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Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Coordinates: 25°49′5″N 80°7′20″W / 25.81806°N 80.12222°W / 25.81806; -80.12222
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Miami Landmark
Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2011
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located in Miami
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Location4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. 33140
Coordinates25°49′5″N 80°7′20″W / 25.81806°N 80.12222°W / 25.81806; -80.12222
Area180,525 m2 (1,943,150 sq ft)
Built1954; 70 years ago (1954)
ArchitectMorris Lapidus
Architectural styleMiami Modern Architecture (MiMo)
Visitation16,349,845 (2015)
NRHP reference No.08001318[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 22, 2008[1]
Designated MFLDecember 9, 2011

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach, also known as Fontainebleau Hotel, is a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Designed by Morris Lapidus, the luxury hotel opened in 1954. In 2007, the Fontainebleau Hotel was ranked ninety-third in the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture".[2] On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter ranked the Fontainebleau first on its list of "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places".[3][4]

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located on Collins Avenue and is owned by the Soffer family controlled Fontainebleau Resorts.


Fontainebleau Hotel in March 1955, photographed by Samuel Gottscho
The hotel in 1982 at sunset
Fontainebleau Hotel in 2004

20th century


The hotel was built by hotelier Ben Novack on the grounds of the former Harvey Firestone estate. Novack owned and operated the hotel until its bankruptcy in 1977.[5] The Fontainebleau was designed by Morris Lapidus, who was known for wearing bow ties and incorporated them into the design.[6][7]

The Fontainebleau is noted for its victory in the landmark 1959 Florida District Courts of Appeal decision, Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc. 114 So. 2d 357, in which the Fontainebleau Hotel successfully appealed an injunction by the neighboring Eden Roc Hotel to prevent construction of an expansion that blocked sunlight to the Eden Roc's swimming pool. The Court rejected the Eden Roc's claim to an easement allowing sunlight, in favor of affirming the Fontainebleau's vertical property rights to build on its land.[8][9][10] It stated that the "ancient lights" doctrine had been unanimously repudiated in the United States.

In the 1970s, a suite in the hotel was used by members of the Black Tuna Gang to run their operations.[11] In the 2011 documentary Square Grouper, the use of the hotel by the Black Tuna Gang is recounted. The documentary follows the burgeoning marijuana-smuggling trade of the mid-to-late 1970s, when large amounts of the drug were being shipped to southeastern Florida; the film alleges that more than 90 percent of the United States' illicit demand was being met through such channels.

In 1978, Stephen Muss bought the Fontainebleau Hotel for $27 million,[12] thus rescuing it from bankruptcy.[13]

21st century

The lobby at the Fountainebleau Miami Beach

Muss invested an additional $100 million into the hotel for improvements. In 2001, Muss Organization announced a partnership with Turnberry Associates[13] to what, over the years, amounted to a billion-dollar renovation of the hotel.[14]

In 2002, the hotel was renovated and expanded by John Nichols, an architect with Coral-Gables, Florida-based Nichols Architects. The renovations and expansio included the addition of a 36-story condominium-hotel, known as Fontainebleau II, and a second 18-story tower, known as Fontainebleau III, all located on the same premises as the original hotel.[15] During the renovation, Morris Lapidus's exuberant aesthetic and stylistic choices were preserved.[16]

In 2005, after 30 years of being managed by Hilton Worldwide, the hotel became self-managed.[17] The same year, the Muss Organization sold the Fontainebleau to Turnberry Associates[18] for $165 million.[12]

In 2006, the hotel closed a large part of the property, though one building remained open to hotel guests, and the furnishings were placed for sale. The expanded hotel and its new condominium buildings reopened in November 2008.[19]

On December 22, 2008, the Fontainebleau was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Fontainebleau's grand reopening on November 18, 2008, marked the end of a $1 billion transformation. Special care was taken to preserve many of the original design elements, including the "Staircase to Nowhere", also known as the "floating staircase". The hotel's elaborate reopening celebrations included hosting the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show.

