Abbey's renovation restores 1940s ambience

MIAMI BEACH -- The 50-room Abbey Hotel, in the city's Art Deco District, regained its 1940s-era ambience after undergoing a three-year renovation and interior redesign, according to co-owner Martin Scasserra.

Scasserra, along with partners Keith Space and Jonathan Zambetti of S & S Hotel Management, bought the hotel in 1997 and transformed it into a luxury boutique property.

The interior design was executed by New York-based designer Harry Schnaper.

"The rooms he has created for us are completely modern but have a subtle nautical feel, in keeping with the building's origins," Scassera said. "You feel as if these rooms could easily belong on a luxury ocean liner from the 1940s or in a Manhattan high rise."

All rooms and suites are equipped with CD stereos; cable TV and VCRs; Internet access; two-line phones with voice mail; desks; in-room bars; marble flooring and pedestal sinks in the bathrooms; full-length mirrors; hair dryers, and safes.

The renovations also included the creation of a full-service restaurant. The Abbey Dining Room serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and has both indoor and open-air seating.

The Abbey, at 300 21st St., is near the ocean, the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts and the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The Abbey does not have a pool, but under its recent liaison with the Savoy Hotel, also in Miami Beach, Abbey guests have access to two pools.

By early 2002, the Abbey will add a rooftop bar and lounge.

Across the street is the new Collins Park Cultural Center, which houses the restored Bass Museum of Art and the new home of the Miami City Ballet.

Rates through April 1 are from $160 for a room with a queen-sized bed; April 2 to May 29, from $120; May 30 to Sept. 28, from $90, and Sept. 29 to Dec. 27, from $140. At higher cost are units with a king-sized bed, two queen beds and studios.

For bookings made through the hotel's Web site, agents can earn 15% commission.

For information, call (888) 61-ABBEY or (305) 531-0031, or visit the Web site at

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI