Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More Miami-Dade hotels earn coveted five-star rating

The Forbes Travel Guide has given the five-star rating to four hotels in Miami-Dade.


Renovations, Reservations, and Alliances: Your Hotel News

So much hotel news, so little time – here are a few snippets to keep you up to date with the latest news from around the world, from shiny new things in Paris to reservations in Milan and new global partnerships.

Viceroy Hotels joins Global Hotel Alliance: starting at partnerships, in a move we did not expect,Viceroy has signed up to join Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). While Kempinski and Pan Pacific are two brands we usually think of when we hear GHA, the list is a lot longer than that, including brands like Anantara, Per Aquum, Omni Hotels, QT, and more for a total of 31 brands and 550+ hotels. Now if Viceroy would move on with its plans for L’Ermitage Bevery Hills and Viceroy Istanbul, we’d be all sorts of happy.
Pulitzer Amsterdam picks Preferred Hotels: we knew Hotel Pulitzer was leaving Starwood’s Luxury Collection, but our wish for something as exciting as Four Seasons Hotel Pulitzer to happen (after a mega renovation, of course) was not to be. Renovations will happen, but the hotel has joined Preferred Hotels new LVX collection (pronounced “Lux” and yes that irks us too). If you want to know more about Preferred’s new collections, go here.
Sofitel Le Faubourg Paris gets a makeover: there is no stopping Paris and its hotel news. We previously looked at what Andre Putman cooked up at Sofitel Arc de Triomphe, and now the result of the Didier Gomez makeover at Sofitel Le Faubourg is here. We find a lot to like in the above photo, which shows a very classy mix of greys, whites, and golds. The hotel’s location is excellent too, off of Rue St. Honoré, next to the American Embassy and across the street from the boarded up Hotel de Crillon.
Mandarin Oriental Milan opens reservations: we saw lots of renderings, and now you can book from July 1 onwards. Rates start from €700 ($760) a night under an opening offer that gets you a €200 ($218) credit if you book a room and €300 ($327) if you book a suite. Starting rate gets you into a Deluxe Room, with a Mandarin Terrace Suite being the highest category currently showing, at 60 sq m / 645 sq ft and €3000 ($3,260) a night.
Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel adds long-term stay apartments at One Denman Place: fan of Kit Kemp’s design and need a place to stay for a few months in London? Firmdale has now added 24 apartments to its flagship hotel just behind Piccadilly Circus, ranging from one- to three-bedrooms.

Waterfront Dining In Miami: 12 Great Spots


Our biggest request from visitors to the South Florida region is "Where can we dine with some great waterfront views?"
Surprisingly for a city that is built on the water, this is harder to come up than one would think, but we've rounded up 12 solid spots in Miami with great views.
Did we miss your favorite spot? Make sure to voice your thoughts in the comments below.

1 Black Point Marina

This bar and restaurant located in South Dade serves up fresh seafood and plenty of boat gazing along in addition to its water views.

2 Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish

Eating seafood and water views go hand-in-hand and Garcia's is the perfect example of that. Grab a seat and soak up views of the Miami River while watching fishing boats drop off their latest catches for you to devour.
3 Gibraltar at Grove Isle
Located on a swanky private island just north of Coconut Grove, Gibralter provides some of the most serene waterfront views in the city complete with a fire pit and tiki torches.
4 La Mar by Gaston Acurio at Mandarin Oriental, Miami
The only acceptable way to indulge in ceviche by one of the world's best chefs is with killer water views. Luckily for you, La Mar offers up both.

5 Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill

Housed inside the always hip Standard Hotel, this popular spot is filled with people soaking in the pristine bay views under the restaurant's large colorful umbrellas while sipping rosé like it is water. ShadeFLA is particularly fond of this spot!

