Making Waves in South Beach: Upgrades That Help You Travel Brilliantly

Making Waves in South Beach: Upgrades That Help You Travel Brilliantly

Dec 10, 2013
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(Image credit: Marriot)

Marriott Hotels® is redesigning travel with their innovative Travel Brilliantly campaign, and The Marriott Stanton South Beach is at the helm with recent upgrades that completely reimagine the guest experience. From welcome mojitos mixed with homegrown mint and local rum to new AC units that can sense body heat and adjust room temperatures accordingly, The Marriott Stanton South Beach is taking hotel design to a whole new level. We talked to GM David Cronin about the inspiration behind the hotel’s new redesign and transformation, and got a sneak peek into some of their most exciting new ideas.

Apartment Therapy: What are some of Marriott Hotels' top-line ideas and concepts in regards to the reinvention of the hotel stay? How is the Marriott Stanton South Beach at the forefront of this?

David Cronin: The evolution of the core Marriott Hotels brand means enabling today’s travelers, Gen X and Gen Y travelers, by making a relevant product implemented to help people travel brilliantly. Innovations need to reflect travelers who use technology and communication all the time.

The Marriott Stanton South Beach was poised to lead the charge. All things modern and sleek are embraced in South Beach. We’re already in a very successful location. It was time to reinvest in the property to take it to the next level and maintain a competitive edge.

AT: Can you speak about the inspiration behind the redesign of the hotel and the steps you took to execute the changes?

DC: The mobile app is a big feature. Everyone is connected on their phones, and now we can text you when your room is ready, and you can check in very easily on the app.

We partnered with Jeffrey Beers International for design that speaks to our incredible beachfront location. The rooms have a luxury residential feel — with organically-shaped furniture, beachy colors, and vintage Miami prints. Everything from the upholstered headboards to the sink plugs have been renovated or made custom. There are big showers with waterfall shower heads, and new amenities from Thann, a luxury spa offering in Thailand.

LED television is state of the art, and, obviously, we upgraded wireless internet in the hotel so that bandwidth is super high and can accommodate multiple devices. Something that’s not necessarily sexy but is really fantastic is the AC unit — it’s networked so that it detects your body heat and drops the room temperature accordingly. If you open your balcony door, the unit knows to shut off the AC. It’s an efficient and very nice upgrade.

The hotel’s public spaces are communal areas where you can work and play, mixing business and pleasure. Today’s travelers want to take their tablet to the pool or check their emails from the patio, and maybe work while having a drink. We designed lots of nooks and crannies so that people can get comfortable.

AC: Are there any elements that cater specifically to a Miami clientele?

DC: Marriott Hotels is moving away from a one-size-fits-all model. We work with what’s in the immediate vicinity of the hotel to offer local amenities that feel different and special.

When a guest checks into the hotel, for example, they are offered a signature mojito made with Miami Club Rum (the only rum distilled in Miami) and mint from our garden. This is totally unique to the South Beach locale. At our restaurant, the chef sends out a welcome snack of fried plantains and salsa, another nod to the local culture. We have also entered into a partnership with F1rst Surf Miami Beach, a local surf shop that offers lessons and boards.

One thing that is particularly great is the concierge, which received a top-to-bottom renovation. Located on the 11th floor, it has incredible views of ships coming in. You can enjoy breakfast there, read the paper, and arrange for activities. It's really impressive, and impossible to forget you’re at the beach.

To see the changes made to Marriott’s South Beach location, visit

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