This Landmark Miami Art Deco Hotel Just Got a Multimillion-Dollar Makeover
From pool parties to art activations, the Sagamore’s redesign makes the classic hotel more relevant than ever.
Built in 1948 by renowned Miami architect Albert Anis, The Sagamore Hotel Miami Beach has always stood out for its Art Deco-meets-Post-Modern architecture and its iconic neon sign.
And a recent multimillion-dollar renovation has now brought the family-owned landmark, at the crossroads of Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue, front and center on the South Beach scene, complete with ongoing Art Basel-style activations and hot-ticket pool parties to boot.
In the decades since it was first constructed, while Miami Beach underwent its renaissance, The Sagamore, which has 101 rooms including two-story bungalows and a spacious oceanfront penthouse, came to be known for its museum-quality collections, and was eventually dubbed “The Art Hotel,” ever since Art Basel first came to town 20 years ago.
Today that continues with year-round art programming in cooperation with leading museums, international art galleries, and artists, and it functions as a selling gallery for established and emerging talent both via its rotating collections and special events where local, contemporary artists set up a mini-art far in the capacious outdoor area leading to the pool, which is also home to a sculpture garden.
The Sagamore’s famed Bungalow building, deck, and pool underwent a complete renovation in 2019. “The project was spearheaded by ownership”—which also owns the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach next door—”and the renowned European design studio Andrew Martin, which has been a pioneer in global design since 1978,” explains the hotel’s GM, Jordan Gvilli.
Martin’s elegant work highlights the hotel’s architecture and makes use of the abundant natural light. Pops of color are used to emphasize these high points and reference the lively setting in the heart of South Beach without making it feel like a design gimmick.
“With his expertise, we were able to add additional rooms and reconfigure the room layout to better suit our guests,” he notes. “We also introduced a new color scheme throughout the hotel, emphasizing the Sagamore’s identity as an Art Hotel.”
Gvilli says that, “Our primary goal for this renovation was to create a unique art-inspired environment that would provide our guests with an exceptional experience. To this end, we have incorporated various art pieces throughout the hotel. In addition, we replaced our garden with a beautiful event deck, complete with a large tent that we use for weekly events.”
He adds that, “The upgraded public areas offer endless possibilities for activities inside and outside of the hotel, opening doors to a variety of businesses and events that the Sagamore had not previously seen.” It’s quickly been known as a great place to grab a drink as there is always something fun going on, but it’s not a full-on club scene like some nearby hotels.
The pool area was also given a complete overhaul, with a newly rebuilt Sagamore pool, butterfly cabanas, and bar. As a result of all the improvements, “I am proud to say that our hotel truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience for our guests,” Gvilli declares. “Our unique blend of contemporary art, unique accommodations, and personalized service truly sets us apart.”
From the moment guests walk through the doors, they are greeted with a “warm and welcoming atmosphere that embodies the spirit of South Beach,” Gvilli notes, and the fact that this is one of the very last family-owned hotels in town makes itself known in the total lack of somewhat cold, corporate detachment that pervades many of The Sagamore’s neighbors.
“From our monthly music events featuring local and international artists, to our wellness activations including yoga and meditation classes, to our art activations showcasing renowned contemporary artists, there is always something new and exciting happening on property,” he enthuses.
The Sagamore has also partnered with Epic Pool Parties to launch a program of events that is less in your face than some of the trying-too-hard-to-be-cool hotels further along Collins Ave. Nonetheless they feature some of the biggest names in the EDM industry, including DJ Mag, Defected Records, Beatport, Hot Creations, Disco Disco, and more.
The events take inspiration from the long-standing tradition of the Winter Music Conference, yet they don’t rage all night to the extent that guests’ sleep is disturbed. Still all hotel guests are invited to attend the high-energy happenings for free, adding to The Sagamore’s attractions.