Probably the most recognizable image of Miami is Miami Beach and its Art Decó District. This vibrant neighborhood right by the beach features more than 800 historical Art Deco buildings in its only 8.9 square miles of extension.
Art Decó was a highly influential design movement, first introduced at the 1925 Paris Exposition. It was influenced by the Bauhaus, the Art Nouveau, and the progressive archaeological findings in Egypt. With unique freshness and sense of novelty, Art Decó established an interesting combination of elemental forms, lines, and proportions with heavy ornamentation.
During both the 1929 US Depression, and after Hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992, the extravagant Art Decó was the architectural style that reconstructed Miami Beach, and, as a result, heightened the spirits of its inhabitants. Under these reconstructions, Miami adopted the style in its own way, with vibrant pastel schemes on the facades, neon signs and decorations, and lush tropical landscaping designs.
These are my favorite of the Art-Decó Miami:
WALK: Ocean Drive
To fully understand the soul of Miami and its people you have to take a stroll through Ocean Dr. This street, right by the never-ending Miami Beach, is known for its numerous picturesque Art Decó hotels, beachside cafés, and sizzling nightlife.
SEE: The Carlyle
1250 Ocean Dr
Photo: The Carlyle Hotel
The iconic white and sea foam green Carlyle Hotel building, on Ocean Drive, is an icon of Miami Art Decó architecture, and also the set for ultra-famous films like The Birdcage and Scarface.
VISIT: The Bass Museum
2100 Collins Ave
Photo: The Bass Museum
One of the oldest Art Decó buildings in the city, the Bass Museum was originally built in 1930 as the Miami Beach Public Library. Now Miami Beach´s contemporary art museum and the most sublime example of Miami´s Art Decó architecture, it just reopened after a two-year renovation. Fun fact: the building´s façade is covered in fossilized paleolithic coral.
EAT: Los Fuegos at the Faena Hotel
3201 Collins Ave.
Photo: Faena Hotel
By the renowned Argentinian grill master Francis Mallmann, Los Fuegos is the place to eat the best asado in town. With an open fire kitchen, and red and animal print accents, the restaurant is inside the Faena Hotel, an Art Decó building redesigned by the fabulous Philip Stark.
DRINK: Delano Beach Club
685 Collins Ave.
Photo: Delano Hotel
The infinity edge pool at the Delano Hotel is one of the hippest spots in the city to have a meal, drinks, and enjoy people-watching, right by the beach.
Located inside the Delano Hotel, one of the most iconic Art Deco buildings in Miami Beach, it was originally designed as military housing, and was later redesigned by Philip Stark.
The pool is private for hotel guests only until 7PM, when the space opens to the public.
STAY: Soho Beach House
4385 Collins Ave
Photo: Soho House Beach
Like all Soho Houses, this is an only members Club. But anyone can book a room and enjoy its exclusive facilities by their private beach. The historic Art Decó building has been exquisitely redesigned to make you feel at home, with unexpected details like patterned tiled floorings and wooden furniture, that contrasts with the breathtaking ocean views.
SHOP: The Webster
1220 Collins Ave.
Photo: The Webster
Located in an iconic Art Decó building, easily recognized by its façade with pink neon sign and accents, this multi brand boutique is a must stop while in Miami. Laure Hériard Dubreuil, The Webster´s founder, curates an exquisite collection of exclusive luxury products.
RELAX: Standard Hotel and Spa
40 Island Ave., Venetian Islands
Photo: The Standard Miami
If you need to escape the buzzle of Miami, the Standard Spa is the ideal place for relaxing. Developed as a Spa with guest rooms, the building (originally the Lido Hotel) was erected on the only natural island of the city, Belle Isle, that is only steps away from South Beach. With outside soaking tubs amidst tropical gardens, it´s considered by many, one of the best Spas in the world.