33154 Travel Guide
Four Seasons Hotels has 14 new hotels opening in the next few years, chief among them are The Four Seasons at Disney World, The Four Seasons Seoul (the first FS for Korea), and the Four Seasons New York in Tribeca. Yet there's another project of interest growing in Florida--The Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club.
Founded in 1930 by Harvey Firestone, The Surf Club was once a private membership club, just north of Miami, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its original building by Russell Pancoast still stands today. But when it re-opens in early 2016, the historic structure will have 80 Four Seasons luxury hotel rooms. Surrounding that, will be two, 12-story towers designed by award-winning architect Richard Meier which will have 150 Four Seasons private residences and penthouse apartments. This will actually be Meier's first project in the Miami area. Fort Capital, a Miami-based private real estate investment company, is the developer behind the project.
The Surf Club will keep its private membership club but will add two restaurants, four swimming pools, a spa and fitness center and more than 40 beach cabanas. With all these exclusive luxury amenities, you can be assured that room rates will cost a pretty penny, especially in high season.
[Rendering: Four Seasons Hotels]
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If a hotel isn't truly open until the fireworks have been set off over the beach and a Hollywood star shows up wearing what can only be described as a caped minidress, then, yes, the St. Regis Bal Harbour is now officially open.
Far away from the Spring Break hordes down on South Beach, the super-luxurious property threw itself a party over the weekend with many finely dressed folks in attendance. Namely, Diane Kruger and fashion designer Jason Wu. Yes, you may know him from Target, but Wu, along with handsome polo player Nacho Figueras, are both St. Regis Connoisseurs. Sounds like a cool gig, no?
Ever since we saw this view of the pool deck at the St. Regis Bal Harbour we've been daydreaming of staying at the high-end resort. So, with its January 19 opening date fast approaching, we thought we'd see if the hotel was offering any opening specials to bring down that initial starting rate of $809 a night.
Here's what we saw when we opened up the hotel's website yesterday...
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The hotel, opening on January 19, is still under construction, but allowed us a walk through recently, to see how things were coming along. As you can see from the shot above, even on a windy day, the pool deck is the place to be for postcard killer views.
The good news is that these views are on tap throughout the hotel. The exterior shot below demonstrates how the hotel rooms--in the center building (the other two are residences)--are angled so that every single one has ocean views. Seriously, even the entry-level room here has a patio with these views--one measuring 210 square feet.
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Just the other day, we compiled a list of the Shiny New Hotels Coming to Miami. Now we have more intel on the most exclusive of the bunch, The St. Regis Bal Harbour. But before we tell you the news, you'd better run and grab the most elite credit card in your wallet... You ready?
The new St. Reeg is now taking reservations from March 1, 2012, with rates starting at $809 a night.
Of course, that's $897.99 when you add tax. And it's for the lowest-category room available, a Deluxe Ocean View room on a lower floor. But, this being a St. Regis, it does include a 210-square-foot balcony, and the room itself is a whopping 650 square feet.
Tudor House's Geoffrey Zakarian isn't the only restaurant man shaking up the Miami hotel restaurant scene. No, sir. Today, Miamians--and Gucci-clad visitors to Bal Harbour--get to meet Mister Collins, the new restaurant at ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.
As you can see from this photo snapped by The Feast, the restaurant's most exciting feature is its huge outdoor patio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Baker's Haulover Inlet.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour may still be months away, but just like its South Beach cousin down the road, Bal Harbour has some new toys to show off in the interim. The latest hotel to hit the ritzy beach suburb is Quarzo Bal Harbour, an all-suite luxury hotel that opened quietly in December.
Some of the room photos on the Quarzo site look a little too beige for our tastes, but we dig the tropical feel of this room above, and the way it kinda says "a weekend getaway at chic grandma's beach house."
Obviously, staying in Bal Harbour is not for the party set, but it does make for a more serene getaway than you'd find in South Beach or Fort Lauderdale.
Driving from Bal Harbour to Key Biscayne--where the Sony Ericsson Open takes place from next week through early April--takes around 35 minutes. Unless traffic is a killer. But by yacht? Well, we don't know for sure because Google Maps isn't offering the boat icon for its directions yet.
What we imagine, however, is that it would be a leisurely sail, and one helluva lot lovelier than cruising down I-95 or A1A. The reason we're having this daydream in the first place is because ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa is offering a special package for guests wanting to get their Ericsson on and, yes, it involves a yacht.
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We already told you that the work on the much-hyped Cipriani Miami had stalled. When we drove past the construction site in May, it looked like a sad, hollow shell. Guess what? It still does. (We drove past it again yesterday but were unable to snap a picture from I-95--road safety and all that...)
But further north on Collins Ave, the construction fairies have been hard at work on the St. Regis Resort & Residences, and this picture from Miamism makes us think that the super-posh property may just make its planned July 1, 2012 opening date.
Watch out, Soho Beach House, you're not the only new members-only club to hit the Miami hotel scene this fall. ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa is also getting into the exclusivity game with the debut of its Beach Club in early November.
While membership applications for Soho House properties are (ahem) always subject to scrutiny, membership at ONE Bal Harbour's Beach Club will be by invitation only, with 500 fabulous and famous folks getting the nod. Need to know what company you'd be keeping as you wait for that invite to hit your mailbox? Charter members include Stephen Dorff, Harry Morton, hair god Oscar Blandi and designer India Hicks.
What's this? Yet another new hotel in Miami? While we've been gearing up for the opening of the JW Marriott Maquis downtown, and Soho Beach House in South Beach, another boutique hotel has quietly opened its doors further north, just across the water from the Bal Harbour Shops.
Meet Daddy O, a sister (brother?) property to a hotel with the same name in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Yes, another member of the "Jersey Shore" has landed in Miami but unlike Snooki, The Situation and JWOWW, this hotel plans on staying a while.
Heading south for the winter but not so keen on contracting Legionnaire’s Disease? Obviously, you’ll want to steer clear of downtown Miami—despite its “hot new ’hood” tag, that’s where one guest died and two others fell ill with the Medieval-sounding sickness at the EPIC Hotel. But on the other end of town—a safe 15 miles north from
DiseaseDowntown—you’ll find another sleek new beach tower to retreat to in the ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.
It’s a bit of a hike from South Beach (think even further north than Canyon Ranch), but hopefully that makes it a cleaner, safer option. We haven’t heard of any Legionnaire’s cases in SoBe yet but the area has its own benign ills—over-tanning, over-drinking, and over-clubbing. Up in Bal Harbour, you’re more likely to run into J.Lo shopping for the twins than, say, clones of Hef’s new twins.