CHICAGO—The InterContinental Miami is rolling out $30.0 million in upgrades that will include a 19-story ‘digital canvas’ that illuminates the exterior of the hotel to fully-renovated suites designed by tennis star Venus Williams’ V Starr Interiors. The improvements, set to debut this fall, are the brainchild of hotel owner Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc.
“When our guests walk through the doors of the new InterContinental Miami, they will be stepping inside a hotel that captures the pulse of this city,” said Robert Hill, general manager of the InterContinental Miami, in an announcement. “Miami’s brand evokes international style, arts and culture, luxury lifestyle, and an urban sophistication. The InterContinental Miami will embody all of these traits along with the high caliber of service that has come to define our hotel for nearly the past thirty years.”
The 34-story hotel features 641 guestrooms, including 34 suites and 33 meeting rooms with more than 101,000 square feet of conference and exhibition space.
The hotel upgrades come as Miami gains ground as a destination for visitors from around the world. Passenger traffic at Miami International Airport was up nearly seven percent in the first half of 2012 and total passenger arrivals are expected to eclipse 40 million this year for the first time, according to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. More than 9.5 million international visitors arrived in the first six months of 2012, accounting for an eight percent annual increase.
This uptick in volume is having a positive impact on the area’s hotel market. Miami now ranks among the top five U.S. cities for hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) ($129.79, up 8.2 percent over 2011), average daily room rate ($167.02, up 7.1 percent), and overall occupancy (77.7 percent, up 1.1 percent), according to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The InterContinental Miami in particular stands out for its strong performance. The hotel’s occupancy rate for 2012 is on pace to be 4.0-5.0 percent higher than its peak year in 2007. In addition, the InterContinental Miami is averaging 6.0 – 12.0 percent annual RevPAR growth since 2010.
The InterContinental Miami’s transformation will be visible before guests even set foot inside. A ‘digital canvas’ encompassing thousands of LED lights will tower high above Miami’s urban core and will be visible from miles away. The canvas will project digital images and animations on the hotel’s east and west facing facades, highlighting current affairs and community events. Interactive functions will enable guests and the general public to curate content through social media and online engagement.
A fully renovated entrance area will feature customizable lighting and sound elements, along with a Times Square-style LED marquee to welcome guests, large groups, and special events. Upon entering the hotel’s new lobby, guests will be immersed in a multimedia environment featuring 18 LCD screens showcasing streaming content ranging from digital works by local artists and information about Miami-area attractions. Touch screen coffee tables throughout the lobby will allow guests to order cocktails, plan local outings, book dining reservations and spa appointments, and more. Nearby, a live camera feed will display real-time video of Biscayne Bay.
Upstairs, each of the hotel’s 641 guest rooms and suites are being remodeled to include new carpeting, new furniture, new bedding, linens, bathroom fixtures, wallpaper, and motorized window treatments. Additional upgrades have also been made to the hotel’s corridors, elevator landings, meeting spaces, and other common areas. The project marks the hospitality debut for V Starr Interiors, tennis star Venus Williams’ interior design firm, which has redesigned the hotel’s two Presidential Suites and enhanced the designs of six Executive Suites and the hotel’s 29th floor Club Lounge.
The InterContinental Miami will also debut a new restaurant and bar concept. Located on the main lobby level, Toro Toro is chef/restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s Pan-Latin interpretation of a contemporary steakhouse.
While the InterContinental Miami is introducing a series of changes, its most popular amenities will remain in place, including mySpa Miami, the hotel’s spa and fitness center, and its rooftop pool deck overlooking the bay. Additionally, the InterContinental Miami’s signature work of art – Henry Moore’s 18-foot, 70-ton ‘Spindle’ sculpture – will remain as the centerpiece of its newly-designed lobby.