May Swan-Easton on 03 June 2016
When my niece Lisa announced, she was getting married in July and wanted her hen party to be in Miami in June and asked her best friend and I to organise it all for her – I nearly fainted with excitement!

There were 4 of us in the party (she had an afternoon tea as well for everyone else at a swanky London hotel later in June); My niece Lisa, her best friend and I all travelled from UK and my other niece (Bride2be's sister) flew in from Grand Cayman where she lives.

Lisa only knew the dates of the Hen weekend and that it was going to be Miami but no other details. Imagine her surprise when we rocked up at Heathrow to fly Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic! Champagne and giggles all round, merrily pushing buttons, reclining seats to the flat bed position and back again, toasting each other across the aisles, plumping up cushions and sampling the goodies in the complimentary toiletry bag.

On arrival, we met up with my other niece who had patiently been waiting for nearly 2hrs and a quick whisper in the cabbie’s ear of our destination along with the address on a piece of paper (which will self-destruct in 10 seconds,,,) and my niece Lisa trying to overhear what I was saying.

I even had to fill out my niece’s arrival card into USA card which required the address of the hotel (despite weeks of my niece trying to trip us all up in revealing where we were staying),we managed to keep it a secret from her until we actually pulled up outside the amazing ‘W’ SOUTH BEACH HOTEL!

I’ve never seen my niece speechless before and it was priceless.

Check-in was so swift and efficient and within minutes of walking through the hotel front door we were shown to our OASIS OCEAN VIEW SUITE on the 19th floor which measured a huge 1151 Square Feet plus a 220 square-foot of balcony across the lounge and bedroom with spectacular ocean and beach views. The room even had a fully equipped kitchen with washer/dryer and a ginormous American fridge with a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for us. 3 television sets, a Bose Surround Sound CD/DVD player, separate bedroom and media room featuring a pull-out sofa bed plus 1½ bathrooms.

The first night we took a 10mins taxi to a newly opened Asian Fusion restaurant called NaiYaRa that was recommended to me by a client which didn’t disappoint. Cool cocktails, great menu, lively atmosphere and fish tacos to die for.

The next day we shopped till we dropped at Dolphin Mall which was a 30mins taxi ride away back near Miami Airport and between us, visited every single one of the 240 retail outlets. Brand names at discounted prices – bargain of the day was a Calvin Klein bag reduced to less than $20USD!

I left the Bride2be and her best friend still in a shopping frenzy but searching for the last bargain down Lincoln Road which is wall to wall shops and al fresco eateries. My other niece and I decorated the room fit for a Hen and awaited Lisa’s arrival.

That night we played a few girly hen games and gave the Bride2be lots of gifts and then all hurriedly rushed to shower and get changed for our big night out at Juvia roof top restaurant with a vertical garden which serves an eclectic mix of food in an unparalleled setting with panoramic views of the city. A little over priced but lots of fun, good service and very lively. Thumbs up to my friends at Miami CVB in UK who recommended it!

I managed to organise VIP access to the exclusive Wall Lounge Nightclub – we felt equally famous as we breezed past the 20+ people in the queue as we gave our names and the rope of hope was picked up for us as we were ushered in by the burly gate keeper.

I couldn’t understand any of the music or lyrics and we only stayed an hour after buying 4 drinks at $20 a pop! But it’s where the beautiful people go to be seen so we just had to be there!

After a few more drinks in the Hotel bar which was heaving and had a great atmosphere we took ourselves one by one off to bed with the last hen standing returning back at 4am.

After a groggy start, we found a great bistro for breakfast 5 mins walk from the hotel in South Beach and then I headed off to Lincoln Road to do a last-minute bit of shopping and the other hens had a walk on Miami beach and then retired to the pool to nurse sore heads and have a lunch of fries, Margaritas & Mojitos!!

Our weekend came to an end all to soon when we had to say our goodbyes at Miami airport later that day as my niece flew back to Cayman and we flew back in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic back to Heathrow.

I slept like a baby in my flat bed dressed in PJs courtesy of Virgin Atlantic with the sights and sounds of South Beach, Miami dancing in my head – Oh what a fantastic endless hen weekend we had!