Sol Melia to put some work into the Royal Palm Hotel

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MIAMI BEACH -- The Royal Palm Hotel, recently taken over by Sol Melia, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The renovation of the art deco gem in South Beach, which was previously managed by Crowne Plaza, is slated to be completed at the end of the year.

At that time, the name will be changed to the Melia Royal Palm, as the company tries to heighten its U.S. profile. One of Europes biggest brands, with more than 350 hotels worldwide, Sol Melia has barely penetrated the U.S.

The Melia Royal Palm will be Sol Melias fourth U.S. hotel; the others are in Chicago, New York and San Juan. The company said it intends to expand that number to 10 over the next five years.

The Royal Palm is an oceanfront hotel with two seven-story towers and 417 rooms. In the course of the renovation, 167 of the rooms will be converted to condo-hotel units. The remaining 250 will continue as traditional rooms and suites.

In keeping with the preservation laws of the South Beach art deco district, there will be little change to the hotels exterior. But extensive work is being done on the inside.

The property will get new furnishings and new color schemes. The room redesign aims for cleaner lines and intense colors. All rooms will have flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD players, and high-speed LAN and wireless Internet connections. The restaurant on the second floor and the meeting room on the first floor will change places.

What was previously the lobby check-in area will become a bar serving martinis at night and water during the day. The new lobby will move to a larger space farther back on the ground floor.

Steps will connect a wading pool with the main swimming pool, which will be surrounded with cabanas. An outdoor bar will stand near the pool. A second pool will be built on the second floor, connected to a private lounge with a view of the beach.  

The hotel continues to operate during the renovations.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].

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