A Birthday Fit for a Queen

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On September - 3 - 2009

roy-blackjason-clarke-roy-jr-lea-black-elaine-lancasterOver 1, 500 guests checked into the Hotel Lancaster last Thursday night to celebrate world renowned, one-of-a-kind personality and Diva, Elaine Lancaster’s birthday. As over the top as Lancaster herself, the ballroom at Score nightclub was transformed into a swank hotel, with staff dressed as bellhops. Creative cake designer, Ana Paz, fashioned the birthday cake after a grand seaside hotel complete with palm trees, working lights and an edible replica of Lancaster standing guard. The party’s décor was enhanced by artists such as: Aaron Powell, Cecilia Paz, Joey Mugica, Samantha Perez, Haviart, Romero Britto, Howard Austin Feld, and Guillermo Manrique, each of whom created a unique, visual interpretation of Elaine Lancaster. Friends from all over the globe flew in to spend this special night by “her” side. Guests included: Roy and Lea Black, Andy and Fran Boros, Dr. Julio Hernandez, Frank Navarro, Adrienne Arsht, Michael Gongora, Flavio Nisti, Dale Stine, Brigitte Grosjean, Merle and Danny Weiss, Omar Gonzalez, Frankie Canas, Ricky Salazar, Aaron Von Powell, Beau Beasley, Mykel Stevens, Dan Sehres, Adora, David Rohn, Lydia Martin, Frank Navarro, Nick D’Annunzio, Red Carter, Samantha Perez, Michael Stanley, Rudy Rafuls, Jason Clarke, Mark Clay, Frankie Canas, Lesley Abravanel, Fabricio Martorano and many others.

Ay, Ay, Setai

If you are considering a chic respite right here in our own back yard, look no further than the Setai hotel. We know it’s not necessarily the newest nor “hippest” (whatever that means these days) nor the cheapest, by a long-shot, but as soon as you step into the lobby, you will discover why Conde Nast Traveler, has named the Setai one of “The World’s Best Places to Stay” for three years in a row. Forbes Traveler, has also included it in its list of “The Sexiest Hotels in America” and “400 Best Hotels” and Gallivanter’s Guide has granted the Setai the “Award for Excellence-Best Resort in North America” since the hotel’s opening. At the cornerstone of the Setai’s success is the service. Guests of all ages (yes, the place is surprisingly kid-friendly- providing treats and even pint-sized robes and slippers for the little ones) receive the VIP treatment from the time they check-in and throughout their stay. Upon arrival, guests wait in the posh lobby and enjoy refreshments while they are checked in and are personally escorted to their room and offered a tour of the property. Once inside the stylish, luxurious room, chocolate truffles and fruit await and beachside and poolside, valets provide Evian water, fruit, spray mists, suntan lotion and even after-sun moisturizer. The best part is that all of these amenities, including the beachside private teak cabanas, are included in the hotel price, unlike many other resorts that charge extra. While the average person may have to take out a loan or consider selling an organ to stay at the Setai during peak season, the hotel is offering some excellent packages to encourage that much needed and deserved end-of-summer mini vacay, including a complimentary night after a two-night stay and special neighbors’ rates for Florida residents. For more information, contact: www.setai.com.

Sizzling Summer Steals

The Spa at Icon Brickell is offering The Spa’s 50% off employee discount on all massages, facials and body treatments to all guests until the end of September. To make a reservation, call (305) 503-0369.

Agua at Mondrian introduces the September Sweet Treats promotion this month. From the Dreamsicle Delight body massage to the Sweet Citrus Mani & Pedi, each of the four delicious treatments will set you back just $99 (plus tax + gratuity), and comes with a complimentary glass of bubbly. For $20, guests may purchase the Passport to Pampering that includes use of the fitness center, steam room, sauna and relaxation lounges, along with a glass of champagne, without booking a service. For more information, contact: (305) 514-1950.

Ayama Yoga in Aventura is celebrating by offering free “classes to the masses.”  Throughout the month of September, new students can drop in for any morning, evening or weekend class at no cost.  For a schedule of classes, visit http://www.ayamayoga.com/schedule.

