Miami Beach Travel Guide

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The Hall in Miami, JDV's First East Coast Hotel, Will Have a 'Top Chef' In-House

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  Site Where: 1500 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 14, 2015 at 6:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

Earlier this year, we learned West Coast born-and-raised Joie de Vivre Hotels (JDV) would be expanding its horizons to Miami and New York. We're still waiting on the full details of the NYC property, but The Hall in Miami, at 15th and Collins, is going ahead with its "late summer" opening and now they've got "Top Chef" alum, Spike Mendelsohn, to create the food and bar menus.

Sunny's will be Spike's first outpost in Miami. The spot is named after his grandfather, but is also a nod to the weather in Miami (most days.) Designed by Robert McKinley, who also did the interiors for the rest of the hotel, Sunny's will "blend rustic elements and the tropics with natural, hand-crafted wood tables, all-weather chairs made from reclaimed rebar, and a Florida keystone main countertop."

Spike plans on serving reinterpretations of his favorite dishes he's picked up while traveling. That includes a Gulf Coast Grilled Grouper “Reuben,” the Greek-inspired Lifeguard Focaccia Myrtos Beach-Style, and the Jersey Shore Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich. (Um, it's not pork roll. It's Taylor ham. Just saying.) Spike will also create made-to-order, brick-oven pizzas for The Hall's backyard bar and outdoor lounge area.

We wonder if his former judge, Tom Colicchio, will pop in. Colicchio, after all, is opening his Beachcraft restaurant up the road at the 1 Hotel South Beach.

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Inside the 1 Eco-Conscious Sensation That is 1 Hotel South Beach

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  Site Where: 2341 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 3, 2015 at 6:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The opening of 1 Hotel South Beach has been a very long time coming.

The luxury 1 Hotels brand, with its eco-friendly focus, was first announced in 2006 by Starwood Capital Group, led by Barry Sternlicht, the man largely credited with bringing boutique hotel experiences to the masses with W Hotels.

But 1 Hotels was quickly put on hold once the economic crisis hit in 2008. (As evidenced by this hole in the ground.)

Then nearly two years ago, word came that 1 Hotels would be resurrected, with their first property opening in South Beach, inside the old Gansevoort South Beach which was formerly the Roney Palace, an apartment building (many apartments still remain, although they are separate from the hotel.)

Today, after extensive, estimated $270 million renovation (not including the $230 million spent to buy the property), 1 Hotel South Beach is officially up and running, with the second 1 Hotel-- 1 Hotel Central Park--not that far behind (It's expected opening date is now mid-June.)

We were able to tour 1 Hotel South Beach, and we were wowed by the transformation from the affected Gansevoort days. 1 Hotels has filled all the empty and wasted space throughout the building with meaningful design. For instance, the guest rooms feature not just a bed, a desk and a chair, but rather a bed upon a raised platform, along with a cozy seating nook facing out the balcony, and a long (reclaimed) wood desk that runs the length of the room. The bathroom is a good-size, with a generous shower. Yes, it's peek-a-boo but there is a curtain to close in case you're shy.

You'll also notice these "filled in" spaces in the lobby where comfy white couches and armchairs take up much of the front area.

Yet while the luxury element of 1 Hotels is easy to distinguish thanks to their $700 a night room rate, there are more than a few eco-friendly initiatives you may not realize during a stay or even a visit. (This too is by design as the hotel wants to be sustainable without being preachy.)

We were seriously astounded by some of these practices, which go beyond just being LEED certified. You may have heard of small independent hotels doing some of them, but not in a beachfront hotel with 426 guest rooms, four pools, five F&B outlets, a rooftop pool and a spa and fitness center.

Allow us to list the ways.

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Here's a Room Key We Will (Begrudgingly) Return to The Hotel

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  Site Where: 2341 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
March 31, 2015 at 4:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've been known to obsessively collect hotel key cards from our stays but at the just-opened 1 Hotel South Beach (formerly the Gansevoort South Beach), we will, begrudgingly, give back their incredible room key.

Just slightly bigger than a silver dollar coin, the key card is made out of recycled wood. But that's not all. It's equipped with RFID, so you simply wave it in front of the door and boom, your room is unlocked. However, on the backside of the key it says, "Recycle Everything", a gentle encouragement from the hotel to guests, to send the key back so that it can be reused.

This key and its message are just one of many eco-initiatives that 1 Hotels have created not just for the South Beach property but for the upcoming 1 Hotels in Central Park and Brooklyn as well.

Tomorrow, we'll have more on those initiatives, the likes of which we've never heard being implemented in a hotel of this size before. But for now, we'll tease you with a shot of the guest room. It's pretty AND it's good for you.

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: If you sign up for 1 Hotels email list, you'll get 11 percent off bookings for 11 years. This is FOR REAL. The deal ends on April 2, 2015 at 10:22:22pm. So enter your email soon!

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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Soon Keyless Entry At Fontainebleau Miami Beach Will Allow You To Phone It In

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  Site Where: 4441 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
March 24, 2015 at 12:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

The magic that is keyless entry is nothing new, but we can’t help but feel a little chill at check-in when we learn that it’s an option.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach is the latest property to get the pieces in place before flipping the switch, as they’ve partnered up with StayNTouch to enable mobile check-in among a few other tech treats.

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Circa 39 in Miami Beach Gets a Makeover

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  Site Where: 3900 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33140
March 11, 2015 at 4:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

In addition to all the new hotels coming to Miami this spring, there are lots of old hotels with new spaces to show off, and that's just as important to know.

