Faena Hotel Miami Beach
How did it strike you on arrival?
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it may feel like to live in a big-budget Hollywood musical, this is your chance. Argentine hotelier Alan Faena enlisted the help of ‘The Great Gatsby’ director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, Oscar-winning, costume and production designer Catherine Martin, to give this 1940s building a properly theatrical makeover.
Nice. What’s the crowd like?
Travelers who have outgrown the South Beach scene (or at least don’t want to be sleeping just a few feet above the late-night revelry along Ocean Drive for this trip) are quickly finding their way just a few blocks farther north to Alan Faena’s newest hotel experiment.
The good stuff: Tell us about your room.
Entering the Premier Oceanfront Room for the first time felt a little bit like stepping into the scene of a movie. The room is full of classic Art Deco design touches, like a bright red sofa with a fringed bottom, and the gold-tasseled tiebacks that keep the room’s rich, blue-green curtains in place. You’ll also likely find a pop of leopard print here and there. The highlight of the space, however, is the furnished balcony, which gives guests an unobstructed view of that vast ocean of blue—not to mention a killer sunset.
We’re craving some deep, restorative sleep. They got us?
Goose-down bedding makes all the difference when it comes to comfort. But even more impressive than the bedding or pillows at Faena Miami Beach is the bed itself: the Art Deco-style wooden bed frame is its own piece of art, as are its matching nightstands. The delicate white and brass sconces, which are built into the headboard, are a nice additional touch.
How about the little things, like mini bar, or shower goodies. Any of that find its way into your suitcase?
There’s a bit of an 'Alice in Wonderland' feel to the Faena, and this carries through into the rooms—particularly with the smaller accents and pieces of furniture you’ll find yourself “discovering” as your stay progresses. While there’s a mini-bar, there’s also a full bar—at least, that's the best way to describe the stockpile of liquor that’s in your room for the buying. The hotel even has its own brand of Malbec, which sells for a bottle.
Please tell us the bathroom won’t let us down.
Restrained elegance is the best way to describe the bathrooms at Faena; ours paired Carrara marble with gorgeous Ann Stacks tilework for a bathroom that anyone would envy. That the bedroom’s bright prints and color scheme don’t follow you into the bathroom is a welcome surprise, though the high-tech toilet—which opens as it senses you walking toward it, and also flushes automatically—was a bit wild.
Maybe the most important topic of all: Wi-Fi. What’s the word?
Wi-Fi, which is free, maintained a relatively solid signal throughout our beach adventures.
Room service: Worth it?
Breakfast on the balcony? Why not—I had no regrets after starting the day with a plate of blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes (). Los Fuegos, Argentine super-chef Francis Mallman’s open-fire asado, also delivers the goods via its own in-room dining menu.
Staff: If you could award one a trophy, who gets it, and why?
The art of the doorman is still alive and well at the Faena. Prepare to be graciously greeted upon arrival, and to never have to open the door yourself.
Anything stand out about other services and features? Whether it’s childcare, gyms, spas, even parking—whatever stuck with you.
The hotel makes the most of its 100,000 square feet of private white sand beach with the Faena Beach Club, which has adorable red-and-white candy-striped lounge chairs, plus a range of private cabanas that can accommodate large groups. Poolside butlers are there to indulge your every need or craving, while more active beachgoers can take part in a game of soccer on the sand. The Tierra Santa Healing House spa is home to all sorts of over-the-top amenities, including one of the largest hammams this side of the Mississippi and a marble Ice Parlor, which uses the power of ice and air to strengthen your immune system. If while wandering the grounds you find yourself asking, “Did I just see a golden woolly mammoth skeleton in a glass cage?” the answer is yes. (You can thank Damien Hirst for that one.)
What was most memorable—or heartbreaking—about your stay?
Browse the hotel’s website and social media channels all you want: even the most gorgeous photos can’t compare to what it’s like to inhabit this whimsical, colorful space in real life.
Bottom line: worth it, and why?
For travelers who like to remain as lazy as possible, the Faena is a great choice, as everything you could possibly need is right at your fingertips—and there’s an entire staff dedicated to making sure that you don’t even have to lift that very finger. It’s a true resort, and you could easily spend a few days here and still leave without having had a chance to experience every amenity the hotel has to offer.