Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

Nothing inspires shopping for a new wardrobe quite like traveling.

Just look at how travel hotspots have become prime hotspots for luxury brands, like the Watches of Switzerland Group, who own brands like Rolex, Tudor and Breitling, are expanding their retail footprint to casinos and airports.

Or how luxury boutiques have turned to cruise ships, like Starboard Cruise Services, an LVMH Moët Hennessy company, has brought Cartier and Bulgari onboard.

No doubt, we love to spontaneously shop when we travel, which is why some hotels are taking things to the next level, when it comes to helping their guests find their next bikini or sundress.

It makes sense, considering the fashion-forward traveler is expecting a lot more on their travels. Hotels are upgrading their small boutiques into full-fledged shopping experiences that offer next-level luxe.

The Bal Harbour ACCESS Experience is the most upscale shopping experience in the city with exclusive shopping experiences for guests of the Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach. This rewards program launched in 2020, but is only picking up steam now, as tropical getaways are in full force.

“The vision,” said Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, founder of the ACCESS program, “is to develop the next generation luxury experience program.”

Imagine being ushered into the upscale shopping mall, only to be greeted by a host who offers you a complimentary cappuccino, and a special gift inside the ACCESS member’s suite. You then get “Nobu-only perks” at Bal Harbour, including two glasses of champagne and two complimentary makeovers at the friendly Neiman Marcus onsite. It works especially well for travelers who are coming to Miami for a wedding, or to attend a gala, or walk the red carpet.

Bal Harbour Shops ACCESS offers curated shopping and perks in the high-end shopping mall that is lined with Gucci, Balenciaga and Balmain boutiques, as well as restaurants like Café en 3, and Hillstone—where you can make in-app reservations easily.

“We create a membership experience that offers a rotating constellation of monthly benefits, exclusive incentives to be experienced at the stores and restaurants, and member-only invites,” says Aagaard.

The goal is to help curate shopping and dining options, as if you were asking a personal concierge for tips on where to get dinner tonight. It’s great for first-time visitors to Miami, who want a high-end luxury experience after spending the day shopping.

Member incentives include events like a shopping afternoon in the Alexandre Birman boutique, offering his latest collection on July 14, which includes exclusive access to cocktails and treats. They recently offered discount codes for the luxury rideshare company Alto, too.

In the app, members recently had the chance to RSVP to exciting fashion shows, like the virtual Zegna Summer 2023 collection. Now, Red Market Salon is offering complimentary paraffin wax treatments for hands or feet in July. And if you spent over $350 at Vilebrequin in July, you get a complimentary designer frisbee.

Next up, they’re hosting a “Unlock Luxury” event this October where members each get a chance to win top-tier prizes (one of last year’s prizes included a $25,000 vacation to the Galapagos Islands, as well as an Aston Martin Lease, and brand shopping sprees).

“It’s especially for fashion-lovers, and Nobu Miami guests have VIP access to the beautiful open-air shops providing an unmatched hospitality experience that extends beyond the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach walls,” said Martin Smith, the general manager of Nobu Hotel Miami Beach.

“Our guests are looking for the ultimate in luxury experiences and culture when they come to stay at our property,” he adds, “so it’s a natural partnership to deliver something special to our guests in this city. We provide luxury moments that will connect them to the best of Miami.”

Bal Harbour Shops opened in 1965 by retail visionary Stanley Whitman, and shortly after, it became the first all-luxury fashion center in the country. Pass the valet to find the finest selection of high-end retail in a tropical, open-air setting lined with palm trees and ponds.

Currently, the mall is planning a $550 million expansion where over 200,000 square feet of retail space will add roughly 40 new tenants by 2024. Some of their newly opened boutiques include tableware brand Christofle, as well as French glassmaking firm Lalique. The iconic British brand Burberry is expected to open at Bal Harbour Shops at the end of July.

“We want our guests to feel the unique chemistry between luxury, arts, and culture that we offer,” said Smith. “With both the property and shops located in the heart of Miami Beach, exquisite fashion is at our guest’s fingertips.”

Download the Bal Harbour Shops app here to join the ACCESS membership and rewards program.

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