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In July 2013 the Shelborne Hotel in South Beach closed down in order to renovate the entire property (which was very much needed). It opened again at the end of September 2014 as the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach with relatively little fanfare, so we’re going to toot its horn a little bit because, during a recent stay, we quite liked this 200-room property.
Designed by two very different designers – Meg Sharpe, who did the public and commercial spaces, and Richard Mishaan, who created the rooms and meeting spaces – the hotel has a sort of Jekyll and Hyde quality that, strangely, works together to create an Art Deco beauty.
First some history to give you context on the design. The building was constructed in the 1940s and embellished in the 1950s, when the Moderne Style of Art Deco was in fashion. Think glamorous streamlined design, with shiny metallic surfaces and a focus on the new, modern transportation design in cars, airplanes and trains. Both designers have worked to bring this particular era to life, albeit each with a distinctive flair.
Richard’s rooms are bolder in both color and pattern, with deep ocean blue furniture and rugs offset against stark white or mirrored furnishings. You’d think the heavily patterned wall coverings and lamp shades would throw the whole design into chaos, but it keeps the space oddly invigorating. Rooms have 46” Interactive Smart Samsung TVs with mobile connectivity, iPhone docking stations, Frette linens and private label bath amenities in a calendula scent.
Have a look at the Photo Gallery to see an Oceanfront Balcony room as well as a Partial Ocean View King, plus all of the public spaces!
Ah, Miami. Sun, fun, mojitos and...resort fees?
Yes, sadly most hotels in Miami are charging those dreaded and annoying resort fees. According to ResortFeeChecker.com, 100 hotels in Miami have resort fees and the average fee is around $20.04 a night. That's about the same as Vegas' ubiquitous resort fee average.
But Miami is also home to two resort fees that exceed $100. Yes, you read that right. Those resorts are the Provident Luxury Suites ($107 a night) and The Fisher Island Club (also $107 a night), both of which are located on the extremely ritzy Fisher Island.
We've decided to list the resort fees of some of the most chatted about Miami hotels here on HotelChatter. Hide your wallets!
These fees are per day, plus about 20 percent tax, so the final cost will be a little higher than the number you see here. These fees usually include internet access, and additional amenities and services on site like beach chairs and access to the fitness center. (At the Surfcomber it includes iced coffee!)
But not everyone is charging a resort fee. We applaud the Loews, The W South Beach and The Setai for being resort-fee-free. (Never mind that rooms are hovering at $1,000 alight right now.)
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.
Who knew that drinking alcohol could be good for you? When you show up for a cocktail at The Drawing Room in the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach, have a chat with the apothékers (A.K.A. bartenders) and tell them what ails you. They’ll whip up a medicinal concoction full of herbs and other goodness and then write you a prescription in case you need a refill.
Run by famous (and a wee bit infamous) Austrian-born bar chef Albert Trummer, formerly of NYC's Apothéke and the Theater Bar, The Drawing Room has only been open since October 2014.
Using his knowledge of all things botanical (Albert is also a trained chef), he’s created a series of ten house elixirs using recipes he’s collected from monks and monasteries throughout Europe. These elixirs (not all are available at all times as it depends on seasonality and availability) are used to create his and his team’s Prescription Cocktails. If you plan it right you can bring yourself up at the start of the evening and then back down at its close.
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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Yesterday was the official last day of existence for the James Royal Palm Hotel in Miami.
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?
Miami Hotel Mambo dances again!
The 393-room beachfront Collins Avenue hotel was recently sold to Chesapeake Lodging Trust, who have named HEI Hotels & Resorts as the manager with Starwood Hotels & Resorts as the franchisor. Here's the official farewell notice from The James as posted on their website:
While we maintain our commitment to community, art and design, we will be moving on from Miami - as of March 9, The James Royal Palm will no longer be part of The James Hotels. Endless thanks to the South Beach community, our local partners and especially to you - our guests - for supporting us as we evolve. During our time in Miami, we were proud to be acknowledged by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s and Forbes.
We hope you’ll join us for inspired James experiences in Chicago and New York, and look forward to welcoming you at The James Los Angeles in 2016.
All existing reservations will be honored, and we hope you enjoy your stay on South Beach. Should you have any questions about an upcoming reservation in Miami, please call the hotel directly at 305-604-5700.
South Florida is not short on golf resorts with championship golf courses, but only the Trump National Doral outside of Miami has bragging rights to the new Jack Nicklaus Villas, a collection of 172 guest rooms and suites with views of the resort's famed "Blue Monster" golf course which Nicklaus frequently played, and won.
The villas, a part of the $250 million renovation Trump has done on the property, were designed by architects WATG with interiors by Ivanka Trump who went with her usual elegant palette of ivory and champagne with a bit of caramel mixed in. Mahogany wood and gold leaf Spanish revival details were also added and each room features photos and mementos of Nicklaus' career.
In short, it feels more like a Trump Hotel than a themed-golf suite and that's a good thing. If you've had a bad back nine, the last thing you want to see when you get back is more reminders of your crappy play.
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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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When a hotel decides to redo its rooms, it's called a renovation. When a Hard Rock Hotel decides to redo its rooms, it's called a "remaster." Such is the case with the 650 rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Above is how the property looked before it got remastered. Very old-school, old rocker kind of style. Below are more shots of the room in 2011, pre-renovation.
Keep reading to see what therooms look like after a complete renovation. (Hint: if you're a millennial, or a teenage girl, you'll probably dig it!)
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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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.