Luxury hotel Faena Miami Beach returns to the opulence that the city was once famous for, delivering a theatrical sort of luxury that’s fitting of Hollywood’s East Coast hangout. The lavish art deco interiors have a set-like quality to them – something that makes a lot of sense once you realise they came under the creative direction of Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, who created the sumptuous sets on The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet. There are three restaurants (two by famous chefs), several bars, a cabaret theatre, an indulgent spa and almost 10,000sqm of pristine private beach. It’s unapologetically over the top; it’s Miami at its gilded best.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $340.00, excluding tax at 14 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $39.90 per room per night on check-out.
Room rates don’t usually include breakfast or the $39.90 a room nightly resort fee, which covers access to the wet spa and fitness centre, chaise lounges at the pool and beach, a welcome drink, access to the house car and an art tour of the hotel.
If you’re wondering how Damien Hirst’s gilded mammoth found its way into the hotel’s garden, it’s because the hotel’s co-owner is billionaire Len Blavatnik, who bought the work when Hirst auctioned it off for charity in 2014.
At the hotel
Private beach, gardens, theater, spa with hammam, sauna and treatment rooms, gym, spacious lounge area, laundry services, free WiFi throughout, unlimited local calls, free digital newspapers. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, free bottled water and bath products by Tierra Santa.
Our favourite rooms
With bespoke art deco furniture and Carrara-marble bathrooms, even the entry level Bay View Rooms are indulgent...but hell, you’re on the beachfront in Miami, and those ocean-view rooms have a sweet siren call.
Sat between the hotel and it’s own stretch of private beach, the cross-shaped pool looks like it was plucked from the grounds of an art deco mansion. It’s surrounded by bright red sunloungers and the hotel’s signature candy-cane-esque striped parasols, some of which are shaded by tall palms. There are two Jacuzzis off to one side and a poolside bar to keep the cocktails coming.
Spanning 2000sq m of the third floor, the Tierra Santa Healing House is more pared back than the rooms, but it’s still lavish and a little eccentric. Guests are advised to arrive at least an hour early so they can make the most of the impressive lounge, designed to transport spa-goers to South America with its vibrant decor. No less impressive is the sauna, with its curving wooden benches and dramatic lighting, or the hammam, which is centered around a hexagonal block of multi-coloured marble. Designed in collaboration with Alan Faena’s personal shaman, the treatments are influenced by ancient South American healing techniques; the facials, on the other hand, are as high-tech as they get.
All that is bold, bright, patterned or patent.
All of the hotel’s common areas are wheelchair accessible. Certain rooms are ADA-certified, including several Bay View Rooms, Partial Ocean View Junior Suites, Premier Oceanfront Junior Suites and the Premier Oceanfront Corner Suite.
All ages are welcome. Baby cots are available on request. In-house babysitting can be arranged for $35 an hour (minimum booking four hours). The hotel also has its own kids’ club.
In Los Fuegos, the leopard-print banquettes are the place to be if you’re with friends or family. In Pao, you can’t go wrong with one of the booths just beneath Hirst’s unicorn.
Don't hold back – take that velvet dinner jacket or glittering cocktail dress for a spin.
You’ve got three restaurants to choose from, two of them carrying illustrious names. Los Fuegos is the creation of famed South American chef Francis Mallmann, an expert in Argentina’s time-honoured asado grilling tradition, making this the destination for those seeking perfectly seared steaks and seafood. The decor is as impressive as the dishes, with leopard-print banquettes, white-and-gold curtains and tables of polished walnut. Pao, Paul Qui’s restaurant, is equally imposing on the looks front: the gilt unicorn of Damien Hirst’s ‘Golden Myth’ stands over the half-moon booths and mid-century modern furniture. Born in Manila and trained in Japanese and French cuisine, Qui’s is modern, creative and boundary-crossing, never quite conforming to one style. The last of the restaurants is Veranda, open for leisurely breakfasts among the palm-strewn gardens. Snag a seat on the ocean-facing terrace (there's indoor seating for rainy days), and try the South Beach scramble of local crab, avocado and chimichurri, and fresh fruit; for something sweet, go for the dulce de leche French toast. Breakfast is also served in the sumptuous interiors of Francis Mallmann’s Los Fuegos.
