This impressive four-story wall is covered in living vines from top to bottom. Every other available space of the white hotel building walls encasing the small restaurant are covered in stunningly colorful graffiti-style mural painting, bringing the space completely to life.
Off the main thoroughfare, and into a more quiet neighborhood, the sounds of a two-man island-style band can be faintly heard, beckoning curious wanderers to wander in to relax and enjoy the sounds, the atmosphere, and the Cuban cuisine.
The Riviera Hotel South Beach consists of three buildings in the Art Deco style that's consistent up and down South Beach. Painted white on the outside, the walls are curved, and the floor tile is made of jewel tones flecked with stones. The varied colored tile begins and ends sporadically, creating beautiful abstract shapes -- a masterpiece of timeless 40s art.
Guest rooms are appointed in a style that’s both modern and deco, with white leather meeting those same jewel tones, side by side with gold mirrors and gold-trimmed pillows. The effect within the building is that of appreciating a rich historical past, with all the modern amenities of the present. The buildings transport guests to the era of dapper suits; to the years when the cocktail was being perfected.
And this is how it is in Miami; care-free, laid-back and relaxed. And it’s something that every guest, in time, begins to move with in rhythm.
In building one, there’s an espresso machine that makes Cubano shots. This kind of espresso--though intense--isn’t bitter. And although you can drink them straight, two creams added right when it’s handed to you--with its layer of crema still on top--is utterly delicious.
The working of this espresso machine, personifies the city in a charming way. Every single staff member--whether housekeeping, management, maintenance, or bellman--knows how to work the espresso machine. There’s not one person manning it at one time, so whichever staff member happens to walk by when there’s a guest standing near the espresso bar, will make the espresso for you. I had shots made by every one of those staff members mentioned. And this is how it is in Miami; care-free, laid-back and relaxed. And it’s something that every guest, in time, begins to move with in rhythm. By the end of your stay, you’re not in a rush, you’ll get there eventually, and the espresso bar is really just a place to meet staff members and other interesting and joyful guests while grabbing some caffeine for a warm walk on the beach just two two blocks away.
Between building two and three, there’s a short pathway to a little hidden gem -- Mas Cuba Cafe and Bar -- serving traditional Cuban food and doing it with flair. Both the restaurant and the guest seating area of the building are completely open-air with colorful tiles covering the expanse of space. Island-themed cushions cover the benches of the restaurant, and floral umbrellas cover many of the tables. Lining the largest wall are bright yellow chairs and bistro tables. This impressive four-story wall is covered in living vines from top to bottom. Every other available space of the white hotel building walls encasing the small restaurant are covered in stunningly colorful graffiti-style mural painting, bringing the space completely to life. Every colorful and lively aspect works together in surprising unity.
On the menu were Sweet Plantains--plantains sauteed in butter with cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar, and Tostones--mashed plantains that are twice-fried, creating a crispy, kind of plantain pancake.
We are lovers of Cuban food, and thus, always on the search for the best plantains. We are happy to report that Mas Cuba did not disappoint.
On the menu were Sweet Plantains--plantains sauteed in butter with cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar, and Tostones from the Spanish word tostar which means "to toast.” They are mashed plantains that are twice-fried, creating a crispy, kind of plantain pancake.
Although the entire menu is solid, the Lechon Asado is a top-seller and outstanding. It’s a slow-roasted pork marinated in lime and herbs. Have it with traditional black beans and rice, and with a side of both kinds of plantains for an authentic taste of Cuba. Also on the menu is another traditional dish, the Cuban sandwich made of Cuban bread, ham, mojo marinated shredded pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. Perfection. With your “taste of Cuba,” try a sip of it as well with one of Mas Cuba’s classic Cuban mojitos (one of multiple different versions available) made with fresh ingredients.
Our last tip, and the cherry that’s literally on top, is the rooftop pool. Take your mojito to the heights of the fourth floor and look out over the expanse of both South Beach, and back toward downtown Miami as well. There’s a pool, but there are also lounging beds with pillows. The breeze from the ocean is constant and cooling in the Miami heat. It’s the perfect place to wind down and into the relaxing flow of the city. The Riviera Hotel, with all of its Art Deco character and Cuban vibes, is the perfect little oasis to do just that.
Penthouse A: 35
Penthouse B: 60
Courtyard Pool Area: 100
Mas Cuba Cafe and Bar: 100
Want to learn even more about what Riviera Hotel South Beach has to offer? Go visit them.