W South Beach unveils dazzling results of $30m makeover

by | 18 Nov 2020 | Design, Hotel Openings, Refurbishments

Miami Beach’s celebrity hotspot W South Beach has completed a US$30 million renovation that involved revamping its 408 oceanfront guest suites and introducing a 9,000 sq ft spa, with help from boutique design firm Urban Robot Associates.

When it opened 11 years ago, W South Beach was an instant hit, its hip, funky attitude and eclectic design flourishes quickly transforming the hotel into a celebrity favourite, attracting famous guests like Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, Bono, Steven Tyler, Pharrell, Tom Cruise and Mark Walhberg. Now, Collins Avenue’s glitzy charms have been raised a notch with the unveiling of the property’s no-expense-spared overhaul.

An updated take on the W brand

“Our vision when we first opened was to develop a world-class hotel that embraced the dynamic energy of Miami,” said David Edelstein, developer of W South Beach. “Since then, Miami has evolved into a cosmopolitan centre with a thriving culinary scene, world-renowned architecture and leading cultural institutions. Our renovation reflects that evolution and will set the tone for a new decade where W South Beach remains a leader in luxury hospitality and continues to be recognised as one of the great hotels of the world.”

Under the watchful eye of local firm Urban Robot Associates, the oceanfront property has been transformed into a sophisticated, lighter version of its former self, but still with the same W charisma. Expect an understated oatmeal palette with soft corals and shaded teal highlights revealed through beach house-style millwork, natural oaks and low-lying, softly curved furnishings.

In the 408 new guest suites, the mood is set with circadian lighting, 24-hour playlists, sand gradient blackouts and an under-bed light that creates a floating effect. Meanwhile, the wood-panelled walls are adorned with images by French photographer Jean-Phillipe Piter and a collection of pieces from Vancouver-based art advisory group FarmBoy Fine Arts. Local artist Juan Manuel Rozas has also emblazoned the powder room walls with hand-painted murals.

“The hotel had a cosmopolitan aesthetic incorporating darker tones, which worked well when it was introduced,” said Justine Velez, partner at Urban Robot. “However, throughout the years, Miami Beach has changed a lot.

“The new design is an expression of where Miami is headed, enriched with refined art and culture. We preserved some of the original vibe and edge while introducing a beautiful fresh blend of natural light, warm wood tones and various shades of colours from the sea to the 400 spacious guest suites, triplex bungalows and spa.”

A sprawling spa and exceptional art collection

Billed as a sanctuary dedicated to wellness and detoxifying spa experiences, the new 9,000 sq ft Away Spa comprises seven treatment rooms; a couple’s suite; manicure/pedicure nooks; a spa lounge; an outdoor basking terrace; and indulgent powder rooms with eucalyptus-infused limestone steam showers and Chanel-inspired vanities. Each element is united by a fresh design featuring slatted oak, limestone and live greenery in a neutral palette with brass details.

The spa menu at W South Beach features organic rituals and detoxifying relaxation massages, body healing and skincare treatments. Guests are also able to curate their own sound experience through the addition of an in-room Bluetooth connection.

Elsewhere, real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen has curated the multimillion-dollar art collection, which is expected to include four new Andy Warhol art pieces and one Jean-Michel Basquiat piece, while the expansive pool deck, WET, has brand new cabanas. Food-wise, guests can still expect favourites such as Mr Chow; American and Italian dining room RWSB; and Irma’s, the casual dining spot refurbished by Urban Robot Associates in 2017.

This all comes together to create a holistic package that once again puts W South Beach at the top of Collins Avenue’s glamorous offerings.



Born from the bold attitude and 24/7 culture of New York City, W Hotels, part of Marriott International, is disrupting and redefining the global hospitality scene.