The subterranean Saxony Bar is the place for late-night decadence, with art-deco-style wall murals, a golden ceiling and a bar topped with oversized crystal decanters. The soundtrack is DJ-driven and the crowd often star-studded; booking is essential. The Tree of Life is more laid-back, taking inspiration from nature’s bounty with shell-encrusted pillars, dangling palm fronds and pineapple-shaped table lamps. The outdoor seating overlooks the pool and ocean beyond, making this an excellent daytime spot. Attached to Los Fuegos, the Living Room is filled with exotic animal-prints, red velvet and bronze statues. Alongside the drinks, the menu includes a selection of premium cigars – a finish to a smoky meat dish from Mallmann’s restaurant. Last but not least is the Faena Theatre, the hotel’s opera house-inspired performance space, complete with a balcony, leather booths and a vast chandelier. Cabarets and other avant garde shows are the order of the night.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 11.30am. Los Fuegos is open for lunch from 12 noon to 4pm; dinner is from 6.30pm to 10pm (until 11pm on Friday and Saturday). Pao is open for dinner from 7pm to 11pm (12am Friday and Saturday).
The hotel sits on the oceanfront in the Faena District, a $1billion development that’s put Miami’s Mid-Beach area back on the map.
Miami International Airport is a major hub; flights land there from all over the US and many larger European airports. It takes 20 minutes to drive from the airport to the hotel. The Smith24 team can arrange flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.
The city’s Amtrak station is a 25-minute drive from the hotel, and is the southern terminus for the Silver Star and Meteor services, which come all the way from New York, passing through Washington and Orlando on the way. There’s also the Tri-Rail line connecting Miami with beach towns along Florida’s southern coast.
The car is king around here, and the traffic confirms this – particularly at the weekends, when roadtrippers descend to make the most of the bars and beaches. That said, a car is the best way visit the verdant Everglades or the island city of Key West. The hotel offers valet parking for $60. Should you wish to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it.
Worth getting out of bed for
When your hotel has its own stretch of private beach, it can be tempting to stay put for your entire stay, but it’s worth taking a stroll along the Miami Beach Boardwalk. It runs along the oceanfront for 40 blocks, flanked by tropical greenery and art deco buildings on one side and the Atlantic on the other. If you’re the sporty type, join the locals who use it for their morning run; the stretch below 21st Street is bike friendly too. The Architectural District on Ocean Drive is where you’ll find most of the city’s famous art deco hotels. You can still see the façade of the Sunray apartments, where Tony Montana had his brush with chainsaw-wielding gangsters in Scarface. Equally famous is Gianni Versace’s former home, Casa Casuarina, which has since turned into a boutique hotel. For retail therapy, head to the city’s most famous department store, The Webster, a three-floor luxury fashion emporium housed in an art deco building. Within the Faena District itself you’ve got the Faena Forum, a performance and arts space designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas. The line-up changes constantly, ranging from art exhibitions to one-off dance performances.
If you find that you just can’t get enough of the Faena things in life, pay a visit to Casa Faena, the hotel’s Spanish-style sister property just down the road. With a laid-back and homely feel, it’s a stylish spot for a long brunch before wandering down to the beach. With a sunken, oval-shaped dining room lit by a grand chandelier,Matador Room recalls the fashionable supper clubs of the Fifties. Helmed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, the kitchen shows influences from Spain, the Caribbean and both Latin and South America. For warm nights, the restaurant also has a large, pergola-covered terrace filled with tropical plants. Upmarket Italian Cecconi’s is in the courtyard of Soho Beach House, which has a pergola wreathed in greenery and golden lights. With dedicated breakfast, all-day, mid-afternoon and cocktail menus, this place is abuzz from first till last light. The Maine lobster spaghetti is a firm favourite.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Miami and unpacked their Panama hat, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Faena Miami Beach in Miami…
When hotelier Alan Faena chose the once-legendary Saxony Hotel as the site for his new venture, Faena Miami Beach, he was obviously well aware of its reputation. When it opened in 1948, the Saxony was the most lavish (and expensive) hotel Miami had ever seen, soon attracting stars, gangsters and business tycoons alike, who filled its suites and flocked to the parties held in its top-floor nightclub. Occupying the same building, Faena Miami Beach now takes up the torch – and it’s done so in spectacular style. Unashamedly opulent, the art deco interiors shun the minimalist trend, delivering a heady dose of golden-age of glamour instead. Restaurants by Francis Mallmann and Paul Qui have put it on the map for discerning diners; the decadent Saxony Bar and cabaret theatre attract moneyed drinkers looking for something different. It’s not all about late nights though: with a full kids club and on-site babysitters, it's got equal appeal for families, who’ll appreciate the spaciousness of the rooms and the long stretch of private beach.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Faena Hotel Miami Beach’s Guestbook below.
We had a great room with a lovely bathroom and an ocean view. The hotel is beautifully designed and the pool is great.
To be able to get a good value meal or drink at this hotel. The prices are frighteningly high!