South Florida Hotels Update

Miami’s South Beach has plenty to offer any kind of traveler: warm climate, celebrity sightings—Madonna and Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade both are homeowners—the hottest restaurants or VIP access to a popular club. Trendy hotels up the vibe and, in the near future, two more—plus a revamp of an old favorite—will be added to the list.

Keep an eye open for Giuseppe Cipriani’s Cipriani Ocean Resort and Club Residences. The project, a mix of 209 hotel suites and 65 ultra-luxury club residences, will offer such features as an outdoor bar and grill, beach cabana, swimming pools and, of course, the famed Cipriani restaurant. Interior demolition and renovation of the former Saxony Hotel is well underway, and construction of the new residential tower will begin this fall.

A frontrunner in hip accommodations, Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ W brand is debuting a new hotel in South Beach next spring. The 419-room condo hotel W South Beach Hotel and Residences will allow VIPs the chance to mingle with celebrities. Insiders say several notables have already bought residences in the property.

The hotel’s additional perks include W’s technology touches in all guest rooms; access to the “Whenever/Whatever” service, the hotel’s 24-hour concierge; Bliss spa; W Living Room; and two basketball courts.

All units will feature glass-fronted balconies that allow for optimal Atlantic Ocean vistas, but the most palatial accommodations are the eight extra-large penthouses and five luxury bungalows. The penthouses come with private rooftop plunge pools and summer kitchens. For dining, the hotel will feature a Mr. Chow outpost, as well as Big Apple favorite Serafina. For more information, contact Reservations Specialist Katy Stoka (305-531-4449).

fontainebleau resort miami

A rendering of an Island Cabana at the Fontainebleau Resort

Next month, the venerable Fontainebleau Miami Beach will be back on the scene after a major renovation. Some perks at the Fontainebleau include 11 restaurants and lounges, a number of pools, a 40,000-square-foot spa and laptops in every room (the hotel is taking on the “paperless” guest room model).

The top picks in the house will be the Specialty Suites (1,000 to 4,300 square feet), which range from a five-bedroom penthouse on the 37th floor to six Presidential Suites and 13 Fontainebleau Signature Suites. Each accommodation has views of downtown Miami, Biscayne Bay and/or the beach and Atlantic Ocean.

Rooms include high-definition flat-screen TVs, high-speed wireless Internet access, iPod docking station and 20-inch iMac computer. Some accommodations also have a full kitchen and washer/dryer.

The best way to book clients at this property is by contacting Jennie Torres in the reservations department (800-548-8886) or by booking through the GDS.