held a preview of its $31 million renovation last night. Although
(the on-site restaurant) has been open for several months, the 28-year-old hotel has finally completed renovation on the remainder of the property.
A lounge-y atmosphere on the bay with a marina view makes the new terrace an ideal spot for sunset cocktails. The hotel has officially been modernized from Miami circa mid-'80s.
Guests were treated to fresh Gulf oysters (take that BP) and the last
remainders of available stone crab, as well as a taste of the kitchen at
Catch. The house paella was made en masse, and there was plenty of
pulled pork sliders to go around.
Michael Perez showcased his pop art brush strokes, while Maria Zouroudis warbled for champagne swigging guests. DJ Vidal played in between sets, allowing attendees a hand-rolled cigar break.
The recent addition of an Illy cafe ups the ante, with free Wi-Fi and
coffee that surpasses the nearby Starbucks by leaps and bounds. This is
your new place for a midday business related meet-up. They are also
going for an authentic Euro-coffee house theme, serving wine and beer
along with espresso from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.
All in all, a good night
to witness yet another example of the downtown overhaul. This
refurbishment gives new life to old real estate; I would say that the
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SHOW ME HOW
Hilton's DoubleTree next door has some serious competition. I'll be putting my relatives
up at the Marriott next visit, hands down.
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