Development Blooms Again in Miami Beach
In lieu of a canopy of cranes, only the perimeter of the hotel shows sign of a name change, with its colorful graphic windscreen gripping a chain-link fence around the building like a fashionable belt. All proposals for the Faena Saxony Hotel are in the development phase, but plans submitted to the city include a glamorous condo tower by Foster + Partners that puts a retro nautical spin on a tapered midrise structure that would be suspended over a living water garden. Given the strong demand by South American buyers in today's resurgent Miami condo market, the name Faena would add even more allure.
Just down the street, closer to the heart of South Beach, another starry developer is a bit closer to opening: LA-based SBE and its Miami Beach debut, the SLS South Beach. The Miami take on the L.A. hotel made famous by top Hollywood nightlife proprietor Sam Nazarian (behind such brands as Katsuya and Hyde) comes to a prized section of the historic beach town near such posh neighbors as the Delano and Raleigh and in the former Ritz Plaza Hotel, a landmark complex with an iconic tower silhouette. It's been fully reworked with the help of Philippe Starck to create a luxurious party atmosphere with a designer touch.
Accepting reservations as of June 14, SLS South Beach will be an embassy of starry names including James Beard Award-winning chef Jose Andres, who will put a Miami beat on his whimsical Spanish tapas menu at The Bazaar -- still one of L.A.'s top restaurants after almost four years. And no L.A. tribute would be complete without a sushi restaurant (and a great one at that) with Katsuya offering a sexy dining and lounge space led by chef Katsuya Uechi.
The resort area of the former Ritz Plaza has been reworked with two-story annex jutting out of the main building with a slatted wood facade and flat roofline that faces two resort pools. The hotel will be also home to a new Hyde Day Club, a splashy spinoff of the owner's notorious VIP nightclub, which will also have an outpost inside the Miami hotel. Rooms put a 2012 stamp on classic Starck, with minimalist white spaces echoed in Louis XVI details that adapt well to Miami Beach.