South Florida hotels and spas that got Forbes' coveted 5-star rating

These are the South Florida hotels and spas that got Forbes' coveted 5-star rating

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami was listed as one of the Forbes Travel Guide 2020 award winners.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami was listed as one of the Forbes Travel Guide 2020 award winners. (St. Regis / Courtesy)
This may not come as a surprise, but South Florida is home to some pretty glamorous hotels and spas.
In fact, Miami and Palm Beach featured prominently when Forbes Travel Guide announced its 2020 Star Award Winners.
The list, which includes hotels, restaurants and spas around the globe, included 16 five-star properties in South Florida.
Forbes designates a five-star as "outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities." The list included 432 five-star properties in total.

The travel guide was compiled through the work of anonymous inspectors, who spend two-night stays at all the properties they visit.
"While we inspect both service and facility, our Star Rating system emphasizes service because your experience at a hotel, restaurant or spa goes beyond looks — how it makes you feel is what you will remember most," Forbes wrote of its process.
Here are the South Florida properties that earned five stars:


Acqualina Resort & Residences (Miami)
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Fanea Hotel Miami Beach
Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club (Miami)
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Mandarin Oriental, Miami
The Setai, Miami Beach
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort


Acqualina Spa by ESPA (Miami)
Eau Spa (Palm Beach)
Palm Beach Spa at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Remede Spa Bal Harbour
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club (Miami)
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami
The Spa at The Breakers Palm Beach

Brickell's Riverside Opens First Phase of Its Dining and Entertainment Complex

Brickell's Riverside Opens First Phase of Its Dining and Entertainment Complex (2)

Riverside, a 120,000-square-foot dining and entertainment park nestled along the Miami River, is now partially open.
Located between South Miami Avenue and SE First Avenue in Brickell, the venue was originally scheduled to debut last August. But six months later, details about the space — such as its design and food options — continue to emerge gradually.
Dimitri Metropolous, Riverside's spokesperson, was reluctant to discuss the setbacks and said the spot is "opening up in phases."
"We're improving on different areas of aesthetics, such as adding to the natural woods, turf area, and bars around the venues," Metropolous said. "Structurally, putting together a project this massive takes time. There are different vendors involved, and everything needs to be in line with city regulations."
Since the venue's soft opening during Super Bowl weekend, the main lounge, the AWA bar, the Miami River Brewery taproom, and the mixology bar have been operating part-time.
On the food front, Taco Gourmet, Crush Pizza, and Old Lisbon are offering salads, hamburgers, hot dogs, picanha, chicken and bacon skewers, smoked salmon sandwiches, and paella.

When it's complete, Riverside will offer seven dining concepts, including two chef-driven restaurants: AWA Asian Cuisine, an izakaya-style spot led by Gonzalo Arganaras; and a Mediterranean eatery, Patio Rivera, by John Iatrellis.
Riverside will also house Crush Pizza Bar & Cafe, a casual concept from the team behind Le Chick. In addition, guests can enjoy a menu of Portuguese seafood at Lisboeta (run by Old Lisbon), Mexican cuisine at Taco Gourmet, and gelato at San Lorenzo.
Designed to resemble a boatyard garden and provide the Brickell community with a waterfront meeting point, the venue also promises a rotation of weekly activations. The calendar will include Taco Tuesdays, Wine & Whiskey Wednesdays, live music, and family activities.

Whether the multi-use space will become what its investors call "Brickell's backyard" remains to be seen.
"There is no exact projected date for it to be completed, but the team is ready," Metropolous said. "We want to have it all together within a month."
In the future, Riverside will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight. For now, it's operating under limited weekend hours.
Riverside. 431 S. Miami Ave., Miami; Thursday 4 to 8 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 11

REDUCED! Stunning North Pinecrest Mansion

Stunning North Pinecrest Mansion

5880 SW 94th St, Pinecrest, FL
8 bed • 9.5 bath • 7,454 sqft • 38,332 sqft lot



Contemporary and recently custom-built, this 1 acre, street-to-street mansion is perfectly located in North Pinecrest, just a short distance from all of South Miami's, Pinecrest's, and Coral Gables' schools, restaurants, and shops. This nearly 8,000 sqft home has 8 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms. Along with its expansive kitchen and living areas, the entire house is completed with top-of-the-line finishes. With large pool and club house areas that beautifully combine indoor and outdoor living – this house is the perfect place for entertaining family and friends.

