New Developments on Florida's East Coast
By Leo Jakobson
February 1, 2013
Florida’s east coast, beaches, and particularly Miami, are bustling with new properties and renovations for meetings groups. From brand-new boutique hotels, to renovated conference centers, to rooftop lounge areas ideal for cocktail receptions, Florida has no shortage of event offerings.
The SLS South Beach opened last summer on Collins Avenue in the former Ritz Plaza Hotel’s Art Deco building, following a $45-million renovation. With Philippe Starck interiors, the 140-room property will feature dining at The Bazaar by Jose Andres and a Katsuya by Starck sushi restaurant.
The 243-room St. Regis Bal Harbour opened last year on Collins Avenue, just across from the Bal Harbour Shops. The all-ocean-view rooms range in size from 650 to 2,800 square feet. The hotel has 11,200 square feet of meeting space, a 14,000-square-foot Remède Spa, a Kids’ Club, and dining options headed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J&G Grill.
The Mayfair Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove relaunched as a 179-room, all-suite boutique property in September. The 600- to 1,300-square-foot suites have new furniture, soft goods, and Japanese bathtubs on their terraces. The 15,000-square-foot rooftop Above Mayfair Pool Lounge, with Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay views, was also redone. The property has 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, including the 3,326-square-foot Crystal Ballroom.
The Doral Golf Resort & Spa is undergoing a $200-million renovation, following its purchase in June 2012 by the Trump Hotel Collection. Among the areas being overhauled are the 693 guestrooms in the main building and lodges, more than 90,000 square feet of meeting space (including a 24,000-square-foot ballroom), and the 48,000-square-foot spa.
In November, Starwood Hotels and resorts brought its hip, youth-focused Aloft brand to south Florida with the opening of the Aloft Miami-Brickell. The $23 million property has 160 loft-like rooms on 14 floors, with spectacular views of the Miami skyline. It has nearly 3,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
The Turnberry Isle Miami joined Marriott’s Autograph Collection and unveiled a $2-million renovation of its 25,000-square-foot spa last year. The 300-acre, Mediterranean-style property in Aventura has 392 rooms, a 40,000-square-foot conference center, two championship golf courses, and four restaurants, including Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak.
The former Gansevoort Hotel is undergoing renovations, including façade work, as part of what will be a $100-million renovation. The property was renamed the Perry South Beach until a rebranding planned for this year. It has 334 hotel rooms, a 32,000-square-foot pool plaza, 48,000-square-foot private beach, and a 26,000-square-foot rooftop swimming pool/event space, as well as a 6,600-square-foot ballroom.
B Hotels & Resorts will open its second property, the B South Beach, on Collins Avenue in the second quarter of 2013, following a top-to-bottom renovation. Located just two blocks away from the convention center, the 252-room hotel will have a rooftop hospitality suite with a 2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, 3,000 square feet of indoor function space, and 5,000 square feet of beach-accessible outdoor function space. The 243-room b2 miami downtown opens on Biscayne Bay in March with 1,000 square feet of function space. The b2 is a new brand focusing on the “full-service value” concept.
The James Royal Palm opened late last year on South Beach, with 179 rooms and 211 studios and suites. It can accommodate groups of up to 300 in more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
The 168-room Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa gave its pool and lounge area a new beach bar and restaurant, and a new covered terrace that can accommodate up to 150. It has 12,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space.
The 64-room Lord Balfour South Beach hotel opened last year in Ocean Drive’s Art Deco district, just south of Fifth Street. The 1940 property underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation.