miami beach Travel Guide
First off, The Redbury South Beach will open this fall. Wham, bam, thank you mam! As you can see from the Twitpic from @DeeTCL, work is already underway. (The hotel is opening out of the old Fairfax Hotel.)
Word is the design will be inspired by its Hollywood roots but will also weave in the art deco vibe of South Beach. All in all, the hotel will have 69 rooms and suites.
Restauranteurs Larry Levy and Bob Heyat are responsible for bringing in the hip food & beverage offerings including the lobby restaurant, Lorenzo, which will be helmed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano who has four great restaurants in Chicago, include Spiagia and Terzo Piano at the Art Institute. As you can guess, the restaurantwill serve up authentic Italian cuisine.
[UPDATE, 5.14.13: Wyndham Hotels has given an explanation of what's going on with the hotel. Scroll down for that statement. UPDATE, 5.16.13: Menin Hotels have also given us a statement saying that would retain ownership of the hotel. Full statement is below the Wyndham statement.
Could there soon be one less hotel in Miami, a town that's been riding a recent hotel boom? Possibly.
We got a tip last week from one of our trusted South Beach spies saying that the Wyndham-operated Shelborne South Beach hotel would be closing and instead would reopen as a condo building. (Already the hotel is partially made up of condo units which are typically rented out to visiting guests.)
Sure enough, we headed to the hotel's website and found this note:
The Shelborne will have a limited number of rooms available June 1 - October 31, 2013 during its amazing transformation into South Beach’s newest lifestyle luxury resort, the Shelborne Wyndham Grand-South Beach.
Despite this "limited number of rooms" mention, we've got word that the hotel is indeed closing completely during the renovations and there are still whispers that it will reopen only as a timeshare. We're still sifting through the Shelborne shards but this is what we do know:
The hotel underwent a renovation back in 2011 so at first glance, it may seem too soon to have yet another facelift. But the reality is, some of those condo-hotel units are in bad shape as the owners were not obligated to renovate their units. HotelChatter saw how dire some of those rooms were when we stayed at the property back in December. This was our take on the place:
The Shelborne's suite had last been furnished in the early 1990s, the dining chairs were broken, the mattress was so old you could feel the springs, the tables were scratched and water-damaged, the art was like that of a greasy strip mall generic Asian restaurant, the floors felt so dusty we were relieved to have brought slippers from our last hotel, and the power outlet actually shocked us as we tried to plug in our phone charger. Firetrap much?
Need more convincing of the shifty state of the Shelborne? Just take a gander at some of the hotel's recent TripAdvisor reviews.
It's big news for the Delano Hotel South Beach, a hotel that's been a Miami institution since, well, forever-and-a-day. Their owner, NYC-based Morgans Hotel Group announced it's selling its stakes in the hotel and associates The Light Group, and would offer $100 million to help settle the current debt of $230 million to a buyer. Whoa.
The hotel group has apparently been trying to unload the Delano since 2002, and has apparently posted a financial loss since 2007, according to OTK Associates LLC, the largest shareholder of Morgans Hotel Group Co. So, no doubt they had a hand in pressuring Morgans to dump the Delano, pronto.
Morgans has signed agreements with The Yucaipa Companies, a firm owned by uber-wealthy Ron Burkle, to desist Yucaipa's interest in Morgans stock, stock warrants, and convertible notes, and instead take ownership of the Delano and the Light Group. However, Morgans would still operate the Delano thanks to a pre-agreement asking for long-standing management agreement.
Are you hella confused yet? No worries, we were too, and had to read this manifesto post-and-pre-cocktail time. So we're agree there are no plain words to explain this business. But hold on, keep still, there's more after the jump.
It's been about a year since trouble first started brewing down at Miami's famed Eden Roc Hotel. The property, which has been around since the 1950s, is managed by Marriott, but the relationship between Marriott and the hotel's owners was bad. So bad, in fact, that the hotel tried to boot Marriott from the premises during an after-dark siege. Serious drama, right?.
A judge (who happened to be a self-professed Eden Roc "fan"") declared back in November that Marriott has the legal right to remain as manager of the hotel.
Or should we say, 'had.'
Yesterday, the hotel's attorney announced that Eden Roc has won in a New York Appellate court the right to oust Marriott as manager of the property. The attorney called it "a vindication," and believes the outcome of this bitter lawsuit will help settle future disputes between hotel owners and management:
"A hotel manager is barred from commandeering a property against the owner’s wishes. Any doubts in that regard have been laid to rest."
What happened seventeen years ago? We barely graduated high school (well, some of us). More importantly, it was the last time hotelier Ian Schrager gave face to Miami Beach with the Delano. Now, almost two decades later, he's back to shake things up again with a ground-breaking project that involves rich people being insanely happy with their homes.
The hotel mogul just announced he'll set a new bar with the Residences at the upcoming Miami Edition, slated for an early 2014 debut. There will be 26 limited-edition residences some say will be different than anything else in Miami. Ooh, the suspense! Not really, because we have all the dish. Basically, they're being touted as "Homes in the Sky." Literally.
They'll be perched on the top floors of the existing landmark 1950s building that will be the Miami Beach Edition hotel with some residences in the adjacent, newly constructed 18-story tower. All will have panoramic views, each with that sophisticated and arty Schrager touch. They'll also be custom made with a private entrance.
It's almost three years since we asked the question: What Is The Sense Hotel South Beach? We always thought that the Sense South Beach Hotel was in a great location--in the SoFi (South of Fifth Street) neighborhood and close to Ocean Drive. But it was under-the-radar and somewhat mysterious.
