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[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.
Art Basel Hotels / Miami Hotels / Menin Hotels / South Beach Hotels / HotelTonight / Hotel Deals / → All Tags
If you want to talk about high hotel rates, let's talk Art Basel Miami Beach. The annual contemporary art eventwhich encompasses several art fairs, art installations around the city, and a gajillion partiesbrings in the big spenders and the struggling creatives alike for four days of fun in the sun.
The official days are Thursday-Sunday, December 6-9, but we've been in Miami all week hotel hopping, so we decided to throw caution to the wind for a little experiment: last-minute, day-of hotel reservations for what are the highest peak days in Miami's calendar. We're calling it "Operation Last Resort."
Day two of Operation Last Resort, or really it's days two and three since we booked two nights at this next property. Sadly, all last-minute stories can't be as great as Day One, and ours is a cautionary tale.
Again using the HotelTonight app, we went for two nights at Miami Beach's The Shelborne for $428, plus tax totaling $484. Now add two days of $25 resort fees and the real total is actually $534. Believe it or not, this was actually the cheapest option for these dates. ACK-Art Basel!
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Remember when South Beach had a Regent?
Yes, we're talking a Regent Hotels Regent, although this was over five years ago, an eternity in the Miami Hotel Mambo game. If not, you may instead remember the Regent Bal Harbour--also no longer around.
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It's that time of year, kids. SPRING BREAK! We know, because South Beach is full of the young and the restless right now, all of them on the prowl.
But if you haven't found that perfect bikini for your beach break just yet, you can always wait until you check into your hotel. We popped into the new GuyandGirl Boutique at Shelborne South Beach recently and found a coolly curated collection of hats, sunglasses, bags, summer fashion, sunscreen, accessories--and yes, bikinis.
Not surprisingly, the swimsuits with the most animal appeal caught our eye. Like this number...
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Another day, another look at a new Miami Beach hotel in the works. This time, we bring you a snapshot of what will be The Gale South Beach.
It's located directly opposite the Delano and was at one point owned by Morgans Hotel Group. Now, however, it's part of Menin Hotels, who anticipate that Gale will open by the end of the year. (Hmm...We'd like to see some walls before we put our money on that.)
The pops of yellow in the room rendering remind us of the new-look rooms at Shelborne, Menin's flagship property a block away on Collins Avenue, and wall art certainly seems to be a new trend. (At least it's not another chick on the wall...)
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Hotel makeovers: fun when they're finished but hell in the meantime? That may have been the case for the Shelborne South Beach, but the hotel has almost finished its massive overhaul, with 50 of its guest rooms now renovated to look like this.
As one commenter pointed out last time we got an update, the hotel's TripAdvisor reviews have not been kind during the construction phase. Not having stayed at the hotel, we can't speak for the service, but we can say that if the photos of the new rooms and the poolside cabanas are true to life, then the new Shelborne is nothing if not pretty. If you want to book a room that pleases the eye, though, make sure you ask for a Premiere Room (above). These are the renovated rooms.
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As you can see from this shot we snapped yesterday, there's lots going on at the Shelborne Beach Resort. The hotel's renovations are under way, and according to hotelier Keith Menin, right on track for the hotel's big reopening on November 30.
Finishing touches were still being added to the guest rooms, so we can't show you those just yet but we can tell you that they are smart, light and beachy with tons of natural light and simple, modern spins on the classic Deco hotel room. As Menin himself says, the idea is to create "a great, beachy, fun hotel" that will appeal to all kinds of travelers.
A laidback beachfront, poolside eatery, Lucy's Cantina Royale will help spread this good cheer to anyone strolling by and will be a place where you can grab a $6 taco or two and not feel like you're being ripped off.
And for something a little more upscale that you can dress up for, there's Vesper's Cafe & Brasserie. Here's a sneak peek...
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UPDATE: Confirmed: Richfield Hospitality will be running the Tempo Miami.
Yesterday we reported on how Rock Resorts dropped the Tempo Miami from their roster of hotels. Supposedly the split from the hotel owners was "amicable" which is always good news to hear. Yet our minds were already turned to the new management company that would be setting up shop in the hotel.
We asked and we received. A tipster let us know that Richfield Hospitality will now be setting the tempo for Tempo Miami. This is the same management company that's in place at The Joule in Dallas and the St. Regis Deer Crest in Park City as well as a few other full service and select service hotels (Hiltons, Four Points, etc.)
Like any good management company, Richfield promises "revenue-generating hotel operations" which is probably what the owners of Tempo Miami are looking for...quick.
Yesterday we noted all the room renovations currently underway all over Miami. Today, we hear from one man in charge of some of those renos--Keith Menin, whose hotel group is on a bit of a makeover tear, from the Bentley Hotel South Beach and Shelborne to the The Sanctuary South Beach.
This off-the-beaten-track boutique hotel (that's still a hop, skip and a jump away from the best of Miami Beach) has been spruced up with more contemporary features and new shades of green and blue.
Is there something in the water in Miami? A rash of downtown hotels are getting makeovers, and there's plenty happening on the Beach, too, from Dream South Beach (now open!) to the work going on at SLS South Beach, The James Royal Palm, the new B South Beach, and the now-it's-a-Kimpton Surfcomber.
Also fresh from a new coat of paint? The Bentley Hotel South Beach.
As owner Keith Menin told us recently, he has been busy shooshing up his flagship property, the Shelborne. Work there won't be fully completed until November, but the Bentley's renos are done, and she's looking a lot lighter and fresher than the photos on the hotel's website would have you believe ...
We've already told you about the grand 'rebirth' plans underway for Miami Beach's Shelborne Hotel (topless sundeck anyone?), but what's the concept behind all the work?
To dish on all things Shelborne, we turned to someone who's been around the hotel since he was a kid--Keith Menin, whose Menin Hotels company owns the Shelborne. At 15, he was a bell hop there, working for his uncle, owner Russel Galbut.
Menin's bio, it should also be noted, mentions that he was named the Best Dressed Hotelier by The Miami Herald.
Here's what he had to say about style in the hospitality sense.