Another New York import has arrived in Miami Beach — but this one arrives with a tropical, Miami-meets-Havana style and bright, open-air layout.
From development group Lightstone comes the Moxy South Beach, the first resort-style property under Marriott International’s Moxy brand. Lightstone operates three Moxy hotels in New York, but the Miami version is something new. The 202-room, eight-story hotel, which is now officially open on Washington Avenue and accepting reservations, is focused on the idea of indoor-outdoor spaces, a popular concept in the COVID-19 era.
Guests have space to get outside easily, with two pools, a beach club, a rooftop lounge and outdoor movie screening area plus six dining and drinking concepts, most of which feature outdoor seating. But there are also meeting studios that open into a courtyard and a fitness center with an outdoor gym. The hotel’s public areas have space for social distance with poolside cabanas and sequestered dining tables.
“There’s an ethos of indoor-outdoor living that permeates the property and is particularly suited to today’s environment,” said Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone. “Every area has an outdoor component. . . . . Coupled with a distinctive design that draws from local culture and an overall vibe that’s playful and lighthearted, that’s something you just can’t get at this price point in Miami Beach.”
Rooms start at $159 a night, which is enough to attract the average tourist’s attention. But the whimsy is pretty attractive, too.
Enter the lobby on Washington Avenue, and play a game of foosball. Or use the pay phone to call for a horoscope reading from resident astrologer @bassfunkdaddy. This hotel has a resident astrologer! He can tell you if you’re going to get sunburned or not.
If you swim in the pool on the hotel’s second-floor terrace, you can peek down into the lobby through a cut out space (it only follows that people in the lobby can look up and see you). The eighth-floor shallow lounging pool is surrounded by daybeds shaped like lily pads.
Lightstone hired the team behind Miami’s beloved Coyo Taco and 1-800-Lucky for the six dining and drinking concepts, one of which is right in the lobby. Check in using a contactless service and order a cocktail from Bar Moxy (you can also grab a seat at the bar). Facing the lobby bar is the all-day bodega and taco stand Los Buenos, which serves breakfast, tacos, burrito bowls and cafecito (and other coffee drinks, but why? This is Miami. Get the cafecito).
Up on the second floor is the open-air rooftop restaurant and bar Serena, which draws on the patio restaurants of Oaxaca and Mexico City. Expect plenty of shareable dishes and specialty cocktails, which makes this a good spot for brunch, drinks with friends at sunset, or long, cocktail-fueled lunches when you have managed to get away from your desk.
Keep going up to the eighth floor, and you’ll find The Upside bar, which is home to the aforementioned lounging pool and outdoor movie screening area. There are 350-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Miami Beach. Unfortunately for local grifters, The Upside is only open to hotel guests and for private events.
There are two more concepts coming for Moxy Miami Beach: Como Como, a seafood restaurant that centers on a wood- and charcoal grill (there’s a raw bar, too). Scheduled to open in April, Como Como will also feature a tequila tree sculpture that dispenses — what else? — tequila, and let’s just call this a tequila fountain. If you think we are missing a tequila fountain, you don’t know us.
Also opening in April is Mezcalista, a mezcal lounge with DJs and more than 100 kinds of mezcals and tequila. Our only advice is: Consider deploying Uber.
Designed by The Rockwell Group, which also designed the public spaces, the bedrooms make use of Miami Beach’s seemingly endless sunlight, with a style that mimics ocean liner staterooms (only your windows are a lot bigger than a porthole). They feature works of famous artists on South Beach, courtesy of Miami artist Aquarela Sabol. We know Pablo Picasso would’ve loved it here.
There are quite a few elements that set The Moxy South Beach apart, but Hochberg believes it’s the diversity of experiences the hotel offers.
“There are few hotels in South Beach that offer the breadth of experiences under one roof that you’ll find at Moxy South Beach – particularly at an affordable rate,” he said. “With two pools and six restaurants and bars, guests can enjoy a sunset drink and a bite at Serena, have an elegant seafood dinner at Como Como, or grab a taco in the lobby from Los Buenos as they head to the Moxy beach club — or do all of the above.”
We’re definitely down for all of the above.
Moxy South Beach
Address: 915 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
‘Reservations: moxysouthbeach.com. Rates start at $159 per night.