miami beach Travel Guide
Miami has been getting new hotels on a regular basis for a few years now but in the next six months (give or take a few weeks), 5 important hotels will open in South Beach. Here's who they are and what they are all about:
The Thompson Miami Beach: The long-awaited, official, outpost of the Thompson Hotels brand will open on November 14 at 4041 Collins Avenue with 380 rooms. Rates start at $389 a night for a special "Preview" offer which includes $100 food and beverage credit to use at the Michelle Bernstein restaurant on site called Seagrape. There is a $25 resort fee per night which includes WiFi, two chaise lounge beach chairs, access of fitness center and fitness classes and a daily newspaper.
The Edition South Beach: The first stateside edition of Edition Hotels will open in November at 2901 Collins Avenue with 294 rooms. Despite the November opening. the hotel is only accepting website reservations for December 1. Rates on that date start at $429 a night. That will include free WiFi but there's also a $25 resort fee which includes beach chair service, beach towels, bike rental and "more."
Obviously, an older photo
Nautilus Sixty South Beach: Interestingly, the original founders behind Thompson Hotels--Jason Pomeranc and Stephen Brandman--will be readying their own hotel at 1825 Collins Avenue under their newly formed Sixty Hotels brand. There is no concrete opening date other than "Fall 2014" but our insiders say the 250-room hotel will open this year. We don't have a price point but expect it to be similar to the Thompson, with a resort fee as well which is sadly, common for South Beach. [Update: A rep for the hotel said the opening will happen in Winter 2015.]
The other day we were tipped off to a rumor that Ritz-Carlton Hotels would be taking over the swank One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa in Miami on October 1. (The hotel is currently a part of the Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels portfolio. Previously, it was a Regent Hotel.)
Before you get your La Perla and/or Hugo Boss undergarments in a bunch, nothing has been confirmed. Indeed, when you make a reservation on One Bal Harbour's website for next month, there is no mention of the RC takeover. Similarly, Marriott's Find a Hotel search function has no Ritz-Carltons listed in Bal Harbour. And combing random pages on the internet is also turning up nothing. But usually when we hear a whisper on the hotel grapevine, it turns out to be
a done deal true. Now, we'll just have to wait and see.
Currently, One Bal Harbour charges no resort fee. Meanwhile, Ritz-Carlton South Beach is going to start charging a $25 fee on October 1.
[Photo: One Bal Harbour/Facebook]
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While we're on the topic of hotel fees, we've just learned that the Ritz-Carlton South Beach will start charging a $25 resort fee, per night on October 1. Here's what will be included with that extra $25 + tax a night.
· Complimentary 5mb wireless Internet access for up to 5 devices in guest rooms, lobby and most common areas.
· Beach chairs and umbrellas
· Beach Activities including boogie boards, skim boards, beach paddle tennis, bocce ball and corn hole court
· One hour daily fitness class
· 24-hour access to fitness center
· Use of hotel bicycles
· Unlimited local calls
· Bottled water in guest rooms
· Access to daily tour of the hotel’s art collection
Well, at least it includes internet on multiple devices.
Resort fees in South Beach are actually quite common. We stumbled across one at The Surfcomber, a Kimpton Hotel, last fall. For $20 a night, you get morning coffee, two beach chairs, poolside amenities like sunscreen and flavor-infused water and a $10 F&B credit.
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Located at 4041 Collins Avenue in a former condo building, the newest Thompson Hotel will have 380 hotel rooms featuring "beach-inspired accommodations and mid-century, international resort style." Designer Martin Brudnizki has been working on the design which will (of course) preserve the building's Art Deco flair and 1950s architecture.
And as we mentioned back in May, the Thompson will also have two pools, a small spa, three bars , including a speakeasy in a bungalow, and a 267-seat "classic brasserie" from James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Miami native Michelle Bernstein.
Room rates for November 14 are rather reasonable starting at $314 for an advanced purchase rate (no refunds) and $339 for a regular rate. That would be for a deluxe king room with custom-made 400 thread count SFERRA linens, rain showers in the bathroom, oversized Frette terrycloth robes, a 42” flat screen television with movie library, a gourmet mini-bar and a 24-hour in-room dining service.
Below is a snapshot of a model room, as posted on the hotel's website....
The latest Starwood hotel to hit Miami won't open until March 19, 2015 and judging by the pictures, we're even a little skeptical of that date. Yet it is interesting to see how Aloft is updating the old Motel Arkana, keeping much of the motel's existing structure but also adding another tower adjacent to the lot. (See the rendering on the Aloft Miami Beach website to get a better idea of how it will look.)
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A tipster on the ground in Miami Beach snapped these shots for us a few weeks ago and all we can say is WHOA. Like, in a good way. WHOA.
Of course, there still is a lot of work to be done but it is looking rather crazysexycool already. For comparison, here's what the hotel looked like back in February 2012.
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Ladies and Gents, pull out your credit cards. The Miami Beach Edition is now taking reservations.
