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The essential guide for surviving Art Basel 2018 in Miami


Where to berth


Last year, over 82,000 visitors migrated to Miami for Art Basel. Join the dealers, artists and players heading to Miami 2018 from 6-9 December, with the ultimate survival tips from Claire Wrathall & Kristin Ducote. Here they share their insider guide to navigating the turbocharged Miami Art Basel party season. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

1. Where to Berth

Island Gardens: Miami’s newest marina is also one of the best superyacht marinas in Miami. It has a postcard view of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay and is the only marina capable of accommodating yachts measuring up to 168 metres. Its central location between Miami and Miami Beach makes it an easy starting point if you plan to spend time in both places.

Fontainebleau Eden Roc Dock Marina: The annual epicentre of the Miami Boat Show, the marina is ideal if you plan to spend most of your time on Miami Beach as it grants quick access to the beach tents of the Scope and Pulse fairs, as well as the many Faena and Soho Beach House events. However, bridge traffic is difficult during Art Basel so if you want to spend time in the Design District or Wynwood, tender to a site on the mainland and take a car from there.

Fisher Island: If you are lucky enough to be a member of Fisher Island (or know someone who is) book a slip in advance for this exclusive marina. The heady mix of country club and island life is deeply addictive. While the ferry is a bit inconvenient, if you tender to the different areas of the city you wish to visit, Fisher is a great option.

Sunset Harbour Yacht Club: Bordering one of Miami Beach’s most up-and-coming neighbourhoods you will find healthy restaurants, small boutiques and gyms just a short walk from your slip. The downside of the marina, which can berth yachts up to 45 metres, is that traffic in the area is dense — so tender to the satellite fairs and restaurants outside this neighbourhood.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Felix Mizioznikov

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Where to anchor


Fisher Island: One of my favourite anchorages is just south of Fisher Island, and not far from Virginia Key. It’s a choice spot to drop the hook as it’s usually in the lee, has a panoramic view of downtown Miami and there is easy access to the ocean, making it one of the best toy-friendly destinations.

Nixon Beach: Located just offshore from the former winter White House compound on the west side of Key Biscayne is Nixon Beach — in fact, a one-acre helipad still exists from the Nixon days. With crystal clear water made for swimming and a nearby sandbar that’s perfect for a stroll during low tide, you will feel secluded from the hustle and bustle but still close enough to tender in for the art fairs.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Felix Mizioznikov

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Where to refuel


Garden Café

Just across the street from the convention centre, try Art Basel’s annual pop-up Garden Café, with offerings by award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein.

Casa Tua

Book in advance for lunch at the iconic, family run Casa Tua, which is less than half a mile from the convention centre, and request a table in its lush garden. Try the tagliolini pasta with crème fraîche and caviar while you rub shoulders with the art world cognoscenti.

Matador Room

For lunch with a view, book a table at the Miami Beach EDITION hotel’s Matador Room. With a beautiful outdoor terrace under a verdant canopy, it overlooks the hotel’s pool and the Atlantic beyond. It doesn’t get more Miami than this.

Coffee Connoisseur

Keep an eye out for one of the local Panther Coffee shops and order a “mac milk cap”, an unbelievably strong and sweet cappuccino made with macadamia nut milk.


Cecconi’s atrium, located on the first floor of the Soho Beach House, is one of the best places for Hollywood celeb sightings, people watching and soaking up the hippest strata of the art social scene – and you don’t have to be a Soho House member to access it. However, expect crowds trying to cut through the hotel to the VIP Soho Beach Tent on the sand and a long wait at the valet.

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