Ana Mantica

Correspondent

  • Miami, Florida, USA

Ana Mantica is a correspondent who lives in Coral Gables, Fla., and covers South Florida for Forbes Travel Guide. After working on staff at various magazines in New York City, the Miami native returned home and is taking advantage of the area’s sun and outdoor fun, arts, culture and dining, especially the Latin flavor. A few of Mantica’s favorite destinations are Florida’s Marco Island, Levanto, Italy, and Kauai, Hawaii. She writes about lifestyle, health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, and has been published in Self, Fitness, Prevention, Eating Well and Cosmo for Latinas

  • On July 12, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best neighborhoods in Miami?

    The city of Miami is as diverse as its people. Every neighborhood in the area has its own unique offerings and distinct vibe. With beautiful beaches, South Beach’s lively night life, historic Art Deco architectural wonders, and an eclectic selection of restaurants, bars, and boutiques, Miami Beach adds a mix of fun and culture to the area. The tropical island escape of Key Biscayne is a quiet mostly residential area where you will find lush parks, wonderful beaches and plenty of waterfront activities. Downtown and Brickell has become a popular spot for trendy restaurants and bars, also nearby are American Airlines Arena and Bayside Market Place. Close by, the Wynwood neighborhood is home to galleries with edgy artwork and funky bars. In the Design District, there are more high-end fashion and décor boutiques and shops. Nestled in the quiet, quaint neighborhood of Coral Gables, you will find charming shops and boutiques on Miracle Mile, plenty of restaurants and galleries, and some of the area’s most gorgeous homes overlooking tree-lined streets. The Coconut Grove area has a relaxed vibe and features great shopping with Coco Walk and an array of restaurants and bars and entertainment, this is also a good location for sailing on the bay. Little Havana is the place to go for authentic Cuban food and pastries, hand-rolled cigars, and Domino playing, and the famed Calle Ocho is also here. The affluent area of Bal Harbor is known for its exclusive buildings and waterfront homes, and high-end luxury shopping at its famed outdoor Bal Harbour Shops. And, in the more residential Sunny Isles and Aventura, you will find a good selection of restaurants and great shopping at the Aventura Mall.
  • On July 12, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best hotels on Ocean Drive in Miami?

    South Beach is known for fun, sun, and non-stop party-goers. Experience the action on Ocean Drive at one of these hot-spot hotels.

    The Betsy Hotel
    This historic classic “Florida Georgian” boutique hotel sits nestled on the quieter northern end of Ocean Drive. While the Betsy’s architectural design is influenced by a 1920s colonial style, the hotel offers modern accommodations and amenities in its 61 guest rooms and suites.  Its BLT Steak restaurant, roof-deck solarium, spa, poetry library, make for a unique elegant stay.

    The Congress
    Located in the heart of the glitz and glam, the Congress Hotel has 87 suites throughout five Art Deco buildings, and are outfitted with sleek, spa-like furnishings, such as luxury linens and rain showers. The chic hotel’s rooftop pool and bar provides spectacular ocean views.

    The Bentley
    The Bentley combines charm and luxury for an oasis-like atmosphere amidst the bustle of South Beach’s swanky scene. Spacious suites come enhanced with fully-equipped kitchens and marble bathrooms. The hotel is known for its roof deck and pool, and guests also have access to a beach club and spa with friendly, personalized service.


  • On July 9, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best beachside hotels in Miami?

    The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami is famous for its spectacular beaches, seemingly endless stretches of golden sand, and year-round perfect beach weather. Experience the best of what the city’s top beaches have to offer at these premier luxury resorts.

    The Loews Hotel
    A South Beach landmark, The Loews Hotel is ideally located in the heart of the Historic Art Deco District. The Four Star hotel’s 790 guestrooms, including 52 luxury suites, feature views of the Atlantic or the Miami skyline. Its unique four-land horseshoe drive, towering palm trees, and modern lobby, enhance its allure. The hotel also boasts a 16-room spa and freeform oceanfront pool that leads directly to the sandy beach.

    The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
    This Four Star oceanfront hotel sits on a picturesque seven-mile stretch of sand in Key Biscayne.  With beautiful recently updated tropical-inspired guestrooms, 20,000-square-foot spa, 11-court tennis court, and exquisite dining at their four globally-inspired restaurants, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers an intimate, relaxing setting with easy access to downtown Miami, South Beach, and the airport.

    The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
    The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach provides luxe accommodations with large balconies and breathtaking views, a tranquil spa, and 1,000 miles of private beach. Highly personalized attention and friendly service contribute to the overall experience and pleasant stay. The hotel is also directly across from the upscale Bal Harbour Shops.
  • On July 9, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best beachside hotels in Miami?

