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The #2 Hotel In The World: Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Sitting in the heart of South Beach on the famous Collins Avenue, the Faena district is accented everywhere with gold, signature red, giving an over-the-top luxury 1950s feeling.

The #2 Hotel In The World: Faena Hotel Miami Beach


soiree saxony hotel
© Bettmann/CORBIS.

Originally named the Saxony Hotel, completed in 1948, was one of the first luxury resorts on Miami Beach. The hotel was designed by architect Roy F. France and made the Saxony Hotel famous for its luxurious rooms and exceptional views of South Beach. It was the first air-conditioned hotel on Miami Beach and was considered the most lavish hotel at the time. It was nicknamed the "Ivory Tower" after the famous nightclub on the top floor. It was later purchased by the Faena Group, which extensively renovated the hotel and opened in November 2015.


soiree vanity fair

The massive project to overall the Saxony Hotel was taken up by Argentine developer Alan Faena, after his smashing success for his first Faena luxury hub in Buenos Aires. Looking to continue Faena's south American spirit, he tapped the shoulder of the Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, who's an Academy Choice Awards winner, Catherine Martin. The two designed the interiors, uniforms, and cultural programming. Alan Faena tasked them with a goal of keeping the Saxony's ling history but beefing up the hotel with Miami's contemporary scene.

“We dealt with it just like we would deal with a film,” Luhrmann told Vanity Fair.“We went back to the very roots of the Saxony.”

What's unique about Luhrmann's influence, is that he lived on Collins Avenue several years ago, during a time when Gianni Versace was alive. And he described Miami as "both gritty and glamorous" and really wanted to exemplify that in this concept.


soiree faena art

Faena has established an arts district of its own and it's one of a kind. With the Faena Theater, Faena Bazaar, and the Faena Forum -- they boast innovative creative practices, massive murals, and immersive visual experiences that tackle the traditional boundaries of science, art, philosophy, and social practice. Their contemporary pieces act as a cultural fusion between North and South America, giving us a really unique perspective of artistic expression.

The Faena Theater was one of my favorite attractions when visiting. It's crazy sexy, with inspiration from Europe's grand opera house with an allure of Old Hollywood. The theater shows ambitious performances with highly acclaimed cabaret performances.


soiree los fuegos

You really feel like you're traveling around the world when you enter the food scene at Faena. Los Fuegos by famed argentine chef Francis Mallmann was absolutely incredible. It's born from a passion for the ancient art of South America with open fire cooking.

Followed by Pao by Paul Qui, it's a range of international styles including Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, and & French presenting a unique brand of Asian cuisine and stunning oceanfront and bay views.

Intimate bars like the Living Room, Veranda, and the Saxony Bar are bespoke. Live music, DJ sets, Vinyl nights, unique cocktails, glitz, and glamour -- everything is on a full VIP scale.


soiree faena beach

The beachfront was picturesque. Private, but still carrying that Faena flair -- it was extremely artsy and was a great experience to simply fall asleep, ordering something off the menu and have it delivered right to you, and much more. It was amazingly quiet too, with no hotel crowd on site. Something you rarely get when you attend a private beach.


soiree tierra santa healing house

The Tierra Santa Healing House was something out of a magazine. Carrying the largest hammam on the east coast (22,000 square-foot), the wet sauna and steam room created a feeling of luxurious Roman-Greco life. It blends ancient healing rituals from around the world that awakens your consciousness and restore your wellbeing.

I can't finish off without saying how amazing the concierge was. They were really one of a kind. Kind, gentle, and always with a smile, they were eager to help out with anything. From the Alfa Romeo rides to bringing you champagne wherever you were at the hotel. It was one of the best as far as service goes that I've ever been a part of.

All, Story of the Week


March 28, 2022

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