Originally built in 1948 by businessman George Sax, the Saxony Hotel – which hosted Hollywood royalty from Marilyn Monroe to Frank Sinatra – was the first luxury property to grace Miami beach, instigating the myriad luxury hotels that line the strip today.
Now, the modernist building has been given a complete overhaul by Argentine hotelier and property developer Alan Faena as part of his vision for the new Faena District (only the second neighbourhood to be given ‘District’ designation in Miami Beach since the Art Deco Historic District in 1979). ‘We are bringing the old Saxony back to life with ambitious and beautiful design and materials,’ says Faena of the 169-room property.
In a bid to move away from traditional hotel conceptions, Faena enlisted a movie duo, director and producer Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin to oversee the top-to-toe renovation. ‘They can create magic and elevate people,’ he justifies. The lavish reinterpretation sees public spaces such as the grand ‘cathedral’ entrance brought back to their former glory – but now adorned with dramatic gold leafing and specially commissioned murals by artist Juan Gatti – and theatrical guest rooms that encapsulate old-world grandeur with lashings of sumptuous Faena red velvet and cool blue-tiled bathrooms.
After a day of pampering in the Tierra Santa Spa, head to Los Fuegos - one of the hotel’s trio of restaurants - for traditional Argentine cooking with an open-fire kitchen by grillmaster Francis Mallmann, before retiring to one of the signature suites for a nightcap on the balcony overlooking the ocean.