Fixer Upper Single Family Homes

Ready for Renovation

1314 Pizaro St | Coral Gables

Beautiful 2-story home on a tree lined street minutes away from Granada Golf Course and downtown Coral Gables! This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home features walk in closets, a laundry room, and a split floor plan. Full sized one car garage as well! Grand family room with nearly 20 foot ceilings and mezzanine. Bedroom layout is split, with the master bedroom & bathroom secluded from the rest of the home, offering privacy. Attached one car garage. Corner lot; walking distance to Granada Golf Course. 2 air conditioners, one for upstairs & one for downstairs. One of the lowest priced two story homes in Coral Gables!

Property Details

3 Bed | 2 Baths
1,500 SF

Offered at $495,000

102 NW 109th ST | Miami Shores

Corner home in Miami Shores, circular driveway, large backyard with mango trees, located on one of the quietest streets in the area, centrally located, garage converted can be use as a Florida room, huge living room, eat in kitchen, hurricane shutters, air conditioner less than 4 years old, roof about 9 years old,washer and dryer.

Property Details

3 Bed | 2 Baths
1,928 SF

Offered at $480,000

Quadro | Miami

Prices start at $400,000

The first avant-garde residences to completely integrate art, design, and innovation throughout the entire building. Quadro is the connection between the Bay and Miami’s Design District”



• Turn-key Residences
• Stainless Steel Appliances
• In-residence Washer & Dryer
• Private Balcony with Spectacular Views
• High-ceilings throughout — 9’–12’*
• Floor-to-ceiling Windows in Select Units
• European, Self-closing Cabinetry
• Sleek Compac Quartz Countertops in Kitchen & Bathrooms
• Custom, Designer Lighting Package
• LATCH Keyless Unit Entry
• NEST Thermostat in Every Residence
• Italian Porcelain Tile Throughout
• Modern, White Roller Shades
• Open Concept Kitchen & Living Room

• 12-story Residential Building
• 198 1 & 2-Bedroom Residences ranging from 762 to 1,199 sq. ft.
• Walking Distance to the Miami Design District
• Panoramic Views of Biscayne Bay, Bay Point, and the Downtown Skyline
• Porte-cochère Entry showcasing Sculptures in Motion
• Serene Infinity Edge Swimming Pool with Panoramic Bay Views
• Elegant Lobbies & Lounge Area featuring Avant-garde Art Installations
• Lush Patio Deck with Resort-style Cabanas
• Outdoor Wet Bar with Summer Kitchen & BBQ Stations
• Custom Artwork & Sculptures by Art with DNA
• Sophisticated Game Room & Conference Area
• Poolside Lounge with Indoor Kitchen & Bar
• Ground Floor Retail Areas
• Hi-tech On-Demand Fitness Center with Yoga & Spinning Room
• State-of-the-Art Pet Spa — High Tech Dog Wash Machine
• Air-conditioned Bike Room & Repair Station
• Expansive Club Room
• Electric Car Charging Stations
• Luxer One Smart Package System

Alta Developers is a South-Florida based real estate joint venture development
firm, whose principal Raimundo Onetto has been involved in some of
the most noteworthy additions to the South Florida real estate landscape,
with current projects such as EON Flagler Village, Pacifica Boynton Beach,
Neovita Doral, and past projects such as One Paraiso, Le Parc at Brickell,
900 Biscayne, Quantum on the Bay, Metropolis at Dadeland, among others.
These properties have been ahead of the curve from the start of each project
– often leading the way for future development in the areas and neighborhoods
they occupy. Through advanced aesthetics and technology, Alta
Developers developed with a commitment to environmental sustainability
and cultural integrity, ensuring a continued stature as landmark properties
in a particular destination. To date, this smart, thorough approach to development
has resulted in being ever watchful for future opportunities in
emerging neighborhoods throughout Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and beyond.

