Think of Best Western and you think, "Well, that's a hotel...."
Best Western operates an approximate 4,000 hotels across the globe. Its portfolio includes everything from roadside motels to four-star European resorts, but every single last one of them is called Best Western (or BWs in some markets). Nicer ones are dubbed Best Western Premiers. When they take over an existing independent hotel they may incorporate the original name, as is the case with the Best Western Atlantic Beach Resort of Miami Beach, but every single one is still branded as a Best Western or BW. It's simple, uncomplicated, and honest. It's the kind of hotel chain Parks and Rec character Ron Swanson might be loyal to.
That's all about to change, and that change will start here in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood. Best Western is getting into the boutique hotel market, and for the first time in the company's 70-year history (excluding a short experiment with the name "Best Eastern," true story) they'll be operating a distinct sub-brand without the Best Western name.
The new hotel line is called — wait for it — Vïb. Yes, with an umlaut. It's supposed to rhyme with "tribe" and not "fib," and is short for "Vibrant."
The company announced the concept last year, and said this week that Miami would be the home of one of the first Vïb hotels in the country. Rebuild Miami-Edgewater LLC is developing the hotel as part of a larger development in a plot of land just south of the City Cemetery and behind the 17th Street Publix in the Omni area of Edgewater. Rebuild Miami-Edgewater bought up the land in January for $64 million. The previous owners had for years wanted to build a big-box retail center on the site dubbed Bayview Miami, but that never came to fruition, so now it'll be home to one of the world's first Vïbs.
The concept will include things like a "Zen Zone" for guests to chill out, gaming pods in the lobby, a 24-hour fitness center, and a fireplace area for hanging out. Yes, zen zones, umlauts, and trendiness, oh my!
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“The site where we are developing Vîb is an eclectic neighborhood full of art studios, hip restaurants, and independent shops and is home to Miami’s famous festival, Art Basel. Our family has been involved in developing and investing in Miami for many years and we view this project as an example of our continued commitment to investing in our communities. This project will add to the vibrancy of the Arts and Entertainment District and be a boost to the local economy,” said Richard Meruelo of Rebuild Miami-Edgewater in a release.
Of course, the area, while red hot for redevelopment lately, is not quite the eclectic artsy neighborhood Meruelo makes it out to be. It's not home to "Miami's famous festival, Art Basel" because that festival is actually called Art Basel Miami Beach and calls, you know, Miami Beach home. While, there may be some art studios and nice restaurants in the area, it's not exactly the epicenter of those anyway.
But whatever. We probably need to visit a zen zone so we stop harshing Meruelo's chill marketing Vïbs.
The project is set to break ground in November of this year. Seoul and Chicago are also slated to be home to some of the first Vïbs in the world, though timelines were not set for development.