A tropical climate, dazzling beaches, beautiful people… and a birthday. In 2015, Miami Beach will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a series of commemorative events that will adorn an already packed cultural calendar (for more information see miamibeach100.com).
A seaside resort designed from the outset to attract holidaymakers and retirees – like a bigger, bolder Bournemouth – Miami Beach blossomed during the Art Deco heyday of the 1920s and 30s, spawning an architectural sub-genre called MiMo (Miami Modern) that majored on porthole windows and ocean-liner motifs.
You can tour the best of the city’s buildings in the company of the Miami Design Preservation League (mdpl.org), which has just opened an Art Deco Museum on Ocean Drive, the city’s gracious main thoroughfare.
“Snowbirds” – elderly holidaymakers keen to escape the harsh winters of the northern USA – still flock to Miami Beach for the balmy weather, but these days the city is on the up: it’s less about wrinkles, more about wow-factor.
Frank Gehry designed the New World Center concert hall in South Beach, contemporary art lovers are drawn to the annual Art Basel Miami Beach show, and the chic hotels of Collins Avenue throw nightly poolside parties where glamorous young things parade the latest designer gear.
In 2015 there are a couple of additional reasons to choose Miami Beach for a holiday: Ian Schrager, long fêted as the inventor of the boutique hotel, has just opened his ever-so-elegant Miami Beach Edition in partnership with Marriot Hotels (edition-hotels.marriott.com), while Thomson Hotels has revamped a 1940s art deco skyscraper to deliver what it calls a “mid-century seaside oasis for the 21st century”.
If these new arrivals weren’t endorsement enough, British Airways recently announced that it will start twice-daily flights using the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner, between Heathrow and Miami from October.
The reasoning is clear: a century’s-worth of tourists can’t be wrong.
How to go: British Airways (0844 493 0758; ba.com) flies twice a day from Heathrow to Miami, and from October 25, 2015 will operate the A380 superjumbo twice daily. Return fares start from £717.