The Mandarin Oriental Hotel located on Brickell Key showed their full five star splendor on Thursday night, January 22nd, hosting their lavishly extravagant Chinese New Year celebration. The experience of the three hour event started before guests stepped out of their cars, greeted by over zealous valets and the soothing sounds of oriental chimes. Once inside, the Mandarin did nothing but impress, from the candle-lit stairway leading to the pool and the ornately engraved ice sculptures.

The decorations set the scene, transforming the south side of Brickell Key into an Asian sensation. But before any recovery from first impressions was allowed, guests were ushered to the Mandarin’s new addition, a private beach overlooking downtown Miami and the grandeur of the bank district’s glistening lights. If that wasn’t enough, the 600 Miami elite present were catered to with an open bar, colorfully displayed food buffets, including sushi and wok stations, and a live band. None of which was overshadowed by the forty-five minute show of martial arts, unicyclists, balancing act, and ribbon dancing.

The gala lasted from seven o’clock to ten o’clock and left many guests speechless, with the night’s events capped off by a thirty minute fireworks display. Dozens of gold wisps, red swirls, and green sparks lit the bay, reminding those that it was the New Year. The Mandarin, one of the best hotels in downtown Miami, had the event planned down to the second, with each aspect of the party perfectly planned, ensuring that every guest was filled with nothing but a sense of utter euphoria.

and men fresh from work in suits, with the occasional suede jacket. However, younger partygoers could be found throughout the crowd, girlies frolicking in short miniskirts and boys conversing with businessmen drink in hand. And if all that wasn’t enough, those that needed to further relax could ascend into one of the carved raised beds

and receive an authentic Chinese massage, complete with small heating

stones. The event’s only downfall was the women’s combination of sand

and heels, providing for some comedy as several women decided to brave

the challenge of walking across the beach, greeted with a

mouth full of sand. As ten o’clock rolled around, the Bentlys, Porsches,

and Mercedes rolled out of the parking garage, whisking away the selected into

the Miami night, off to continue their celebration of the New Year in places

such as downtown MIA and SoBe.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at