Internationally renowned for his revolutionary and highly-individualised lodging experiences, Ian Schrager has once more partnered with Marriott International to create The Miami Beach EDITION – a staggering next-generation urban resort that references both Miami’s rich history and a new and exciting future for guest experience …
The opening of the new EDITION hotel conceivably represents the most important step forward for the city since Ian Schrager’s last Miami hotel, the Delano, opened in 1992. Over a span of several decades, the great mid-20th century resort city and its hotels had slipped into stasis and disrepair, as the jet age saw vacationing Americans extend their sights to rather more farflung destinations.
In the early 1990s, however, Ian Shrager anticipated an air of excitement in the historic art deco blocks of South Beach. With the creation of the Delano, he created a stylish and cutting-edge venue, that enticed discerning travellers back to the city.
“The fundamentals were always there: the ocean, the beach, the weather, the frequent flights,” explains Ian. “All one had to do, it seemed to me, was create something special and comfortable; it was an example of ‘build it and people will come.”
Over two decades later, the Miami Beach EDITION marks another such key moment, and celebrates what is now a vibrant cultural hub to rival any of the world’s urban centres.
Situated in the mid-beach area, the so-called ‘heart of Miami Beach’ between South”Beach and North Beach, the hotel occupies a three-and-a-half-acre private enclave extending from Collins Avenue to the ocean shoreline. The Miami Beach EDITION is an intricately-interlinked complex of structures, spaces and settings, in which every aspect of the traditional beach hotel has been re-imagined for the needs of a new generation of guests.
The Miami Beach EDITION’s design was informed by two key elements. The first was to create a one-stop style destination, in which dining, nightlife, socialising, recreation, culture, work and meeting space are entirely catered for, giving the guest no reason to leave if they so wish.
The other goal was to draw upon the glamour and sophistication of one of the world’s greatest resort destinations – post war Miami Beach or, as it was known in the 1950s, the Billion Dollar Sandbar. A stylish and thoughtful renovation of the landmark 1955 Seville Hotel by architect Melvin Grossma – whose ‘tower-on-a-pedestal’ design represented a key step in the evolution of ‘Miami Modern’ hotel architecture – the EDITION not only preserves much of the historic fabric, but evokes in its interiors the spirit of tropical elegance that defined Miami at its height.
This is immediately evident the moment guests step into the hotel lobby, with its pristine white marble floors and polished white pearl Venetian plaster walls, highlighted with subtly variegated tones of gold and the deep green of indoor palm trees. The lobby has a rare view of the ocean, and in line with the gentle coastal breezes it exudes an air of casual elegance. “You might see people in golf attire, a bathing suit, a Pilates uniform, formal evening clothes, or jeans,” Ian notes, “all comfortable, all being themselves, all connected by a certain sensibility.”
Just off the lobby, guests will find the Market – an imaginative reinvention of the classic 24-hour Miami Beach coffee shop. With its own street entrance on Collins Avenue, this modern day food bazaar offers casual gourmet fast food around the clock.
In contrast, over on the beach side of the hotel are two classic Miami Beach spaces: the Matador Bar – a chic lounge with glass walls overlooking the Atlantic, and the Matador Room, the hotel’s main restaurant and a glamorous oval-shaped space that recalls the excitement of Miami Beach’s heyday.
The spaces will in turn link to the hotel’s striking outdoor resort area, entitled ‘Tropicale’ in honour of the historic 1950s’ Havana nightclub from which it takes its inspiration. Featuring a series of outdoor ‘rooms’ landscaped by Madison Cox, these diverse spaces offer guests an array of different experiences over the course of the day, while linking seamlessly to create a single relaxing environment.
Guests can enjoy an outoor nightclub, the Terrace Bar, two luxurious pool areas, a private beach with outdoor movie screen, an outdoor fire pit and even a village of private bungalows arranged within a lush pastoral landscape.
In terms of guests’ business needs, the hotel offers the Forum – a 10,000ft² amenity that reimagines a conventional conference centre-cum-event space. Accessible from both the lobby and from its own entrance on Collins Avenue, the Forum features a large daylighted reception room and landscaped exterior event space that creates a kind of indoor/outdoor ‘cultural park’.
Ideally-suited to hosting gallery openings, art exhibitions, film festivals and cultural programmes during Miami Art Basel and throughout the rest of the year, as well as offering state-of-the-art A/V, projection, teleconferencing and network facilities, the hotel makes the perfect hub for professional and cultural events.
Meeting guests’ every preference for nightlife, the downstairs of the hotel has become a multidimensional entertainment space. At its heart is a select and fashionable ‘micro-club’: a modern-day version of Ian’s legendary Studio 54, with world-class DJs, dance floor, and soundstage-quality sound and lighting systems.
Elsewhere, guests can don customised shoes (designed by famed artists) and enjoy a bowling alley and lounge, complete with sound, lighting and luminescent bowling balls. Beyond this is an indoor ice-skating rink complete with a top-quality sound system and spectacular lighting effects which create a moving canvas on the ice.
Away from the buzz of these exceptional communal areas, the hotel’s 294 guest rooms, suites, bungalows and penthouse offer a warm retreat. Generous and elegant in design, the guest rooms are steeped in warm wood finishes and a relaxed, beach-house feel.
Designed around Ian’s belief that “simplicity is true luxury”, the rooms extend the harmonious relationship between recreation and work that exists throughout the hotel. From oversized desks to ergonometric seating to sophsticated lighting, the guest rooms serve equally well as micro-workspaces as places of retreat.