33139 Travel Guide - Page 2
Before and After / Wyndham Hotels / Morimoto / Miami Hotel Mambo / South Beach Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
The weather is getting cooler but the hotel scene in Miami is getting hotter. We already told you about five new hotels to look for this winter but here's one you can check out as soon as next week--The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach.
We first heard about The Shelborne closing for much-neededrenovations back in May 2013. A HotelChatter contributor had stayed at the property only months before and had this to say about the rooms:
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?
Above is how the hotel rooms used to look. Keep reading to see the transformation!
Miami has been getting new hotels on a regular basis for a few years now but in the next six months (give or take a few weeks), 5 important hotels will open in South Beach. Here's who they are and what they are all about:
The Thompson Miami Beach: The long-awaited, official, outpost of the Thompson Hotels brand will open on November 14 at 4041 Collins Avenue with 380 rooms. Rates start at $389 a night for a special "Preview" offer which includes $100 food and beverage credit to use at the Michelle Bernstein restaurant on site called Seagrape. There is a $25 resort fee per night which includes WiFi, two chaise lounge beach chairs, access of fitness center and fitness classes and a daily newspaper.
The Edition South Beach: The first stateside edition of Edition Hotels will open in November at 2901 Collins Avenue with 294 rooms. Despite the November opening. the hotel is only accepting website reservations for December 1. Rates on that date start at $429 a night. That will include free WiFi but there's also a $25 resort fee which includes beach chair service, beach towels, bike rental and "more."
Obviously, an older photo
Nautilus Sixty South Beach: Interestingly, the original founders behind Thompson Hotels--Jason Pomeranc and Stephen Brandman--will be readying their own hotel at 1825 Collins Avenue under their newly formed Sixty Hotels brand. There is no concrete opening date other than "Fall 2014" but our insiders say the 250-room hotel will open this year. We don't have a price point but expect it to be similar to the Thompson, with a resort fee as well which is sadly, common for South Beach. [Update: A rep for the hotel said the opening will happen in Winter 2015.]
The other day we were tipped off to a rumor that Ritz-Carlton Hotels would be taking over the swank One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa in Miami on October 1. (The hotel is currently a part of the Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels portfolio. Previously, it was a Regent Hotel.)
Before you get your La Perla and/or Hugo Boss undergarments in a bunch, nothing has been confirmed. Indeed, when you make a reservation on One Bal Harbour's website for next month, there is no mention of the RC takeover. Similarly, Marriott's Find a Hotel search function has no Ritz-Carltons listed in Bal Harbour. And combing random pages on the internet is also turning up nothing. But usually when we hear a whisper on the hotel grapevine, it turns out to be
a done deal true. Now, we'll just have to wait and see.
Currently, One Bal Harbour charges no resort fee. Meanwhile, Ritz-Carlton South Beach is going to start charging a $25 fee on October 1.
[Photo: One Bal Harbour/Facebook]
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Miami Beach Hotels / Miami Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
While we're on the topic of hotel fees, we've just learned that the Ritz-Carlton South Beach will start charging a $25 resort fee, per night on October 1. Here's what will be included with that extra $25 + tax a night.
· Complimentary 5mb wireless Internet access for up to 5 devices in guest rooms, lobby and most common areas.
· Beach chairs and umbrellas
· Beach Activities including boogie boards, skim boards, beach paddle tennis, bocce ball and corn hole court
· One hour daily fitness class
· 24-hour access to fitness center
· Use of hotel bicycles
· Unlimited local calls
· Bottled water in guest rooms
· Access to daily tour of the hotel’s art collection
Well, at least it includes internet on multiple devices.
Resort fees in South Beach are actually quite common. We stumbled across one at The Surfcomber, a Kimpton Hotel, last fall. For $20 a night, you get morning coffee, two beach chairs, poolside amenities like sunscreen and flavor-infused water and a $10 F&B credit.
