Sun, surf and business in Miami's South Beach

Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:36pm EDT
 
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By Rachel Sklar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Born to a Cuban mother, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson spent summers in Miami, Florida, while growing up, speaking fluent Spanish and returning often as an adult.

Today, Wilson, who is the co-founder of online luxury e-tailer Gilt.com, visits Miami multiple times each quarter for her latest startup, Glamsquad.com. This on-demand hair and makeup service also has operations in New York, where Wilson lives, and Los Angeles, but Miami is special because it feels like her second home.

Here are her tips on getting the most of work and fun in South Beach:

Home base: Soho Beach House (4385 Collins Ave.) "It's really easy to have business meetings there - they still have that casual Miami vibe but you can actually get a lot done."

Cuban coffee, or three: "There's no way I can go to Miami without my Cuban coffee - 'cortadito.' That's not negotiable." 

Power lunch: Michael's Genuine Food, on 130 Northeast 40th St. in the Design District.

Leave room for dinner: Versailles on 3555 SW 8th St. "You'll see all kinds of people from all socio-economic levels pretty much stuffing their faces with delicious Cuban food at all hours of the day. The fashion community is maybe not the most fun to take there because the portions are huge."

Get a cortadito and "vaca frita" - literally "fried cow."    Continued...

 
The pool area at the South Beach mansion formerly owned by fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami Beach, July 23, 2013.   REUTERS/Gaston De Cardenas