Over-the-top glamour in Miami Beach
58 Rooms / 111 Suites
Faena Hotel Miami Beach made a splashy debut. Not only did the Miami hotel unveil decadent décor courtesy of big-name Hollywood players, but it christened a newly formed arts and culture hub in the city.
Visionary Alan Faena and partner Len Blavatnik opened the hotel in December 2015 at the former location of the historic Saxony Hotel in the new Faena District Miami Beach neighborhood, located between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Creek (32nd to 36th streets). The 1947-built Saxony reigned in the ’50s and ’60 s as the “Queen of Collins Avenue,” where icons Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin often performed. Faena’s reimagining of the hotel brings back that Old Hollywood glamour with a modern take in an attempt to catalyze a cultural renaissance in Miami.
The luxury hotel is the first opening for the billion-dollar Faena District Miami Beach, an arts and culture quarter. When fully completed sometime in 2017, the Faena District will include the hotel; Faena House, a recently opened luxury 18-story condo building designed by Foster and Partners; Faena Forum, a performance and cultural center designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA; Faena Versailles Classic and Contemporary, two exceptional new residential condominium towers; Faena Bazaar, a retail space also designed by Koolhaas; and Casa Claridge’s, Faena District’s 50-room beachside guest house.
Faena tapped imaginative filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning designer wife Catherine Martin as creative consultants. The result is elegant, Art Deco-esque and over the top. The Miami hotel features remarkable works by artists Damien Hirst, Alberto Garutti, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Manuel Ameztoy and Juan Gatti (nicknamed the “Michelangelo of Faena,” he also has Hollywood ties, as he created the posters for virtually all of Pedro Almodóvar’s films).
The experience starts as you walk into “The Cathedral,” an expansive great hall lined with the Saxony Hotel’s original columns (now gold-leafed), vivid floor-to-ceiling murals by famed Argentine painter Gatti and an intricately patterned mosaic floor made from 632,000 tiles. At the far end of The Cathedral, back doors open out into the terrace, where the hotel’s signature art piece — a 10-foot-high woolly mammoth skeleton encased in 24-karat gold by artist Damien Hirst — will take your breath away.
There are 21 room categories among the 169 spacious, lavish guest rooms (111 are suites with an additional 13 penthouse residences spanning the top two floors), many of which provide incredible, endless ocean and beach views.
Rooms have a retro-glam feel — Art Deco touches, hardwood floors, sumptuous Faena red velvet, golden accents and cool blue bathroom tiles to complement the Atlantic Ocean. Animal-print ottomans, plush red velvet sofas, lamps fashioned out of coral, seashell-encrusted jewelry boxes and swaths of Faena red velvet fill the space.
Bathrooms come with beautiful travertine countertops, aquamarine floor tiles and high-tech Toto toilets; some also have luxurious bathtubs.
Step out onto the stark-white balcony bedecked with a pair of gilded chairs and more colorful wall murals await.
On the main floor of the Miami Beach hotel, Veranda, an intimate eatery with plush red and animal print seating indoors and more casual outdoor seating, is the perfect spot to start your day with a leisurely breakfast.
With Argentine celebrity chef Francis Mallmann at its helm, the 188-seat Los Fuegos, located outside, offers a contemporary, innovative take on the authentic Argentine live-fire cooking experience with an open-fire kitchen. Savor a lunch or dinner of grilled and roasted meats and fresh seafood and vegetables, accented by an exceptional selection of Argentine wines and craft cocktails.
Upstairs in the hotel’s “Dome” space, Pao offers modern Asian cuisine by James Beard Award-wining chef Paul Qui. The popular chef infuses a range of international styles, including Filipino, Spanish, Japanese and French. Open for dinner, the indoor/outdoor, ocean-view restaurant features an extensive crudo menu, small and large plates, and sides. It also employs a number of cooking techniques, including smoke and charcoal for the restaurant’s binchotan service, where dishes are seared tableside on Japanese charcoal.
Faena prides itself on its level of elegant, attentive service. “Experience managers” are available to help you with arrival and departure arrangements. Each floor of the hotel also has dedicated butlers for around-the-clock service at the push of a button.
See the service in action at the hotel’s elegant, palm-lined pool area (for hotel guests only) and beach club, Faena Playa, which is situated on 100,000 square feet of pristine white sand. Attentive staff is on hand to fetch sunscreen, towels, beverages and light bites.
When the sun goes down, try the hotel’s soon-to-be-opened, 3,000-square-foot Faena Theater. It will show nightly cabaret-style revues performed by musicians, dancers and singers from across the world. Saxony Bar is where you’ll find old-fashioned imbibing with a live DJ. Next to Veranda, the Living Room provides an intimate gathering space with a cocktail bar and nightly live entertainment.
For more relaxing pursuits, rejuvenate at Faena’s 22,000-square-foot Tierra Santa Healing House, a one-of-a-kind South American-inspired spa with direct access to the pool and beach. Bask in all of the amenities, including a coed wet room, an ice room, an herbal steam room, a waterfall therapy alcove and a sauna-like hammam.
Treatments use the spa’s own collection of products and oils with many of the ingredients sourced from South America; you also can scoop up the items at the oceanfront spa’s carefully curated boutique.
The adjacent state-of-the-art fitness studio and 1,000-square-foot studio offering daily yoga and fitness classes (also available on the beach) promise that you’ll be able to get a workout in during your stay as well.