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UPDATE: The tiles are totally fake.
The stylish Riviera South Beach has just opened a third addition to their hotel complex, adding 43 new rooms for a total of 160.
The guestrooms in this entirely new building (the first of its kind for the South Beach Hotel Group) are described as "contemporary chic meets modern industrialism." True to that, the rooms feature chrome balconies and concrete ceilings which are softened by post-modern leather furniture, polished wooden floors and silk draperies. Amenities also include Tempurpedic pillow-top custom beds, oversized bathrooms with rainfall showers, 42" flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, slippers and C.O. Bigelow toiletries. Oh and we can't forget about the free WiFi.
But perhaps more exciting than having new rooms to lounge around in is the artistic touch of British street artist, Banksy, who signature surrealism and larger-then-life abstract artwork is featured on the tiling in some of the public spaces and bathrooms.
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When we put together our The Master List of Worldwide Hotel Openings at the start of the year, we had a little bit of a mystery with the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach. At the time, we couldn't find out much information on this spot, only that it would open in Q3. But a lot can change in a year.
Not only does the hotel have website but we've heard that it will be soft-opening on December 16th.
The 10-story Art Deco building is located on Collins Avenue at 62nd Street (way north) but it's got prime beachfront property along Millionaire's Row. When finished, the hotel will have 231 guestrooms and a variety of suites spread out over Cabana-style buildings. Most of the rooms will have balconies from which you can gaze at either the sea or the pool. (We're digging the orange stripes and the cheeky photograph of two ladies fishing.) Also onsite will be two pools, Brasserie L'echon, an all-day dining spot, a lobby bar and both a business and fitness center.
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Earlier this summer we were crazy excited about Marriott's plans to import their Spanish design hotel collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, into the U.S. The stateside version of the brand plans to keep its design-forward integrity as well as remain affordable. Oh and have free WiFi too. (Yes, a Marriott hotel brand with totally free WiFi is happening.)
Now the Miami Herald reports that the first hotel will open in Miami Beach. Claro.
Looking at the developer's Robert Finvarb Companies website, the address for the 150-room hotel is listed as 2912 Collins Avenue which puts it right across the street from the Edition Miami Beach, opening sometime next year. Interestingly, this developer is the same one behind the new Hyatt South Beach in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue. (More to come on that soon.)
While detes are scant on the developer's site, you can expect the following from the hotel:
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The other week we could scarcely believe the news that the new owners of Gianni Versace's South Beach mansion-turned-hotel would want to merge their new acquisition with their existing hotel--The Hotel Victor. After all, we though the Victor was supposed to be property of the Pomeranc brothers, formerly of Thompson Hotels.
But no, the Victor is now solely under the Nakash family who owns Jordache Enterprises. We know, Jordache Jeans and Versace in one place? Only in South Beach.
As for the Victor, the hotel has officially reopened after an impressive $8 million renovation that gave the hotel more of a "beachhouse vibe" with new guestrooms and oceanfront suites as well as an updated pool scene and cabanas, and a new lobby designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Amenities now include free WiFi, communal computers and complimentary beach cruisers, which let's face it, is the fastest way to get around South Beach in high season. Unless you've brought your own rollerblades, of course.
Fall has only just begun but there's a very good reason to start thinking about your winter getaway to South Beach now--the opening of the Metropolitan by COMO Hotel.
We've heard that the opening date is now December 15th although the website is not taking reservations just yet so no hint as to what the rooms will cost on opening night (to make your rezzies, email email@example.com.)
The 71-room hotel will open inside the former 1930s-era Traymore hotel. HotelChatter swung by the site in early August and reported on what's to be inside:
Like most COMO properties, the hotel's design will be understated, but still ooze luxury. The particular peppermint green and grey colors and contemporary white marble and chrome interior come courtesy of Italian designer Paola Navone, who amazingly enough is simultaneously working on the Point Yamu by COMO resort in Phuket, scheduled to open in November.
In addition to direct beach access (a door which will no doubt be guarded heavily from public foot access) and a 20-meter private pool, there will be a top-floor COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa with four treatment rooms, a rooftop hydrotherapy pool, and free daily yoga and Pilates classes. Plus there will be a juice bar where guests can take in the ocean-blue view while sipping smoothies.
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Some crazy news out of Miami yesterday. Gianni Versace's former South Beach residence, Casa Casuarina, was sold yesterday for $41.5 million to a company called VM South Beach LLC, whose principals include the Nakash Family, who in turn own Jordache jeans. Versace being taken over by Jordache? We never thought this day would happen. But wait, there's even more shocking news.
Most recently, Versace's abode had been a 10-room boutique hotel called The Villa By Barton G. Before that it was a members-only club by the name of Casa Casauarina. Now, the new owners plan on turning it into a hotel (again) and they want to merge it with another one of the properties they own--The Hotel Victor which sits next door.
But wait, isn't the Victor about to turn into a
Civilian Hotel new hotel from the Thompson Hotel founders? That's what we thought. But the Nakash family, who also own the Breakwater and Hotel Ocean, is saying they want to merge the two properties and rebrand the whole shebang using the Versace name.