Lower your commission?

Regardless of how long you’ve been in the industry, you’ve probably had at least one client ask you about your commission. Although some realtors and agents find that this question rarely arises, it’s safe to assume it will become a more frequent request as technology continues to disrupt the real estate industry.
Even though the industry is changing and clients now have more information at their fingertips (and thus more power), there’s no doubt you want to preserve your livelihood no matter what the real estate sphere looks like in another 5, 10 or 20 years.
So how do you handle the commission question in a way that protects your income and grows your clientele? Here are some thoughts to consider when asked to lower your commission.
Mulling Over The Commission Question
When potential clients ask you to lower your commission, it can seem like a dagger to the heart. They may just be asking about your commission, but it’s easy to feel that they’re actually questioning your worth.
Instead of getting worked up, the first thing you need to remember is that these clients are throwing a question at you, not a command. They want to find out if a lower commission is in the realm of possibility; they’re not saying they won’t work with you unless you reduce it.
Thus, it’s your job to begin an open dialogue with any potential client who raises the issue.
Find Out Why They’re Asking
While your first instinct may be to get defensive, it’s important you redirect the question to determine what the client’s motivation is for asking. Sometimes clients challenge commissions because they know someone who got a deal. But usually when clients inquire about realtors’ or agents’ commissions, it’s either because money is tight or they don’t have a full understanding of what real estate professionals do.
So instead of getting confrontational, you should try to learn as much as you can about your clients, their finances and their knowledge of the industry.
Listen To Them Carefully
Relationships between real estate professionals and their clients are built on trust. The problem with the commission question is that it can throw a wrench in the process of building trust if mishandled and ultimately steer the relationship in the wrong direction.
Clients want to know that they can put their faith in you and you’re not just looking to make some easy cash. When you ask your clients why they want you to cut your commission, make sure you genuinely listen to their answer with empathy.
Restate Their Concerns
When clients speak, they want to feel heard. Therefore, you should repeat their concerns back to them after your clients have finished answering your question.
When handling the commission question, John Grimes, a REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, deescalates the situation: “I paraphrase their statement to make sure that they understand I’m hearing them. That often calms people down. People are desperate to be heard and understood.”
Grimes finds that “People tend to calm themselves when their aggression is met with professionalism because the contrast is uncomfortable.”
Acknowledging your clients’ concerns aloud will validate their feelings and make them feel as though you understand where they’re coming from. Furthermore, reiterating the issue will ensure you fully understand the problem and are both on the same page.
Address The Issue
If your clients’ problem is a monetary one, go through their finances with them and help them understand how much money they’ll potentially spend and earn at the close of the transaction. Clients tend to feel far more comfortable with commissions when they have a clear grasp of how much money they’ll be walking away with at the end of the day.
When the issue is that your clients don’t fully comprehend what realtors and agents do, you must walk them through the process. Your clients may think that your job begins and ends with listing their home on a multiple listing service (MLS) and putting a sign in their yard. You need to explain the value you bring to the table.
Either way, the discussion you have with your clients must clarify what your commission pays for, which means you need to articulate all of the services and expertise you provide.
Eve Henry, an accredited luxury home specialist and owner of Eve Henry Homes, explains, “I always take an expense sheet with me to every listing appointment showing exactly what I have to spend up front with no guarantees (pictures, videos, marketing flyers, ads, signage, open house material, Facebook ads, etc.). I then briefly explain that my brokerage takes a percentage.”
Demonstrate Your Worth
Even after you’ve gone through the ins and outs of your services and their costs, you may still need to back up your merit with evidence.
“I show my clients that I’m worth every penny by showing proof of my recent sales,” explains Russell Volk, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Elite in Bucks County, Pa. “I can show how much the house sold for vs. the asking price. I can show how long it was on the market. I can show various statistics that act as proof of the value I bring in a real estate transaction.”
By taking your clients through the properties you’ve sold in and around their neighborhood as well as all the transactions you’ve closed in the last 3 months, you can help build their confidence in you. The volume of your sales will help signal to your clients that you’re experienced and will be a valuable asset to them.
Providing your clients with testimonials from those you’ve previously worked with is another excellent way to help convince them of your worth. Testimonials help gain clients’ trust because they prove that others have trusted you in the past. Clients want to be reassured that you’re the right person to work with, and the best way to convince them is by having someone else tell them.
Make sure you’re not only knowledgeable about the industry but also about the people working within it. “I think that knowing your competition goes hand in hand with knowing the client’s motivation. You can use the stats against your competition and shine a light on what you are offering and what you can do for them,” says Jennifer Murtland, a REALTOR® with Team Synergi, eXp Realty.
When explaining the value they add for their clients, Murtland and her team pull stats on competing agents’ list price to sale price ratio, average days on the market, percentage of sales in the area and expiration rate. She explains, “Bottom line is to use the stats that work for you. You control the information.”
The commission question doesn’t have to be a point of contention. If you do your homework, pay attention to your clients’ concerns and explain your business clearly, it can be an opportunity to impress your clients.