We got the email alert in our inbox today (although it was announced on Facebook yesterday) and quickly clicked over to the site. There we discovered that while the hotel will "premiere" in November, rooms aren't actually available until January 19, 2015. (UPDATE: We've been told that the hotel is definitely opening in November and that the reservations will get moved up as the opening date gets closer.) For now, rates on that opening Monday in January start at $579 a night for a standard king room. Someone pass us the smelling salts.
Finalmente! The Hilton Cabana Miami Beach has officially opened.
The beachfront property on (way north) Collins Ave was set to open in December but that was quickly pushed off until March. Then we sort of lost track. But now we've got word that it's really open.
The 10-story Art Deco building has 231 guest rooms and suites spread out over Cabana-style buildings, hence the hotel name. Most of the rooms will have balconies from which you can gaze at either the sea or the pool. We dig the orange stripes and the cheeky photograph of two ladies fishing.)
In-room amenities include 42-inch flat-screen TVs, walk-in showers, large work desks, room service from 6am to midnight and complimentary WiFi (well, it's part of the $20 resort fee. ) Also onsite are two pools; the Brasserie L'echon, an all-day dining spot; a lobby bar and both a business and fitness center.
Right now, room rates this weekend start at just $199 a night for a room with two queen beds. Gotta love Miami in the off-season!
[Photo: Hilton Cabana Miami Beach]
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More than two years later, the drama at The Setai in Miami Beach has ended. And in favor of the hotel operator, GHM, who was kicked out, literally, in the middle of the night, by the hotel's owners, Lehman Brothers.
Last week, the ICC International Court of Arbitration ruled "that all previous allegations of mismanagement were baseless and have awarded damages to GHM for improper termination of GHM’s hotel management agreement." It seemed that the hotel's impressive RevPAR rate of 76 percent was a key factor in the decision against Lehman. Lehman Brothers now have 30 days to make the compensation to GHM. The Miami Herald reports the damages exceed $10 million. There are also more tort claims against Lehman that are still pending in state and federal court.
However, GHM will not return to the property as manager. Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group., which has managed the hotel since the shakedown, still remains in place. Room rates for this weekend for a studio suite (the starting room category) start at $530 a night but there's a AAA discounted rate and a Florida resident rate available for $488.
[Photo: The Setai]
It's been scientifically proven that your sense of smell can trigger old memories which is why for us, the smell of Aussie Sprunch Spray will forever take us back to a sweltering New Jersey summer in the early 90s when we religiously relied on the spray to keep our 'do intact. Seriously, one spray will have practically have us turning up Wilson Phillips on the stereo while we search for our crispest Vuarnet t-shirt and our rolled up jean shorts.
But this powerful link between smell and memory is also why hotels love pumping their own special scents into their hotels and subsequently, packaging that smell for you to buy. After all, what better way to remember your hotel stay by taking home the smell of it?
Now, while most hotels offer a candle made with their special lobby scent, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is taking a different tact by making a Mango Guava scented candle that specifically reminds you of the hotel spa's new Taste of the Tropics treatment. Of course, you have to book the treatment to get the candle.
The Miami hotel scene shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and now there's another big name in boutique to add into the mix--Thompson Miami Beach.
Thompson, under its former owners, tried to make the Hotel Victor their original Miami hotspot but the brand's new owners, Commune Hotels and Resorts decided to attach themselves to a different project.
Located at 4041 Collins Avenue in a former cone building, close-ish to the raging hotspot that is the Fontainbleau, the Thompson Hotel will have 380 hotel rooms featuring "beach-inspired accommodations and mid-century, international resort style." Designer Martin Brudnizki is in charge of the design which will (of course) preserve the building's Art Deco flair and 1950s architecture.
The Thompson will also have two pools, a small spa, three bars and a 267-seat "classic brasserie" from James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Miami native Michelle Bernstein.
We may be heading into the off-season in Miami Beach, but there's no slowing down the hotel scene.
The Vintro Hotel & Kitchen, a 50-room luxury boutique hotel, is set to open in July in the Collins Park neighborhood (a few blocks inland from W South Beach.) Formerly the Lido Park Hotel, The Vintro has kept the Art Deco facade (originally designed by architect Harry O'Nelson) yet the interiors were entirely stripped and renovated by Guillermo de Yavorsky, an architect based in St. Barth.
Billing itself as an "adult playground", the hotel will feature a bar, restaurant, and a roof deck with a plunge pool. Rooms are tight but well-designed featuring artwork from emerging artists and luxe amenities like in-room Nespresso machines, 46" flat-screen TVs and FREE WIFI. However, we must warn you: the bathrooms are SERIOUSLY peek-a-boo. You will have a prime view of the shower from the bed. Like, no curtain or nothing. Which is pretty perfect for a sexy getaway with your lovah, but please do not share this room with a coworker.
As for the kitchen, Chef Giorgios Nikolas Bakatsias, developed a concept and menu for the 67 seat Vintro Kitchen restaurant. The menu will focus on seasonal and local ingredients from Miami with a selection of wines "made by farmers not factories." And of course, this is Miami so there will be a robust cocktail selection as well.
While the hotel's old website is still saying March 2014, the hotel should open in July. We'll keep you posted on the exact date but room rates will start at around $249 a night.
[Photos: Vintro Hotel & Kitchen/Facebook]