Loews Miami Beach Hotel rocks – with 100 minerals
Written by Marcus Lim on February 14, 2017
Loews Miami Beach Hotel aims to be a market leader, and by the end of February operators hope to cement that position by showing results of a $50 million renovation that modernizes the hotel with newly furnished rooms, artistic designs and family-oriented amenities in an attempt to enhance customer experience.
The renovation’s three phases started in 2014 with some rooms and meeting spaces being renovated. Completion is due by Feb. 22, the date of the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival, for which Loews has been host hotel for 16 years.
Alex Tonarelli, the managing director, said he felt the hotel could do more to elevate the guest experience to identify Loews as the premier hotel in the city.
“Without the customer, without the guest, we don’t have a hotel to operate, we don’t have business,” Mr. Tonarelli said. “Our goal has always been to stay as the market leader, and thanks to this renovation and service reputation that we built through hard work, I feel that we can maintain being the… market leader.”
Guests can receive first impressions when they walk into the newly redesigned lobby. seeing Terrazzo floors instead of ceramic tiling and much more open space, and lobby desks closer to the wall to give more breathing room.
“When guests travel, they do so in cramped conditions,” Mr.Tonarelli said, “in the airport lines, on airplanes, so this open space would give them more breathing room and they won’t feel so closed in.”
A striking detail when guests are checking in is the new art design called “Star Dust,” a gigantic slab of stone that contains 100 minerals. This was done due to the hotel being in the “art capital,” as Mr. Tonarelli calls it, of Miami Beach. Not just the lobby but every floor and the 790 newly designed guest rooms now have unique artwork.
As the South Beach Wine & Food Festival comes around, Loews is trying to launch a food and beverage campaign, titled “Flavor Miami,” with 15 local vendors supplying their dishes at the Loews’ restaurants to give guests a taste of what the city can offer. They include Zak the Baker, Azucar Ice Cream, Wynwood Brewing, Better Sweet Miami and many others.
The hotel will also benefit from a coffee bar called “Miami Joe,” which will serve caffeinated products from all over the world, including Panther Coffee, a local favourite.
“It is like a bar that serves all different kinds of beer, but instead, we are serving all types of coffee, some types you may never even have heard of,” Mr. Tonarelli said.
As renovations were underway, the hotel continued operations and made sure it wouldn’t inconvenience guests. The team renovated floor by floor and made sure the floor directly above and below it had no activity to reduce noise pollution.
Small details were observed in the renovations to ensure maximum comfort for guests, including having power plugs in every pillar and wall so customers can charge their phones in an age where everyone is constantly using their devices, and moving the concierge desk away from high-volume areas. Mr. Tonarelli said they constantly asked staff for their input as they knew the customers best.
“Without the customer, without the guest, we don’t have a hotel to operate, we don’t have business,” Mr. Tonarelli said. “They are going to take great care of our guests, and if they do that, everything takes care of themselves.”
Igor Omerhodzic, chief concierge who has been with the hotel since 1999, a year after it opened, gave suggestions on what customers want based on his observations and praised the hotel’s family-first approach towards employees as a motivation to see the hotel thrive.
“You feel like a part of family here, everyone is welcoming, it helps you and that in turn makes you want to help guests,” Mr.Omerhodzic said. “It makes you feel appreciated.”