If these walls could talk! From its Rat Pack roots and countless movies filmed on location to its reputation as a celebrity watering hole, the iconic Fontainebleau hotel on Miami Beach has reinvented itself time and again since its opening in 1954.
The History Lesson
New York architect Morris Lapidus had a dream of creating the largest hotel on Miami Beach, including 554 guest rooms, a 17,000-square-foot lobby with bow-tie marble floors and a two-story “Staircase to Nowhere.” Lapidus’ legacy has been kept alive, as the Fontainebleau still ranks as Miami’s largest hotel thanks to the addition of two new towers.
The resort now features 1,504 rooms and suites sprawled across 20 oceanfront acres. Reminiscent of a Las Vegas-style casino, it features 12 restaurants and nightclubs, an arcade of unique boutiques and a massive 40,000-square-foot spa, rendering it practically unnecessary to leave the property at any point for the duration of your stay.
The Pool and Spa
During the day, the huge freeform pool is the main attraction. Six types of cabanas are available for daily rental, accommodating everyone from families to bachelor parties, couples to discreet celebrities.
If the Florida sun is too much for you, head over to Lapis, which Martha Stewart herself called “the most beautiful spa in America.” Sure the treatments are top of the line—including facials and ocean-inspired wraps—but you’ll truly relish the massage-jet showers, mineral pools and eucalyptus steam bath amenities you get to enjoy afterward.
Dining options range from quaint cafés for a quick morning croissant to the impressive line-up of fine dining establishments. Michelin-starred Hakkasan, located on the fourth-floor rooftop, features modern Chinese cuisine, while James Beard Award recipient Chef Scott Conant’s team serves up his epic spaghetti and other classic Italian fare at Scarpetta.
Celebrity Chef Michael Mina operates two equally impressive eateries here: Michael Mina 74, which features a sophisticated small-plates menu while roving trolleys offer shellfish, seasonal vegetables and more; and StripSteak, the hotel’s newest dining concept, which prides itself on its quality slabs of steak, many of which come directly the hotel’s on-site aging room and butcher shop.
The Night Scene
Miami’s clubs shine at night just as brightly as its sun does during the day. Luckily, the Fontainebleau is the heart of the town’s glittering nightlife, giving you many choices without even leaving the premises.
You can rock out in four unique bars and clubs, disappear into intimate lounges or shake your groove-thing at high-energy nightclubs. Just don’t look too surprised when celebrity A-listers come walking by—they know there’s always something going on here.
Perez Art Museum Miami: Opened in 2013, this gorgeous glass building on Biscayne Boulevard houses a collection of contemporary art with a focus on Latin America along with a constant rotation of celebrity-status installations.
Miami Design District: This 18-block neighborhood of galleries, high-end fashion boutiques and furniture shops has become a little epicenter of cool thanks to Miami’s sophisticated maturation over the past decade.
Miami Children’s Museum: A rainy day can be salvaged with a trip to this fabulous interactive museum that features 12 galleries with a revolving door of exhibits ranging from a stimulating two-story imaginary castle, a miniature hospital and bank, a cruise ship and hands-on art demonstrations.