    The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Miami is famous for its spectacular beaches, seemingly endless stretches of golden sand, and year-round perfect beach weather. Experience the best of what the city’s top beaches have to offer at these premier luxury resorts.

    The Loews Hotel
    A South Beach landmark, The Loews Hotel is ideally located in the heart of the Historic Art Deco District. The Four Star hotel’s 790 guestrooms, including 52 luxury suites, feature views of the Atlantic or the Miami skyline. Its unique four-land horseshoe drive, towering palm trees, and modern lobby, enhance its allure. The hotel also boasts a 16-room spa and freeform oceanfront pool that leads directly to the sandy beach.

    The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
    This Four Star oceanfront hotel sits on a picturesque seven-mile stretch of sand in Key Biscayne.  With beautiful recently updated tropical-inspired guestrooms, 20,000-square-foot spa, 11-court tennis court, and exquisite dining at their four globally-inspired restaurants, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers an intimate, relaxing setting with easy access to downtown Miami, South Beach, and the airport.


    The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
    The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach provides luxe accommodations with large balconies and breathtaking views, a tranquil spa, and 1,000 miles of private beach. Highly personalized attention and friendly service contribute to the overall experience and pleasant stay. The hotel is also directly across from the upscale Bal Harbour Shops.
  • On July 5, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What new hotels are in Miami?

    For your next Miami getaway, here are three new places to enjoy the city's sunny beaches. 


    St. Regis Bal Harbour
    At the Yabu Pushelberg-designed luxury resort, every room has its own glass-enclosed ocean-view terrace, beautifully-appointed modern suites shimmer with mosaic headboards and Lucite lamps, and the lobby’s mirrors and sparkly chandeliers, and purple-and-and grey backdrop set a glamorous scene. Jean-Georges delivers on taste and flavor at the resort’s restaurant J&G Grill. Their Remede Spa also offers indulgent services and refined luxurious experience.

    SLS South Beach
    Designed by French design guru Philippe Starck, the new 140-room SLS South Beach on Collins Avenue, takes you on an imaginative adventure with trompe l’oiel canvas wall coverings creating a French-chateau like feel. Chef Jose Andres serves up a delicious tapas experience in hotel eatery Bazaar, where diners can feast below giant chandeliers in a space recreated to look like Starck’s grandmother’s library in her house.

    b2 miami downtown
    If you’re looking for a place to stay downtown, newcomer b2 miami downtown, the first in the new category of Weston-based B Hotels & Resorts, is located in the center of the action across from Bayfront Park and down the street from PortMiami. With airy rooms, modern lobby, and and China Grill Management’s Biscayne Tavern restaurant, the hotel aims to provide affordable top-quality amenities of a full-service property, like on-call spa treatments that guests can customize.
  • On July 4, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best activities in Miami?

    Whether you’re into shopping and nightlife, the outdoors or the arts, Miami has a scene for everyone—and you can always find something fun and new to do, too.

    Water sports
    If you like being on the water, you’ve come to the right place. There are several outfitters throughout the area that offer everything from boat and luxury yacht rentals, to jet skis and catamarans, to snorkeling and deep-sea fishing. For boaters, Club Nautico in Key Biscayne specializes in high-quality boat rentals up to 27’ and yachts. Kelley Fleet on Miami Beach offers deep-sea fishing for both day and late night outings. The Miami Beach Arena is a good spot for jet-ski rentals and tours. Many waterfront hotels and resorts also offer boat and jet-ski and sailboat rentals, windsurfing, and tours.

    Shopping
    Miami is a shopper’s dream come true, with upscale boutiques and quaint local shops, and beautiful outdoor shopping areas and outlet malls. Bal Harbour Shops is the place to go for high-end shopping. For an open-air market-like shopping experience, check out Bayside Marketplace with a view of the bay and Lincoln Road Mall on South Beach. The Coral Gables area is home to Miracle Mile where you’ll find a variety of unique boutique shopping, and the Village of Merrick Park, which also has high-end shops. And for a great selection of outlet stores, try the Dolphin Mall.

    Dining
    Miami’s dining scene is thriving and growing into a foodie’s delight, offering delicious dishes from top chefs and from every tasty cuisine. South Beach is always bursting with trendy restaurants and fusion cuisines. Now Brickell and its surrounding area is also quickly becoming a hot spot for dining with a new wave of dozens of restaurants coming to the area. Of course, Little Havana still reigns as the place for Cuban food and casual eateries. Coral Gables, too, has been coming on to the scene with unique, refined fare.

    Night Life
    Miami nightlife has always been hopping, especially on the chic South Beach, which beckons with plush lounges and hot dance clubs, and the occasional run-ins with celebrities, at all hours. The city also has a diverse offering of live music, from Latin to hip hop to electronica. For more laid-back evenings, there are also plenty of low-key restaurants and bars in the Midtown area.