'We'd like the public to use it, so we're going to create a hotel that will be consolidated with the Victor,' Nakash said. 'We're going to use the name Versace after we receive OK from the family.'
Ay dios mio. Mamma mia. We need a drink.
Donald Trump is a busy bee right now with his Old Post Office Hotel in DC (more on that soon!), a Vancouver property, and now a recent announcement that he'll be adding a BLT Prime restaurant to his Trump National Doral Miami hotel next February.
Just a year after his purchase of the property, The Donald already had eyes on making it bigger and better and that meant sinking $250 million in renovations and partnering with restaurant group ESquared Hospitality, which owns BLT Steaks around the world, including one at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach. It will be designed by Boston-based Peter Niemitz with the project being overseen by Eric Trump.
This particular outlet will have a "dramatic" centerpiece circular bar and dining room triple the size of most BLT Steak restaurants, as well as private dining rooms. Naturally there will be outside tables overlooking the hotel's signature Blue Monster golf course.
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UPDATE 9.6.13: A rep for the hotel emailed us to say, "We're having our most successful year on record since reopening in 2008. We're averaging over 80% occupancy a year and have the highest revenues in the history of Fontainebleau. In fact, Fontainebleau is one of the most profitable non-casino hotels in the world." In other words, party on.
It's unbelievable that even in the face of financial troubles, Miami Beach's legendary Fontainebleau is still partying like all's right in the world.
The hotel capped off their summer of BleauLive concertsthis past weekend with a performance by singer Robin Thicke and Grammy-winning producer/musician Pharrell Williams. The duo took to the stage and performed their monster summer hit, "Blurred Lines."
Meanwhile, the details are equally blurry regarding the upcoming sale of The Fontainebleau to South Florida developer Turnberry Ltd. Dubai World, who has 50 percent stake in the hotel, has already unloaded other assets to repay $25 billion worth of debts, with the SoBe hotel the most recent on the chopping block.
According to an article in Reuters, the sale of the hotel will be completed in a few weeks, but the price is being kept hush hush according to their source, and Dubai World's spokesman would not comment.
The Virgin Hotel Chicago won't open until next year with NYC to follow in 2016 but we've already known that Richard Branson's hip hotel brand wants to be in all the right places.
Earlier this year, Virgin Hotels announced they want to open in "Dallas, LA, London and beyond". But now it looks like they are getting closer to opening in Miami.
The Miami Herald reports that Virgin Hotels opened an office in Coconut Grove last month with about 10 employees. Currently, five employees work out of the New York office. According to Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal, having an office in Miami gives them access to South Florida but also the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe. And of course, it makes it easier to do the scouting for their Miami hotels. That's right, Leal said Virgin is planning two Miami hotels--one in Miami Beach and one in the hot new downtown area of Brickell. Leal even went so far as mentioning Fort Lauderdale. Caliente!
We can't say it enough, Miami is hot right now, and not just temperature wise. Not only are hotels popping up left and right, but celebrities are flocking down to South Beach in droves. And the interesting thing is--this is considered low season, where the star sightings are usually pretty slim.
First Bethenny Frankel Tweeted about heading down to sunny Florida yesterday:
Ok MIAMI ( @Fontainebleau beach) bring me a pink cocktail umbrella. I will be there closer to 2pm!— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) August 13, 2013
Now we've just found out Emmy-award winning actress Kristen Chenoweth was at the W South Beach this past weekend celebrating her assistant and best friend Julie Trussell’s, bachelorette party.
Check out a few photos of Kristen basking in the SoBe sun.
In May we mentioned that The Redbury South Beach, sister property to The Redbury Hollywood and Vine in L.A. was scheduled to open this fall. The ownership details of the new sbe hotel are here, but long story short--and probably most important--is Redbury guests will enjoy plenty of perks, including access to the pools and restaurants of the nearby SLS and The Raleigh hotels.
Since we've been in Miami checking out so much of the construction scene and news, we decided to take a look at the progress of the Redbury's conversion of the old Art Deco Fairfax Hotel.
Right now it's a busy construction site, but a cool HC fan let us take a sneak peek around the 69-room property.
A month ago we told you South Beach's historic Hotel Victor would undergo a huge change--they'd become a Thompson Hotel. Joining such a prestigious group would have been a welcome face-lift for the weary Victor, especially in a town where there's a new hotel or refurb on nearly every block.
But, the partnership to become Thompson Ocean Drive apparently wasn't meant to be because it was recently announced the deal was off. The Hotel Victor will remain with owners Pomeranc brothers who have sold the Thompson name in their portfolio. The details of that tale are here. Meanwhile, the Hotel Victor will eventually be branded under a new hotel company thanks to the assistance of former Thompson CEO Stephen Brandman, who's paired up with the Pomeranc brothers. The name of this new company? TBD. Dazzling news.
However, renovations started six months ago and the Victor officially closed in April, so it was decided to finish what had been started and run the property under the Commune brand until told otherwise. But the name will remain Hotel Victor. Period.
Get all that? No? You're not the only one. To say it's been an adjustment for everyone is an understatement.
We were fortunate enough to look at the progress and we must say, it's looking good!
Take a look at our photos and see the transformation in progress!