Explore Miami

Get Expert Advice on Making the Most of your Miami Stay

A member of the elite Clefs d'Or concierge association shares tips on the best ways to experience Miami as a first-timer.

Ah, beautiful, vibrant Miami ... where to start? When looking for recommendations, you can't miss by asking a Clefs d'Or concierge. Approximately 3 percent of the concierges in the U.S. have attained this mark of excellence in service and professionalism  For this reason, we felt Clefs d'Or member Gene Ruotolo, Kimpton Epic Hotel concierge, would be the ideal concierge to give expert advice on making the most of your stay.

Q: What do you love most about Miami?

A: ­The weather, the people and the cars. Who could complain about having a tropical climate all year long with mostly sunny skies, South Beach and Key Biscayne close to everything, and an abundance of outdoor activities to take part in, including running, biking, and boating?

Wynwood Art District (©Wunwoodartwalk)

Q: Where are your favorite spots for the quintessential Miami selfie?

A: ­ The popular Wynwood Art District and Watson Island under the MacArthur Causeway. I have taken many selfies from both locations and they are big hits on social media because of their beautiful backdrops. 

Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery (©David Cooper)

Q: What is your favorite “live like a local” secret you share with your guests? 

A: Schnebly Redland’s Winery and Brewery: as long as you are willing to make the trip south, this is a hidden gem in the Redlands, where you can participate in an amazing wine-tasting experience of exotic fruits distilled on property! 

LIV (©LIV Miami)

Q: For a guest looking for a night on the town, what would you recommend?

A: If you’re looking for a club atmosphere, you cannot go wrong if you head over to LIV in the Fontainebleau Hotel or Story on South Beach. For more of a lounge environment, I would recommend ­The Wharf in downtown Miami for a waterfront experience, No. #3 Social in Wynwood, or the popular hangout Prohibition Restaurant and Speakeasy in Midtown. 

Fairchild Tropical Garden (Courtesy Fairchild Tropical Garden)

Q: What are some off-the-beaten-path places visitors should see?

A: Fairchild Tropical Garden is an incredible botanical oasis in Coral Gables; the Venetian Pool is a man-made historical lagoon with waterfalls and caves for all ages; and the Wynwood Brewing Company for a taste of local beers brewed on-site.