Just when I thought life in Miami couldn’t get any more glamorous, Day 2 of Hotel Thrillist proved me wrong.  I woke up in our glorious hotel room at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, ready to enjoy the jam packed day.

Because of my binge eating and drinking the night before, I woke up ass-early in the AM to hit the gym.  So early, in fact, that the gym wasn’t even open yet!  Crap.  Well, I took a stroll around the pool soaking in the warm air, and at 8:00 am the gym finally opened.  It had a very Equinox-y feel to it, a super buff guy happy to hand me a towel, and a pretty high-tech treadmill that messed with me mentally and forced me to run longer.

After sweating profusely, I showed up and headed downstairs to La Cote out by the pool.  Breakfast was pretty standard eggs and meat but with a whole ton a great fresh fruit and pastries.  We had to speedily chow down on our food to make it to the Jungle Island tour.  While we went on the tour, other people opted to participate in a beachside yoga session and a hardcore fitness boot camp session with Equinox.

Arriving at Jungle Island, we were greeted by the tour guides and took photos with parrots perched on our arms and shoulders, and snakes wrapped around our necks.  The zoo was relatively small, but they had a huge variety of birds, monkeys, tigers, ginormous turtles, kangaroos, llamas, a boa constrictor, and a terrifying tarantula. 

Weird thing is that I am totally okay with snakes, I mean I guess as long as the handler is helping me out, but my hatred for spiders runs deep.  People were okay with holding the tarantula in their hands while I backed away to the further corner of the room.  A girl who was a Hotel Thrillist sweepstakes winner, a Southern Belle from Mississippi, posed all cutesy with it, holding it up to her face and sticking her tongue out at it, while another girl put it on her shoulder and let is crawl around.  I really almost cried and/or pissed myself.

I really can’t even look at this photos without getting chills. GUHHHH.

We also saw a cassowary, which I’ve never even seen or heard of.  It’s this huge ass bird that looks like a cross between an ostrich and a velociraptor – and as a matter of fact, scientists studied this bird to learn more about dinosaurs, and it’s apparently one of the top 10 most dangerous animals to have in a zoo, as it’s kick is twice the force of when a tiger bites down on it’s prey.  The trainer told us a story about how that particular cassowary tried to attack him, so it’s pretty much a miracle that he was alive to speak to us that day!

We made our way back to the hotel by 12:30 pm with the Thrillist Bazaar already underway.  Thrillist took over a large patio area above La Cote and turned each cabana into individual stations and stores.  Included in the Bazaare was:

  • Mixology classes with Hector Acevedo, presented by Bacardi Torched Cherry
  • Capoeira dance lessons presented by The Miami Capoeira Project Inc
  • Scratch DJ Academy classes for lessons on DJing like a pro
  • Discounted premium threads from Duncan Quinn, Unique Knits by Krel 2 Go, and custom jewelry creation by H.O.W.L. (Handle Only with Love)
  • House of Jackie Brown and Stunner of the Month set up shop with their bathing suits and sunglasses
  • An official Hotel Thrillist Miami Photo Booth Cabana, presented by Sony Cyber-shot
  • A beach sports tournament, presented by Nerf
  • The Everyman Challenge, presented by Klondike

Mmmm, the Klondike were the best things for the hot summer sun!  They melted way too fast, but they had an assortment of so many flavors to try – definitely check out the Crunch one!

The BBQ Showdown was also going on, with grills fired up between Peter Vauthy of Red, The Steakhouse and John Suley of Gotham SteakThe victims of the battle were huge fist-sizes scallops, Madagascar shrimp, and slabs of delicious steak.  The chefs are grilling pros, so hopefully other people took notes and will invite me to their BBQ parties over the summer.

We then enjoyed a midday feast at Scarpetta, and then I must have then had a flashback to Spring Break in college, because everyone returned to the poolside again re-energized for the pool party.  Corona Extra presented us an awesome pool party with DJ Elle an awesome live performances by Kat DeLuna.   An adorable firecracker, she performed her hit song “Whine Up,” and her new hit, “Push Push.”  Be sure to listen for it!

I’m slightly upset that I missed out on the massage sessions provided by Equinox., but I guess the next best thing was to sleep in the hotel’s insanely comfy beds.  After some rest, we were shuttled over to Red, The Steakhouse for the Torched Miami Night party, presented by Bacardi Torched Cherry and co-hosted by Overthrow.  

When we first walked in, we were escorted into the lobby where an awesome electric violinist was playing for us!  He looked super uncomfortable and awkward, but he performed without a hitch.  Upstairs we were munching on hor d’oeuvres when the sky started to darken… kinda like Armageddon… and, what do you know, it starts hurricaining again.  Everyone ducked for cover and the dinners plans started to go awry, but fortunately the bartenders were still in business.

The evening continued as best as possible, though unfortunate that 1/2 of the events were planned to be outside.  We saw performances by Senor Stereo, a sultry Fire Dancer throwing flames in our faces, Capoeria dancers, and the Miami Heat Dancers.

After the festivities at Red, we were shuffled back to our beloved Fontainebleau Hotel where an impromptu pool party was fueled by more Corona, Bacardi Torched Cherry, and some late-night swimming.

Needless to say, it was a great feeling to sleep in the next morning!  However, we still had to make sure we woke up for last call for breakfast.  Some people departed for the airport earlier  – silly, why not spend more time at the pool?  Which is exactly what I did, and why I’m sunburt, itchy, and peeling off my skin.  Totally worth it, of course!

In conclusion, Hotel Thrillist Miami was an amazing, unforgettable experience, and we are so incredibly greateful for the wonderful people at Thrillist!  For some awesome pictures, check out the gallery below, or see photos from Thrillist, and even more by Nick McGlynn from Random Night Out!

Until next time –