Designed by master architect Henry Hohauser and originally built in 1937, in its heyday the Park Central Hotel at 640 Ocean Drive was a favorite Miami Beach destination for Hollywood royalty including Clark Gable, Carol Lombard and Rita Hayworth. In 1985, urban developer/preservationist Tony Goldman, of Goldman Properties, fresh from reinventing Manhattan’s Soho, discovered Miami Beach’s Art Deco District, recognized its potential as America’s Riviera and acquired 18 properties, adding one property per month to his portfolio. Though he went on to develop much of the Art Deco District’s fashionable infrastructure, he chose this beachfront gem as his first Miami Beach renovation project. Honoring its original grace and style and respecting its unique history, he opened the doors to the faithfully restored Park Central in 1987.
Today’s Park Central Hotel offers guests many vintage touches, including a nostalgic spin on music, with jazz and pop standards from the 1930s and 40s, taking visitors back to that glamorous era. The hotel’s rooftop lounge with panoramic ocean views was recently revamped and now offers guests a private oasis to read, relax and unwind, with plush wicker lounge chairs and tables, surrounded by colorful potted palms. Every Sunday and Thursday evening hotel guests may enjoy the Rooftop Cinema Program, a free screening of classic films from the Golden Age of Hollywood mixed with more contemporary films, served al fresco with complimentary designer popcorn. A vibrant new poolside mural, painted by the innovative Spanish artists group Jus D’art, was recently installed at the oceanfront swimming pool, another great place to relax and enjoy the soothing side of the South Beach experience.
The hotel, with its 113 deluxe rooms and 12 living room suites, elegant 1930’s Grand Ballroom style lobby, and innovative Florida-style meeting and event rooms, became a beacon for the burgeoning fashion industry and helped fuel the South Beach renaissance. It was named the 100th member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America in 1993, and was the first South Beach hotel to receive that honor. For the health conscious traveler, a fully equipped gym was added in 1995.
Consistent with Goldman’s love of history, they re-designed the original Park Central furniture and installed the original vintage black & white Gleason Romer prints of Miami Beach in the '20s and '30s, to evoke the golden days of Miami. Comfort, warmth, a high level of personalized service, a professional and friendly staff and a feeling of being in one's beachfront home or a favorite seaside inn are all key factors in the hotel’s nearly two decades of success.
At the Park Central comfort is always in style. To that end, the bed offers a memorable retreat, with dreamy plush pillow-top mattresses, crisp white bed linens and featherweight comforters offered in all accommodations. New double paned windows keep out unwanted noise, while an innovative CD/alarm clock brings the outside in with soothing ocean sounds. Overhead, new retro aluminum ceiling fans quietly circulate air and bedside dimmers allow guests to customize illumination. A recent rooftop renovation has created the perfect oasis for guests – a private sun lounge ideal for tanning, reading and relaxing away from the Ocean Drive crowds. Aqua and white painted walls, white canvas upholstered wicker lounge chairs, glass covered wicker tables and chairs and beautiful bougainvillea plants, create an idyllic setting.
Quinn’s Caribbean Fish restaurant, opened in 2002, offers cocktails and delicious dinner in the hotel’s elegant lobby, surrounded by panoramic windows, draped in sheer white silk, or al fresco on the hotel’s oceanfront terrace, a perfect perch for people-watching. The restaurant next door, Casablanca, provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service.
In addition to its romance and charm, the Park Central caters to production and business travelers.
The Florida Room, a glorious glass enclosed terrace overlooking the pool and garden, seats 50 and accommodates 75 for cocktail parties. Perfect for small meetings or break-out sessions, the North Room on the 2nd floor Mezzanine, seats 15, and the South Room seats 10, both offering ocean views. For those looking to optimize space, the rooms can be linked via the mezzanine, which is handy for small business demos and classes and production companies looking to set up make-up and wardrobe facilities.
Two blocks from the hotel, a 40-person corporate meeting space, with a large ocean-view terrace, is also available. Wireless Internet service, two-line telephones featuring data ports, voicemail and international direct dial are available throughout the property. Valet or inexpensive enclosed self parking is available one block from the hotel in a municipal parking garage.
Goldman Properties has been restoring historic buildings in architecturally significant neighborhoods in New York and Miami, since 1968. Responsible for renovating Manhattan’s Upper West Side and the Soho district in the 1970s, Miami Beach’s Art Deco district in the 1980s, and New York City’s Wall Street in the early ’90s. The company’s most recent projects include the redevelopment of Wynwood, Miami’s emerging arts district, an historic city project in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the re-development of the historic Four Point Channel district in Boston.
The Park Central Hotel is in the heart of the Art Deco District at 640 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. The Park Central 2009 rates range from $175-$375 per night. To make reservations, please call (305) 538-1611, (800) 727-5236, or visit www.theparkcentral.com. For information on Goldman Properties, visit www.goldmanproperties.com.
The Park Central Hotel Miami Beach has been in the industry since 1937.