Every December, the city of Miami becomes a cultural playground for international art lovers and collectors. Catapulted by the success of Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Art Week is an annual celebration that takes place the first week of December.
In 2002, Art Basel Miami Beach launched as the sister fair to Art Basel, one of the world’s most important art fairs held every year in the Swiss city of Basel. Art Basel Miami Beach’s attendance has vastly grown since its inception: while the 2002 fair welcomed 16,000 visitors, last year’s event received more than 73,000 guests. Art Basel Miami Beach’s success has revitalized Miami’s art scene, and the result is now an art-rich week with much to see and do around town.
Housed in the vast Miami Beach Convention Center, Art Basel Miami Beach continues to be the focal point of Miami Art Week. But there are events throughout the bustling city, which venture outside the Convention Center’s walls. Design Miami takes place in the Design District—Miami’s luxury enclave and home to elegant boutiques and galleries. Design Miami, which occurs alongside the Art Basel Fairs in Miami and Basel, showcases collectible design including 21st-century furniture, lighting and objets d’art.
Close to the Design District, we’ll find what will become—during Art Week—the epicenter of the arts. Wynwood is Miami’s main art district with more than 70 galleries, museums, and impressive private art collections. Several satellite fairs will take over the area extending towards the nearby Midtown. These neighborhoods will host the best events, openings and parties during the sunny Miami days and placid tropical nights.
Such a busy week calls for finding the perfect place for rest, and with countless Miami hotels, that ideal suite is just one reservation away.
4041 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 // (786) 605-4041
Located in a restored 1940s art deco tower, the oceanfront Thompson Hotel—opened just last November—is sure to appeal to art lovers with an affection for kitsch and camp. Interior designer Martin Brudznicki, who also designed the nearby Soho Beach House, infused 1950s glamour using bright hues and eye-catching patterns to create a playful, tropical atmosphere. Suites with chevron prints, floral upholstery, and patterned curtains are complete with modern art prints. Inside the Thompson Hotel, guests can also enjoy the 1930s house, a cocktail den set within a bungalow that features artisanal drinks and a tasting and small plates menu by famed Miami-native and James Beard Award Winning chef, Michelle Bernstein, who is also behind the hotel’s Seagrape restaurant, a Floridian brasserie.
1671 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 // (305) 535-8088
South Beach’s Sagamore Hotel has rightfully earned the moniker of Art Hotel. The Art Deco hotel displays art wherever possible. There are quotes by artists on the hallways, murals on the stairwells, videos in the garden and museum quality photography, sculpture and video throughout public areas and event spaces. The hotel also houses the Cricket Taplin Collection of Contemporary Art. Upon opening the Sagamore in 2001, Cricket and Marty Taplin shared their passion with the world by displaying their magnificent art collection, 25 years in the making. The result is a hotel that feels like a museum or gallery where one can sleep, enjoy the beach or sunbathe in the beautiful pool.
Vintro Hotel & Kitchen
2216 Park Avenue, Miami Beach, Fl 33139 // (305) 674-9200
Close to the Bass Museum of Art, Vintro Hotel and Kitchen, whose name is a mixture of vintage and retro, stands where the 1930s Park Ave Hotel once stood. Vintro has kept the Art Deco exterior but renovated its interior with architect Guillermo de Yavorsky. Each room showcases customized artwork from emerging artists, which are available for purchase. A large rooftop area is perfect for lounging, with bright day beds, hammocks, an infinity edge pool and art murals.
The Miami Beach Edition
2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 // (786) 257-4500
On 3.5 acres in Mid-Beach, an area between South Beach and North Beach, The Miami Beach Edition Hotel provides a luxury resort environment for guests. The hotel includes 294 rooms, including 28 private bungalows and a rooftop penthouse. The two-story bungalows are truly special, with an oversized bedroom, bathrooms with rainfall shower, a personal size dry sauna and stunning wraparound balconies that overlook the pool and ocean. The Hotel offers an impressive share of entertainment. There’s a ground level club, The Basement, where guests can dance until the late hours of the night. Next to it, you’ll find an adjacent four-lane bowling alley and an indoor ice skating rink, all with state of the art sound and light systems. The spa delivers a wide array of services and features nine private treatment rooms including a Hammam and Beauty Lounge. Don’t miss the delightful Matador restaurant and its splendid bar.
The Villa by Barton G
1116 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 // (786) 485-2200
The Villa by Barton G, a lavish ten suite hotel is the former home of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. Since 2009, The Villa has operated as a luxury boutique hotel, restaurant and event space. It celebrates the spirit of the Italian designer with an extravagant, baroque aesthetic. The ten guest suites were designed by Versace for the use of his friends and family, including Elton John and Madonna. They feature king size beds or custom double king beds, Italian marble bathrooms, sitting areas and balconies or patios. There’s also the legendary mosaic pool, made with over 100 million Italian mosaic tiles and poolside statues brought in from a 16th-century chateau in France. The Villa also houses an intimate, upscale restaurant, a lounge for cigar aficionados and the Observatory Lounge, perfect for enjoying a nightcap while taking in views of the Atlantic.
2341 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 // (305) 604-1000
1 Hotel, on South Beach, is the perfect luxury haven for the eco-conscious. The ceilings, furniture, and doorways are made from reclaimed wood while the glass in the rooms comes from recycled wine bottles, and the elevators are energy-efficient. Throughout the hotel, guests can view art installations made out of plants, large living green walls, and terrariums. The hotel houses 426 spacious rooms, four pools, and a 24-hour fitness center. Dining at 1 Hotel is exceptional: there’s the signature restaurant, Beachcraft, a lobby bar and poolside restaurant from famous chef Tom Colicchio, and the popular STK steakhouse.
HOTELS TO ENJOY THE BEACH
1677 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 // (305) 532-2311
The National Hotel is an authentically restored Art Deco landmark sure to appeal to those enamored with old Miami Beach charm. Designed by Roy France, one of the period’s most esteemed architects, the hotel originally opened in 1940 and still houses authentic art deco pieces. The oceanfront hotel recently revamped their guest rooms, cabanas, and suites but retained the old school allure by keeping authentic art deco artworks throughout the hotel. The 205-foot, palm tree-lined infinity edge pool is the longest infinity-edge in Miami Beach while a Blues Bar provides entertainment, tapas and cocktails.
3720 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140 // (305) 938-1145
The fully renovated Croydon Hotel takes full advantage of its Miami Beach setting. Inside the 104 guest rooms, visitors will find large windows (perfect for letting in that Miami sun) and cooling gel memory foam mattresses that will make it hard to wander out of bed. The icing on the seven-story luxury hotel is its rooftop sun deck, with 360-degree views of the ocean, bay, and the Miami skyline. There are ocean views from the gym, and rooftop yoga lets guests take in more Miami Beach sights.
The Betsey South Beach
1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33129 // (305) 531-6100
Built in 1942 by L. Murray Dixon, the architect responsible for many famous art deco hotels, The Betsy South Beach remains one of Miami Beach’s most admired establishments. The oceanfront property sits on buzzing Ocean Drive but always sustains a serene atmosphere. The Betsy’s multi-functional Ocean Deck is revered as one of the most intimate, and unforgettable, spots on Miami Beach. On the Ocean deck, a Zen-inspired Wellness Garden, and Spa keeps guests relaxed. The legendary hotel is involved with a host of philanthropic causes, including Miami Beach’s only Writer’s Room, a working space for visiting writers and has ongoing, accessible art exhibitions on display 365 days a year, specially during Art Week. The Betsy’s restaurant BLT offers a delightful menu. ■