    Festivals and Fairs
    The Magic City draws in festivals and fairs year round. In the spring, the Miami International Film Festival showcases the best of world cinema in March. Carnaval Miami/Calle Ocho, a 10-day Latino Miami celebration in Little Havana, is also in March. During the summertime, food lovers will enjoy the different restaurant weeks around town and Miami Spice Restaurant Month, which runs August through September. With fall comes the Columbus Day Regatta in October. In December, locals and visitors flock to the popular Art Basel and the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
  • On July 4, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    Where is the best Miami shopping?

    From high-fashion boutiques to unique local shops, open-air markets and outlet shopping, there’s something for everyone.

    Bal Harbour Shops
    At Bal Harbour Shops, you’ll find upscale stores like Prada, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and David Yurman, as well as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and many other notable fashion meccas. The open-air mall located in Miami Beach also has top dining options like Asian-inspired Makoto Restaurant and French Bistor La Goulue.

    Bayside Marketplace
    Located right on the water, Bayside Marketplace has a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. At the open-air festival-like market mall you can also catch a sightseeing boat tour around the bay area. During the summer, Telemundo presents its summer concert series live.

    Miracle Mile
    Miracle Mile, nestled in Coral Gables, is home to a variety of unique boutiques, high-end salons and spas, elegant bridal stores, and fine jewelers. After a day of shopping, you can pull up a seat at a quaint sidewalk cafe and later dine at one of many of Miami’s best restaurants.

    Lincoln Road Mall
    Right in the heart of South Beach, Lincoln Road Mall offers funky shops, fine dining and sidewalk cafes, galleries and entertainment. The pedestrian-only promenade is also a prime people-watching spot.

    Dolphin Mall
    If it’s outlets you’re looking for, try Dolphin Mall, where you can find outlets for Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Coach, Bloomingdale’s, and more. Starting in June, the mall also hosts live music on the weekends.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    Should visitors rent a car in Miami?

    The best way to enjoy all of Miami is by car. The city is spread out and if you want to shop, go to the beach, wine and dine, and see the sites, having a car is key. Public transportation can be difficult to figure out here and taxis can be quite pricey. You can easily rent a car from one of the many rental outposts at Miami International Airport (MIA). Zipcar can also be a good alternative. If you’re staying on South Beach, shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and the beach are all nearby, so you can get away without a car, especially for shorter visits. Biking is also a fun way to get around (you can rent one at DecoBike).
  • On June 29, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    Should visitors rent a car in Miami?

    The best way to enjoy all of Miami is by car. The city is spread out and if you want to shop, go to the beach, wine and dine, and see the sites, having a car is key. Public transportation can be difficult to figure out here and taxis can be quite pricey. You can easily rent a car from one of the many rental outposts at Miami International Airport (MIA). Zipcar can also be a good alternative. If you’re staying on South Beach, shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and the beach are all nearby, so you can get away without a car, especially for shorter visits. Biking is also a fun way to get around (you can rent one at DecoBike).
  • On June 29, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best souvenirs to buy in Miami?

    You can take home an array colorful items and edible treats to remember your fun visit to Miami.

    For the guys, Guayaberas, popular button-down linen and cotton shirts, are a Miami staple. Head to the Little Havana area for the authentic shirts. Ramon Puig’s the “King of the Guayaberas” is a great place to start. The ladies will like funky, beachy-themed jewelry and accessories. You can find an eclectic selection at Bayside Marketplace and Lincoln Road Mall. Miami sports team jerseys and gear is also a good gift—Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, and the champion Miami Heat. Before hitting the road, stop by a market for a loaf of Cuban bread and pastries, guayaba empanadas and croquettes. Beach postcards showcasing Miami’s beaches and sites are an easy way to “bring the beach” home. And, course, no visit to Miami would be complete without a fabulous tan!
  • On June 29, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best souvenirs to buy in Miami?

    You can take home an array colorful items and edible treats to remember your fun visit to Miami.

    For the guys, Guayaberas, popular button-down linen and cotton shirts, are a Miami staple. Head to the Little Havana area for the authentic shirts. Ramon Puig’s the “King of the Guayaberas” is a great place to start. The ladies will like funky, beachy-themed jewelry and accessories. You can find an electic selection at Bayside Marketplace and Lincoln Road Mall. Miami sports team jerseys and gear is also a good gift—Miami Dolphins, Miami Marlins, and the champion Miami Heat. Before hitting the road, stop by a market for a loaf of Cuban bread and pastries, guayaba empanadas and croquettes. Beach postcards showcasing Miami’s beaches and sites are an easy way to “bring the beach” home. And, course, no visit to Miami would be complete without a fabulous tan!
  • On June 29, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What’s new in Miami?