Miami Hotel Mambo / Setai Shakedown / Hotel Lawsuits / Hotel Management Companies / Hotel Industry News / GHM / → All Tags
More than two years later, the drama at The Setai in Miami Beach has ended. And in favor of the hotel operator, GHM, who was kicked out, literally, in the middle of the night, by the hotel's owners, Lehman Brothers.
Last week, the ICC International Court of Arbitration ruled "that all previous allegations of mismanagement were baseless and have awarded damages to GHM for improper termination of GHM’s hotel management agreement." It seemed that the hotel's impressive RevPAR rate of 76 percent was a key factor in the decision against Lehman. Lehman Brothers now have 30 days to make the compensation to GHM. The Miami Herald reports the damages exceed $10 million. There are also more tort claims against Lehman that are still pending in state and federal court.
However, GHM will not return to the property as manager. Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group., which has managed the hotel since the shakedown, still remains in place. Room rates for this weekend for a studio suite (the starting room category) start at $530 a night but there's a AAA discounted rate and a Florida resident rate available for $488.
[Photo: The Setai]
It's been scientifically proven that your sense of smell can trigger old memories which is why for us, the smell of Aussie Sprunch Spray will forever take us back to a sweltering New Jersey summer in the early 90s when we religiously relied on the spray to keep our 'do intact. Seriously, one spray will have practically have us turning up Wilson Phillips on the stereo while we search for our crispest Vuarnet t-shirt and our rolled up jean shorts.
But this powerful link between smell and memory is also why hotels love pumping their own special scents into their hotels and subsequently, packaging that smell for you to buy. After all, what better way to remember your hotel stay by taking home the smell of it?
Now, while most hotels offer a candle made with their special lobby scent, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is taking a different tact by making a Mango Guava scented candle that specifically reminds you of the hotel spa's new Taste of the Tropics treatment. Of course, you have to book the treatment to get the candle.
We may be heading into the off-season in Miami Beach, but there's no slowing down the hotel scene.
The Vintro Hotel & Kitchen, a 50-room luxury boutique hotel, is set to open in July in the Collins Park neighborhood (a few blocks inland from W South Beach.) Formerly the Lido Park Hotel, The Vintro has kept the Art Deco facade (originally designed by architect Harry O'Nelson) yet the interiors were entirely stripped and renovated by Guillermo de Yavorsky, an architect based in St. Barth.
Billing itself as an "adult playground", the hotel will feature a bar, restaurant, and a roof deck with a plunge pool. Rooms are tight but well-designed featuring artwork from emerging artists and luxe amenities like in-room Nespresso machines, 46" flat-screen TVs and FREE WIFI. However, we must warn you: the bathrooms are SERIOUSLY peek-a-boo. You will have a prime view of the shower from the bed. Like, no curtain or nothing. Which is pretty perfect for a sexy getaway with your lovah, but please do not share this room with a coworker.
As for the kitchen, Chef Giorgios Nikolas Bakatsias, developed a concept and menu for the 67 seat Vintro Kitchen restaurant. The menu will focus on seasonal and local ingredients from Miami with a selection of wines "made by farmers not factories." And of course, this is Miami so there will be a robust cocktail selection as well.
While the hotel's old website is still saying March 2014, the hotel should open in July. We'll keep you posted on the exact date but room rates will start at around $249 a night.
[Photos: Vintro Hotel & Kitchen/Facebook]
Hotel Openings / Hotel Hype / Sixty Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Jason Pomeranc / Stephen Brandman / → All Tags
Sixty Hotels, the lifestyle hotel group that consists of four former Thompson Hotels, is adding to its collection with The Nautilus Hotel in Miami Beach, an iconic property originally designed by architect Morris Lapidus in the 1950s.
In recent years, the oceanfront hotel at 1825 Collins Avenue, went by the name, Continental South Beach, and offered a rather sub-par South Beach experience. But now Sixty Hotels will renovate the property from top to bottom, to transform it into a "luxury beach house" with both an international and residential feel.
