Over the past year, Terry and I have had to make regular trips to Miami for medical tests (specifically MRI brain scans to keep track of tumors in my brain, and if necessary, remove one with Gamma Knife surgery). At first, these trips were fraught with anxiety - we were nervous about the procedure, we didn't know our way around the highways of Miami and the streets of Coral Gables where Doctors' Hospital is located. We got lost a lot and that increased the anxiety, the hotel was mediocre, we couldn't find a restaurant we both liked. It was never a pleasant experience.
And then...we discovered The Hotel San Michel, a wonderful little 1920's flatiron building tucked among skyscraper office buildings.
It's very European and old fashioned as you can see in the pictures below. Stucco walls and barrel ceilings outlined in the original Spanish tile of the period.
Lovely old carved entry doors. all original lighting fixtures, and a tiny elevator that must have been installed when Mr. Otis was alive.
The attendant carries your bag and closes the bronze gate. The bronze door closes and up you go as she pulls the lever (no push-buttons here).
The room keys are big brass keys on big brass rings. You feel like you are on a movie set for a period film! All of the furniture in the hotel is antique.Contemporary flat-screen TVs are placed on antique sewing machine tables. Armoires instead of closets. Only the bathrooms are modern. The rooms are tiny but charming with pretty quilts and pillow shams, and air conditioners. And the price of all this atmosphere is the same a the chain hotel we were staying in!
The way we found this little gem is a funny story. We pulled up to our usual hotel to find the lobby teeming with squealing teenage girls jumping up and down. There was a cheerleading competition going on and no rooms were available (thank goodness). The very helpful desk clerk suggested the San Michel. He said, "Take a look. It's nearby and they have a room available. It's not for everyone but I think you may like it".
Well, of course, we loved it and were thrilled to discover the fabulous restaurant, Gaetano's right off the lobby.
Now our trips to Miami have become romantic getaways, something to look forward to instead of dread. Lemonade out of lemons.
The good news is that this trip's test showed a brain 100% cancer free! A real reason to celebrate...maybe with a little weekend at the San Michel?
All good wishes,