Last November, The James Royal Palm opened on the beach in the center of South Beach following a $42 million renovation. The 393-room Miami property includes 159 suites, ranging from 1- to 3-bedroom units, which makes it fun for groups with so many large accommodations right on the sand. The hotel was originally built in 1939, located dead center between the non-stop beach party on Ocean Avenue and upscale shopping/dining along pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Avenue. And since opening, The James has garnered big buzz due to its local flavor and cool batch of neighborhood cultural partnerships.
The decor in all of the accommodations is residential and laid back with an updated Art Deco/Mid-Century Mod look created by groovy international interior design firm, Rottet Studio. The interior design firm curated a collection of local art and furnishings entitled An Ocean Apart with American, European and Latin influences installed throughout the rooms and public areas. All of the rooms have a comfortable work/dining niche, which is customary for many Art Deco apartments built during this era.
The marquee suites are the 1,100-sf Poolside Apartments with a private lanai, food/tech freebies and the assistance of a “sun concierge.”
Downstairs, some of the most important historical elements were preserved like the compass rose in the terrazzo lobby bar, the original antique green glass front desk now used as a coffee bar, and the porthole windows in the lobby bar.
“We have a unique perspective on the South Beach scene offering that many suites and variety of meeting spaces, so we have a lot of flexibility,” says GM Patrick Hatton. “That residential style that everyone likes so much is our core DNA, and it’s local. With the design of The James hotels, you know you’re in Chicago and you know you’re in South Beach. I love the rich tradition here with the Art Deco wraparound balconies, for example.”
Altogether, there’s 10,000 sf of meeting space. The outdoor Breezeway hosts receptions for 80, while the Pool Deck caters to groups of 300 with gorgeous views of the ocean and beach. The largest space is the 2,600-sf Great Room leading out to the Breezeway.
THE CULTURAL COLLECTION
The James Royal Palms’ “Cultural Collection” is a partnership with four local cultural arts and educational groups: Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), New World Symphony, the Public School fashion line and National YoungArts Foundation. All four were chosen based on their history of supporting local communities and regional arts organizations.
MOCA produced permanent art installations within The James, and guests of the hotel have VIP access to special events at the museum. The YoungArts Foundation and The James are collaborating on specialty projects for events held at the hotel. Public School is a fashion line that made its debut at the 2012 New York Fashion Week. They designed all of the uniforms for the staff at The James, and they’ll be hosting a series of fashion shows throughout the year. Lastly, Miami’s New World Symphony will be performing during various times in 2013 throughout the hotel. That’s even got the locals excited.
Groups also have special privileges to host events at the New World Symphony theater located in South Beach.
“They have beautiful event space at New World Symphony,” says Hatton. “You know, we’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg with these partnerships. Our focus is always to be entrenched in the local culture, and we like to create that around a broad spectrum of cultural organizations.”
Expect to hear some really exciting music.
“The James understands the importance of arts and culture,” says Stacey Glassmen, senior director of development of New World Symphony. “We intend to present classical music along with an innovative fresh approach to these sounds by fusing classical music with Latin, Funk and electronica.”