sbe revealed details behind the design of SLS Hotel South Beach. Designed by Philippe Starck, the property is set to debut this May at the site of the former Ritz Plaza Hotel. It will rekindle the collaboration between sbe founder, chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, Philippe Starck and James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés. Joining Nazarian, Starck and Andrés in the partnership is Lenny Kravitz and his team at Kravitz Design Incorporated, who will be designing the property’s penthouse suite and one of the 10 pool bungalows.
Originally built in 1939 under South Beach architect L. Murray Dixon, the SLS Hotel South Beach features a rooftop architectural design depicting a lantern reaching to the sky. It is the tallest art deco structure in South Beach. Upon arrival, a terrace reminiscent of the outdoor cafés of Paris and Lake Como greets guests. Black and white Moroccan tiles set the stage for a collection of furniture, including a red wheelbarrow bench, a faux tree trunk table and iron-crafted pieces from Mexico. A mix of neutrals, pastels and stripes accented by classic French bistro chairs in orange, yellow and green speak to a sense of “South Beach” through the lens of Starck.
The reception area depicts a retro American summer camp. The reception desk will be fashioned from a distressed slab of wood, and the lighting will come from an antique wood kayak suspended from the ceiling. Also added are vintage stills from old camping trips adorning the wall behind the reception area.
Next to the lobby is the Bar Centro, offering cocktails and cuisine by José Andrés, with its red velvet curtains, dark wood furniture and French bistro tables. Crowning Bar Centro is the bull’s head designed by Spanish artist, Mikel Urmeneta.
For Katsuya, Starck has taken his signature look from the locations in Southern California and Houston and added elements to make the space distinct. Most notably are the two, 22-foot tall images of an elderly Japanese man and a woman from the early 1940s. Situated above the restaurant is its Dragon Lounge, featuring Katsuya’s mixology program.
For the property’s exterior, a collection of private cabanas are available, leading to the hotel’s club, Hyde Beach, which has been described as “sexy hell,” replete with heavy uses of wood, a fireplace, vintage leather sofas and walls adorned with Hawaiian surfers from the 1930s and 1940s.
For the guest rooms, Starck derived inspiration from Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress. The furniture includes an oversized white sofa that showcases French detailing. White wooden tile flooring is paired with an abstract, old-world tapestry carpet that features uses of pink and grey. The bathrooms have been updated with a glass rain shower, and white walls and flooring. The vanity is custom designed by Starck, with glass and mirrors also using pink.