The W has done it again! With its mid-2011 unveiling of the South Beach Hotel & Residences in Miami Beach, they have set a new standard for a contemporary lifestyle experience as the brand continues to expand globally. (Click herefor a list of all the properties, including ones expected to open in 2012 — Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Guangzhou, China — and beyond.)
My newfound companions at the bar and the friendly Puerto Rican bartender were interested to know two things: 1) why I was alone, and 2) what I was doing in Miami. I gladly filled them in, and they felt “special” knowing that I was telling them something that hadn’t been publicly announced yet – that we were shooting a special for Travel Channel about the hot spots to visit in 2012. (Note: to watch host Johnny Jet reveal the “Hot Spots 2012,” watch Travel Channel this Sunday, Jan 1 at 9 PM. Check your local listings for additional air times.)
“W South Beach will serve as a flagship hotel for the W brand globally,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. “The hotel will provide guests and locals alike with W’s outstanding signature programming set in a stunning, cutting-edge design environment on the shores of one of the world’s most glamorous and fashionable beaches.”
“The launch of W South Beach marks a new era in Miami’s glamorous history,” said David Edelstein, principal of Tristar Capital, which owns the hotel along with RFR Realty. “Our vision was to develop a world-class hotel with a new standard of design and style that embraces the vibrant spirit of South Beach.”
W South Beach is the product of renowned designers and artists, including architect Costas Kondylis in collaboration with NBWW & Associates, Anna Busta of Studio B Design, landscape designer Paula Hayes and twice Grammy-nominated photographer Danny Clinch. Together they have combined organic architectural elements with a contemporary design to create an iconic and high-end urban design ambiance that pays homage to the area’s art deco heritage and offers guests an insider escape in the center of all the action.
Architect Costas Kondylis created a new landmark that recalls Miami’s modern architectural legacy with its dynamic and whimsical façade. The unique design of the building positions rooms on a 25-degree angle, providing guests with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The stunning W Living Room (W’s take on the traditional hotel lobby), has been designed by Anna Busta and features dramatic artwork from noted collector Aby Rosen’s private collection.
Strongly influenced by art deco elements, the Living Room features sleek floors inlaid with bronze and wood with a terrazzo border and a row of white quartzite columns set against a soaring 120-foot-long marble wall. An eclectic yet sophisticated mix of furnishings create intimate conversation areas throughout the space, including tufted leather ottomans, sofas imported from Italy, velvet curtains in eggplant purple, modern white and gray sofas complemented by oversized, inlaid horn tables, armchairs covered in white pony or slate velvet and white pony rugs splashed with gold paint. A shimmering, 20-foot-high beaded curtain set off by glass walls ushers guests into the W Living Room Bar, offering views of WET pool deck and the hotel’s lush garden known as the Grove.
Here are some of the highlights:
Developed by conceptual landscape artist Paula Hayes in collaboration with Anna Busta, the Grove was inspired by the many beautiful gardens found in the Provence region of France. Designed to transport guests into another world, this serene garden is an escape from the hustle and bustle of South Beach, featuring winding paths amongst the swamp lily and flowering grasses, lanterns from the late 19th Century, sheets of poetry suspended from sea grape trees and 1920s-era objects discovered in French flea markets.
Flirt, Sip and Mix from Dusk to Dawn at WALL
A throwback to carefree decadence, WALL’s entirely VIP 4,000-square-foot venue consistently attracts A-listers, jet-setters and nightlife aficionados from around the world. The boutique lounge has proven to be an impenetrably exclusive boite in the heart of South Beach designed to entertain revelers from dusk until dawn. The Miami hotspot is a product of restaurateurs and nightlife impresarios Karim Masri, Nicola Siervo and Rony Seikaly, the masterminds behind KNR Group and projects including sought-after dining establishments such as Quattro Gastronomia Italiana and Sosta Pizzeria and Enoteca. Designed by Anna Busta, WALL captivates guests with its seductive gold-and-black motif, including dark walls, a lacquered bar, Cappellini stools and a ceiling of fine copper mesh. The focal point of the space is the 35-inch spherical Raimond chandelier created by Dutch design house Moooi.
