Miami Beach Travel Guide

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Freehand Miami to Get More Hands, er, Rooms

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  Site Where: 2727 Indian Creek Drive [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
April 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Freehand Miami won over HotelChatter contributor JetSetCD last year with their "funky fresh" hostel rooms and amenities, all at a very reasonable rate ($21 a night for a shared bunk room when JetSetCD was there) And it looks like other folks have been equally impressed because the Freehand just expanded its property.

The hostel acquired the building next door and has opened it up as the "Guest House" with nine Private King Rooms, five King Suites (a new room type) and one private Bungalow which can sleep four.

The Guest House is accessible through the existing Freehand courtyard so the lobby, the Broken Shaker bar and the pool aren't very far away at all. It's also across from the building that will house the Freehand's restaurant, which still hasn't opened but we're hearing it should debut later this year.

Rooms in the Guest House start this weekend at $60 for a dorm room and $224 for a private king room.

[Top Photo: Freehand Miami; Gallery Photos: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]

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'Magic City' Costume Designer is Making Over The Shelborne Uniforms

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  Site Where: 1801 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami is in the midst of some major renovations (to the tune of $150 million) but when it re-opens in June, the staff might be looking like they came off a movie set.

That's because the iconic Collins Avenue hotel has enlisted Hollywood costume designer, Carol Ramsey, to create 1950's-inspired uniforms for all front of the house employees. Ramsey has a bit of experience in the realm since she worked on the show, "Magic City", which is set in a Miami hotel in the late 1950s.

Here's what she has in store for the Shelborne (heads-up to Shelborne job applicants, you are gonna need some fit legs.)

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Avicii Checks Out of The Avicii Hotel Early

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  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
March 28, 2014 at 9:16 AM | by | Comment (1)

Last night a DJ did not save anyone's life in Miami. But rather, one DJ caused a major inconvenience for a big South Beach Hotel.

A month ago, we told you how superstar DJ Avicii was taking over the SLS South Beach during Miami Music Week by renaming the hotel, The Avicii Hotel. SLS then promised that guests would be treated to an “EDM-meets-luxury hotel featuring world-class programming and events, exclusive room packages…." Indeed, the SLS transformed itself completely into the Avicii Hotel even putting up the name Avicii above silver SLS letters in front of the hotel.

But it looks like Avicii himself checked out early.

TMZ reports that just before Avicii was to take the stage at Hyde Beach at the hotel for his set, he cancelled. Initial word was that he went to the hospital. TMZ later confirmed that Avicii was discharged from the hospital and that he also checked out of the hotel.

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The Metropolitan by COMO in Miami Beach is Now Open for Your Wellness Retreats

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  Site Where: 2445 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
March 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

At long last and a few delays, the Metropolitan by COMO in Miami Beach has opened its doors (on March 3rd to be exact.) And it wouldn't be a hotel opening without a Facebook page showing off some opening photos.

For starters, we're loving the elevator lobby with its bold lighting fixtures. We're also drooling over the fare from the Traymore restaurant and the serene pool scene. Oddly, the Facebook page doesn't have any photos of the guest room. You'll have to head over to the hotel's website for those.

All in all, the beachfront hotel has just 74 rooms with interiors done by Italian designer Paola Navrone using "pastel pink and sea-foam green" which sounds like it could be terribly wrong but actually looks so perfectly right. Simple but definitely stylish.

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A Taste Test: Tips for Surviving The South Beach Wine & Food Festival

March 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last weekend, Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival devoured Miami, bringing in thousands of tourists to the Magic City.

The last time we saw a crowd of this size flock to South Florida was for Art Basel. While both events draw a champagne-chugging, hors devours-loving bunch, the vibe at SOBEWFF was so much more relaxed (read: not snobby) and we found people to be a lot friendlier to their fellow SOBEWFF attendees.

Maybe it’s the beach. Maybe it’s the booze. Maybe it’s the fact that no one attending SOBEWFF is a grouchy, starving artist. Not for long, anyway.

At times, the crowds can be a claustrophobic cluster and the humidity deadly, but we enjoyed the excuse to day drink, wander about some of SoBe’s coolest hotels and reveled in the many opportunities snap selfies with some of our favorite celebrity chefs. After four days spent in Miami living on small bites and booze, we discovered that the South Beach Wine & Food Festival is the bucket list item we never knew we had. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit:

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Will SLS Take The Avicii Hotel to the Next Le7el?

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  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 13, 2014 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

Nothing gets a raver’s vacation rolling like a hotel themed around one of the world’s most celebrated DJs.

Avicii, Grammy-nominated electronic dance music producer (and Swedish hottie!), is teaming up with SLS Hotels to bring The Avicii Hotel back to South Beach for this year’s Miami Music Week , where he’s headlining at the Ultra Music Festival for the third year in a row.

From March 26-March 30, guests of The Avicii Hotel at SLS South Beach will be treated to an “EDM-meets-luxury hotel featuring world-class programming and events, exclusive room packages…” the hotel said in a statement.

We’re all for exclusive performances and events just for hotel guests, but what exactly does "EDM-meets-luxury" mean?

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The Fontainebleau's Got You Covered If Your Luggage Gets Lost

February 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Once an airline loses your luggage, it won’t be long until you lose your mind, too.

While wanderlust stems from a love of experiences over objects, even the most unmaterialistic person could throw a fit over having to go hours, or worse, days without their personal belongings. It’s a helpless feeling, waiting at baggage claim, for what seems like forever, to only discover that your luggage didn’t make it, and what’s to follow is a string of headaches and phone tag.

Vulnerable, tired and probably smelly, you begrudgingly arrive at your hotel wanting to do nothing but wash off the road, when you remember all the little things that make you look/feel human again are lost, too.

Enter The Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

While the iconic South Beach staple won’t replace your entire wardrobe, it has put together a thoughtful package of toiletries to help guests freshen up while an airline searches for your things. After assisting countless guests buy the sundries they need most, Fountainebleau introduces the Lost Luggage Care Package. It includes underwear, a toothbrush, a razor, mouthwash, facial wipes and a comb. The care package is available at Fontainebleau’s gift shop, Morris & Co., for $70.

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The Raleigh Hotel Glams Up Its Website

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  Site Where: 1775 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 4, 2014 at 2:34 PM | by | Comments (3)

The best thing a hotel could do for its website is to make everything easy. Easy to book. Easy to look up hotel photos and information. Easy to view on a mobile device. The new website for South Beach’s Raleigh Hotelgets all these right.

The Miami hotel opened in 1942, and with the help of old Hollywood starlets like Esther Williams, it became one of the hotels that encapsulated the South Beach allure we know today. Fast foward 60 years later to 2012, when hip hotelier Sam Nazarian of sbe bought the historic hotel for $55 million (previously, Andre Balazs had managed The Raleigh.)

Since then, the Raleigh has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. And, though the hotel and website have undergone some major changes, neither has lost any of its vintage glamour or charm.

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Nobu Hotels Confirm Takeover of Eden Roc in Miami

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  Site Where: 4515 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
February 3, 2014 at 1:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's official--Nobu Hotels will install itself inside the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, which was previously a Marriott before the brand fell out of favor with the hotel owners.

But let's be clear-- The Nobu Hotel will be a hotel within a hotel, not entirely a Nobu Hotel. The arrangement will actually be very similar to what the original Nobu Hotel has done inside Caesars Palace in Vegas. Word is it's the Eden Roc's South Tower which will get the Nobu upgrade.

