Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#ThankYouMiami for Merging Design, Fashion and Art - AC Miami Beach Hotel



This week Miami Beach's Mid-Beach neighborhood welcomed a new resident: AC Miami Beach Hotel. Located at 29th and Collins, the recently completed building, with its sleek, modern exterior, is the latest indicator of the area's developer-led renaissance. And, thanks to the hotel's focus on art and design, it fits seamlessly among the neighborhood's other recent newcomers, The Thompson and The Edition. Once inside, however, it is instantly apparent that AC Miami Beach Hotel offers a more boutique, a more cozy vibe than its nearby peers and contributes much-needed variety to the area.

"I like to stay at AC Hotels because they are geared toward being accessible and catering to business travelers," says fashion photographer, TV star and author Nigel Barker. "That is important for a person like me that lives in hotels 80-percent of the year."

We caught up with Nigel at one of the opening celebrations of AC Miami Beach Hotel and, over breakfast, talked to him about his long-standing love for Miami, his New York Times best-selling book "Models of Influence", and the book recommendations he left waiting for you in the hotel's library. Our biggest surprise was discovering that Miami was the first place Nigel visited in the United States and that his wife is a University of Miami alum (Go 'Canes!). He says #ThankYouMiami for "the beautiful people, the beautiful weather, the beautiful life and for welcoming me to America in the first place. I wouldn't be here without you."

Nigel was among a handful of influencers invited to learn about the property's integration of design, fashion and art and explore the gorgeous building.  Others in attendance included Chris Noerskau, co-founder of Slow Watches, and Rem D. Koolhaas, founder of United Nude, both of whom had pop-up shops at the hotel. This visit was Chris's first time in Miami and the pop-up was Slow Watches' first store in the U.S. We hope Miami left an impression on him like it did for us on our first visit and that he will be back. Our community loves creatives who redefine the conventional and he and his co-founder literally redesigned the watch.

Rem and his architectural shoe designs are another no-brainer for Miami. Our community goes gaga for starchitects and, with his pedigree and connections (he recently collaborated with Zaha Hadid), he certainly qualifies. In fact, he seems incredibly at ease here for someone who hails from abroad. When we ask him about Miami he smiles and says, "#ThankYouMiami for the great architecture and the inspiration."

While the awe-inspiring designs of Slow Watches and United Nude were only on display for a limited time, art and inspiration abound throughout the hotel. In fact, the lobby, rooms, and rooftop pool deck all feature locally-inspired art. In the lobby, you will find the work of Miami-based Michelle Weinberg, which decorates the lobby's central column with an abstract design, and that of Texan Chuck Ramirez, which livens the western lobby wall with colorful suitcase portraits that tell a story of different traveler types. The rooms are decorated with one of two beachscape-meets-abstract works by Spain-import Andres Fernandez. And, last but not least, there's the stunning black-and-white photo by Lauren Koplowitz that will soon hang above the rooftop pool in juxtaposition to its colorful Miami  surroundings.

Our morning at AC Miami Beach Hotel left us inspired, invigorated, and impressed. Looking forward, we're excited to have a front row seat as AC Hotels writes its Miami chapter. ¡Bievenidos a la familia Miami-eña, friends!

Nigel Barker and Margarita Wells


Miami gallerist Dina Mitrani introduces guests to the four artists featured on site and their work.
United Nude shoes on display at the AC Miami Beach Hotel lobby.
The AC Miami Beach Hotel's rooftop pool and its stellar ocean views.
The Slow Watch demonstrates how it fits seamlessly into Miami life.

What do you think about the new AC Miami Beach Hotel? Slow Watch? United Nude? Which is your favorite new hotel? What do you like most about it? Where is it located? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!
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