Everything you need to know about visiting the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach (4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach FL 33140).
Built in 1954 by modernist god Morris Lapidus, whose dictum was "less is a bore," the Fontainebleau’s undulating curves and flashy style stood apart from the crowd. Back in the day, it was the pinnacle of excess: the lobby was a sea of chandeliers; a "staircase to nowhere" was built solely so that women could deposit their coats in the cloakroom at the top and make a grand entrance back down to the lobby; and air-conditioning was cranked up to protect all the mink coats. The Rat Pack, Elvis and Marilyn were regulars. After its fortunes began to fade, a consortium of architects joined forces to recapture its former glory and gave the most famous hotel in Miami Beach a billion-dollar facelift.
Where to party in the Fontainebleau
The infamous club LIV is just down the stairs in the Fontainebleau lobby. The mega club is notorious for hosting just about every celebrity who happens to be in Miami. Famous DJs control the decks as bottle service girls twist their way through the posh crowd. Drinks are among the most expensive you’ll find in Miami Beach and there’s often a cover fee. Still, if you’re looking for a classic Miami club night, LIV is where it’s at.
The Fontainebleau pool
The Fontainebleau’s iconic pool area received a major renovation along with the hotel. There is a family pool and some adult options too. The Arkadia Day Club pool is for adults only and offers alcohol and a DJ. And within the last of couple years, Fontainebleau has been putting on some top-notch concerts at the pool in a running series known as BleauLive. The shows are scattered, but you’d be smart to set a Google alert because, when they are announced, tickets go fast.
Where to eat at the Fontainebleau
The Fontainebleau oozes luxury at every turn and that same philosophy is reflected in the hotel’s restaurants. The Fontainebleau is responsible for bringing the first U.S. branch of Hakkasan, London’s glam Chinese restaurant, to Miami. The Scott Conant-helmed Scarpetta is also hiding inside the ‘Bleau, serving gorgeous Italian dishes, like the duck and foie gras ravioli ($28). Famed chef Michael Mina also runs two concepts in the hotel: StripSteak and Pizza & Burger. Be warned: none of the above is a bargain. Even the cheapest Michael Mina burger will cost you $17, and that comes with grilled eggplant in place of the beef.
Our Miami editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Miami at your fingertips. The Fontainebleau was most recently updated with new tips on June 28, 2017.