Fall Flicks

While we can’t get enough of Club 50 at the Viceroy, it is good to sometimes venture out and explore the other offerings at Icon Brickell. Starting this Saturday, September 5, The Spa invites guests to catch a classic movie in its intimate 30-person theater. This spa even has a theater, who knew?! For only $12 each, guests can curl up on the plush Philippe Starck-designed couches, enjoy a film from a specific genre, and munch on a gourmet cupcake and popcorn. This Saturday’s film is Citizen Kane, followed by Casablanca on September 12, Singing in the Rain on the 19, and To Kill a Mockingbird on the 26. Movies begin at 7:30. For the full dinner and-a-movie experience, we recommend making a reservation at Chef Michael Psilakis’ fabulous restaurant, Eos, which is located one floor above the theater. For more information, contact: 305.503.0369 or iconspa@viceroymiami.com

The Fontainebleau was the celeb Mecca last week. Last Wednesday,
at LIV’s Dirty Hairy party, American Idol’s, Simon Cowell, Randy
Jackson and Ryan Seacrest enjoyed a boys’night
out, sans Cara and Paula.  On Friday night, at LIV, Kid Cudi performed his hit “Day and Night” while pouring cheering fans shots of Grey Goose. Saturday night Hakkasan hosted a private dinner for director, Michael Bay, pop star, Robin Thicke and his wife, Paula Patton, Kid Cudi and Walter Perez from the new movie Fame. Later the crew held it down at LIV, ordering magnums of Dom rose. Sunday Paul Sevigny spun at Blade pool while Spice Girl, Mel B, and her husband performed synchronized swimming in the pool. Later that night Jazzy Jeff took to the turn-tables for the crew at Imagine Sundays at LIV.
Undisputed World heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, was spotted working out at Equinox South Beach on Tuesday.  On Saturday, Nick D’ Annunzio had dinner at Joe Allen with a few close friends including designer, Calvin Klein, publicist, Paul Wilmot and photographer, Pablo Alfaro.  Ludacris was at B.E.D. last Wednesday for the launch of his new Conjure Cognac, arriving at the club with an entourage, including Miamian Flo-Rida, all of whom carried bottles of Conjure with sparklers high in the air.  Ludacris got on the microphone to greet the crowd, and promote his premium liquor.  Matt Damon and his wife Luciana Barroso enjoyed the Miami Spice menu at Area 31 last week.

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Hot Fun in the Summer-time

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On August - 27 - 2009
Crystal Waters

Crystal Waters

Apple Restaurant and Lounge finally opened last week, after much ado about rain delays, permits, yada, yada, yada… The highly-anticipated LA eatery held a small

soiree last Wednesday evening for special guests including: principal, Steve Marlton, Shai Ben Ami, Corina Biton, Jason Clarke, Dr. Julio F. Gallo, Carmel Dubuque, Ricky Elias, Andrea Greenberg, Ashlee Harrison, Yannick and Hadley Henriette, Jillian Jacobson Altit, Edie Laquer, David Lebatard (LEBO), Nicole Lozano, Leslie Wolfson and Dr. Sanford Ziff who had the opportunity to sample a few of the restaurant’s offerings, prepared by chef, Bryan Ogden, son of James Beard Award winning chef, Bradley Ogden. The selections were passed by servers clad in uniforms designed by heiress-turned-fashion designer, Nicky Hilton. Apple, which is open every night but Sunday, is a restaurant from Tuesday-Saturday from 7:00 p.m.-midnight and then becomes a lounge until 5:00 a.m., (Mondays it is only a lounge) has taken over the former Snatch space, which was previously the home of Liquid Lounge (if those walls could talk!). This latest incarnation is more subdued and elegant, with oak-lined walls and astro-turf on the ceiling (we didn’t get that either). Gone are the stripper poles, deer-horned chandelier gilded with bras and our favorite, the mechanic bull that comprised Snatch’s decor. Nothing like watching a drunk, half-naked girl get flung across a bar by a mechanical bull! Ah, but we digress…We suspect that Apple will probably eventually become more lounge than restaurant, so there should still be plenty of bull to go around.

Also on Wednesday, Salon Vaso, the only Miami salon to receive the “A Cut Above” honor in the August issue of Allure Magazine, celebrated with a seaside cocktail aboard the Carrousel Yacht. Over 200 guests were treated to signature hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. VIP attendees included New World Symphony Friends Director, Stacey Glassman, Allure Magazine journalist, Brooke Siegel, NBC 6 meteorologist, Trina Robinson, handbag designer, Dr. Amy Brecka, Get Ink PR principal, Ellen Marchman and Carrousel Yacht owners, Leslie and Ian Kaplan.

