Marriottto Be First Of Fivestars To Open In Brickell
Written by Marilyn Bowden on August 24, 2000
By Marilyn Bowden
The JW Marriott Hotel Miami, 1111 Brickell Ave., will be the first of the neighborhood’s new five-star hotels to open its doors on Sept. 5, said General Manager Bob Fabiano.
The 21-story building has 300 rooms, including 22 suites.
"We’re working 16 to 18 hours a day to get ready," Mr. Fabiano said. "The landscaping is in. They are grading the street next week. We’re racing through the finishing touches in public areas."
Before the soft opening, he said, 250 of a staff of 275 associates will undergo 12 days of intensive training. They include Chief Concierge Charles Naranjo — formerly of the Doral, Biltmore and Eden Roc hotels — and a dedicated suite keeper charged with maintaining five-star standards.
The hotel, part of the Barclays Financial Center complex at 1111 Brickell, will host its first group on Sept. 7 for a small meeting. The first dinner — a banquet for 200 — will be served Sept. 8.
The soft opening, ushering in a period when glitches can be smoothed before the grand opening, will not be accompanied by a lot of fanfare, Mr. Fabiano said. The official opening will be Oct. 4.
"We want to take advantage of a time that Bill Marriott is available to attend our grand opening ceremony personally," Mr. Fabiano said. "He will open our hotel in the morning and the Marriott South Beach in the afternoon."
On Oct. 7, he said, the JW Marriott will hold a gala in conjunction with Camillus House, the downtown homeless shelter. The event, one of the first of the social season, "will become a JW-sponsored event on a yearly basis," Mr. Fabiano said.
The JW Marriott’s restaurants will add to the growing list of Brickell-area dining options, Mr. Fabiano said. Isabela’s will serve exotic seafood flown in fresh from the Mediterranean. La Terraza CafÇ & Bar will offer a lunch buffet of modern cuisine selections. Chefs will prepare customized meals for up to 12 guests in The Trapiche Room, a private dining room. And Drake’s, an English pub, will showcase the traditional Pimms No. 1 as well as hot and cold appetizers.
Brickell Key’s Mandarin Oriental Miami, a joint venture between two Hong Kong-based companies — Claughton Island developer Swire Group and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group — topped off in March.
Spokesperson JoNell Modys said a November soft opening is targeted, but plans aren’t formalized.
Between then and Feb. 28, 2001, she says, standard or deluxe rooms will be available at an introductory rate of $180 a night.
The Mandarin, on the eastern tip of Swire’s Brickell Key development, will have 329 rooms and suites, 15,000 square feet of meeting space and a ballroom seating more than 600 for dinner, she said.
The hotel is marketed as an urban resort. A spa with glass windows overlooking the bay and the ocean will offer a selection of treatments from around the world, Ms. Modys says, from Thai massage and chakra treatments to standard European-style massage therapy and pampering.
The Mandarin’s presidential suite boasts a full-size, multi-media screening room, Ms. Modys says, "which should appeal to those in the entertainment industry who would like to screen films or dailies or corporate executives using it for a product launch."
Diners can choose between an all-day cafÇ and the Singapore Chile Crab, which will offer lunch and dinner, she said.
The Four Seasons Hotel & Tower, a joint project of Terremark and New York’s Millennium Group on Brickell Avenue between 14th Terrace and 14th Lane, will contain a 297-key Four Seasons Hotel.
It broke ground about six months ago, says Michael Katz, Terremark president and chief operating officer, and is about 30 months from completion.