New Miami Property Bargains

  • 4 bedroom, 3 bath CBS house plus guest house. 1 acre lot.
  • 3297 sq. ft. Guest house is 770 sq. ft. POOL.
Asking $389,000
  • 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath CBS house with 2 car garage.
  • 2968 sq. ft. Great shape. Built in 2003.
Asking $425,000
  • 3 bedroom, 2 bath plus 1 bedroom, 1 bath.
  • Can be a SFH with in-law-suite. Decent shape.
Asking $269,900
  • 4 bedroom, 2 bath CBS house. 2323 sq. ft.
  • POOL. Basement. Tile floors. Central AC.
Asking $239,000
  • 4 bedroom, 1 bath CBS house. 900 sq. ft.
  • Corner lot. Tile and carpet. Needs normal work.
Asking $174,900
*$19,000 Reduction*
  • 3 bedroom, 1 bath CBS house. 1012 sq. ft.
  • Fully updated and ready to rent. Clear title at closing.
Asking $156,000
  • 3 bedroom, 2 bath CBS house. 1412 sq. ft.
  • This needs updates inside. Roof 15 yrs but good.
  • Good fix and flip. Easy to see.
Asking $229,900
  • 4 bedroom, 2 bath frame home. 1354 sq. ft.
  • Built in 2000. Separate laundry room. Good shape.
Asking $169,900
  • 3 bedroom, 2 bath CBS home. 1545 sq. ft.
  • Built in 2009. Good shape. Vacant at closing.
Asking $480,000
  • TRIPLEX. Fully rented. Separate meters.
  • 3/1 rented $1800. Two 2/1's rented $1500 and $1550.
  • $4850 gross a month. Great shape.
Asking $589,900

  • 2 bedroom, 1 bath CBS home plus a den.
  • New Central AC. Needs TLC. Great area.
Asking $218,000
  • 2 bedroom, 2 bath CBS home plus one car garage.
  • 1053 sq. ft. Tile floors. Needs work.
Asking $150,000

650 Carolina Ave. Ft. Lauderdale 33312
  • 2 bedroom, 1 bath CBS home with a Florida room.
  • Carport. The interior needs updates.
Asking $180,000

824 NW 17 Ave Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
  • 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath House, CBS 963 Sqft.
  • New Kitchen, New Bathroom, New Floors. Good Roof. 
  • Turn Key Rental. Rentals in Area $1,850
Asking $184,900
Now $177,900

4151-4153 NW 3 Ave., Deerfield Beach 33064
  • Legal Duplex Completely Remodeled. Both Units are 2/1's. 1,717 Sq.Ft.
  • New Kitchen, New Bathroom, New Central AC, New Tile Floors.
  • Rented for $2,825.
Asking $321,000

441 NE 29 St., Pompano Beach 33064
-Duplex, Huge Reduction-
  • Legal Duplex Completely Remodeled. One 3/1 and a big  1/1. 1,847 Sq.Ft.
  • Built on two lots 13,700 Sqft. Extra lot on the side.
  • New Kitchen, New Bathroom, New Central AC, New Tile Floors.
  • Separate Meters. Rented for $2,400.
Asking $314,000
NOW $299,900