Best ways to catch the first Miami Grand Prix Formula 1 race
Formula 1 (F1) racing is one of the most popular sports in the world, and interest in the country has recently been boosted by the popular Netflix series Formula 1: drive to survive.
But so far the United States has only hosted one annual F1 race, the United States Grand Prix in October at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas outside of Austin, Texas. This is why the addition of not one but two brand new F1 races here is a very big deal in the sports world.
This year the domestic field doubles with the addition of a race in Miami (May 6-8), and next year it will triple with the F1 debut of Las Vegas, also a recurring annual event. With the incredible over-the-top entertainment capacity, tons of public viewing spots, the race taking place at night on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, and the proven wild popularity of the city’s magnetic appeal for sports tourism, the Nevada’s edition will probably emerge as the most popular for traveling viewers, but it’s still a year and a half younger. Meanwhile, Miami prepares for its first big race, with the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix only two short weeks away and the race is already sold out.
But not quite.
Although there are no more regular tickets for sale, a handful of luxury hotels offer packages that include tickets — and more. Almost all of Miami’s top hotels increased their rates during the race, especially for the coveted penthouses, but very few actually include anything other than the room. There are, however, a few exceptions, and in addition, another turnkey way to combine access to the race with a wide range of hotels at all price points. A caveat is that these were announced as available at the time I wrote this, but given the short time frame, this can change quickly. There’s also a full list of other accessible public events built around the race itself – even if you don’t have tickets – including Fan Fest, Miami Speed Week and other assorted hoopla, everything you can read here.
Just for context, racing is very big here, and a brand new course has been built in the car parks around Hard Rock Stadium, including a ‘marina’ meant to echo the feel of the first Formula 1 race at the world and a top notch Bucket List sporting event, the Monaco Grand Prix, which many very wealthy spectators watch from their yachts. The new track has 19 bends and 11 grandstands.
These are the packages I found. Also, if you have plenty of points in Bonvoy, the world’s largest hotel loyalty program from the largest hotel company, Marriott, you can use them to purchase Miami Grand Prix packages through Bonvoy Moments, the new “experiential” redemption of the program. arm. Since Bonvoy covers dozens of hotel brands, including luxury icons Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and JW Marriott, the program is very well represented in South Florida. Learn more about using your Bonvoy Points for top-level sports and entertainment experiences here in my recent article.
Acqualina: I started with this one because this is where I would want to stay if I was going to Miami. This well-established luxury resort earns the highest Forbes 5-star rating possible for its accommodations and spa, and sits on 4.5 oceanfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach. Acqualina is incredibly well-appointed for its size – just 98 exquisite rooms and suites and 188 residences, and the dining options are impressive, with nothing but Italian, Greek and Japanese specialties, with Il Mulino New York, the Costa Grill in outdoors and the new Restaurant Ke-uH. It has three oceanfront pools, a great spa, and if you bring the kids, they’ll love the marine biology-based kids’ program.
The “Miami F1 Speed” package from Acqualina includes accommodation in a deluxe one-bedroom suite with a private balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; two tickets to the Miami Grand Prix on May 6, 7 and 8 (in the Beach Grandstand section); a Roll-Royce Ghost (provided by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Miami) for three days of use during the stay to drive to the stadium in style or explore Miami; a private Royal Spa Relax suite at the award-winning Acqualina Spa with a three-hour spa trip for two; Daily breakfast for two; and a welcome bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne to get you started (from $4,600 per night based on a five-night minimum stay).
Fena: The Faena Miami Beach is the official hotel of the Red Bull racing team and as such offers a “Race Weekend Experience at Red Bull Guest House in Miami” for anyone booking a Premier Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite or higher room class for a minimum of four nights. The package includes a team DJ musical event, a meet and greet with the drivers and, throughout the race, access to the official Red Bull Hospitality suite – with breakfast, lunch, dinner and luxury open bar – as well as a motorcade escort to and from the track, 3-day tickets and various “activations and celebrations”. You will need to contact the hotel for price and availability.
F1 experiences: Few other hotels in the area offer ticket packages, this is where F1 experiences The official supplier of tickets and travel packages for Formula 1, F1 Experiences, is in turn managed by QuintEvents, a giant in the sports hospitality market and official supplier of many major events, from the Superbowl to the Kentucky Derby. I have personally traveled with QuintEvents and they do a great job adding value in the form of VIP access with shorter entry lines to venues, transport, behind the scenes extras and as an official F1 partner they have plenty of assigned seating, plus multiple venue and hotel options.
For the Miami Grand Prix, they offer flexible packages that you can book online with your choice of 3-day tickets for seats, always available in one of four zones, from the Beach Grandstand ($1,027) to the coveted Turn 18 Grandstand ($2,399). You can buy tickets only or add a hotel, from over two dozen choices, including some of the area’s top luxury picks: Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott Marquis, JW Marriott, East Hotel Miami, SLS Lux, SLS Brickell , The Gabriel, InterContinental and more, with options ranging from $248 to over $1,200 per night. F1 Experiences also allows you to add VIP hospitality to the race, including Champions Club, Formula One Paddock Club or team packages, all with private suites offering meals and drinks included, driver appearances and celebrities and more.