Nightlife at the Fontainebleau

A typical Saturday night in South Beach rarely extends beyond 20th Street.  The area that starts at 1st Street is packed with restaurants, lounges, chic hotels and nightclubs, all within walking distance of each other or a short cab ride away if you’re wearing heels.

The Fontainebleau is giving people a reason to head north — all the way to 44th Street and Collins.  The resort is a one stop shop for dining, drinking and dancing.

For a pre-dinner drink or a cocktail before you hit the nightclub, check out Bleau Bar.  You can’t miss this bright, glowing space off the lobby in Chateau.  If Stanley Kubrick designed a bar for the space station in “2001: A Space Odyssey” it would look like this.  The floor and ceiling glow blue while a large column in the center changes color every few minutes.  The furniture is sleek and modern.  The open, circular layout allows you to scope out the crowd.  Bleau Bar offers a mix of classic and contemporary cocktails and wines by the glass.  The bar opens at 10am and fills up at night, especially on the weekends.

If Bleau Bar is too crowded or you’re looking for a more intimate spot to get a drink, head downstairs to Blade Sushi Bar.  If none of the tables are available, grab one of the comfy chairs at the bar.  Gotham Steak and Scarpetta also have nice lounges for enjoying a drink or light bite.  If you want to have a conversation without having to shout, check out one of these two lounges.

It’s hard to dispute that LIV is the “it” club in Miami Beach right now.  On Saturday nights there’s a crowd of people gathered by the velvet rope inside the Chateau lobby and even more people waiting outside the hotel.  The name LIV, Roman numerals for 54, evokes memories of the club’s heyday when Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley performed.

Getting into LIV can be a challenge.  It helps to know someone, arrive early, or have a table reservation.  I’d recommend getting a group together and reserving a table.  It’s a three bottle minimum for tables on the dance floor and more for the VIP section and skyboxes.

LIV is the nightclub for those who want to see and be seen.  The layout is described as a “voyeuristic design” that allows you to check out other clubgoers from nearly anywhere in the room.  Though you may not have a skybox overlooking the dance floor you can hang out right next to it.  And you’ll want to — the upstairs bar is usually less crowded than the two downstairs.  Bring a credit card or lots of cash and prepare to spend a lot on drinks.  The Grey Goose and soda I got cost $16 (and that’s a single, not a double).

The music is a mix of hip-hop, house and rock.  Music videos are shown on TVs at the bar and projected on a large screen at one end of the club.  Lights illuminate the ceiling and pulse with different colors along with the beat.

If you like European club music you’ll want to be at LIV on Saturday night (technically Sunday morning), when DJ Tito takes over at 1:30am.  He mixes heart pumping house with the base turned up in a way that creates an electric energy that gets the crowd dancing.  This is the kind of music I like, so you’ll find me at LIV on Saturday nights.

When your night of partying comes to a close there are plenty of taxis waiting to take you home.

For more information on clubs and nightlife at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach click here.

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Dining at the Fontainebleau: Scarpetta