Here's what else is in store, straight from the press release:

The strategy with the Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc is centered upon underscoring and showcasing the Eden Roc name with the Nobu Hotel as an additional offering within the Eden Roc property. The Nobu Restaurant at the Eden Roc and other core food and beverage facilities are in the process of being planned and shall involve all stakeholders. David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group has been selected as the designer to ensure the proposed design shall be respectful to our stakeholders, the Morris Lapidus design and the renowned name of the Eden Roc Miami Beach.

Looks like Nobu is keen not to mistake the same mistake as the previous brand, with the multiple bow-downs references to the "stakeholders."

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Nobu Hotels May Take Over Miami's Eden Roc Hotel

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  Site Where: 4515 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
January 30, 2014 at 4:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

For a while, it looked like Nobu Hotels had left us impatiently waiting for our next reservation. Since Nobu Las Vegas opened last March, we've been waiting for the Riyadh hotel to open in Saudi Arabai as well as other locations. But so far, no sake, although Nobu did recently announce a new hotel for Manilla. But today, this happened.

The Miami Herald's Lesley Abravanel reports that Nobu Hotels will actually take over the existing Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach in late 2014. Formerly a Marriott Hotel, the Eden Roc ran into some issues, to say the least, with Marriott and won a lawsuit to boot the hotel brand out.

MH says that "Nobu will head the resort's F&B operations and the south tower will turn into the Nobu Hotel, similar to the arrangement at Caesar's Palace." That means that the Nobu restaurant will also move from its current location at the Shore Club into the Eden Roc.

So far, everything is still unconfirmed but we're inclined to believe it's legit. Boy, Miami's hotel scene is going to be cray cray in the next few years. Even crazier than normal, which we didn't think was possible.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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Another New Hotel is Coming to South Beach And The Name is Easy to Remember

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  Site Where: 236 21st Street [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
January 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

There are quite a few new hotels coming to Miami in 2014 but the one opening in South Beach in March will be pretty easy to remember, because it's simply called, The South Beach Hotel.

The 51-room boutique hotel is located in Collins Park, just a block from the Miami Beach Convention Center. While its previous incarnation was the similarly-named SBH South Beach Hotel, the rebranded South Beach Hotel has new owners and management--the Think Hotel Group who've opened the nearby Boulan Hotel and Sweetwater Beer Garden.

Their South Beach Hotel has been completed renovated and now features a revamped outdoor courtyard, hand-carved Guatamalan wood furniture in the lobby and minimalist guest rooms with free WiFi and room service from the Charles St. Restaurant.

The hotel is also family-friendly with junior suites that have either a king bed or two queen-sized bed and a kitchenette with cribs available on request. Oh and of course, there's a pool--the ultimate family-friendly amenity.

But above all, we're digging the opening rates which start at $175 a night. While the hotel officially opens in March, it's taking reservation now while in preview mode. The Think Hotel Group is also working on two more hotels in the same area--The Ansonia and The Plymouth. Those are expected to open sometime next year.

[Photo: South Beach Hotel]

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The Hilton Bentley South Beach Erases All Traces of The Kardashians

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  Site Where: 101 Ocean Drive [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
January 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

When Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian took Miami back in 2010 they holed themselves up in a top-floor suite at the all-suite Hilton Bentley South Beach hotel which had two bedrooms, a living and dining room, two and a half baths, a kitchen, and a 1,500-square-foot rooftop terrace with a private Jacuzzi. But like Khloe and Lamar's love story, that's all gone now.

The Hilton has revamped the suite to include a rooftop pool, three bathrooms, a stainless steel kitchen with a personal wine chiller and a living room with an all-encompassing Dolby surround sound system (hey-yo!) which can be controlled, along with the electric privacy shades and the room temp, via the in-suite iPad or from the guest's own iPhone. Not to mention, those sick drop-down flat-screens in the ceiling.

Alas, rates for the new penthouse suite will cost about the same as a Kardashian's handbag (not the ones they sell in Sears but you know, the ones they would actually be seen with)--from $2,500-$7,500 a night.

[Photo: Hilton Bentley/Facebook]