With two boutique hotels in Buenos Aires, Urbanica set its sights on South Beach for its U.S. debut with The Meridian Hotel (418 Meridian Ave., South Beach; 305-763-8934), which borrows its name from the avenue it’s located on at the intersection of busy 5th Street.
The four story, 71-room hotel occupies an Art Deco space that was originally built as a hotel in 1929. It’s the beach’s latest affordable lifestyle hotel with a bent on design that goes beyond basic cookie cutter.
A tidy all white facade with black awnings sets the tone for the hotel’s aesthetic, opening up to an airy lobby with ferns hanging from the ceiling, a cafe featuring a large butcher block communal table and a reception desk made of vintage luggage.
Miami street artist AholSniffsGlue contributes his trademark half-mast eyelids in greyscale up a staircase wall leading to the second floor terrace.
Here, a breezeway opens up to a small plunge pool and a “chill out room” with sliding glass doors serving as a de facto clubhouse with cushy couches and chairs, a 120-inch projection screen for watching movies and an Atari gaming system.
Guest rooms are minimalist and cozy with a nod to mid-century modern design featuring grey upholstered furniture and polished wooden headboards, desk, chair legs and floor lamp. While bathrooms are relatively small, they’re thoughtfully designed with grey chevron patterned tile floors, white subway tiles on the walls, a marble sink and glass-enclosed showers featuring Bigelow & Co. products.
A speakeasy-style cocktail lounge called Previa is forthcoming, which will serve as a place to imbibe “after the beach and before the club.”
Of course, the hotel’s not exactly oceanfront, so in order to get there with relative ease, beach cruisers are on hand free of charge.
Current rates from $200.