Four more years for Art Basel Miami Beach









Art Basel Miami Beach plans to stick around in its current location through 2015, though organizers aren't wild about the idea of casino resorts in the neighborhood.

My colleague Douglas Hanks reports that the fair's rental agreement with the Miami Beach Convention Center was recently renewed, but organizers have said they are watching developments around casino proposals "with some concern."

Read the full write-up here




New eats, updated look for the Delano

The Delano, which ushered in a new era of South Beach chic when it relaunched in 1995, is about to enter a new phase.

Gone will be the Florida Room lounge and the Blue Door Fish restaurant, replaced with a new nightlife venue (details still TBA) and an Italian restaurant, Bianca, with a focus on organic and locally sourced food.

For more on the transformation, here's our story


Smells like Miami

Expert noses will descend on Miami this week for the ScentWorld Expo, a conference dedicated to scent and sensory marketing. The event will be held at the Gansevoort Hotel in Miami Beach (signature scent: green tea).

The idea of using smell in marketing -- scenting the air in a hotel or shop, for example -- has been catching on in recent years. And now, Miami will have its own signature smell.

The Scent Marketing Institute, which presents the conference, will unveil the fragrance inspired by Miami at its opening event Wednesday night. Officials from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau will use the smell in promotions. 

Created by master perfumer Rene Morganthaler, the scent remains a mystery for now.

In a statement, Scent Marketing Institute chief operating officer Jennifer Dublino only said: "I can tell you that it epitomizes the fresh, chic and dynamic character of Miami and surrounding areas.”


Getaway for the recently single

After noticing our post about the Conrad Miami hotel package for the soon-to-be-betrothed, an eagle-eyed public relations coordinator reached out with her company's kinda-but-not-really similar package.

The Newly Single Package at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach is aimed at solidarity, pampering and drinking away worries with "Freedom" cocktails.

So it's slightly more somber than an engagement offer. But freshly single folks could use a little fun too.

The package includes: hotel room, poolside cabana bed, four poolside caipirinhas (like mojitos, but more Brazilian), a mixology class, and spa session. Rates run from $599 a night until December 24th and from $799 a night through March 31.



A night for artsy insomniacs

Sleepless Night Fishes

For those of us (an estimated 130,000 people) who wandered South Beach for hours during a windy November night in 2009, this year's version of Sleepless Night will be a welcome repeat. For one, the weather shouldn't force the cancellation of any performances like it did last time.

Another plus: Miami Beach has several new amenities to enjoy this time around, including the New World Center and SoundScape Park, both of which will host events, and the bike rental system DecoBikes. Way easier to get from Lincoln Road to 8th and Ocean on a bike.

My own plans call for a couple shows at the Colony Theatre (to see Pablo Cano and Jim Hammond's shadow puppets and Seraphic Fire's concert), then a jaunt to Ocean Drive for Sarruga's "Fishes" (see photo above), a stop at the Raleigh for some water ballet, Project Bandaloop at SoundScape and back to Ocean for Heliosphere at 11:45. There will be some coffee stops along the way.

With the end of daylight savings time conveniently falling this weekend, I might even stay out past midnight.

Got your own plans? Fill me in on your can't-miss events. And follow me on Twitter (@hannahbsampson) for live Tweets from the night.  


A hotel package for the soon-to-be-betrothed

For the first time this year, Miami-Dade's tourism bureau dedicated June to romance-related deals: weddings, honeymoons, babymoons (yes, they exist), anniversaries, etc. And now one Miami hotel has expanded that, creating a package for those who want to pop the question.

The Conrad Miami's Down-on-One-Knee package includes an overnight stay at the downtown Miami hotel; dinner for two with a special menu and wine pairing; a bottle of champagne with engraved glasses and chocolate-covered strawberries; breakfast delivered to the suite; transportation to the airport; a couples massage and, for the sake of comfort, a knee pillow.

The package is available through Dec. 22; rates start at $595.

For Delray Beach resident Nicholas Rodkin, the package was the perfect alternative to a costly and more time-consuming Caribbean vacation when he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Brandi Dawkins. He came across the offer after his early research failed to turn up the perfect spot.

"I came across several restaurants and ideas but nothing grabbed me -- nothing was detailed enough to make me happy," he wrote in an account of the proposal. "Proposing is very nerve-racking for a guy."


After careful planning that involved crafting a believable reason for the trip, checking every last detail with hotel staffers and sending a CD with the couple's favorite song to the hotel so it could be on when they arrived in the room, Rodkin proposed on July 30.


Dawkins, of course, said yes.

Actually, Rodkin said, "She couldn't say it but she nodded yes...several times."


Maine-Fort Lauderdale route starting

New nonstop air service between Bangor, Maine and Fort Lauderdale will start in November (which sounds like a better time for the nice people in Maine to visit South Florida than the other way around).

Low-cost Allegiant Air said it is launching the twice-weekly flights on Nov. 17.

The flights are scheduled for Thursdays and Sundays. Planes will leave Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Bangor at 11:50 a.m. Flights from Bangor leave at 12:35 p.m. and arrive in Fort Lauderdale at 4:10 p.m.

A limited number of seats with introductory rates of $84.99 one way are available; they must be purchased by Sept. 14.


Nikki Beach heads north

South Beach staple Nikki Beach is ready for its close-up, Toronto-style.

The brand will partner with the AMC cable network to host events at La Terrasse AMC & Nikki Beach Lounge during the Toronto International Film Festival from Thursday through Sept. 12.

The lounge will be on the rooftop penthouse of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where the festival is held.

Nikki Beach has opened clubs during the event for the past two years.


Luxury cruise line moving to Miami

Coming soon to the Port of Miami: regularly scheduled luxury cruise sailings.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced Thursday that it would move its ships from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Miami starting next fall.

The line, which shares a parent company with Oceania Cruises (already sailing from Miami), said the move makes sense because it can share a terminal with Oceania and passengers traveling into Miami International Airport will have an easier time getting to the ship.

Read more about the move here


Blink and you'll miss these sales

One of the things that makes waking up easier every morning is the knowledge that a new batch of deals are waiting in my email.

Half off at one of my favorite restaurants courtesy of Groupon? Discounted movie tickets from LivingSocial? Cheap haircut from CoupTessa? Yes, please!

Now more travel-focused sites are singing the daily deal tune (including some from LivingSocial and Groupon, which partnered with Expedia).

To read more about this travel fad, and what you should keep in mind if you're going to partake, check out our story here