    Shops, restaurants, things to do, there’s always something new happening in Miami, which is what makes this vibrant city so much fun to visit.

    Nikko by Sunshine
    The new Brickell Bay restaurant by Master Chef Sunchai “Sunshine” Naknoon is serving up a creative mix of sushi, sashimi, curries, and noodles with a whimsical twist. Each dish incorporates playful artistry and food carvings, like goldfish, palm trees, and fruit sculptures.

    The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill
    A butcher shop, restaurant, and beer garden all in one, the new Wynwood spot serves, what else? Good meat and beer. They have a 24-foot-long meat case filled with prime beef, a range of sausage, and other organic meats that you can take home or pick out and they’ll prepare it for you to eat there. Butcher Shop Executive Chef Dustin Ward also uses only local produce. The selection of craft beers includes a private label brew, made by a local organic brewery, too. 

    La Belle Rebelle
    Designer Fabiana Silberstein is making a splash on South Beach with retro -glam meets tropical life pieces. For summer the store is carrying vibrant colors and  funky prints, think hand-painted flowers and digital prints of shells, mints, corals, and baby blues.

  • On June 28, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    Where is the best Miami shopping?

    From high-fashion boutiques to unique local shops, open-air markets and outlet shopping, there’s something for everyone.

    Bal Harbour Shops
    At Bal Harbour Shops, you’ll find upscale stores like Prada, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, and David Yurman, as well as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and many other notable fashion meccas. The open-air mall located in Miami Beach also has top dining options like Asian-inspired Makoto Restaurant and French Bistor La Goulue.

    Bayside Marketplace
    Located right on the water, Bayside Marketplace has a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. At the open-air festival-like market mall you can also catch a sightseeing boat tour around the bay area. During the summer, Telemundo presents its summer concert series live.

    Miracle Mile
    Miracle Mile, nestled in Coral Gables, is home to a variety of unique boutiques, high-end salons and spas, elegant bridal stores, and fine jewelers. After a day of shopping, you can pull up a seat at a quaint sidewalk cafe and later dine at one of many of Miami’s best restaurants.

    Lincoln Road Mall
    Right in the heart of South Beach, Lincoln Road Mall offers funky shops, fine dining and sidewalk cafes, galleries and entertainment. The pedestrian-only promenade is also a prime people-watching spot.

    Dolphin Mall
    If it’s outlets you’re looking for, try Dolphin Mall, where you can find outlets for Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Coach, Bloomingdale’s, and more. Starting in June, the mall also hosts live music on the weekends.
  • On June 28, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What is the best time to visit Miami?

    With generally pleasant weather year-round, Miami makes for an ideal getaway spot any time of year.

    During the first part of the year, January through April, you’ll find generally comfortable weather, with average temperatures in the 70s and little rain. Be prepared to deal with lots of people. This time is also peak season, so if you’re looking for a respite from the cold, you’ll want to book reservations for accommodations and transportation early. The temperatures sky rocket and the crowds thin out in June through September. Hotels and restaurants tend to offer discounts this time of year. Shoulder season, October through December, the weather cools off again with temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s. Book in advance during this period, too. This is the time of year for art shows and events such as Art Miami, Design Miami, and Art Basel.
  • On June 28, 2013
    Ana Mantica answered the question: Ana Mantica

    What are the best restaurants in Miami?

    One of the best parts about visiting Miami is the array of savory cultural cuisine. Sample some of the best of what the city has to offer.

    Capital Grille is known for its classic steakhouse fare. Perfectly aged beef like the Porterhouse Steak and creative seafood like the Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon, coupled with a deep wine list and superb service make for a top dining experience. Chef Michelle Bernstein takes a novel spin on comfort food at Michy’s, where you can find risotto with wild mushrooms and Summer truffles alongside goat cheese Gnocci with lamb meatballs and perfectly crisped steak frites. At Il Gabbiano’s you can feast on a delicious selection of classic Italian pasta dishes, risottos, and scampis. A breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay from the terrace elevates the experience. A cafe, bar and bookstore, News Café is an Ocean Drive staple strategically located for premiere people-watching. Head around brunch-time for a prime seat—and, of course, delicious breakfast fare, from omelettes and quiche, to Belgian waffles and French toast. Oratanique on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables takes “fusion” to new heights with a blend of Asian, Caribbean, and Asian cuisines, and an  island-like tropical vibe. Options include pumpkin bisque, red snapper ceviche, mussels in coconut curry broth, and heavenly drunken banana fritters for a decadent, sweet ending.