Miami’s art deco landmark hotel gets a luxurious new lease on life
The Raleigh, an original Miami icon, will reopen as a Rosewood hotel.
Miami will reclaim one of its original icons – the historic Raleigh hotel – in 2025 under the umbrella of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, whose luxury portfolio includes New York’s Carlyle and the Crillon in Paris.
And for iconoclastic architect and designer Peter Marino, who is overseeing this unqiue merger of the old and the new, the project is personal.
“My mom used to do backstrokes in the pool (at home), saying ‘I’m just like Esther Williams at the Raleigh!,’” he recalls.
With its sinuous, art deco shape enunciated by a thick, black-tile outline, that pool is properly legendary, and under Marino’s preservationist eye, it’ll go virtually untouched, with “The Folly,” a seashell-like building at one of its corners, revitalized as a funky pool bar.
Alongside it, Marino is building out a number of complementary features.
Most notably, he’s adding a 17-story condo tower – the first beachside build approved by Miami’s strict historic preservation board in nearly two decades – whose 44 sprawling Rosewood residences, also designed by Marino, will all face the beach.
A members-only beach club, Marino says, will resemble “a Brazilian lima bean.” Rambling gardens, likely to be filled with Les Lalannes sheep sculptures, will connect it to the Raleigh’s neighboring hotels, the South Seas and the Richmond.
Taken alogether, they’ll make up a three-acre site giving Marino and Rosewood space for all the amenities required of a modern-day urban resort.
“With all three of those elements – the club, the restoration project, the condo tower – it’s an architect’s dream,” Marino says.
The hotel seems poised to become a traveler’s dream, too.
Rosewood has a track record for bringing warm hospitality to markets where that can be difficult to find. (Think Beijing or Paris.) Miami is also unique in its ability to draw partiers and families in equal measure; groups with such disparate needs can be difficult to reconcile.
The company produces best-in-class kids’ clubs through its Rosewood Explorers program – Chief Executive Officer Sonia Cheng is a mother of four – while creating spaces for unforgettable nights out, such as Bemelmans at the Carlyle.
Marino says that by taking over the adjacent hotels, Rosewood will have enough space to create multiple dining venues – the Raleigh used to have only one restaurant – along with a full-scale spa and three new (rectangular) pools that he is designing with custom mosaic art along the bottoms.
The Martini Bar, almost as essential a space to Miami culture as the main pool, will get a full restoration. “We want to recapture its legacy and spirit, like what we’ve done at the Carlyle with Bemelmans,” says Cheng. “The type of gathering place that the Carlyle is for New York, we want to give to Miami.”
Marino is already reveling in the period details. “We found this hilarious sketch of a martini glass in the original tilework in the floors – I am definitely putting it back in,” he says with a laugh. “Something like that just makes you smile. It would never occur to me in 2022 to do that kind of thing.”
He’s also recreating the original bar’s look by installing a series of back-painted mirrors, each done by a different contemporary artist this time.
And in the Tiger Room, a former events space named for the two-tone columns around it, custom tiger-striped murals will adorn a new restaurant with nightclub vibes. “Is there anything sexier that tiger stripes?” Marino asks. “I defy you to think of something more fun.”
Ultra-luxurious fun, though, is not hard to find in Miami.
Competition awaiting Rosewood already includes the exuberant Faena and the historic Four Seasons Surf Club, with its Thomas Keller restaurant and imported-from-Amalfi Champagne bar. In 2023, Aman is slated to open in the art deco Versailles Hotel building that will include a newly built residential tower designed by Kengo Kuma.
But except for the forthcoming redo of the Delano, none of those restorations is as high-profile or high-stakes for Miami Beach as the Raleigh’s.
This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Miami’s art deco landmark hotel gets a luxurious new lease on life