007 Travel story: Florida (USA) 2019: “The Best Hotel in Miami Beach”

In order to read our Florida 007 travel story from day 1, click here

6th July 2019:

Today’s Bond locations:

Hotel Fontainebleau Miami Beach

1 North Biscayne Boulevard exit

Joe’s Stone Crab

The day started with breakfast at a Cuban restaurant Puerto Sagua near our hotel, The Hotel of South Beach. It was really nice to have a slightly different breakfast and the Cuban coffee was delicious. Weather changes are rather rapid in Florida, and it had started raining during our meal and we got wet before running back to our hotel.

Puerto Sagua restaurant

The rain stopped as quickly as it had started, and we headed to the real beach of Miami…

Then we looked at some more beautiful cars at the Ocean Drive, like we did the day before, and then we walked into the “Under the Mango Tree” restaurant to have some refreshments. It was in the first 007 movie “Dr. No” (1962), where Bond girl Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) sings the song “Under the Mango Tree” and Bond also (Sean Connery) joins her to sing the song in the movie.

Bond (Sean Connery) singing “Under the Mango Tree” in “Dr. No” (1962)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

“Underneath the mango tree
Me honey and me can watch for the moon
Underneath the mango tree
Me honey and me we plan marry soon.”

Underneath the Mango Tree…

Then we went back to the bus stop near our hotel, and we hopped on the bus of Big Bus Tour and continued to “The Best Hotel in Miami Beach” as James Bond (Sean Connery) says in “Goldfinger” (1964).

“I might have know M wouldn’t have booked me into the best hotel in Miami Beach out of pure gratitude.”
Bond (Sean Connery) to Felix Leiter (Cec Linder) in “Goldfinger “(1964)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC
Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel from outside
Pirita and Mika / 007 Travelers
Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel – lobby

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a legendary hotel, which has been featured in several movies. Take a look at our introduction of the hotel here.

After lunch at Fontainebleau’s restaurant “Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina” we walked around the hotel for a bit and then hopped back onto the Hop On Hop Off bus. The tour continued to Miami Downtown side, and then we changed the bus line from the red line to a blue one, which went to Little Havana.

Nice car in Little Havana

There was also one Bond filming location along the route. In “Casino Royale” (2006) Bond (Daniel Craig) is in taxi and follows Alex Dimitrios (Simon Abkarian).

Bond (Daniel Craig) in taxi following Alex Dimitrios in “Casino Royale” (2006)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC
1 North Biscayne Boulevard exit
1 North Biscayne Boulevard exit in “Casino Royale” (2006)
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq, LLC

You can see Hyatt logo on the upper right corner of the picture from the film. The photo below is taken from Hyatt Regency Hotel and there is the same North Biscayne Boulevard exit from that point of view.

This photo taken from Hyatt Regency Hotel

Then we headed back to our hotel for a while, had some pool time and enjoyed the sun.

We had plans to join the night tour in the evening, but we missed the bus, because we had misunderstood the starting point of the tour and we had been on the wrong bus stop… So, we had to make a new plan and decided to go to dinner at “Joe’s Stone Crab”, where 007 had eaten in Ian Fleming‘s novel “Goldfinger” (1959), (actually it was called “Bill’s on the Beach” in the novel), but in Kate Westbrook‘s novel “The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel” (2005) Bond eats at “Joe’s Stone Crab” with Miss Moneypenny.

“He came into my room on our first evening, while I was writing, and it was only sleight of hand that prevented him from catching me in the act. He was in better spirits and whisked me off to a wonderful restaurant called Joe’s Stone Crab*

(* A South Beach landmark, first established in 1913, and as popular today. Appeared in Fleming’s Goldfinger, loosely disguised, as “Bill’s on the Beach”) on Southern Point, just across the road from the small park where I waited for his boat not to arrive. I showed him the jetty. “I was so worried about you”, I told him. “I thought your ship was never going to come in.” Well, it has now, my Penny”, he replied.

We sat for hours wearing plastic bibs, eating stone crabs with the melted butter dribbling down our chins, while he told me about his last visit here, the night before his first encounter with Goldfinger.”

Kate Westbrook: “The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel” (2005)

Joe’s Stone Crab

We took a free ride to the south point of Miami Beach and found the place. There was some queue, but the wonderful staff told us that the waiting time is about 20 minutes before we can have a table. You can read our article of this lovely restaurant here.

Travel tip: Trolley buses are free. See the schedules and route maps here

The next day we would e.g. meet the legendary Ricou Browning and visit a Bond hotel that was featured in a Bond novel. So, stay tuned!

See more 007 TRAVEL STORIES here

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