If you think you know what to expect when you step foot inside a Marriott hotel room, you might be surprised by the redesign and enhancements recently completed at two Miami Beach Marriott properties. The mahogany furniture with gold accents, rich hues of pine green and maroon, large desks and bathtubs are a thing of the past at the newly minted Marriott Stanton South Beach (161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-536-7700) and Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront (3925 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-3373). Both properties added a name change to their multi-million dollar renovations honoring the original name of the Art Deco buildings that they occupy.
While the Marriott Stanton South Beach completed a six-month, $10 million-dollar redesign modernizing its 234 guest rooms, the Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach’s $25 million project included erecting a 93-room, LEED-certified tower to compliment its original building, occupying a full city block, for a total of 356 guest rooms.
Courtyard Cadillac is a Courtyard Marriott property, a brand created to cater to business travelers. In addition to their new tower, they’ve also updated their lobby, meeting spaces, gym, tiki bar and pool deck, and added a second saltwater pool. The lobby’s open and airy floor plan was created by knocking down walls in the now 15,000 square-foot, two-story space. Its redesign preserves the original terrazzo flooring and features neon lighting along the ceiling and modern furnishings in turquoise, citrus and white. There’s an element of Miami Beach kitsch with retro black and white photographs and posters framed en masse on a rear wall.
The new 12-story tower, built and designed by Kobi Karp, offers sweeping ocean views and 19 oversized suites. The guest room’s interior design is perhaps the most impressive feature. The lobby’s white, yellow and turquoise color palette with natural wood elements extends to the rooms for a contemporary, beachy feel. Think, plush white bedding, bright yellow wingback chairs, turquoise curtains, a modern marble bathroom with oversized showers and an accent wall painted as an abstract of the sea and sky. It’s a far cry from the traditional furnishings one typically associates with Marriott and more akin to its neighboring hotel up the street, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
Similarly, the Marriott Stanton South Beach has embraced a modern, beach house aesthetic with its newly redesigned guest rooms by Jeffrey Beers International, the designer behind such esteemed projects as The Cove at Atlantis and Fontainebleau Miami Beach. General manager David Cronin explains that the refresh was prompted by a desire to be more in line with what the Miami clientele is looking for and also with the Gen X and Gen Y traveler in mind.
“Marriott’s research has found that the next generation traveler doesn’t need a desk in their room,” Cronin says. “They’re happy to dock their iPad, use the WiFi and go down to the bar. They also don’t want a tub, but a nice bath experience. The redesign embraces a more residential feel. It’s not just a hotel room.”
The new concept and design involved replacing carpeting in favor of slate-colored panel flooring and removing bathtubs to create oversized glass showers with rainforest showerheads and marbled porcelain tile. The rooms are furnished with bright-white bedding, chairs and sofas upholstered in velvety grey, and warm, sun-kissed orange accents to create a modern and luxurious atmosphere. Color-processed surf photographs hang on the walls and custom built-ins are inspired by surfboards in white-washed oak and white lacquer.
“Our goal was to embrace the hotel’s striking beachfront location by bringing the freshness of the sea inside,” says designer Jeffrey Beers.
While views of the surf outside are plentiful from guest room balconies, Marriott Stanton has also partnered with F1RST Surf Shop to provide surfboard rentals and lessons to their guests, as well as surf apparel for sale.
Further updates to the hotel’s lobby, spa, health club and restaurant are planned to begin this summer and debut by early 2015.
A stay at either of these newly refurbished properties provides guests with some of the newest rooms in Miami Beach coupled with Marriott’s well-established level of service and amenities. Nightly rates as advertised on each hotel’s website currently start at $288 at Marriott Stanton South Beach and $229 at Courtyard Cadillac Miami Beach Oceanfront.