When the Regent South Beach opens in July,
it will be a unique addition to the trendy Miami Beach neighborhood
in a number of ways. First off, although its located on the
northern end of the art deco district, the thoroughly modern Regent
is a newly built hotel.
The hotel stands
where Ocean Drive dead ends into 15th Street. As there is no alley
on that stretch of Ocean Drive, as there is for most of its length,
the Regent spans the entire east-west block, with facades on both
Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.
The hotel was
built on one of the few plots in the historic-preservation district
of South Beach where property owners are allowed to construct new
buildings. And art deco structures in South Beach may not be
demolished, only refurbished, according to Michael Fernandez,
Regent South Beachs general manager.
On one side was a
parking lot, on the other was a small shopping area, he said. Since
we didnt have a pre-existing structure like a condo or a hotel, we
didnt have to apply for any variances to the historic- district
The new-build is
not period art deco and its not designed as any sort of replica.
But it is, according to Fernandez, meant to blend nicely with its
tropical surroundings and be a congenial, rather than intrusive,
addition to the neighborhood.
contemporary design but one that fits well with traditional art
deco, he said.
structure is dominated by stucco, metal and glass,
with gleaming metal railings and large balconies jutting off each
of the 80 rooms.
between the balconies create an egg-crate impression from the
street and insulate the balconies from each other, creating
discrete outdoor extensions of the private spaces in the
200-square-foot balcony augments the 485- to 520-square-foot living
space inside each unit.
really allow you to experience South Florida at its best, said
Fernandez. I grew up here and thats what its all about, being
of the guest rooms is one of the things that distinguishes the
Regent from most of the other properties in South Beach, where,
according to Fernandez, about 285 to 350 square feet is the
The hotel lobby,
retail space (including a Claudio Milano store) and the Table 8
restaurant, a branch of the popular Los Angeles eatery, are located
on the ground floor. Rooms start on the second floor and continue
to the roof. There are 27 penthouse suites.
suites occupy two levels, with spiral staircases connecting lower
floors to 700- to 900-foot rooftop terraces furnished with
four-person hot tubs, chaise lounges, wet bars, lighting and sound
controls and an electronic funshade, a motorized, 20-by-25-foot
retractable umbrella. Rooftop terraces are separated by walls, for
They are very
romantic, sexy spots on the roofs, said Fernandez. The views up
there are breathtaking. In our sales calls in New York and Los
Angeles, thats what everybody was talking about.
characterizes the Regent as a step up in elegance from the current
standard of most South Beach hotels, comparing his property to the
nearby Setai and Ritz-Carlton South Beach resorts.
When one thinks
of refinement, the Setai, which is in our competitive set, has had
an impact, said Fernandez. [As has] the Ritz-Carlton that opened a
few years ago at Lincoln Road and 17th Street, and now the
luxury hotels ... are going to be able to provide a leisure travel
experience that will be an exponential increase over what others
can offer here.
The Regent South
Beach also offers state-of-the-art safety in a hurricane-prone
region. The concrete-and-steel structure is the ultimate in
hurricane-resistant construction, Fernandez said, outfitted with
storm-proof glass throughout.
Its one of the
safest buildings in South Florida, he said. If theres a hurricane,
Im putting my family in the hotel. Its a tank.
By way of
evidence, Fernandez noted that not one of the windows in place at
the construction site was broken when Hurricane Wilma hit Miami in
October 2005, although damage to other, similar structures was
widespread and severe.
Rack rates for
the winter-spring season at the Regent South Beach are $650 a night
for city suites and $2,200 a night for ocean penthouse suites.
Summer-fall rates are $500 a night for city suites and $1,600 a
night for an ocean penthouse.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].