The Betsy-South Beach in Miami Beach has finished a two-year transformation. Merging with the historic Carlton Hotel on Collins Avenue to debut an “Art Deco” wing addition, the completed hotel has 130 guestrooms, two restaurants by chef Laurent Tourondel, a rooftop pool complex, a dedicated library, and nearly 15,000 square feet of event space. The addition comes as the original Betsy Ross Hotel begins a yearlong celebration of its 75th anniversary on Ocean Drive this year.
Family-owned and operated by Jonathan Plutzik and his wife Lesley Goldwasser, The Betsy-South Beach’s expansion involved the preservation and rehabilitation of the two historic hotels and existing facades, the refurbishment of the Carlton lobby, the addition of new structures and roof complex, as well as the revitalization of 14th Place/Espanola Way alley on the north side of the property.
The completed hotel includes the original Ocean Drive building now known as the “Colonial” wing, which will continue to welcome guest arrivals, and the fully renovated Collins Avenue building now known as the “Art Deco” wing, which will serve as an entrance for both private events and the Conservatory, a bar. The structures are joined as one unified hotel by a bridge, conceived as a piece of public art known as "The Orb".
The expansion also united the original work of L. Murray Dixon, whose Betsy Ross Hotel is the sole example of Florida Georgian architecture in the area, and Henry Hohauser, architect for the Carlton Hotel, known for his Art Deco styling.
For the expansion, Miami-based architect Shulman + Associates and Diamante Pedersoli were involved, and Carmelina Santoro—the original interior designers of The Betsy-South Beach—were re-engaged to bring their residential aesthetic to the new addition.
For design inspiration, Pedersoli and Santoro used The Betsy’s Art Deco style, using a color palette of white and blue tones throughout the guestrooms, with white washed oak, raffia palm and bursts of corals and greens to capture the natural elements of South Beach. The public spaces echo the overall beach-chic theme with similar hues, walnut wood floors and raffia displays that pay homage to the building’s historical time period. There are also custom-designed furniture and fixtures, with a blend of wicker and teak bases fused with decorative brass and mirrored features.
Special attention was paid to the room configurations in the Art Deco wing. Located on the fourth floor overlooking Collins Avenue, the Skyline Penthouse & Terrace Suite can be combined with adjacent suites and transformed into a four to eight-bedroom unit, complete with a 900 sq. ft. wrap-around balcony and Skyline Walkway.
The property now also has two restaurants, event spaces and galleries and a 3,200-square-foot rooftop deck and swimming pool with ocean and city views.
A 3,200 sq. ft. rooftop swimming pool deck has views of the ocean, Art Deco District and Miami skyline. The 1,500 sq. ft. Ocean View Deck is located on the highest point of the Art Deco wing. The Pool Decks combined can accommodate receptions for up to 250 guests, while the Ocean View Deck alone can accommodate receptions for up to 125 guests or private dining for 100 guests.
Located on the third floor of the Art Deco wing, the Library was conceived to reflect a traditional library design. The Library can accommodate meetings or private dining for up to 25 guests.
The Carlton lobby is reinvented in the Art Deco wing as a conservatory space for larger private events and communal lounging. The Conservatory can accommodate receptions for up to 165 guests and private dining for up to 130 guests.
The Gallery is a 1,700-square-foot multi-use space located on the ground floor. It can accommodate up to 165 guests and private dining for up to 140 guests. Located in the center of the Art Deco wing is the 3,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard space called The Atrium, which has a stage for performances and events, and can accommodate receptions for up to 300 guests and private dining for up to 200 guests.
The Betsy-South Beach also debuted two new public art displays as part of the expansion: The Poetry Rail and The Betsy Orb.