Another Art Deco gem has been reborn in South Beach. The Nautilus Hotel first opened in the 1950s as a glamorous creation of Miami’s famous Art Deco architect, Morris Lapidus (he also worked his magic on the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc). But in November 2015, after a few years of renovations, the hotel re-emerged as Nautilus, a Sixty Hotel, which counts Sixty Thompson and 6 Columbus Circle in New York as its sister hotels. While the interior of the historic hotel was gutted to better reflect the needs of today’s modern travelers, there’s one thing that can’t be changed about Nautilus — its superb oceanfront location on Collins Avenue. We checked in and got the scoop:
What’s Hot: The Nautilus has a small but impressive entrance, thanks in part to its Art Deco porte cochere, but also because of its airy lobby, which features a sunken bar at the far end as well as Lapidus’ landmarked “Stairway to Nowhere.” The check-in desk is subtly positioned to the side of the lobby, while a long corridor leads guests out to the Driftwood restaurant and lounge, and to the pool deck. Upstairs, guestrooms continue the breezy South Beach vibe with a light gray and white color palette and sophisticated amenities like a steamer trunk mini-bar, valet stands, mirrored walls, SFERRA linens, and REN bath products.
Best Feature: The Nautilus Cabana Club begins out back with the 1,890-square-foot heated saltwater pool, surrounded by a stylish teak deck that runs all the way to the picture-perfect beach. Preppy blue and white striped umbrellas and beach loungers are available for guests.
The Rooms: The hotel’s 250 rooms are spread out over eight stories and despite their small sizes, there are several different configurations, ranging from two queens to a junior suite. Note: The king oceanfront balcony rooms feature a bed smack dab in the middle of the room, which also has stunning views out to the ocean.
The Food: Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli is behind the hotel’s indoor-outdoor Driftwood Room restaurant, which serves Mediterranean cuisine with a Floridian twist. Driftwood also does the room service menu. (Hint: The truffled popcorn makes for a delicious late-night snack.)
Who Will Love It: The jet-setting creative class who care less about pampering in the room and more about design, style, and pool time, will find their kindred spirits at Nautilus.
Who Might Not: We did see families with babies at the hotel, but due to small room sizes, teens won’t have room to spread out.
Nearby: You’re literally in the heart of South Beach, meaning other popular Art Deco gems that have been reborn as fun boutique hotels are within walking or biking distance. For cultural outings, the Miami City Ballet is just a few blocks north of Nautilus while the Miami Beach Convention Center and the New World Symphony is a quick two blocks’ walk away.
Rates & Packages: The hotel is still offering an opening package with rates starting at $229 per night, including complimentary breakfast.