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Like a number of hotels in other cities, this one finds its home in a former bank building, which from the get-go makes this a little different than the proliferation of sleek and modern new builds that have been popping up in South Beach.
Fortune magazine published a piece last month about resorts with the highest extra fees tacked onto the base room rates – and two topped out at $107 per night. According to ResortFeeCheckercom, those are Provident Luxury Suites Fisher Island and Fisher Island Hotel & Resort, both in Miami and whose daily rates – not including fees -- run well over $500 in July. (We touched on these astronomical resort fees back in March.)p>
It may be the off-season in Miami but that doesn't mean the hotel scene is getting quiet. In fact, many hotels in South Beach use the summer to give themselves a makeover. In other cases, it's prime time for construction on new properties.
Which seems to be the case with this newest hotel-in-the-works, which we discovered while wandering in the residential streets between Collins and Washington Avenues recently -- the area across from Collins Park and the Bass Museum.
Like with all historic buildings on Miami Beach, the original facade remains while the jackhammers go to town on the inside. But what exactly is it?
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The other week we strolled by another new hotel coming to Miami Beach--Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel at 18th and Collins Ave, which we last heard was opening on July 6. Well, that date's not going to happen anymore as reservations for the hotel are being pushed back to October 1. Bienvenido a Miami!
On that date, rooms are going for $238.67 for a king superior room which includes a king bed, white marble floors, SFERRA linens, REN bath products (an HC fave), Bluetooth docking station, 48-in. flat screen TV and this badass vintage travel chest which doubles as the mini-bar filled with gourmet goodies and even books on how to make a cocktail. Keep reading to have a closer look at it!
It's been over three years since we first heard about the Lennox Hotel going up in Miami but there isn't much news to report.
We walked by the site of the old Peter Miller Hotel on Collins Avenue across from the luxury spot, The Setai. And work is coming along but it will be a while before this hotel opens its doors, especially since looking down 19th street, you can see all the units that need to be finished. You can head over to Kobi Karp Architects to peep some renderings of what the hotel should look like when it's finished. (That guest room is everything.)
However, we did learn that this hotel will be a part of Lennox Hotels, which has two other properties in South America--one in Ushuaia Patagonia and the other in Buenos Aires. So expect even more South American flair to invade Collins.
[Photos: HotelChatter; Rendering: Kobi Karp]
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Feel Totally at East
This will be the third hotel for the business traveler brand (they bill themselves as a "business hotel with a life") with the other two East Hotels in China--one in Hong Kong and one in Beijing.
Not much has changed plans-wise since we first heard of the directions to, er, for the East. The hotel will still include 255 contemporary rooms, done with the signature orange accents of East, eight suites, and 89 residences, all designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica architects. The building is not quite ready but East helpfully had some model rooms for guests to walk through.
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There's more to Miami than people-watching and partying in South Beach.
A world away from the hectic scene of the beach, and just a few minutes from Miami International Airport sits The Trump National Doral Hotel, an oasis for golfing and relaxation. The actual resort has been open for over 60 years, attracting some of the best golfers and spa-goers, but in 2012 Trump purchased the property and brought the entire 800-acre resort firmly into the 21st Century.
Once we pulled into the private drive, we knew we were gearing up for something a lot more extravagant than just being surrounded by four PGA-level golf courses. The drive circled around an impressive fountain and ended at the equally impressive clubhouse for check-in. Once we were handed our key card and given a map to find our way to one of eight villas all named after some pretty renowned golfers; incidentally we were led to the Tiger Woods villa.
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We've been waiting a long time for The Aloft South Beach but it's really, truly, almost ready to open. Maybe.
Just a week ago, we had the opening (skeptically) pegged for June 4 but that has been pushed back again to Thursday, June 11. However, people seem to think it will really open this time so we'll see.
We snapped a few pictures of the hotel construction on Sunday. Indeed most of the hotel does look finished, even the pool deck but the entrance, which is being rehabbed from its life as the Motel Arkana, still needs a bit of work.
For some hotel properties, bidding fond adieu to the minibar is part of the new and improved way of operating efficiently. For others, they've gone different routes--like Kimpton and Andaz, who include certain minibar items in the room rate. But as for the cream of the crop, some luxury hotels are going overboard and stocking some of the coolest stuff and, subsequently, charging out the nose for them.
Take for instance a recent stay of ours at the Trump National Doral just outside Miami. After exploring the comfy Ivanka Trump-designed interiors accented with lots of signature gold trim, we opened up the minibar drawer and almost had to catch our jaw from smashing down into the immense selection of gourmet treats that rolled out of the cabinet.
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The season is winding down in Florida but the hotel scene in Miami remains hot, especially when it comes to new hotels.
Construction has been underway on the former Ankara Motel for a few years now (here's what it looked like when our Miami spy walked by it last July) but Aloft is nearly ready to show off its restoration efforts (the Ankara was built in 1954) as well as its new interiors.
Here's some info on what Aloft saved from the Ankara days and what they added in:
Components of the hotel that have retained their original form include the classic brick walls of the Historic Wing, refurbished Ankara Motel signage and the pool shape. Inside, modern design takes center stage as a translucent staircase welcomes guests into the thriving two-story atrium with custom leather wrapping and a striking light fixture inspired by drum cymbals. Additionally, the bar and lounge features a custom chandelier by Yellow Goat Design made of 1,000 colored acrylic lighting rods descending from the ceiling.
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But now it's time to start planning a sweltering summer break in Miami, because reservations are now open for July 6.
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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!