If there’s one US destination that has remained remarkably hot during 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 featured projects is the renovation of the Raleigh Hotel at 1775 Collins Ave., which will join the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand by 2025.
Further down the line, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s preliminary plans call for acquiring and redeveloping the site of the former Deauville Beach Resort at 6701 Collins Ave.
A major rebuild and restoration of the historic Shore Club at 1901 Collins Ave. into a boutique hotel and residences is also in the works, and the new owners plan to tear down the newer structures on the site and restore the original art deco from around the 1950s. buildings
The Raleigh will be renovated and will become a Rosewood hotel. Photo Credit: The Raleigh Miami Beach
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, is on its way for an update. Acquired by Cain International in late 2020, the real estate investment firm announced plans for a “strategic repositioning” of the property.
Whether it will remain branded under the Delano name, however, is unknown, and Ennismore told Travel Weekly he has no information “on what the property intends to do with the asset.”
Meanwhile, developer OKO Group revealed plans for an Aman property on the site of the former Versailles Hotel at 3425 Collins Ave. Also planting a flag is luxury player Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, whose planned Miami Beach outpost is due to open in 100 21st St. in 2024, will also be the brand’s first in the US.
Miami Beach’s continued improvement has helped fuel a number of additional renovation projects, said Steve Adkins, president of the Miami Beach Convention and Visitors Authority.
“I think you’re going to see more renovations and expansions all over the beach, because if it’s not best in class, it’s going to be hard for you to retain that traveler when you have other options.” he said.
The Confidante Miami Beach, a mid-beach resort located at 4041 Collins Ave., for example, is currently undergoing a roughly $60 million renovation and is on track to relaunch under Hyatt’s Andaz luxury banner by 2024.
“These types of hotels are going to help boost Miami and [cater to] customers who normally travel abroad to find that ultra-luxurious product,” said Albert Andrew Valera, founder of Miami-based agency Everything Travel Guy, because the level of product that’s coming in is going to guarantee $3,000 a night.”
Bulgari’s first US hotel will be in Miami Beach.
Despite the many luxury brands set to open, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Executive Vice President Silvio Ursini said he believes the Bulgari project will fill a void.
“Today in the market there are classic luxury hotels, which have a very traditional design and atmosphere, or trendy hotels with very innovative designs that do not always fall into the luxury sector,” he said. “Bulgari [will appeal] to the traveler looking for a luxury experience in a contemporary setting”.
Miami Beach, a high performance actor during the pandemic
The push to develop more upscale properties comes as Miami Beach posted record RevPAR last season, record average revenue and very strong occupancy, which continues into this summer, Adkins said.
“So it’s no surprise that there are a number of new properties coming onto the market trying to appeal to the $1,700-a-night guest,” he added.
The Miami hotel market has proven to be exceptionally profitable during the pandemic. A STR report released earlier this year indicates that Miami led major global markets in hotel profit recovery for 2021, with the city’s gross operating profit per available room exceeding 2019 levels by 14 percentage points.
That said, Miami Beach’s shift to a high-end hotel scene predates the pandemic.
Valera said Miami Beach’s luxury hospitality sector began to grow strongly in the 2000s and 2010s, with the opening of properties such as Betsy Hotel, Setai Miami Beach, Miami Beach Edition, Faena Miami Beach and 1 Hotel South. Beach.
Pandemic-era travel trends helped further establish Miami Beach’s reputation as a world-class luxury destination.
“Because so many people were unable to travel internationally during the pandemic, the pandemic really put Miami Beach back on the map for customers who typically vacation in Mexico or the Caribbean,” Valera said, with the market proving especially popular as warm home destination. winter-weather destination for those in the Northeast and Midwest.
crystal vinisse thomas
Crystal Vinisse Thomas, vice president and global leader of Hyatt’s luxury and lifestyle brands and a Miami native, said this has led to South Beach being “a little bit oversaturated,” creating opportunities beyond the shoreline.
“The middle of the beach and the northern end offer a great opportunity for quality products,” he said. “It’s a perfect location for an Andaz and its elevated position.”
As Miami Beach’s product continues to improve and become the luxury trend, and hotels in all sections command sky-high rates, some travelers may soon feel the pressure.
“The more luxury hotels and restaurants that open, the more the spring break traveler will be paid,” Valera said.
Adkins agreed that even visitors looking for affordable lodging in the Miami Beach area are likely to be affected by the surge in ultra-luxury development activity.
“It will lift everyone’s spirits,” he said. “Even in the low to mid range, where we still have a high volume of travelers, it sets a different expectation. For people who were used to paying $150-$200 a night in Miami Beach, now that rate is $350 a night.” .
However, he said, those rates may not last forever.
“There is a question of whether, after the pandemic, people will be willing to pay such high rates,” Adkins said. “Hotels will ask themselves, ‘What do I need to do with my property to be successful at a high level?'”