the new Redbury Hotel, guest begin to check-in for
the weekend at Miami Beach, Fla.
newest hotels in South Florida are already making a name
just since March, the Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach
has earned the top spot for the city on TripAdvisor,
followed in second place by another newcomer, The Redbury
South Beach. That hotel, sister to the Hollywood Redbury
in Los Angeles, has another designation to brag about:
making the Travel + Leisure 2014 "It List,"
which highlights the world’s best new hotels.
those plaudits, the biggest hotel headlines are likely to
come over the course of the next year. This fall, the
long-awaited Edition Miami Beach — a collaboration
between hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott International
— is expected to open, followed early next year by the
first phase of the massive Faena development in Miami
Palm Beach County is welcoming a freshly renovated resort
this spring and Broward has a new chain near the airport,
the bulk of the recent building has happened in
many travelers, the new options in the area might just
make a decision on where to stay even harder, said Juliana
Shallcross, managing editor for web publication
feeling is that people always love Miami," she said,
adding that visitors are likely to pick their hotel based
on location, pool scene or spa.
just has so many options that it’s so hard for travelers
to pick the right hotel," she said.
is where we come in. For out-of-towners looking to sample
what’s new on the scene, here is our roundup of the
Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront
new: The Art Deco hotel, built in 1940 and expanded about
a decade later, unveiled a $25 million expansion in
February. The new wing includes a 93-room tower, extended
lobby decorated with vintage Miami Beach posters, meeting
space, new pool and cabanas.
rights: Two pools (the large original with an 8 1/2 foot
deep end and a new infinity-like version). The 356-room
property is separated from the beach by only a boardwalk.
Rooms break out of the Courtyard by Marriott mold in the
new tower, with bright, beachy beige and teal palettes.
One of the suites we checked out in the new section has a
balcony spacious enough to host small parties — and even
has a hot tub outside.
Emptor: The older sections of the 356-room hotel have not
been renovated in years, so make sure you know what
section you’re booking. The location is a few blocks
south of the clubs and restaurants at the Fontainebleau
Miami Beach and a long walk (or short cab ride) from South
Beach. Construction on another hotel is ongoing next door.
for: Business travelers loyal to the Courtyard by Marriott
brand; families who want quality pool-and-beach time.
3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-3373;
and deals: Weekend rates for most of June start at $239 a
night in the older tower, $289 for the newer section;
Florida residents with ID get a 20 percent discount,
subject to availability.
new: The former Wells Fargo bank building just north of
Miami International Airport has been transformed into a
high-end hotel after a major overhaul (with an attached
Wells Fargo branch). The six-story, 133-room property
opened last June, the first U.S. location for a company
that has several hotels in Venezuela and Argentina.
rights: From the marble floors in the lobby to smart-room
technology that uses motion sensors to know when rooms are
occupied, the hotel is unexpectedly posh for its location.
Extra-thick windows make for quiet surroundings, despite
the proximity to runways. All rooms are set up for
business, with free Wi-Fi and desks; business suites have
a living room at the entrance, with a TV set that can be
used for presentations. Most showers are surrounded by
glass walls that allow a view of the bedroom TV (with a
screen for privacy).
Emptor: Despite the amenities, guests are still a drive
away from downtown Miami or the beach. And while a pool is
a nice addition, the view is of traffic speeding by. Still
to come are a spa and gift shop.
for: Business travelers; anyone needing a place to stay
before or after a flight through MIA.
4299 NW 36th St., Miami Springs; 305-324-6835;
and deals: Weekend rates start at $189 a night for a
standard double, $199 for a deluxe suite.
Beach Hotel Surfside
new: Built from the ground up, the 268-room hotel on the
ocean opened in December.
rights: Two pools and hot tubs beckon on the ground level,
and the rooftop SkyPool and hot tubs offer an oasis for
adults 21 and older. The gym has an ocean view (motivation
to get in swimsuit shape — and work off the splurge from
the gelato bar). The hotel was sold out when we visited,
but promotional material says most rooms include two full
bathrooms and a balcony. A sandy walkway winds through
palms to lead to the beach.
Emptor: Some work remains to be done: Scaffolding
surrounded the entrance on a recent visit, and the spa is
not yet open. An annex, expected to open around the end of
the year, is under construction across Collins Avenue.
for: Families looking for a beach vacation away from the
South Beach scene. Couples who want a resort feel with an
option for privacy. Luxury shoppers looking for a getaway
near the Bal Harbour Shops.
9449 Collins Ave., Surfside; 305-534-8666; www.grandbeachhotelsurfside.com
and deals: Weekend rates in June start at about $263.
