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Casa Faena, Miami, USA

Casa Faena is the little sister of the flamboyant oceanfront hotel Faena. It offers a taste of the glamorous world of Argentinian developer and hotelier Alan Faena, who first revived a run-down neighbourhood in Buenos Aires with a hotel, bars, restaurants and an arts centre – and is currently doing the same to Miami’s eponymous Faena District.

✓ Access to 5-star facilities at the sister-hotel
✓ Rooftop bar
✓ Chic guest lounge
✓ Beach club

The pretty Spanish villa has a private beach club, Mexican restaurant and an eclectic guest lounge stocked with books, objets d’art and games. Guests have access to the restaurants, events, spa and gym inside the five-star Faena over the road.

Who stays here? 

There was a mix of guests when we visited including business travellers, families and couples. The price point, decor and location is well suited to a design-conscious couple looking for a quieter stay away from the club and bar scene of Miami Beach.

Rooms 

Decorated in white and pink, bright guest rooms feature comfortable beds with carved wooden frames, frette linen and floral Argentinian blankets. Terracotta tile floors are scattered with antique rugs. Bathrooms are simple and clean with CO Bigelow toiletries.

Note that not all bedrooms have been redecorated – the first room we were given was considerably more rustic than the marketing imagery. Request a Casa King or Casa Queen to ensure you get a newly decorated room, or a King Suite for a terrace and ocean views.

Food and drink

Gitino – a concession that also has outposts in Tulum and NYC – is an all-day dining space separated from the hotel lobby by lush plants with huge, glossy leaves. The rustic monochrome decor is moody and glamorous, while up on the roof the so-called ‘jungle bar’ is a more laid back affair with shaded tipis, ocean views and ‘sunset sessions’ from 4pm.  The menu is contemporary Mexican – think crab tostadas, guacamole and crudités – and the cocktails are strong and good.

If you’re into exclusive dining experiences, it’s worth noting that the concierge can make reservations at Faena’s signature restaurants. Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann and Pao by Paul Qui are some of the most highly sought after spots on the beach.

Design details

The building itself is a joy. An eye-catching blend of Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival architecture with a perfectly symmetrical boxy white-and-red facade and fringed red awnings that shade the leafy, wrap-around veranda. 

We adored the scent of Palo Santo that was blowing through the air conditioning system though the hotel; smell is a sense that is so often neglected yet so evocative and memorable.  

Service 

For a small boutique, service – particularly the assistance of the concierge – is excellent. Staff are professional and anticipatory. Having a five-star sister property over the road certainly seems to elevate service standards here.

Things to do

The hotel is part of the Faena District, which includes the landmark Faena hotel, an art forum, theatre (which stages nightly cabaret dinner shows) and an expansive shopping bazaar. Wander across to the beach, the hotel’s private beach club (9am–6pm) has free towels, loungers and umbrellas for guests. Outside of these few ‘Faena’ blocks, it’s a 20-minute walk to the heart of South Beach and it takes about the same time in a taxi to get to Wynwood and the Design District.

Packing list

Floaty maxi dresses, sandals, big jewellery and bigger sunglasses. Pop to the shopping bazaar if you’re looking for something special to wear – but it wont come cheap.

Getting there

Miami airport is 25-minutes away by taxi, which will cost around $40. The airport is an international hub with direct flights from London Heathrow.

3500 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
faena.com/casa-faena
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