Inspiring Interiors: Fontainebleau Miami Beach

While critics renounced the Fontainebleau Miami Beach as “boarding house baroque” when the hotel first opened in December 1954, it was immensely popular among the Hollywood crowd. Scenes from The Bellboy (1960) and Goldfinger (1964) were filmed on the premises. Hotel guests included the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. On the penthouse floor, John F. Kennedy stayed in suite 1784, and Marilyn Monroe stayed in suite 1782.

Architect Morris Lapidus has since called the hotel his masterpiece, and it’s garnered much acclaim following the initial bad reviews. Lapidus’ design made use of illusion, mystery, and high drama. It’s quite clear that he had a flair for theatrics, as he once explained, “Most of my hotel interiors have grand staircases and most of these stairs go nowhere at all…. People love to ascend and descend circular staircases in a grand manner.” The Fontainebleau has come to symbolize luxury, gentility, and the glamour of a bygone era.

Recently, architect Jeffrey Beers has held the honor of bringing the Miami Beach hotel into the 21st century. Given its rich history, the Fontainebleau is a perfect place to spend a romantic and relaxing long weekend.

(Information via Lapidus Fontainebleau, an essay by Dave Hickey)

Photographs courtesy of International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, Flordia, and the Fontainebleu Miami Beach.

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