Art Deco pioneer Henry Hohauser created the Essex House Hotel & Suites in 1938 and over the last couple of years it has received numerous awards for the authentic turn-of-the-millennium restoration to its spectacular ship-like architecture.
Many people – guests of the Essex House and otherwise – stop into the hotel’s spacious lobby’s to take a gander at the original hand-painted polychrome mural depicting scenes of Seminole Indians and the early wild Florida Everglades. The mural was restored to its previous glory by the original artist Earl LaPan 50 years after he originally did the painting.
A favorite with Europeans, the Essex House moved into the chic category with amenities like in-room spa services, unique solid-oak furnishings, in-room refrigerators and wet bars, king-size beds, pullout sofas and posh 100-square-foot bathrooms complete with a hot tub that begs for a good, long soak. Same-day guest laundry service is also available.
All suites overlook a thriving enclosed garden and courtyard with burbling fountain and real bougainvillea. Although the hotel is right in the center of South Beach and mere steps from the center of the scene, double-glazed, sound-absorbing windows provide a barrier against the street noise making rooms a welcome retreat from the craziness below. Guests will enjoy soaking up rays at the spa-like south patio pool situated amongst lush South Florida greenery.
Although the hotel has no on-premises restaurant, guests can partake of a complimentary breakfast or relax with an evening cocktail in an intimate dining room where the notorious gangster Al Capone used to come to play cards. And of course, there is a plethora of gourmet dining options, lounges, nightclubs and shopping boutiques right outside the Essex’s doors.
• 6 blocks to Lincoln Road
• 1 block to Ocean Drive
• 7 blocks to Convention Center