Famed Fontainebleau nears completion of renovation

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The Fontainebleau, one of Miami Beach's iconic hotels, will reopen in October following a $1 billion expansion and renovation.

The soft reopening is scheduled for Oct. 18, about five weeks later than the originally announced Sept. 6 soft opening that was postponed due to construction delays.

Hotel officials said the hotel's grand opening will take place Nov. 14, coinciding with the filming of a Victoria's Secret TV special for CBS.

The postponed opening forced groups that had booked meetings space for events in September to relocate. Some groups will stay in the Fontainebleau's condominium towers and rent meetings space elsewhere, while others will relocate altogether.

(Among the relocated events was the U.S. Conference on AIDS, originally scheduled to take place at the Fontainebleau from Sept. 18 to 21. That event will now be held in Fort Lauderdale during the same dates.)

Meanwhile, to promote its soft opening, the Fontainebleau is offering an introductory rate of $239 a night.

Fronting the Atlantic, the renovated Fontainebleau will feature 1,504 rooms divided between the resort's two original towers, Chateau and Versailles, with a combined 846 rooms, and two new, all-suite towers: the 37-floor Tresor and the 18-floor Sorrento, with a combined 658 suites.

All rooms will be equipped with flat-panel TVs, marble bathrooms, oversize tubs and walk-in showers. Balconies will offer views of the Atlantic, Biscayne Bay or downtown Miami.

One of the hotel's key selling features will be a 40,000-square-foot Lapis Spa designed by Richardson Sadeki. Spa aficionados will find 30 private treatment rooms; several steam rooms and steam showers; a coed pool; and a lounge spread over two floors.

The Fontainebleau's outdoor "poolscape" will include "walls of water" surrounding the main pool as well as a European-style pool in a more secluded area surrounded by cabanas and loungers.

Families will have use of a children's pool and play area.

Foodies will appreciate the resort's 11 restaurants, including three with the backing of notable chefs Alfred Portale (Gotham Steak), Scott Conant (Scarpetta, serving Italian food) and Alan Yau (Hakkasan, serving Chinese fare).

For more, visit www.fontainebleau.com.

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