FL Travel Guide
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.
Hotel News / Miami Hotels / Tommy Hilfiger / Designer Hotels / Fashion Hotels / SBE Hotels / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
While we were still sobbing into our colorful patterned knitwear over the apparent death of the Missoni hotel brand, came news of another fashion house getting onto the designer hotel bandwagon. Our brief flicker of excitement was extinguished somewhat, however, when we found out it's Tommy Hilfiger.
Actually, the king of prep has been sniffing around the hotel industry for quite a while, though nothing has as yet come out of his hotel opening plans. He even tried to buy the former MetLife clocktower at 5 Madison Avenue (future site of the New York City Edition Hotel) a few years back, but that didn't work out for him.
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:
For travelers that like to arrive in style, raise your glass to the new MO Bar + Lounge, now open inside Mandarin Oriental in Miami. (And by arrive in style, we mean you would not make an entrance with sandy sandals -- it was SOBEWFF weekend!--like we did.)
We stopped by five-star hotel during the daytime (before the bar’s official opening) and found guests in resort wear and collared shirts that matched the “relaxed, yet polished” surroundings of MO Bar + Lounge.
Located just down the hall of the hotel’s main entrance, the lounge is partitioned off by tall wooden sticks, with a 14-seat bar in the center, and surrounded by comfy velvet chairs that are easy to sink into after a couple cocktails. The MO Bar + Lounge concept will be joined soon by the new restaurant, La Mar by Gaston Acurio which replaces the oldCafe Sambai restaurant.)
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?
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 whats 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.
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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A few years ago, the planned Trump Hotel in Fort Lauderdale was still "blowing in the wind" without an operator and it continued that way until last month, when Conrad Hotels announced they would be taking over the property (in partnership with CFLB Partnership LLC) and renaming it the The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the 290-roomproperty will be a condo-hotel with different residential layouts which will be rented to guests when the owners are not staying in them. Prices for the units will start at $450,000.
But since the building was left unoccupied for so long, it will now require some loving care to get it up to Conrad Hotels luxury standards. Word is the property will get about $34 million in enhancements that will also include a fitness center, a Conrad Spa, a swimming pool and an oceanfront restaurant. It will open in 2015. Better late than never at all.
Hat tip to Thackftl for the on-the-scene observation.
[Photo: Michael Graves Design]
There's yet another new hotel in Miami to consider and this one is the most sensible option we've seen yet.
The 122-room Cambria Suites Miami Hotel from Choice Hotels opened today in the city's Blue Lagoon District, just five miles from MIA. Designed to appeal to "lifestyle travelers", the Cambria Suites hotel features large all-suite accommodations with all the tech amenities we've come to expect like flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and MP3 jacks.
There's also a Reflect, contemporary bistro serving a dinner menu of local specialties but Chef Michael De Maria along with liquor, wine and beer. It's where guests can grab some prepared items to take to go as well. Refill is the hotel's "barista bar" serving coffee and a hot breakfast buffet while Refresh serves at the fitness center. There's also an outdoor pool and poolside bar.
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Orlando's newest hotel, The Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Studios, is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on its sprawling 1,800 room resort. Just last week, the hotel's 52-foot tall retro sign went up, signaling not only that the hotel is close to opening but also giving passerby's a hint of what to expect--a themed resort inspired by the beach resorts of the 1950s and 60s. Notice the promise of "color TV" and "cold air."
You'll get a feel for that theme mostly in the guest rooms which feature mid-century furniture and decor. But don't worry, there will be flat-screens and free WiFi in the rooms too. On-site there will also be two outdoor pool complexes, including a lazy river; a retro bowling alley, game room and several dining options. There's even a Starbucks too! But despite the name, there's no actual beach at this beach resort.
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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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."
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.