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Sonesta Miami Beach Resort & Spa

Stay at the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort

By Margaret Hundley Parker

Last time I went to Miami, I pretended to be rich. It started when I paid $30 to upgrade to business class on Spirit Airlines. I had work to do, and clients to meet, so my usual work-from-home self needed to shine up and schmooze. This wasn't going to happen if I stayed at some sticky cheap hotel, trying to plug an ancient phone line into my computer to get online. No, I went for it. I stayed at the Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort in Sunny Isles, just north of Miami Beach. I needed a high-speed Internet connection, a place to meet clients, room to work, serious air conditioning. I also needed a beach, spa, and lavish swimming pool with a waterfall in it. Really. I needed these things. And as soon as I walked through the automatic doors, I knew I had found them.

Trump Sonesta Beach Miami

I checked in and went straight to my room to set up my home-away-from-home office. I got a one-bedroom suite, so I could put my laptop and stacks of papers away from the bedroom (plus, it added to my affluent façade). The first thing I noticed about my room, besides the sheer vastness, was that there were huge windows overlooking the ocean. There was a kitchen with a full sized refrigerator, microwave, wet bar, a bathroom with a giant tub and shower, even a washer and dryer. All the rooms in the hotel are oversized, and have at least a microwave and mini-fridge. There is 24-hour room service. I could have been Eloise in Miami, and stayed in the room for days, but I had people to meet.

Fortunately, I didn't have to go too far. I met my business associate downstairs at Neomi's Grill. An extensive martini list certainly helped negotiations. After enjoying a Trumptini (a sweet, lethal concoction in a sugar-rimmed glass), we walked over to the dining room and had a decadent dinner.

The next morning, I watched the orange and yellow sun rise over the ocean, peeking through the clouds. It looked like a religious postcard. I sipped coffee and watched the spectacle as I sat at my computer. I felt rich, spoiled, successful. I went downstairs to the spa for a facial before I headed out for the day. The spa was lovely, with a comfy lounge area full of light colors and clean lines. Being pampered is good for self-esteem, and confidence is good for business. With the sun beaming through the clouds that morning, I felt the promise of success.

When the weekend rolled around, I didn't high tail it back to New York. I packed up my laptop and went to the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne. I could've worked here, too-there's wireless Internet, and a business center-but there's also Geno down at the pool that makes the most amazing piña coladas. And there's the clear blue water of the Atlantic, and the sugary sand to lounge on.

Sonesta Beach Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne is a wonderful find. It's more relaxed, more residential, more like the quiet getaway I wanted after a high-powered week in Miami. There's Crandon Park, a public beach with beautiful gardens where once I saw a procession of wild turkeys walk by like heads of state. But mostly, there's the beach, and the Sonesta is perched right on it. I'd heard about the Sonesta for years and I was so excited to finally go. It's the place the locals come to have an evening cocktail or a delicious dinner. It's where couples and families from all over go for a fun beach vacation. But mostly for me, it was a place to chill on the beach and let the stresses of the workweek dissolve.

Since I wasn't even pretending to work anymore, I got a regular room (not a suite) that was plenty big and had a little deck overlooking the ocean. I wasn't here for the room, though. I wanted to spend most of my precious little remaining Florida time on the beach. I swam, I splashed, I could've enjoyed water sports but I chose the sloth route. Although I did, at least, run on the treadmill in the fitness room one afternoon.

After that my feet deserved a treat so I went to the spa and got an hour-long reflexology treatment. My therapist explained that reflexology is a 3,000-year-old healing art based on the principle that points on the feet correspond with every part of the body. I enjoyed having a foot massage, although I didn't feel particularly changed by the experience. But it always feels good to have your feet rubbed, and if you want someone to do it for an hour, you'll probably have to pay for it.

There was no real reason to leave the Sonesta, and after a few days of resort life, I was fully relaxed. On the last night, I met some friends at the Purple Dolphin Restaurant at the hotel, where we were spoiled by the delicious delicacies of executive chef Elizabeth Barlow, who actually came out to check on us.

Finally, I had to tone down my faux-opulent lifestyle. I had to return to my apartment in Brooklyn, where I almost tipped a neighbor who held the door open for me. I kept expecting chocolates on my pillows for nights afterwards. Alas, there were none. I was back to reality. (...BACK)

If You Go:

Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort
18001 Collins Avenue
Sunny Isles Beach, Florida 33160
Phone: (305) 692-5600

Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne
350 Ocean Drive
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Phone: (305) 361-2021

For reservations at either: (800)-SONESTA (766-3782)