The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel has been a local landmark for those who love a weekend getaway. But it is also a well-known internationally recognized destination for those who enjoy the finer things in life. From locals, to celebrities and world leaders, The Fontainebleau gives the five-star treatment to whoever books a night or two in one of its many exquisite hotel rooms. Actresses Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda Bynes have previously stayed there. Included in that list are former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, reality TV mega star Kim Kardashian, actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Sean Combs, Nick Lachey; the list goes on. Even former Present Barack Obama was compelled to experience the remarkable offering of the hotel. This year marks the 63rd anniversary of the hotel, and if the its future shows continue to show the progressiveness of its lustrous past, then certainly, like Frank Sinatra said, its best is yet to come.
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The Fontainebleau has a colorful past, beginning with the original owner Ben Novack Sr. The hotel opened its doors in 1954 at a cost of $16 million. Designed by American architect Morris Lapidus, the hotel was an instant success as soon as it opened its doors. The Hollywood elite immediately flocked through its doors, attracting the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, who were known back then as the Rat Pack. Included in that list were Elvis Presley, Jackie Gleason and Bob Hope, who also performed at the hotel. The sight also attracted movie studios that used its facilities in films such as The Bellboy (1960) and the James Bond movie Goldfinger (1964). John F. Kennedy was the first sitting U.S. President to stay in the hotel. It was said that he stayed in penthouse floor suite 1784, with actress and model Marilyn Monroe staying in suite 1782.
Throughout the times, the hotel has gone through various owners. American real estate developer known for leading the resurgence and redevelopment of Miami Beach Stephen Muss purchased the hotel for $27 million in 1978. Then the Jeffrey Soffer family purchased the hotel for $167 million in 2005. From 2006 to 2008 the Soffer family put $1 billion in renovations to the hotel and in November 2008, The Fontainebleau had a grand reopening that featured a performance by Mariah Carey. Guests in attendance included Martha Stewart, Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton and a long list of other mega celebrities.
Much of the hotel’s work was done by restoring the structure to its glory days. They restored the wave-like canopy that hung above the lobby’s doors, stretching to the pool. The wooden reception desk was moved to its original 1954 location and replaced with colorful mirror glass.
The ornamental work that exhibited throughout the hotel was also refurbished. They created a 40,000 square foot spa. Redesigned the heath club in a modern yet timeless twist. The hotel’s lounges and restaurants increased to twelve, adding a 38,000 square foot ballroom and business rooms of 107,000 square feet.
“The Fontainebleau Hotel is a one-of-a-kind, iconic establishment that attracts celebrities, businessmen, diplomats and people who just want to come to Miami and have fun,” Ricardo Michelangeli, CEO of RMG Staffing says of the hotel. “As a company who provides great staffing to the hotel, their guests are in a way our guests. I am proud of the world renown brand recognition the hotel has become with its phenomenal leadership and I’m certainly proud of the service we have established and will continue to provide them.”
Fast forward to 2017, The Fontainebleau continues to be the paradise in Miami Beach its original owners always imagined it would be. The hotel reminds us of Miami’s glamorous golden era yet it remains in timeless modernized luxury.