By Paul Rubio
Part Vegas. Part Miami. All fabulous. The recent re-launch of the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach has forever changed the landscape of Miami Beach. After a whopping billion dollars in upgrades and additions, the 22-acre, 1504-room oceanfront mega hotel stands as a self-contained world of hotel indulgence, great shopping, exceptional dining, wild partying, and beachside relaxation and frivolity.
Though the hotel’s reinvention has brought it back into the spotlight as one of Miami’s hottest hotels, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach has a long history of being Miami Beach’s “it” hotel. In fact, the mystique of Fontainebleau Miami Beach has hypnotized the world since the art deco movement reached its peak in the subtropics in the 1950s. Morris Lapidus’ masterpiece was seen as a paragon of fashion, glamour, and evolving avant-garde, presenting a worldly style unknown to most parts of the United States in tandem with a fledgling progressive beach culture. The hotel became a magnet for Hollywood film stars and the backdrop of movies like “Scarface,” “The Bodyguard,” and “The Specialist.” The Fontainebleau became synonymous with Miami Beach.
Thankfully, the majority of the Art Deco architecture and treasures that once defined the Fontainebleau Miami Beach remain with the post-millennium reinvention. They’ve just had a slight nip and tuck to look fresh and young and sparkle with a veneer like shine. In fact, right before reopening the hotel earned its place in the prestigious list of US National Register of Historic Places.
Since then, it’s been all about keeping history in style while taking the Miami Beach experience to yet another level.
The hotel’s massive expansions are a size queen’s fantasy, with arcades of shops and world-renowned restaurants (including Gotham Steak by Michelin-star chef Alfred Portale, Scarpetta
by Scott Conant, Michelin-starred Hakkasan from London, Blade Sushi and La Côte), big pimpin’ nightclubs, and several pool areas. And lest we forget Bleau Live, which has hosted headlining tours by the likes of Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Miami’s own Pitbull and our LGBT favorite Ricky Martin. (Don’t miss Ricky live again Saturday Nov. 26 and do yourself a favor and make a weekend out of it!)
With its uber-sexy lobby, super-hyped nightclub LIV, live music venue, restaurant juggernauts, and plethora of common spaces, the hotel reigns as the place to see and be seen in Miami Beach. Indeed, it reinstates the fashion novelty that placed it on the map more than half a century ago and reminds us of a Golden Era glamour when Elvis Presley and the Rat Pack once performed at the hotel and partied like it was 1999 in their rooms. The legend of beautiful people, celebrities, fashionistas, and hipsters has generated a self-fulfilling prophecy, as stunning men and women from around the world come to the hotel to outshine one another and hence keep the Fontainebleau an upscale alternative to the South Beach scene.
For the ultimate Miami Beach staycation or vacation, visit fontainebleau.com; 1-800-548-8886.