayoi Kusama:’s All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins. During the fair, a complimentary shuttle service will operate between Art Basel Miami Beach and PULSE Miami Beach.
Life House, South of Fifth
Next to South Beach but less hectic, SOFI (or South of Fifth) is a neighborhood with fine dining, parks, and beautiful hotels. Feel at home at Life House Hotel, South of Fifth. This landmarked 1930s Tudor cottage embodies the home of an artist living by the seashore. Rooms are spacious ,and there’s an onsite café, bar, lounge, and backyard restaurant. A deluxe queen room is $359.00 per night. If this location is sold out, try one of their other locations in either Miami Beach or Little Havana.
SCOPE Miami Beach, UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach, and Fridge Art Fair are within walking distance.
InterContinental Downtown Miami
At the InterContinental Miami, you can enjoy sweeping bay views as you are just a short drive from the beach; you’ll find some exciting art activations, museums, and satellite fairs on the mainland. To start, the InterContinental, in partnership with Markowicz Fine Art, will host its own Art Basel Activation and partner with global artist Kai. Known for his single-frame storytelling and unrivaled use of cement, Kai will take over the hotel’s lobby and digital canvases with a mix of fan-favorites and never-before-seen works. Rates range from $532 for a two-bed city-view room to $3,239.50 for the Club Intercontinental Royal Palm Suite.
Plan also to visit CONTEXT, Art Miami; Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); Art Africa Miami Arts Fair; and Miami Street Photography Festival. All mainland art fairs are a short drive from the InterContinental.
EAST, Miami is located on top of one of Miami’s premier shopping destinations, Brickell City Centre. Whether it be inside the mall or on the Brickell streets, you’ll find world-class dining and some exciting art nearby. During Art Basel, there will be three-to-five sculptural structures displayed in EAST, Miami’s lobby. The sculptures will be made of up-cycled materials that once held meaning and personal memories. These pre-owned items will be transformed into a completely new experience and will represent the diverse cultural landscape of Miami while also incorporating the hotel’s balance and harmony aesthetic inspired from its Asian roots. Rooms range from $459 per night for the Urban Double up to $672 for the Corner King.
Held in the Ice Palace Studios in Downtown Miami, NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) 2019 will showcase a diverse selection of local, national, and international galleries with 136 exhibitors representing 56 cities from 25 countries.
From EAST, Miami, you can easily access Miami River Art Fair, Prizm Art Fair, and any of the other mainland or beach art fairs within minutes.
Vagabond Hotel, Miami
Step back in time and enjoy Vagabond Hotel, an artsy, urban icon located in the heart of the MiMo (Miami Modernist Architecture) District. You’ll enjoy the mid-century modern charm, over-sized rooms, and 1950s inspired custom-made furniture. Eat onsite at Gregory’s Diner, or enjoy cocktails poolside.
From the Vagabond Hotel, you can quickly access the beach from the 79th Street Causeway or head south to Miami’s hippest art districts. Begin in the Little Haiti neighborhood and find art galleries, studios, and outdoor murals. Part of the Little Haiti Mural Project, a mural by Claudio Picasso located at NE 2nd Ave. and 54th Street, features the eyes of Jean Léopold Dominique, a Haitian journalist and activist who was instrumental in forming the first radio station to broadcast news and more in Haitian Creole. He was assassinated in 2000; justice was never served for the crime.
Travel a little farther south and you can visit outdoor art and activations in the Miami Design District (a luxury brand shopping area); the Wynwood Walls; Spectrum, Red Dot, PINTA Miami; and Contemporary & Digital Art Fair at Mana Wynwood. Or, head north to the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami to see “About to Happen,” the first major U.S. solo exhibition of influential Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña.
After four days of art fair trekking, you may wish to stay a bit longer, rejuvenate your weary feet, and enjoy some fun in the sun. And, since the seasoned art collectors leave Miami before the general public even gets started, you might get lucky and find some better rates!