Balfour South Beach
new: The former Wave Hotel, built in 1940, has undergone a
complete gutting. The new product, which opened last July,
is a throwback to the old; the 64-room property was
originally called the Lord Balfour, after onetime British
Prime Minister Lord Arthur James Balfour. Far from stuffy,
the boutique hotel is a cheeky, art-filled affair.
rights: Funky design sensibilities include a giant image
of a tattooed woman gracing a wall in each room. During
Art Basel Miami Beach last year, an artist painted a giant
geisha in the courtyard; various works also fill the
lobby, where the ceiling is covered with a screen bearing
Emptor: See: tattooed lady, if that’s not your thing. A
restaurant is still to come in the next few months, and
construction will begin on an 18-room addition with pool
next year. Though the hotel is located in the hip South of
Fifth neighborhood, it’s not directly on the beach and
is surrounded by aging condos and new construction. The
hotel has a small workout space, but guests are encouraged
to take advantage of nearby running paths.
for: Guests who appreciate playful touches and don’t
mind fewer on-site amenities.
350 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-228-7217;
and deals: Weekend rates typically start at $279. Through
Sept. 30, Florida residents can save 20 percent when
staying four nights (resort fee included).
by COMO, Miami Beach
new: The former Traymore Hotel was stripped down to the
bare structure and rebuilt with interiors heavy in mint
green and gray by designer Paola Navone. When it opened in
March, the property became the first U.S. presence of the
upscale COMO brand. (Other locations include London,
Bangkok, Maldives and Turks & Caicos.)
rights: Most rooms have a water view — either of the
ocean or Lake Pancoast across Collins Avenue. Locals and
guests alike pack the small COMO Shambhala Urban Escape
spa for treatments. A rooftop hydrotherapy pool adds
another option for pampering; the ground-level pool is
adjacent to the ocean, separated from the hotel by a
public walkway. The Traymore Restaurant and Bar boasts
more than 40 different kinds of gin and a focus on fresh,
locally caught seafood, while the COMO Shambhala
alternative menu offers healthy options and wellness
Emptor: The hotel is proud of its quiet atmosphere — and
is probably not suited to travelers who want a nonstop
party. The location is a couple blocks north of the W
South Beach and well removed from most of the South Beach
for: Couples seeking a romantic getaway; families who want
to take advantage of one of the seven suites available
now. (There will be 11 suites available by September,
including the 1,113-square-foot COMO Suite, which should
be ready for bookings by late July).
2445 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-3588; www.comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach.
and deals: The hotel says the best summer rates start at
$319, though we found midweek offers in June as low as
$261 a night and several weekends in June and July
starting at $351; though Sept. 30, Florida residents get
free overnight parking and 15 percent off the best
Redbury South Beach
new: The former Fairfax hotel sat vacant for years before
being gutted and brought to life as the Redbury, sister
hotel to the Hollywood, Calif. hot spot. The 69-room
property with an emphasis on old Miami Beach glamor opened
rights: Rooms have a rock and roll vibe, complete with
record player and vinyl curated by Capitol Records. A
rooftop pool offers ample space for sunbathing. Lorenzo,
the restaurant from James Beard Award-winning Chicago chef
Tony Mantuano, serves handmade pasta, pizza and other
Italian staples. The Redbury made the 2014 Travel +
Leisure "It List" for its "sexy, Rat
Emptor: The property is not directly on the beach, but
guests can use the beach amenities across the street at
the Raleigh, which like the Redbury is also run by
hospitality company sbe. The gym at the SLS down the
street (another sbe property) is also available to guests.
for: Young travelers who want a hip beach experience
without the outsized rates; families; business travelers.
1776 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-1776;
and deals: Weekend rates at the end of June start at $221;
earlier weekends start higher. Using promo code FLRES,
Florida residents save 25 percent off the room and
restaurant (and the resort fee is waived) through Sept.
30, with blackout dates. Also through Sept. 30, promo code
MERRY is good for 20 percent off rooms, dinner for two at
the restaurant and a waived resort fee.
new: The former Boca Raton Bridge Hotel, which closed in
April 2013, is scheduled to reopen Tuesday as Waterstone
Resort & Marina — A Doubletree by Hilton, after
undergoing $10 million in renovations. The work includes a
new lobby, construction of a waterfront promenade, a
revamped pool area, and updated guestrooms.
rights: All 139 rooms and suites have private balconies
with water views — the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal
Waterway or Lake Boca. With the addition of a 270-foot
seawall and promenade, boaters will be able to dock at the
hotel and dine at one of its two waterfront restaurants.
Emptor: The opening and a preview of the property were
both delayed, so we can’t characterize the property.
999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton; 866-909-2622 or
and deals: The hotel will open with rates of $127
weeknights, $169 weekends and stay in that range, with
some variation, until Labor Day.