Oyster's Guide to the ULTRA Music Festival
Don't worry: If you've been hearing a "mmmcha, mmmcha, mmmcha," beat growing steadily louder, you're not going crazy. It's just the approach of the ULTRA Music Festival, which kicks off in Miami in less than two weeks. Electronic music fans from around the world will be flocking to Bayfront Park for DJ sets from the likes of Tiesto, Justice, Duck Sauce, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren, and even the pioneers of electronic music themselves, Kraftwerk. Luckily for festival goers, Miami serves as a perfect backdrop, providing plenty of ways to keep the parties going late into the night (and in many cases right on through to the next). Our guide to the ULTRA Festival should help you book the perfect room to fit your personality.
If you've hired David Guetta to play one of your parties, consider...
Miami is known for many things, but subtle flaunting of one's wealth has never been one of them. The Setai is the epitome of this crowd, where gorgeous design meets massive rooms (they start at 600 square feet) and a killer location on a posh stretch of Collins Avenue. You can expect to pay out the nose for the luxury, of course, but if you're looking to be surrounded by the members of the 1% who also love electronic music, it's almost impossible to do better.
Our pro tip: The on-site restaurants might look pretty, but the food is actually so-so at best. Luckily, most of Miami's best restaurants are just half a block away.
Find more hot spots after the jump!
If you have your close friend A-Trak on speed dial, try... The Delano
The Delano Hotel's name has been practically synonymous with "A-list celebrity haunt" for years. It would be one thing if the scene were the only thing the hotel offers, but the stunning Philippe Starck style, all-white guest rooms, and huge infinity pool with poolside DJs have earned the hotel its bragging rights. The hotel promises to be packed with festival goers after hours (as the hotel typically is any time of year) and price tags are certainly not cheap, but it's arguably still the Miami place to see and be seen.
Our pro tip: If your A-list spirit doesn't quite match your bank account, you can save money on pricey drinks by hitting up the liquor store across the street instead. No one will judge: This is Miami, after all!
If you want to be as close to the concerts as possible, book the... Intercontinental Miami
If you're the type who feels uneasy venturing far from your luggage, the Intercontinental Miami is your best bet: Located on the southwest corner of Bayfront Park, it's hotel that's physically closest to all of the festival's action. The rooms themselves could use a little facelift and some more natural light, but the pool with a view of the bay is a good way to come down from spending hours dancing in a massive crowd. Only the truly unadventurous or those who don't mind a short cab ride should stay here, though, as the immediate area has almost nothing to offer in the way of bars or restaurants.
Our pro tip: Indigo has great buffets that are perfect for quick meals before, in-between, or after sets.
If you like to keep the party going once the DJ sets end, look no further than... Dream South Beach
One of the perks of ULTRA is that even when the music stops, you're still smack dab in the heart of Miami. Anyone looking to take the party back to their hotel should consider the Dream South Beach, which caters to the young, hip party crowd. Besides sleek design, rooms sport 32-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and sexy see-through bathrooms. And since you didn't come to ULTRA to stay in your room, chances are you'll be hitting up the hotel's insane rooftop pool and bar late into the night.
Our pro tip: The beach is only a minute's walk away, so make sure to run over and catch the sunrise after your epic all-nighter.
If you saw Kraftwerk on their first American tour, you'll love the... Biltmore Coral Gables
Miami isn't all hard parties and spring break style boozing. The city is also home to a more refined adult side, and the historic Biltmore is good alternative for the middle-aged set not as concerned with making a scene. The hotel is decidedly cool, from the massive pool to the legendary golf course to the doting service. It's not directly on a beach and in a residential location, so plan on driving to that Kraftwerk set (or anything else you want to see in Miami, for that matter).
Our pro tip: The hotel's sleep residential location has not stopped it from procuring a truly awesome wine list. Make sure to sample a pre-concert bottle or two... Or several.