First there were the Baz Luhrmann– and Catherine Martin–designed hotel and penthouse residences. Then a thriving cultural center grew around it. And now, a sexy cabaret and modern bazaar have joined the mix. The man in the white fedora certainly doesn’t like to sit still.
Alan Faena, the visionary developer and hotelier behind Miami’s Faena District, has introduced two new concepts to his self-styled urban utopia: Faena Bazaar, a creatively curated marketplace, and Samsara Cabaret, a mesmerizing spectacle of dance and music.
The former is being billed as a “modern incarnation of the souk” because of its eclectic retail mix, but in reality the space is far more highly evolved than the markets in ancient medinas. Here you’ll find hand-selected vintage objects and fashion by established and emerging designers, with an emphasis on Latin American talent. The shops look like jewel boxes, decorated with everything from colorful kilims and textiles to shell-encrusted mirrors—all the better for the display of treasures.
Night brings the heady sights and sounds of Samsara, a fantastical sensory experience about a stardust being who goes on a transformative journey across the cosmos, meeting other mercurial creatures along the way. Aerialists fly and spin above the stage as the music of electric violinist Shane Borth and cellist Benjamin Muñoz rises to a crescendo. With superb singing by vocalists EnVee and Yoli Mayor, as well as a high-energy light show, Samsara provokes and seduces.
Combining the cabaret with dinner at Los Fuegos yields the quintessential Miami evening. Argentine asador Francis Mallmann’s fire kitchen turns out some of the finest grilled meats in South Florida, including a 42-ounce Porterhouse that’s a thing of beauty. Seafood dishes, especially the octopus a la plancha, are equally superb. The grillmasters turn up the heat on Sunday for a full-on asado brunch featuring Argentine specialties like morcilla, ojo de bife, and empanadas as well as the usual suspects.
Faena, who is almost always spotted in white garb and his signature chapeau, has created a universe of art, design, and fantasy at his namesake district—and his star shows no sign of eclipsing. (faena.com) «