Until now! Like so many American Idol contestants before it, Sense has undergone a major transformation. It's even got a brand spankin' new name: Sense Beach House. (Reckon they're hoping people confuse it with Soho Beach House? Just maybe? )
We never stayed here in its former incarnation, but by the look of these pictures the hotel's PR team sent us, the place is now super cute and angling to appear in the pages of Coastal Living magazine. Check out the lobby...
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Inside an 8-bed room
No one ever got anywhere by calling something a "revolutionary concept." That phrase is played out right along with "funky fresh." Instead let us say this: if Freehand Miami plays its cards right and doesn't get too big for its britches (double idiom sentence!), it has the real potential to be crazy awesome and quickly multiply to conquer cities beyond Miami. Oh wait, that's exactly their plan (for 10 properties!), so what you're about to read is the future, baby.
The Freehand is a hostel with some private rooms and it's not trying to hide that fact. It is, however, a fancy hostel with an interior by Roman & Williams, staff uniforms designed by Timo Weiland, artwork by local Miami artists, and cocktails by Bar Lab.
Shared bunk rooms start at $21 a night (per person), while private rooms begin at $109 (per room). Beyond the rooms (8-bunk, 4-bunk, private king) the Freehand benefits from an inviting lobby, a bar (The Broken Shaker), back garden courtyard, a lovely pool, a side garden of table tennis and other yard games and, eventually, there'll even be a restaurant.
We stayed for three nights at the beginning of Art Basel, the week of their debut, paying a total of $122 for two people in the coed 8-bed room. We were however "upgraded" to a 4-bed room as the 8-beds weren't totally ready.
There’s no doubt Miami continues to be one of the country's most hyped spot for hotel new builds. Just yesterday we talked about Ian Schrager’s upcoming (eventually) Marriott Edition, and we’ve gushed like Beliebers over the SLS hotel and all its splendor (and even gave it an award!).
Now we hear there’s more news on the South Beach front.
A company called Geolo Capital bought a Miami Beach apartment building for $100 million and plans to turn it into a yet unnamed 388-room hotel that will be operated by Commune Hotels & Resorts, a division created by Thompson and Joie de Vivre Hotels. Geolo also plans on spending $67 million to remodel The Crown Miami Beach and rename it the Roosevelt Miami Beach (after the LA Hollywood Roosevelt), with a projected 2014 opening.
This fall will bring the debut of the Vintro Hotel South Beach, a 54-room property located two blocks west of Collins Avenue and the beach. Given its name, naturally wine is a focus and the hotel will have a restaurant and bar that will present an interactive wine menu featuring wines from around the world offered by the glass or bottle, small plates, charcuterie, and global cheese flights. A rooftop lounge adds a chill Miami vibe at night, but during the day, guests can quit profiling and simply enjoy the freshwater pool or even get their shuffleboard on. Starting rates are said to be $169 a night.
[Photo: Vintro Hotel]
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We should know better than to get emotional when we hear of hotel construction delays—but there’s something about this one that hits a bit hard. We’d hoped that Ian Schrager’s new project with Marriott, the Miami Beach Edition, would indeed open this spring has previously reported. But, in an interview with the Miami Herald, the hotelier said it wouldn’t open until 2014.
Unlike any Marriott we’ve ever stayed at, this one promises to be pretty badass with a nightclub, bowling alley and an ice skating rink. This means we can throw a strike, do a triple toe-loop, and pop that all in one night! Is it no wonder we’re crying in our cornflakes? Let’s get this wrapped up, Mr. Schrager.
Read more for what's in store..
Read more for what's in store..
Every so often we highlight a post, photo, or review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you.
Here’s a pic from our Facebook friend Gregg Rory Holland, who sent this room key snap from Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel. He joked(?) that maybe it was the room key of Nick Saban, head coach of University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide team.
Funny enough, today on our Twitter feed, follower @nickpastula posted “Bama is staying at the lux Fontainebleau, Irish family friendly Westin” when referring to the BCS National Championship. Of course, “Irish”, of course, refers to Notre Dame, who apparently isn't get all fancy with their quarters, and their players haven't been banned from getting ESPN in their hotel rooms like Dirk, uh, Nick supposedly ordered!
We already told you about the arrival of Serafina, the new Italian restaurant at the Dream South Beach. But what we've since learned is that Serafina has something pretty special going for it — something few Miami hotel restaurants get right, including the two chefs who struggled to get this space going in the past 12 months.
The secret ingredient? Common sense. Yes, the Pizza Tartufo Nero (pictured above) is to-die-for. Just like the Prosciutto & Bufaline, the Farfalle al Limoncello and the boozy popsicles for dessert. But it's what all of these dishes have in common that makes Serafina a standout in a city awash in mediocre Italian restaurants: the fact that they're actually perfectly suited to the climate.
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It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Today and Monday, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
If you've been following the ups and downs of the Miami hotel scene this year, you already know that the opening of SLS South Beach was a big deal. Beachfront property on a prime stretch of Collins Ave, dazzling Philippe Starck design (with a little help from Lenny Kravitz), and, of course, those absurd 750lb silver ducks.
But SLS South Beach also managed to assert itself as a key player in the international hotel scene as well, transcending its local celebrity status to become something people all over the world were talking about. It didn't hurt that, several months after opening, it was primed to host VIP events during Miami's buzziest time of the year: Art Basel.
Needless to say, we had some pretty high expectations when we checked into the SLS in June. And the hotel didn't disappoint one bit. In fact, we enjoyed hanging in our City View King room so much, we barely even noticed it was missing the complimentary iPad (which is supposed to be included with all the rooms).
From the cozy day bed to the compact pink-and-white bathrooms to the well-stocked minibar, it was clear that this hotel not only looks good but is incredibly functional too.