Miami’s newest hotel, Dream South Beach – officially opened on June 9, 2011 – is the latest addition to South Beach’s iconic Collins Avenue, located in the heart of the city’s thriving nightlife and Art Deco Historic District. Situated directly behind the former Versace Mansion, the cosmopolitan-chic hotel offers 108 modern guestrooms, a restaurant by celebrated chef Geoffrey Zakarian, an intimate destination rooftop pool lounge with views of the Atlantic Ocean, and an accessory spa.
Architecture & Design
Spearheaded by design house Architropolis under the direction of Michael Czysz and interiors lead Kelly Ogden, Dream South Beach is evocative of Miami’s distinct atmosphere and history through its multi-million dollar renovation of two historic Art Deco hotels, the Palmer House and the Tudor Hotel. Originally designed in 1939 by top local architect L. Murray Dixon, each property captured South Beach’s then-nouveau spirit of beachside revelry. In merging the hotels into one cohesive entity, the goal of the Dream South Beach design team was to transport the glamorous mood of the properties to the present day, wherein the hotel will mark a new golden age of Miami sophistication as an alluring hideaway from the South Florida sun.
Décor elements include a number of unique art objects showcased throughout the hotel, including wonderful 3-D mixed media art by Austin-based artist Adam Morey; original artwork by artist Gamma featured throughout the Palmer House reception area, stairwells and guestrooms; and work by Chatwal’s friend, the artist Natalie Arias, in the Palmer House lobby and magnificent Penthouse Suite space. The design of the guestrooms and rooftop lounge, in particular, evoke a feeling of the late ‘70s with a hint of poolside enchantment.
Historically serving as a buffer between the two former hotel buildings, the Central Courtyard now serves as the main entrance of Dream South Beach. The promenade is lined with wall fountains and the pathway is illuminated by a custom in-laid acrylic floor pattern under-lit with atmospheric mood lighting. Nestled among the bamboo grove and atop a lotus flower sits an 8-foot tall sculpture of Ganesha, the keeper of entrances, custom-designed for Dream South Beach by Las Vegas-based ceramic artist Miguel Rodríguez.
Now serving as Dream South Beach’s reception area is the historic Palmer House lobby, which is adorned with original keystone wainscoting as well as a keystone front desk dating back to 1939, when the original façade was erected. The Tudor Hotel lobby has been transformed into the hotel’s restaurant space, Tudor House, operated by Michelin-starred chef Geoffrey Zakarian. All public areas in the renovated hotel feature signature furniture and lighting fixtures, elements that assist in evoking a surrealistic “dream state” – a departure from the “mod”-tropical atmosphere typically afforded by the area’s hospitality offerings.
Guestrooms & Amenities
Designer Michael Czysz has completely breathed new life into the architecture of the original Palmer and Tudor buildings, bestowing the intimate spaces with the tranquility and cool of the dream world. Dream South Beach features 108 guestrooms including the resplendent Sun House Duplex Penthouse, two Duplex Sun Suites, and nine Junior Suites.
Upon entering a guestroom, intricately carved, modernized French-Moroccan doors are back-lit by cool blue light to create a mystifying jewel box effect. Through the doors guests will find the bed perfectly centered with prism accents and touches of blue and gold. While the doors serve an aesthetic purpose, they also create an intimate changing area that provides private access to the bathroom and shower.
No attention to detail has been spared as all rooms come fully equipped with oversized LCD TVs, Bluetooth-enabled smart phones, high-speed broadband Internet access and WiFi, iPod docking systems, 380-plus thread count Egyptian cotton duvets and sheets, waffle knit spa robes, Etro bath amenities, in-room safes and a fully stocked private bar. Guests can receive pre-loaded iPods and DVD players upon request and also have full access to the on-site accessory Ayurvedic spa as well as unlimited access to concierge services that include but are not limited to: dry cleaning service, same-day laundry, valet service, complimentary shopping services, daily maid/turndown service, and beachside services operated by The Boucher Brothers.
Restaurants & Lounges
Tudor House, presided over by Chef Geoffrey Zakarian – the renowned culinary name behind New York hot spots The Lambs Club and The National, cookbook author and top Food Network personality – occupies the ground floor corner space of what was the Tudor Hotel, keeping reverence for the building’s history and simultaneously reinventing it. The restaurant’s light, airy décor combines a unique perspective on modern design with accessibility that feels utterly Miami. The venue is adorned with stitched leather banquette seating and back-lit teak screen partitions, while the outdoor dining areas are furnished with striking teak benches, smoked glass dining tables and flowing floor-to-ceiling curtains. Inside, the bars – which once served as the check-in and concierge counters in the 1930s – highlight the original Art Deco aesthetic, skillfully marrying modern design with a storied history, a tactic that Zakarian champions and uses often to inform his restaurants and cooking.
Having opened the Delano’s Blue Door restaurant in the 1990s, Chef Zakarian is thrilled to be returning to Miami. With Mediterranean roots, classical French training and a true love for hot climates, the Tudor House concept has been at the top of Zakarian’s mind for years – an easy, effortless place to return to time and time again. Scheduled to open in June 2011, Tudor House will be a casual neighborhood beach café filled with the hospitality, details and modern American fare that make Zakarian’s restaurants shine. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Tudor House will provide 24-hour room service and takeaway snacks and meals for the beach, located just one block away.
Perched atop the Tudor Hotel building, Highbar is Dream South Beach’s sleek ‘70s-inspired rooftop lounge fitted with a custom infinity-edge pool and jaw-dropping views of the nearby Atlantic. Consistent with the hotel’s aesthetic, Highbar offers décor elements that evoke a Studio 54-meets-South Beach vibe, reminiscent of a time when Halston ruled the catwalk. Featuring a glossy color play of gold and white in glass tile and Lucite, Highbar is outfitted with low-slung seating and atmospheric lighting. Lush landscaping and private seating areas surround the roof, teak walls discretely encase flat screen TVs within two coveted cabanas, and an indoor air-conditioned bar services drinks and cocktails from morning to night. For the rooftop, Tudor House will offer a daytime menu of snacks and light poolside fare in addition to a savory evening menu geared towards enjoying cocktails, the fresh air and the views over South Beach.
Tudor House and Highbar are run by the premier operations firm Trust3 Hospitality, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, his wife and Marketing Director Margaret Zakarian.
Room rates at Dream South Beach start from U.S. $275, based on double occupancy. For more information and to make a reservation, contact 1.888.376.7623 or visit http://www.dreamsouthbeach.com/.