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June 2016

An island wedged between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic, Miami Beach is predicted to be one of the first places to disappear under rising sea levels, with flooding already a major problem. This, however, isn’t putting off developers, who are opening hotels like there is no tomorrow.

Miami Beach is already the most densely populated of the city’s districts in terms of accommodation, with more than 150 properties. The past year or so has seen more than a dozen significant openings from brands such as Marriott’s Edition and Starwood’s Aloft, as well as numerous historic revamps on South Beach, famed for its art deco architecture.

Sporting charming Spanish-Colonial design, Casa Claridge’s on Collins Avenue reopened after a six-month facelift at the end of 2014, and is now a sister property to Alan Faena’s new Faena hotel across the road. The Argentinian developer is in fact creating a new neighbourhood here. The US$1 billion Faena District Miami Beach comprises the Faena House luxury apartment block, designed by Foster and Partners and unveiled last autumn, and a Rem Koolhaas cultural centre, the Faena Forum, which will open this spring. A Faena Bazaar mall and two residential towers dubbed Faena Versailles will be arriving in 2017.

Two years ago, the Versace mansion on Ocean Drive became an opulent ten-suite hotel. Last year, it launched a fine-dining Italian restaurant, Gianni’s at the Villa Casa Casuarina, which overlooks a beautiful garden courtyard that can host 250 guests. Enjoy our cover article that might inspire you to spend at least one night in Miami Beach.

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