The Miami Beach EDITION

Daniel Wren

Ian Schrager and the Marriott International group are reinventing Miami Beach with the opening of EDITION, a new urban resort on the oceanfront.

Schrager’s last Miami hotel, The Delano, opened in 1992 and was considered a gamechanger in local tourism.

‘Up till then there hadn’t been a new hotel built in Miami Beach in almost forty years,’ Schrager recalls. Europe and the Caribbean had long been the destinations of choice for the tourists that would once have flocked to Miami – until The Delano revived interest in the area. Built in the early 1990s, Schrager decided to capitalise on the new cultural energy arising in the historic Art Deco blocks of South Beach and in doing so put Miami Beach back on the map.

‘The fundamentals were always there: the ocean, the beach, the weather, the frequent flights. 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”.’

President and CEO of Marriott International, Arne M. Sorenson, says of the new development, ‘Ian Schrager will once again redefine the destination with the opening of Miami Beach and a one-of-a-kind experience that only he could create.’

Like The Delano, the Miami Beach EDITION takes account of the social and cultural changes that have reshaped Miami in recent years. The city is no longer merely a summer holiday vacation, or an American Blackpool ‘where neon goes to die’. Instead the city has risen triumphant over the course of the last twenty years to become a truly international city with a vibrant cultural scenes.

Miami now is a hub for art and music, architecture and fashion, with the city’s Art Basel Miami exploding into the international art consciousness. The city’s fabulous Biscayne Boulevard corridor, Wynwood and Design District complement the gentrified downtown to give the city a very welcome and so far enduring resurgence.

As America’s Southern coast, Miami is also infused by Latin American culture.

‘The old “bicoastal” cultural model [of East and West Coast],’ Schrager says, ‘is really now more “tricoastal”: a kind of golden triangle of New York, L.A., and Miami.’

Schrager adds, ‘There are thousands of boutique hotels out there – some are good, some are not so good; but they’re all replicating what Steve [Rubell] and I did. This is something else, a step forward.

‘It’s a new kind of place—it’s the next-generation urban resort, and the next-generation business and lifestyle hotel. There’s nothing else like it on the beach or anywhere else.’

The Miami Beach EDITION is in the historic heart of Miami Beach – the Mid-Beach area between South Beach and North Beach. It’s three and a half-acre private enclave stretches from Collins Avenue to the ocean shoreline. The Miami Beach EDITION is an elegantly designed, intricately interlinked complex of structures, spaces, and settings that together offer a new kind of resort environment, where every aspect of the traditional beach hotel has been re-imagined for the needs and desires of a new generation, and every thought given to enhancing a guest’s stay – whether that be for leisure or business. The resort’s numerous features merge the social and functional, business and pleasure for an exquisite yet practical stay.

‘We’re rethinking the relationship between a resort and a businessperson,’ says Schrager, ‘and we’re saying, you’ll be able to come here for your business, and why shouldn’t you be able to have fun, and enjoy life while doing business, and networking, and being with a lot of like-minded people, in a new kind of space that is almost a kind a business club.’

Sorenson continues, ‘The sophisticated approach to modern luxury through design, culinary and entertainment elements so unique to Ian Schrager, combined with Marriott’s well-known service and operational culture, is what makes EDITION one of the most intriguing brands in the industry. The experience we’ve been able to co-create with EDITION – beginning in London and now in Miami – is one that excites a new generation of travelers. The future is bright for EDITION, and we are thrilled to introduce such a stunning and extraordinary project to Miami Beach.’

The hotel also incorporates dining, nightlife, socialising, recreation, culture, work and meeting spaces to reflect the 24-hour nature of Miami. The hotel also mines the deepest traditions of glamour and sophistication of the postwar ‘Billion Dollar Sandbar’, as it was known in the 1950s. This is a stylish and thoughtful renovation of the landmark 1955 Seville Hotel, whose design represented a key step in the evolution of Miami Modern hotel architecture. The EDITION builds upon and renews this historic fabric, updating it with the spirit of tropical elegance that defined Miami at its greatest.

Just off the decadent marble-floored lobby is an imaginative reinvention of the classic 24-hour Miami Beach coffee shop by the Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. With its own street entrance on Collins Avenue, this 21st century food bazaar is part patisserie, part boulangerie, part salumeria. It is inspired by the great century-old markets of San Miguel in Madrid and La Boqueria in Barcelona, and offers casual gourmet fast food around the clock at a series of bustling counters, an open-air café overlooking the avenue, and a take-out area. Diners can indulge in a range of healthy international items on constantly rotating menus- enjoying everything from pizza and panini, from ceviche and tapas to shakes and smoothies.

Two stylish interior spaces will evoke classic Miami Beach elegance and sophistication. The Ocean Bar is a chic, elegantly designed lounge with wide glass walls that overlook the Atlantic. The Matador Room is the hotel’s main restaurant. It is a grand space that recalls the excitement of Miami Beach’s heyday, where Jean-Georges will create a modern interpretation of Latin cuisine influenced by Spanish, Caribbean and South American flavors. The regularly updated menu, composed of small and large plates, will make best use of local and seasonal ingredients.

These rooms in turn will link to the hotel’s extraordinary outdoor resort, landscaped by Madison Cox. Named the Tropicale in honour of the historic 1950s Havana nightclub, the Tropicana, this is a series of landscaped outdoor rooms, each with its own personality, but linked together to create a single relaxing environment. These include a magical outdoor nightclub, a romantic pergola, a Terrace Bar overlooking the pool area, an larger landscaped pool, a private beach with an outdoor movie screen, an outdoor fire pit, and a village of private bungalows. The freestanding Hot Shoppe will offer delicious healthy snacks and shakes as an homage to the original Washington, D.C. A&W root beer stand, founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott in 1927, from which the Hot Shoppes and eventually today’s vast Marriott International empire arose.

The 10,000 square-foot Forum is a 10,000 square-foot reimagines the traditional conference center and event space. A kind of indoor/outdoor cultural park, it will host gallery openings, art exhibitions, film festivals, and cultural programs. Its ballroom is designed to avoid the ornate chandeliers and fittings of the typical conference space, and instead is stylish and functional.

Downstairs is a multidimensional entertainment hub to cement Miami’s reputation as one of two of the world’s best party destinations (the other being Ibiza). This includes a select and fashionable micro-club – a sexy version of Schrager’s legendary Studio 54 – and a bowling alley with shoes customised shoes by famed artists, which also runs throughout the night. There’s also an indoor ice-skating rink.

Miami Beach EDITION’s rooms and suites are luxurious, generous and elegant with warm wood finishes and a relaxed, beach-house feel. The rooms have key features for business and leisure travellers, such as oversized desks, ergonometric seating and sophisticated lighting.

The EDITION gathers in a single extraordinary place the energies of a new cultural moment for Miami and pushes it forward – providing a thrilling new direction for the city as it fully takes its place on the world stage.

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About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.

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