6 Red Fish Grill

Tucked inside Matheson Hammock Park, Red Fish Grill is known for its romantic ambiance and serene water views.
7 Rusty Pelican (Miami)
This classic Key Biscayne restaurant has recently undergone some renovations, but one thing that has stayed intact is its expansive waterfront and idyllic views of Miami.
8 Scotty's Landing
Rumors have swirled around for years that this Coconut Grove landmark will soon shutter. But for now it's still kicking — for how long we aren't entirely sure — with some of the best water views in the city.
9 Seaspice
This celeb-filled hot spot has had its fair share of drama, name changes and turnovers, but one thing that has remained in place is its abundance of waterfront seating right along the Miami River.

10 Smith & Wollensky

One of the best places in Miami to catch the sunset, you'll find locals and tourists alike crowded around its popular bar nightly to take in the views and the ocean breezes.
11 Soho Bay
The Miami Beach newcomer features unobstructed views of the bay and Miami’s skyline, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. And we're told coming later this year is a private boating dock and marina.
12 Zuma
Yes, people come from far and wide to dine on Zuma's famous sushi and high-end Asian cuisine but many hungry restaurant goers also come to enjoy their meal on the water with views of Downtown and Biscayne Bay. While you're there, check out the retractable roof installed by ShadeFLA!

$750M Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo unveiled

Marriott Marquis will have 1,800 hotel rooms, 600K sf of meeting space.

Rendering of the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter







Developers MDM Group, architects and community partners gathered on Tuesday to reveal plans for the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo, slated to be the largest hotel in South Florida when it opens in the fall of 2018.
The expo center fronts the four large, curved towers that are “very dramatic and vertically oriented,” John Nichols, CEO of Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, told The Real Deal. At night, the horizontal strips on the development will light up. NBWW is the architect on the project.
“Many don’t realize how big it is,” Nichols said, citing the Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s 1,500 rooms.
Exhibit space will include a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall ground floor, a 65,000-square-foot main ballroom, a 45,000-square-foot junior ballroom, 390,000 square feet of other meeting space, and a 10,000-square-foot, 1,500-seat lecture hall — all for a total of 610,000 square feet.
The hotel will be located within steps of Miami Worldcenter’s shopping mall, which will include a Bloomingdale’s a and Macy’s. The 27-acre development, led by Nitin Motwani and Art Falcone, is within a quarter of a mile of proposed All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail stations.
“All Aboard Florida is the linchpin,” Nicholas said. “This whole area is going through a massive change. We’re excited to be around it.”
Developers received approval from the city of Miami for the first phase, which will include the 765,000-square-foot mall, the 470 unit Paramount Miami Worldcenter condo tower and a newly announced apartment tower. Miami Worldcenter Associates will begin seeking building permits, with plans to break ground on the first phase later this year.
“This project is not only transformative to downtown Miami, but to the region as well,” Joe Herndon, director of development for MDM Group, said on Tuesday. “This development rivals, in scope and magnitude, major hotels and convention centers on a global [scale].”
The hotel and expo center will generate the need for an additional 2,400 hotel rooms in the area, Herndon said.
Bill Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the development will complement, not compete, with the planned Miami Beach Convention Center renovation and expansion, which includes an 800-room hotel. “These are complementary. Miami Beach has four halls, this has one. There are some folks who want to be in a downtown environment,” Talbert said.
The Marriott brand, he said, “is the No.1 brand in this community. Marriott sells.”
The hotel will offer 1,800 rooms on levels six through 54, and valet parking for 1,094 spaces.
“This property will be distinguished by the fact that it’s a Marriott Marquis, one of our most distinguished brands. When you mention Marriott Marquis to meeting planners, they know what that means,” Tom Papelian, senior vice president of hotel development for Marriott International, told TRD.
The hotel and expo component is expected to create more than 1,300 permanent jobs, $175 million in annual revenue and $14.8 million in annual city and county tax revenue through 2045.
RTKL is the interior design firm for the project, and Coastal Construction Tishman is the general contractor, according to a fact sheet. Coastal Co-President Tom C. Murphy said the company is actively involved in about 20 projects in South Florida, including Faena and Faena House, Surf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, Porsche Design Tower and Fendi Chateau.