"South Beach is a natural fit for our clientele, who appreciate a great night out just as much as the rich sense of architectural history the hotel and its surroundings offer," said Jason Pomeranc in a statement.
The hotel will have 251 rooms with 29 suites and two signature penthouses with ocean views and a private garden terrace. All guest rooms will have a "soothing" color palette, along with SFERRA linens, gourmet mini-bars and amenities by REN, a skincare line that's hard to find in American hotels.
There's no photos or renderings of the property available yet, aside from these old nostalgic snapshots, but here's how Sixty describes: the decor and design (from Caroline Giraud-Sukornyk of CG Design and Miami-based architecture firm, Arquitectonica.)
Upon entering, guests will be immediately met with an unpretentious beach vibe with nautical accents and tufted grey linen sofas that and metallic orange leather chairs at the concierge desk brighten the space with eye catching pops of color. Furthering the beach home feel that the property brings as its design inspiration is the use of materials throughout the lobby area such as grey concrete, glove leather, various stones and linen chairs and sofas, reminiscent of those found in global beachfront estates. Timeless and sophisticated, the Nautilus South Beach will combine subtle design with attentive service.
According to the Miami Herald's gossip columnist, Lesley Abravanel, Prince Harry, fresh off a break-up, and his buddies were at the LIV nightclub at The Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach last night. Abravanel writes:
Harry kept his plaid shirt on and danced in the comforts of his own skybox. As for pictures of this controlled debauchery, no such luck. Neither pictures nor DJ shout outs were allowed as "per his security detail." Staffers were sworn to secrecy or else it was off with their heads--and their jobs. "I wouldn't have known he was there if it wasn't for you," said one LIV employee.
What we want to know is, did Harry spend the night?? We're guessing probably not because this is Miami and there are many mansions for a Prince to
playhide the ginger sausage in.
But what's also interesting is that Abravanel reports Harry is on his way to Memphis for the wedding of his friend Guy Pelly to Elizabeth Wilson, granddaughter of the founder of Holiday Inn chain of motels and hotels, Kemmons Wilson.
Of course, there are several Holiday Inns in Memphis but even though Prince Harry has stayed in a Courtyard by Marriott before, we hope the Wilson family has something more luxurious in mind for him.
Hotel Uniforms / Designer Uniforms / Hotel Fashion / Miami Hotel Mambo / Miam Hotels / Hotel Openings / Wyndham Hotels / → All Tags
The Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami is in the midst of some major renovations (to the tune of $150 million) but when it re-opens in June, the staff might be looking like they came off a movie set.
That's because the iconic Collins Avenue hotel has enlisted Hollywood costume designer, Carol Ramsey, to create 1950's-inspired uniforms for all front of the house employees. Ramsey has a bit of experience in the realm since she worked on the show, "Magic City", which is set in a Miami hotel in the late 1950s.
Here's what she has in store for the Shelborne (heads-up to Shelborne job applicants, you are gonna need some fit legs.)
Last night a DJ did not save anyone's life in Miami. But rather, one DJ caused a major inconvenience for a big South Beach Hotel.
A month ago, we told you how superstar DJ Avicii was taking over the SLS South Beach during Miami Music Week by renaming the hotel, The Avicii Hotel. SLS then promised that guests would be treated to an “EDM-meets-luxury hotel featuring world-class programming and events, exclusive room packages…." Indeed, the SLS transformed itself completely into the Avicii Hotel even putting up the name Avicii above silver SLS letters in front of the hotel.
But it looks like Avicii himself checked out early.
TMZ reports that just before Avicii was to take the stage at Hyde Beach at the hotel for his set, he cancelled. Initial word was that he went to the hospital. TMZ later confirmed that Avicii was discharged from the hospital and that he also checked out of the hotel.
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.