Circa 39 in Miami Beach is all gussied up for spring with its recent two-year, multi-million renovation competed –- and it looks fab. The updates include the refurbishment of all 97 guest rooms, the lobby areas, on-site dining and the pool deck.

The modernized bathrooms feature glass shower enclosures, bathrobes, and Aveda bathroom products as well as custom-designed furnishings in teal and white finishes and solid wood floors.

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This is What The Royal Palm in Miami Has Turned Into...

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  Site Where: 1545 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
March 10, 2015 at 3:00 PM | by | Comments (3)

Moving out.

Yesterday was the official last day of existence for the James Royal Palm Hotel in Miami.

Today, the property is reborn as...wait for it...The Royal Palm Miami South Beach, a Luxury Collection Hotel from Starwood.

Not much else has changed at the property except for its logo which is quite cute. Rates for this weekend for a superior king bed start at $546 a night (plus a $25 resort fee.) FWIW, it's an SPG Category 6 hotel, which means it will take between 20,000 and 25,000 Starpoints to stay here for free night.

So we guess that's that. Or is it?

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Hyatt Centric South Beach Has Opened Up Reservations for Stays From....

February 25, 2015 at 12:21 PM | by | Comment (1)

UPDATE: A Hyatt Centric South Beach reps says the hotel will open in April but that the "spring inventory" has not been released yet. The hotel is working on a special opening package which they will release next week. Once we have those details, we will let you know how you can book a stay in April. Stay tuned.

The other week, we had an operative on the ground in South Beach who cruised by the forthcoming Hyatt Centric South Beach to check on the construction progress. Our operative's conclusion? April was going to be a tough opening date to make. And they were right.

Hyatt Centric South Beach, one of the first hotels of the new Hyatt Centric millennial-friendly brands to open, is now taking reservations from JUNE 1.

We found a room on that date for $239 a night for a 300-sq.ft. king bed with complimentary WiFi, 47" flatscreen HDTV, a tea and coffemaker, a minibar, an oversized desk with ergonomic chair and a Hyatt Plug Panel for all your gadget hookups.

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A Light is On at The Nautilus in South Beach But No Opening Date Yet

Where: 1825 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 17, 2015 at 1:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

Continuing with our construction check-ups in Miami, we've got this bright lights snapshot of the forthcoming Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel, from the founders of Thompson Hotels.

These guys (Jason Pomeranc, Stephen Brandman and Pomeranc's two brothers) have been hard at work on transforming former Thompson hotels into sleek Sixty Hotels (you can read about one such transformation here) which may explain why there's a delay on the opening of Nautilus. Then again, several big name Thompson Hotels often failed to make their opening dates as well. #oldhabits

The hotel was set to open by the end of 2014, but now the date is simply "spring" and we're not sure if that means March, April or (gasp) May.

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Will Hyatt Centric South Beach Make Its April Opening Date?

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  Site Where: 1600 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 16, 2015 at 11:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last week got a bit Hyatt Centric with the news that both Miami and Chicago would be blessed with one of these new hotels geared towards millennials in the coming months.

But just how close will the one in South Beach, come to hitting its targeted open date?

We swung by the construction site on the corner of Collins Avenue and 16th Street the other morning to take a look. As if the company had been stirred into action by our coverage, the site was abuzz with activity. Detour signs were set up in front a massive hole in the road on 16th Street and construction workers tinkered away on the exterior of the building at multiple levels.

That's all a good sign, for sure. But--and you can call us jaded if you like--we're not convinced this means that the hotel will be finished by April.

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Hyatt Centric to Open Their First Hotel in South Beach in April

Where: 1600 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 12, 2015 at 2:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Remember the other day when we gave you the lowdown on the high season hotel happenings in Miami? Well, there's already been a change to the list. A BIG ONE. Sit down for it. Or at least stop glancing at Facebook while you read this important news.

The expected Hyatt South Beach at 16th Street and Collins Avenue will actually open as the Hyatt Centric South Beach, making it the very first Hyatt Centric hotel to open. If you aren't familiar with Hyatt Centric, you can read all about that here. In short, it's a hotel for millennials.

Since the name change was pretty sudden (or at least we think it was), the hotel's layout has not changed much since its initial description. But here's what you can expect from the 105-room hotel:

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The AC Hotel Miami Beach Will Now Open in April

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  Site Where: 2921 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
January 16, 2015 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Miami. Remember when it used to be "God's Waiting Room?" Or perhaps more relevant for the pop culture obsessed--the place where "Golden Girls" was filmed (and where the girls once ran their own hotel?) No longer.

We've just got the official opening date for one of the several anticipated openings of 2015--the upcoming 150-room AC Hotels by Marriott Miami Beach.

Opening in April, the hotel will be the third AC Hotel for the U.S., after New Orleans and Kansas City, which opens next month. So far it looks like it will have all the same amenities as the AC New Orleans--from the AC Lounge to the AC Kitchen to the free WiFi. However, it will be the sexiest AC thanks to its rooftop pool. Not to mention, the beach is across the street. #bringyourflipflops

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Don't Plan on Losing Weight at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach This Year

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  Site Where: 6801 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
January 13, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you're slacking on your New Years Resolution to eat well, stay fit and be of sound mind, don't head to the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach to help you maintain your fitness goals.

The Real Deal reports that the Canyon Ranch franchise will be shed like water weight, thanks to the soon-to-be new owners, Z Capital Partners, who are expected to finalize a deal for the property this week. The new name for the property, which is a mix of residences, guest rooms and fitness facilities will go by...The Carillon Hotel & Spa. Eh. Apparently, it's a throwback name.

Here are the nitty gritty details on the deal as reported by The Real Deal:

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