by Rick Munarriz - 406 Reviews - 155 List
South Florida is a hotbed of fun, but sometimes the itinerary calls for more business than pleasure. All work and no play in Miami? Bah! Here are the meeting-friendly hotels that won't turn boardrooms into bored rooms, along with the city's best steakhouses and one-of-a-kind restaurants to nail down the deal that you just can't afford to lose. (Photo: Courtesy of Loews Miami Beach)
Updated: October 21, 2009
South Beach is a nightlife magnet, but its largest hotel knows how to button up its shirt when it has to. Managers can plan and confirm events within 24 hours. The beachfront location is also a plus for extended breaks or non-attendees angling for a tan. When it's time to entertain, the always electric Lincoln Road strip of outdoor shops and eateries is just down the street.
Everything's Zen at this posh bayfront resort, a short bridge away from the financial district. The 15,000-square foot conference center houses a 600-seat grand ballroom, 15 breakout rooms, and a business center. The Asian-themed oasis also features the one-two culinary punch of the tony Azul and the casual Cafe Sambal. Seal the deal at the martini bar, where 250 different varieties are available.
Within walking distance to the Miami Convention Center, this all-suite hotel also houses seven versatile meeting rooms. The Coconut Grove location finds guests a short walk from the three-story Cocowalk complex, complete with a lively dueling piano bar on the top floor.
This towering downtown monolith has settled international disputes, hosting global dignitaries and prolific summits. With 66,000 square feet of event space, there's plenty of elbowroom. Bayside is a scenic block away, offering waterfront dining, festive watering holes, and eclectic retail outlets.
Most high-end chophouses can feel stuffy, but this trendy steakhouse offers two floors of hot steaks and cool vibes. It's a celebrity magnet, and that's always good for a conversation starter down the line--even if it sometimes translates into a long wait for the next available table.
This retro boxcar diner isn't fancy. However, it never closes, so you can haggle, barter and compromise until you're done. There's no point in watching the clock or the waistlines, as the specialties are heavy comfort food staples like meatloaf and corned beef hash.
The only "chain" eatery in this list is here for a good reason. It is smack dab in the heart of the bustling financial district, making it a haven for power lunches with deal-settling desserts. Regulars even get their own wine lockers.