Emerging Hotel Designs and Trends from South Florida
The South Florida Story
By Paula J. Azevedo Principal, dash design | November 01, 2015
South Florida is one of the most talked about – and fastest growing – hotel markets in the US. Veteran Miami-based hotel design professional Paula Azevedo, a principal with dash design in its Miami office, has seen the area's changes and trends unfold first hand. In this guest column, she addresses how the influence of international events has had a positive impact on the region's business climate and how a new class of traveler has influenced hotel design. Azevedo explores how some brands have successful evolved to offer custom experiences that attract a global audience through targeted offerings, intriguing amenities and more.
Art Basel. The Wine & Food Festival. Maison & Objet. What do these three well-attended events have in common? They all take place in South Florida, one of the most talked about, rapidly growing hotel markets in the United States. However, it wasn't always this way.
In the mid to late eighties, the film and fashion industries considered Miami to be the perfect unspoiled backdrop for their efforts. By the mid to late nineties, shift began to occur. Miami had become primarily known as a laid back beach community; a destination for casual travelers and displaced residents from South Florida or the surrounding region. Fast forward another decade and Samuel Keller, the former director and leader of Art Basel, an internationally renowned Switzerland-based art show, had the vision to use Miami Beach as a host city for a temporary traveling Art Basel exhibition in 2002. The show did more than bring a good deal of attention to South Florida. Art Basel partnered with the city and its local institutions to create parallel programming, bringing Miami alive with galleries, street fairs and events at its convention center as attendees poured in.
What was supposed to be temporary became permanent, with the international art world now convening in Miami each December for Art Basel, and the impact has been profound. Museums, restaurants, musical venues and more throughout city are getting in on the action, for Art Basel has been a catalyst for the area's growth, with hotel owners, operators and developers taking note -- and in a big way.
Perhaps most importantly, Art Basel, along with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (now in its 15th year) and, most recently, Maison & Objet, a global design trade fair that had its US debut in Miami Beach this past May to rave reviews, have brought in a new type of customer to the area. This sophisticated set attracted a new generation of people eager to live in and visit Miami: the creative class. These cultured younger visitors have acutely influenced the way hotels are built and designed – and what happens inside them after that.
Designing for the Creative Class