On Thursday night, LIV was the scene for one of the hottest parties of the summer,

second only to Nick D’Annunzio’s ‘80s birthday bash, (which we are still buzzing about!), in celebration of 944 magazine’s Nightlife issue. The consensus among party guests was that they haven’t had that much fun in a club in quite some time (dreaded summer months!). The party was a live celebration of music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today (not to sound like a radio station commercial). Reggeaton megastar, Pitbull, came on first and sang all of his current hits including “Culo,” “Ay Chico-Lengua Afuera” and his newest song “I Know You Want Me.” Pitbull surprised the already excited crowd when he brought out guest performer, Lil’ Jon. Representing the 70s was Anita Ward, who sang her timeless hit “Ring My Bell.” 90s dance music diva, Crystal Waters, kept the energy going when she sang chart-topping dance floor anthems such as “Gypsy Woman” (La da di dow dow…she’s homeless-you’re singing it now, aren’t you?),” “100% Pure Love” and her most recent smash “Destination Unknown!” When asked about the party, 944’s editor, Hadley Henriette, said, “Pitbull’s performance was really off the hook. I didn’t expect him to show up with a five piece band and all. Everybody was up on the tables during Calle Ocho. Anita Ward belted out Ring My Bell. What can I say? She’s still got it! It was 2:30 in the morning by the time Crystal Waters got busy with two back-up dancers. The crowd went nuts and Crystal sounded just like it was 1993. LIV is usually closed on Thursdays, but we brought in a great crowd. Everyone who was there really felt like they were part of something special: to see all these great performers…or maybe it was the Hornitos.” Hornitos and Presidente provided the cocktails for the party, which was well attended by many of the folks featured in the Nightlife issue, including: Jimmy Vargas, Erin Newberg, Buster Cox and Barbara Basti. Also in attendance were musicians, Doug E. Fresh; Dorks, Morons, and Geeks; Black Dada and T-Pain; Joseph Soracchi from The First 48 Hours; Mario Mosely from Dance your Ass Off, and Maria Lankina from Miami Social.

Prior to the 944 extravaganza, RA Sushi in South Miami celebrated its one year anniversary with a “Mad Hatter’s Sake-Tea-Ni Party,” which raised over $800 for The Wellness Community – Greater Miami.

The fun continued throughout the weekend. On Friday, The Fifth hosted the latest performance to support the GREY GOOSE® Entertainment presents “Rising Icons” series.  R&B diva, Keri Hilson, performed an entire set to a packed crowd. Dennis Rodman, Cindy Taylor and David Lee Roth (strange bedfellows indeed) helped to celebrate Bullets 4 Peace designer, Rafi Anteby’s birthday at the Eden Roc hotel on Saturday night with a poolside fashion show featuring painted models walking the runway.   Sunday night at LIV was quite a scene. Singer/producer, Ryan Leslie, took the stage, delighting fans including Michael Jordan, Matt Damon, his wife Lucy, and Wilmer Valderrama.

Coming Up

The MOCA Shakers, a group of young, international patrons of the Museum of Contemporary Art, will hold a kick-off party for the launch of their season on Thursday, September 3, at the Viceroy’s Club 50 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The launch will be an effort to boost ticket sales for MOCA’s upcoming Mystery Dates fundraiser which is scheduled for November 7.  A party to promote a party, what a novel idea! Grey Goose Vodka will be serving up free cocktails during the launch party and MOCA insiders ensure a good showing of their “hip artsy members.” The Mystery Dates Party will include glamorous dinner parties at the private homes of some of Miami’s most intriguing art collectors and designers.  The ‘mystery’ of which dinner each guest will attend will be revealed immediately preceding the dinner, at a cocktail party at Museo Vault. Proceeds from this event benefit MOCA exhibitions of emerging and experimental artists.

Celebrity Sightings:

W South Beach was a celeb hotspot this weekend. Basketball legend, Michael Jordan, was spotted taking in the scene and cuisine at Mr. Chow on Friday night.   Meanwhile, comedian, Eddie Griffin, was hanging out in a different area of the hotel enjoying a little downtime after his performance at the Miami ImprovAkon,  Alonzo Mourning and good friend, Amare Stoudemire, of the Phoenix Suns savored mixologist, Ilad Svi’s tantalizing concoctions at the Living Room. The cast of Burn Notice wrapped up filming on the terrace of Area 31 restaurant and at the pool deck of the EPIC hotel on Monday.  The hotel and restaurant will be featured in the season finale.   So You Think You Can Dance? winner, Jeanine Mason held a party for 800 of her closest fans and friends at Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom last week. Fresh out of high school, Mason is starring in a 41 city tour with the top 12 dancers, from the show. The tour is scheduled to hit the American Airlines Arena on Oct. 22.