BEST LOCAL LANDMARK - 2002
Fontainebleau Hilton Resort
The Fontainebleau was ten years old in 1964, when the James Bond film Goldfinger opened with a glorious view of the high-rise curving toward the sea and its guests drinking martinis by the huge swimming pool and its waterfall. That was when the Fontainebleau was a celebrity hotel that attracted the stars of the day: Steve Allen hosted the Tonight Show there, and its La Ronde Room booked the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and even Elvis Presley. Other movie scenes have since been set at Morris Lapidus's sublime temple of whimsy, loved and loathed by critics for its colorful and hyper-glamorous design and furnishings. Like an aging screen siren, the Fontainebleau has inevitably had its nips, tucks, and makeovers. In keeping with Miami's Latinization, the La Ronde Room is now the Tropigala nightclub, redone in a tropical motif, and Latin-American tourists make up much of the hotel's clientele. And of course time and the economic downturn have dulled the glitz overall. But the Fontainebleau will always be an icon.