33139 Travel Guide
Joie de Vivre Hotels / JDV Hotels / Hotel Hype / Miami Hotel Mambo / Top Chef Hotels / Spike Mendelsohn / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we learned West Coast born-and-raised Joie de Vivre Hotels (JDV) would be expanding its horizons to Miami and New York. We're still waiting on the full details of the NYC property, but The Hall in Miami, at 15th and Collins, is going ahead with its "late summer" opening and now they've got "Top Chef" alum, Spike Mendelsohn, to create the food and bar menus.
Sunny's will be Spike's first outpost in Miami. The spot is named after his grandfather, but is also a nod to the weather in Miami (most days.) Designed by Robert McKinley, who also did the interiors for the rest of the hotel, Sunny's will "blend rustic elements and the tropics with natural, hand-crafted wood tables, all-weather chairs made from reclaimed rebar, and a Florida keystone main countertop."
Spike plans on serving reinterpretations of his favorite dishes he's picked up while traveling. That includes a Gulf Coast Grilled Grouper “Reuben,” the Greek-inspired Lifeguard Focaccia Myrtos Beach-Style, and the Jersey Shore Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich. (Um, it's not pork roll. It's Taylor ham. Just saying.) Spike will also create made-to-order, brick-oven pizzas for The Hall's backyard bar and outdoor lounge area.
We wonder if his former judge, Tom Colicchio, will pop in. Colicchio, after all, is opening his Beachcraft restaurant up the road at the 1 Hotel South Beach.
1 Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Eco-Friendly Hotels / Green Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / Barryt Sternlicht / → All Tags
The opening of 1 Hotel South Beach has been a very long time coming.
The luxury 1 Hotels brand, with its eco-friendly focus, was first announced in 2006 by Starwood Capital Group, led by Barry Sternlicht, the man largely credited with bringing boutique hotel experiences to the masses with W Hotels.
But 1 Hotels was quickly put on hold once the economic crisis hit in 2008. (As evidenced by this hole in the ground.)
Then nearly two years ago, word came that 1 Hotels would be resurrected, with their first property opening in South Beach, inside the old Gansevoort South Beach which was formerly the Roney Palace, an apartment building (many apartments still remain, although they are separate from the hotel.)
Today, after extensive, estimated $270 million renovation (not including the $230 million spent to buy the property), 1 Hotel South Beach is officially up and running, with the second 1 Hotel-- 1 Hotel Central Park--not that far behind (It's expected opening date is now mid-June.)
We were able to tour 1 Hotel South Beach, and we were wowed by the transformation from the affected Gansevoort days. 1 Hotels has filled all the empty and wasted space throughout the building with meaningful design. For instance, the guest rooms feature not just a bed, a desk and a chair, but rather a bed upon a raised platform, along with a cozy seating nook facing out the balcony, and a long (reclaimed) wood desk that runs the length of the room. The bathroom is a good-size, with a generous shower. Yes, it's peek-a-boo but there is a curtain to close in case you're shy.
You'll also notice these "filled in" spaces in the lobby where comfy white couches and armchairs take up much of the front area.
Yet while the luxury element of 1 Hotels is easy to distinguish thanks to their $700 a night room rate, there are more than a few eco-friendly initiatives you may not realize during a stay or even a visit. (This too is by design as the hotel wants to be sustainable without being preachy.)
We were seriously astounded by some of these practices, which go beyond just being LEED certified. You may have heard of small independent hotels doing some of them, but not in a beachfront hotel with 426 guest rooms, four pools, five F&B outlets, a rooftop pool and a spa and fitness center.
Allow us to list the ways.
1 Hotels / Hotel Key Cards / Hotel Room Keys / Eco-Hotels / Green Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / → All Tags
We've been known to obsessively collect hotel key cards from our stays but at the just-opened 1 Hotel South Beach (formerly the Gansevoort South Beach), we will, begrudgingly, give back their incredible room key.
Just slightly bigger than a silver dollar coin, the key card is made out of recycled wood. But that's not all. It's equipped with RFID, so you simply wave it in front of the door and boom, your room is unlocked. However, on the backside of the key it says, "Recycle Everything", a gentle encouragement from the hotel to guests, to send the key back so that it can be reused.
This key and its message are just one of many eco-initiatives that 1 Hotels have created not just for the South Beach property but for the upcoming 1 Hotels in Central Park and Brooklyn as well.
Tomorrow, we'll have more on those initiatives, the likes of which we've never heard being implemented in a hotel of this size before. But for now, we'll tease you with a shot of the guest room. It's pretty AND it's good for you.
FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: If you sign up for 1 Hotels email list, you'll get 11 percent off bookings for 11 years. This is FOR REAL. The deal ends on April 2, 2015 at 10:22:22pm. So enter your email soon!
Photo Gallery / Hotel Renovations / South Beach Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotels / Morimoto / Wyndham Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / → All Tags
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!
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.
Hotel Rebrandings / James Hotels / Hotel Rumors / Miami Hotel Mambo / Starwood Hotels / Luxury Collection Hotels / MiamI Beach Hotels / → All Tags
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.
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.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Hyatt Centric Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / South Beach Hotels / Hotel Construction / → All Tags
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.
Hyatt Centric / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hyatt Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / South Beach Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / → All Tags
Remember the other day when we gave you the lowdown on the high season hotel happenings in Miami? Well, there's already been a change to the list. A BIG ONE. Sit down for it. Or at least stop glancing at Facebook while you read this important news.
The expected Hyatt South Beach at 16th Street and Collins Avenue will actually open as the Hyatt Centric South Beach, making it the very first Hyatt Centric hotel to open. If you aren't familiar with Hyatt Centric, you can read all about that here. In short, it's a hotel for millennials.
Since the name change was pretty sudden (or at least we think it was), the hotel's layout has not changed much since its initial description. But here's what you can expect from the 105-room hotel:
The Setai, a seriously sexy and swanky hotel in Miami Beach, received their Christmas present a little early the other week--a big box of Jordache Jeans!
Kidding. But The Setai did get snapped up by The Nakesh Family, who started the cheesy "designer" jeans company in the late 1960s, and which hit their peak in the 1980s.
The New York Post reports that the Nakeshes are purchasing the hotel for close to $90 million. They apparently already owned 15 of the 163 luxury residences attached to the 80-room hotel. The same family also owns Gianni Versace's old mansion which goes by the name Casa Casuarina, as well as the adjacent Hotel Victor.
Just two years ago, The Setai had a major shakedown where the owners kicked out the General Hotel Management group who was running the property and replaced them with Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group.
The Redbury shuttered Tony Mantuano's Lorenzo restaurant a while ago to install the newest outpost of Cleo, a Mediterranean-style restaurant found at The Redbury in Hollywood as well as the SLS Las Vegas.
Aside from Cleo's staple dishes of flatbreads and tanginess, Chef Danny Elmaleh has created a few plates especially for Miami like the Lamb Shawarma, Wagyu Tongue Kebabs, Potato Latkes and Monkfish Tagine. And of course, this being Miami, cocktails are abound on the menu. We recommend the Mediterrean margarita made with Avion Tequila, a housemade fig-almond syrup and fresh lime.
Looking to make a night of it? Rooms at The Redbury, which have a hip apartment feel, start at $329 a night. For just $334 a night, you can add a little brekkie to go.