Savor Legendary Chinese Cuisine at Mr Chow Miami
Famed celebrity eatery Mr Chow debuts in Miami on the ground floor of W South Beach. Mr Chow Miami offers iconic dishes along with new and creative recipes prepared by team of expert chefs. Designed by Michael Chow, the beautiful space includes his signature elements such as the stepped entrance that puts guests into the spotlight, modern screens and black lacquer furniture as well as unique elements including the 125-foot gold-leaf and Swarovski crystal chandelier designed by Chow himself. The expansive space, with seating for approximately 300 guests,
includes outdoor seating that overlooks fashionable Collins Avenue. As part of Michael Chow’s dedication to art, a known artist was commissioned to develop an exclusive video animation that will be projected on the walls of the outside dining area.
Original American Dining at The Dutch
The Dutch is an American restaurant, bar and oyster room inspired by local cafes, country inns, corner taverns, neighborhood bistros, seaside shacks, roadside joints and the same mix of cultural influences that make Miami Beach great. Award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini’s roots- inspired American menu features fresh fish and shellfish, choice meats, local produce and the best of what’s around. Designed by Meyer Davis Studio, the high-ceilinged 170-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant and oyster bar is outfitted with light oak floors, white painted brick walls, a zinc-top liquor bar and driftwood beams overhead making for a light, airy space that fills with daily bustle and flow. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, it is a comfortable, casual environment befitting any occasion. The Dutch is operated by New York-based Chef Andrew Carmellini and his partners Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom with long-time Miami impresarios Karim Masri and Nicola Siervo.
Bliss Spa boasts more than 7,000-square-feet of tension-fighting facilities at W South Beach. With a focus on waxing, skincare services, and manicures and pedicures, bliss south beach also provides massage and body treatments. Seven treatment rooms and bliss trademark touches such as rhythm & blues tunes, a retail beauty boutique, and the legendary brownie buffet, make bliss south beach the ultimate destination for stylish jet setters and spa and beauty-loving locals. W South Beach guests and residents also receive “BIP” (Bliss Important Person) status for priority reservations and exclusive in-room sampling. Additionally, all guests can enjoy sought after sink side bliss amenities in all guestrooms and suites.
Relax and Escape into a Stylish Personal Oasis
Residences and guestrooms at W South Beach range in size from 574 square-feet to more than 3,000 square-feet with nine-foot ceilings and expansive glass balconies that allow for unparalleled views of South Beach and the glistening Atlantic Ocean. As W’s first all condo hotel, guestrooms offer contemporary, stylish living with soft shades of teal and white, a sleek floor made of white ceramic tiles with a wood grain finish, and floor-to-ceiling screens that delineate the living and sleeping areas. Modern Italian steel grey sofas are positioned strategically in front of the flat screen plasma televisions inviting guests to chill out before going out, while the photographs of legendary rock photographer Danny Clinch – works of artists ranging from Missy Elliot to Elvis Costello – adorn the walls in guestrooms as well as elevator landings throughout the property.
Oversized bathrooms feature Cippolino marble vanity countertops with black and gray veining, high-end chrome fixtures and spacious showers. For a true escape, select suites feature Japanese soaking tubs. Many of W South Beach’s guestrooms feature an Asco stacked washer and dryer and a state-of-the-art kitchenette with a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf range, stainless steel microwave, custom lacquered Italian cabinets with either granite or synthetic quartzite countertops, a deep sink basin and chrome fixtures. All guestrooms and suites feature the signature Munchie Box (W Hotels’ re-interpretation of the traditional hotel Mini Bar) and state- of-the-art entertainment system which includes two plasma televisions, CD and DVD player and docking station for MP3 players, setting the stage for a night on the town or for winding down after a day at the beach.
W South Beach offer owners a combination of stylish one, two, and three bedroom condominiums with all the signature W comforts, services and amenities available to hotel guests. In addition to W Hotels’ signature services, W South Beach offers the W brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever® service promise, providing both hotel guests and residents with whatever they want – from a personal shopping consultation at South Beach’s most exclusive boutiques to private jet service from MIA – whenever they want it, as long as it’s legal!
***Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/producer/media strategist with a passion for travel, photography, nature, adventure, and wine. She resides in LA with her pups and is the managing editor of The Pacific Punch. Follow her on twitter @lindsaytaub58 and @ThePacificPunch. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com. Email email@example.com***
Lindsay Taub is an LA-based writer/editor who covers travel, lifestyle, culture, music/arts, food, wellness, and more. She calls Los Angeles home when she's there, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. She loves cooking, gardening, live music, hiking with her three rescue dogs, and rustic luxury. Follow her on instagram/twitter @lindsaytaub and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.lindsaytaub.com and www.voyagevixens.com .***