After a lengthy four-yearlong, $12 million renovation, The National Hotel Miami Beach (1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-2311) is ready to share the fruits of their labor with guests. They’re also introducing new food and beverage programming to include live jazz and blues music inside their famous Art Deco digs.
A Historic Hotel of America, the 1939 property (originally designed by architect Roy France) has been lovingly restored to retain the glamour of that era. Preserved elements include wrought iron railing along the lobby’s mezzanine, terrazzo flooring, chrome lighting sconces and an impressively futuristic “spider” chandelier at the entrance. The addition of black and gold Murano glass mosaic tiles on a grand column sets a color scheme that extends through the lobby to Blues Bar and Tamara Restaurant. The restaurant, named for artist Tamara de Lempicka, displays her massive mosaic tile portrait on the ceiling, and her Jazz Era original paintings are found throughout the hotel.
A shift in color palette may be the most marked difference in The National post-restoration, especially upon first impression with the façade. The historic 13-floor stucco tower, once a sunny yellow hue has been subdued to a more sophisticated suntan with brown accents. These warmer tones are incorporated into poolside cabanas and beach umbrellas in striped tan, brown, maroon and hunter green.
Running alongside the 205’ long pool is the cabana building (an addition to the hotel made in the 1950s). Each of the 36 rooms in the four-floor building feature balconies overlooking the pool (the bottom floor balcony walls are accented by colorful pop art murals by local Miguel Paredes). Rooms run rather small at just over 300 square-feet and the redesign features sparkling terrazzo floors, tufted headboards and exotic woods. They’re outfitted in playful, yet subdued Colonial-style safari animal prints (zebra carpeting in the hallway, giraffe spots on the back of a chair and bathroom accents in crocodile scales).
The tower with 118 rooms (for a total of 152) was redesigned in a more understated, and frankly, less impressive scheme. Striped carpeting in the hallway and guestrooms already looks tired, and the wooden headboards and accent furniture feels neither vintage nor contemporary. Charming touches include chrome ceiling fans, terrazzo-tiled bathrooms and vintage photographs of cars, boats and airplanes.
With a nod to its Art Deco past and to attract locals, the hotel is introducing a Wednesday night jazz/blues happy hour with complimentary appetizers and “vintage cocktails at vintage prices” created by a newly hired mixologist. They’ve also got special occasion brunch plans on the horizon starting with Father’s Day.
The National is running a special introductory summer rate exclusively for Florida residents starting at $189 per night, which includes a complimentary room upgrade upon availability and 15% off hotel dining (excluding room service and mini bar). The rate is available June 1 through September 30, 2014. To book, click here and use code FLINTRO or call 305-532-2311.