The Shelborne Reborn in South Beach


One of South Beach’s most iconic Art Deco gems has just emerged fresh from a facelift, with a multimillion dollar revamp that included an overhaul of the Shelborne South Beach’s guestrooms, ballroom, and lobby. Dating to 1940, the hotel’s architectural heritage has been carefully preserved, while allowing for upgrades to more modern conveniences, including a brand-new infinity pool area and three new eateries.

The Shelborne’s original design concept is credited to modernist Igor Polevitzky, which was then further developed in the 1950s via an extension by Morris Lapidus, the father of the Miami Modern movement. Touting a stark-white exterior, and a crisp black-and-white interior design scheme, the hotel (part of the Menin Hotels group) is conveniently situated along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Guests are greeted with a retro-mod lobby, with metal chairs that mimic the curvature of antique birdcages, Maria Theresa crystal chandeliers overhead, and cobalt- and turquoise-hued pillows serving as the only splash of color against an all-white backdrop (including white terrazzo floors). A chic check-in experience awaits at the "bubble desk," a reception area covered in white lacquer and sparkly acrylic orbs, all wrapped up with black stingray skin.

Fifty of the rooms have been redesigned so far, with an additional 50 units set to be unveiled by spring. Chartreuse pillows contrast nicely with white bed linens and tufted white headboards, while the bathrooms feature custom vanities made from wood and marble, and white marble flooring. Each room touts terraces that overlook the pool, while those on the ground floor offer direct access to the pool area.

The infinity pool serves as the hotel’s glam hub, complete with a catwalk, glass guardrails, banquettes topped with comfy pillows, and poolside cabanas equipped with private showers. Pop into the GuyandGirl Boutique to pick up some pool scene-worthy beachwear or other colorful, Miami-appropriate garb.

Architecture firm ADD Inc Miami is responsible for the hotel’s stylish new look, with the exception of its three freshly debuted restaurants—Vesper American Brasserie (its name is borrowed from a James Bond film), Bar Tanaka (with a sushi menu developed by Philadelphia chef Hiroyuki "Zama" Tanaka), and Lucy’s Cantina Royale (a poolside taco stand)—that were conceptualized by Crème Design.

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Photo Credit: courtesy The Shelborne South Beach