Continued interest in Miami Beach leads to new wave of luxury hotels: Travel Weekly
If there’s one US destination that’s stayed remarkably warm for much of the pandemic, it’s Miami Beach.
And luxury hotel developers have taken note: the market is awash with major hotel upgrades and new developments.
One of the flagship projects is the redesign of the Raleigh Hotel at 1775 Collins Ave., which will join the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand by 2025.
Along the way, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’ preliminary plans call for acquiring and redeveloping the site of the former Deauville Beach Resort at 6701 Collins Ave.
A major reconstruction and restoration of the legendary Shore Club at 1901 Collins Ave. into a boutique hotel and residences are also underway, with the new owners planning to demolish the new structures on the site and restore the original 1950s art deco buildings.
The Raleigh will be renovated and will become a Rosewood hotel. Photo credit: The Raleigh Miami Beach
Likewise, on track for a refresh is the Delano South Beach at 1685 Collins Ave., part of Accor’s Ennismore arm, which, like the Shore Club, has been closed since the early days of the pandemic. Acquired by Cain International in late 2020, the property investment firm has announced plans for a “strategic repositioning” of the property.
It’s unclear if it will remain branded as Delano, however, Ennismore told Travel Weekly he had no information “on what the property intends to do with the asset.”
Meanwhile, developer OKO Group has revealed plans for an Aman property on the site of the former Versailles Hotel at 3425 Collins Ave. Also planting a flag, luxury player Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, whose planned Miami Beach outpost is set to open at 100 21st St. in 2024, will also be the brand’s first in the United States.
Miami Beach’s continued upscaling has helped spur a wave of additional renovation projects, said Steve Adkins, chairman of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.
“I think you’re going to see more renovations and expansions happening on the beach because if you’re not top of your class, it’s going to be hard for you to hold that traveler back when they have other options,” he said.
The Confidante Miami Beach, a resort at 4041 Collins Ave., for example, is currently undergoing an approximately $60 million refresh and is set to relaunch under Hyatt’s luxurious Andaz flag. by 2024.
“These types of hotels are going to help propel Miami and [cater to] customers who typically travel overseas to find this ultra-luxury product,” said Albert Andrew Valera, founder of Miami-based agency Everything Travel Guy. “If someone tells you it’s $2,000 a night for a junior suite, people won’t flinch, because the level of product that’s coming in is going to justify $3,000 a night.”
Bulgari’s first US hotel will be in Miami Beach.
Despite the opening of many luxury brands, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts executive vice president Silvio Ursini said he believed the Bulgari project would fill a gap.
“In the market today, there are either classic luxury hotels, which have a very traditional design and atmosphere, or trendy hotels with very innovative designs which do not always fall within the luxury sector”, a- he declared. “Bulgari [will appeal] the traveler seeking a luxury experience in a contemporary setting.”
Miami Beach doing very well during the pandemic
The push to develop more upscale properties comes as Miami Beach posted record RevPAR, record average income and very high occupancy last season, which is continuing into the summer, Adkins said.
“So it’s no surprise that there are a number of new properties coming on the market trying to please customers at $1,700 a night,” he added.
Miami’s hotel market has proven particularly profitable during the pandemic. An STR report released earlier this year said Miami led major global markets in hotel profit recovery for 2021, with the city’s gross operating profit per available room surpassing 2019 levels by 14 percentage points. .
That said, Miami Beach’s evolution into an upscale hotel landscape predates the pandemic.
Valera said Miami Beach’s luxury hotel industry began to boom in earnest in the 2000s and 2010s, with properties like the Betsy Hotel, Setai Miami Beach, Miami Beach Edition, Faena Miami Beach and 1 Hotel South Beach.
Pandemic-era tourism trends then helped further establish Miami Beach’s reputation as a world-class luxury destination.
“Because so many people couldn’t travel internationally during Covid, the pandemic has really put Miami Beach back on the map for customers who normally vacation in Mexico or the Caribbean,” Valera said, the market se proving particularly popular as a domestic hot-weather winter destination for those in the Northeast and Midwest.
Crystal Vinisse Thomas
Crystal Vinisse Thomas, vice president and global leader of lifestyle and luxury brands at Hyatt and a Miami native, said this has led to South Beach being “a bit oversaturated”, creating opportunities further up the coast. .
“The mid-range and the north end provide such a ripe opportunity for a really quality product,” she said. “It’s a perfect location for an Andaz and its elevated positioning.”
As Miami Beach’s product continues to improve and become luxury, and hotels in all sections post sky-high rates, some travelers may soon be feeling the pressure.
“The more luxury hotels and restaurants that open, the higher the Spring Break traveler price could be,” Valera said.
Adkins agreed that even visitors looking for affordable accommodations in the Miami Beach area are likely to be affected by the surge in ultraluxury development activity.
“It will get everyone up,” he said. “Even in the lower to mid-range, where we still have a huge volume of travelers, it creates a different expectation. For people who used to pay $150 to $200 a night in Miami Beach, that rate is now $350 a night.”
However, he said, those rates might not last forever.
“There’s the question of whether, after the pandemic, people will be willing to pay such high tariffs,” Adkins said. “Hotels are going to ask, ‘What do I need to do with my property to be successful at a high level?'”