Restaurants and nightclubs in the complex include:

  • Blade Sushi
  • Bleau Bar
  • Chez Bon Bon (pastries and chocolates; formerly named Solo)
  • Fresh (Snacks and Gelato)
  • Glow Bar
  • Hakkasan (Cantonese)
  • La Côte (bi-level poolside bar and grille)
  • LIV Miami[20][21]
  • Michael Mina Pizza & Burger (formerly Arkadia)
  • Scarpetta (Italian)
  • Stripsteak by Michael Mina (formerly named FB Steakhouse and originally named "Gotham Steak")
  • Vida (Pan American)

The Fontainebleau is a prominent feature in contemporary culture, appearing in numerous movies and television shows, musical lyrics, and nationally televised sporting and other events, including:

21st century

  • In 2019, the Fontainebleau appears in the third season of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in a scene in which Midge Maisel (played by Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie Myerson (played by Alex Borstein) stay at the resort while on tour with Shy Baldwin. In one scene, Midge is shown descending the grand staircase in the ornate lobby.
  • Also in 2019, the Fontainebleau, billed as the Riviera Grand Hotel, was the setting for the pilot of the Grand Hotel TV series pilot. After the pilot was filmed and ABC picked up a full order of episodes, the cast and crew headed to Los Angeles, where a mini-replica of the Fontainebleau was constructed. The exterior shots shown throughout the season are actually the real Fontainebleau.[22]




  • The Fontainebleau is one of the primary settings for the 1988 comedy sequel Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach with the film's characters staying there during the movie and many of the film's scenes filmed there.
  • The Fontainebleau acts as the unmentioned location for a widely popular scene in 1983's Scarface where Manny, played by Steven Bauer, gets slapped in the face after trying to win over a girl by sticking out his tongue to her.[24]


  • The Fontainebleau is the title subject of a song written by Neil Young and performed by the Stills-Young Band on their 1976 album Long May You Run, which was recorded at the hotel. [26]


  • The Fontainebleau is depicted in the 1960–1962 television series Surfside 6 about two detectives living and working aboard a houseboat moored directly across the street from the hotel. Supporting character Cha Cha O'Brien was an entertainer who worked at The Boom Boom Room in the hotel. Only establishing shots of the hotel were used; the series was filmed entirely at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California.
  • In March 1960, Frank Sinatra videotaped an ABC television special at the hotel, The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis, as part of his regular Timex-sponsored series to welcome back Elvis Presley following his two-year military service in West Germany. Broadcast on May 12, 1960, Nielsen reported a 41.5% rating and 67.7% share, with an audience at 50 million, making it the top-rated show of the year and Sinatra's top-rated television appearance of his 21-year career (1960–1981).





The local pronunciation of the hotel's name is the Anglicized "fountain blue" rather than the normal French pronunciation of the word.[28]

See also



  1. ^ a b c "Weekly List Of Actions Taken On Properties: 12/22/08 through 12/24/08". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-12-30. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  2. ^ "BuildingOnline eUpdate News: American Institute of Architects Releases Poll Showing America's Favorite Architecture". BuildingOnline. 15 March 2007. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places". AIA Florida. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  4. ^ "AIA Florida Reveals Winners of the Top 100 Buildings Competition". PR Newswire. 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Ben Novack Sr.,78 Is Dead; Founder of Fontainebleau". New York Times. April 7, 1985.
  6. ^ "A VISIONARY'S REVENGE". Sun Sentinel. 1993-11-28. Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  7. ^ Ross, McKenna (2023-12-09). "What to expect when Fontainebleau opens Wednesday". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  8. ^ "FOUNTAINEBLEAU HOTEL CORP., a Florida corporation, and Charnofree Corporation, a Florida corporation, Appellants, v. FORTY-FIVE TWENTY-FIVE, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellee". LexisNexis Academic. Archived from the original on 26 May 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  9. ^ "Fontainebleau H. Corp. v. 4525, Inc". Casetext.
  10. ^ "Case @ University of Chicago". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  11. ^ "DEA History Book, 1975 - 1980". U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Gaines, Steven (2009). Fool's Paradise: Players, Poseurs, and the Culture of Excess in South Beach. Crown Publishers. pp. 100–110. ISBN 9780307452214.
  13. ^ a b Van Drake, Stephen (March 11, 2002). "Born to build - Muss, Soffer progeny develop joint project : Fontainebleau II"". South Florida Business Journal.
  14. ^ Luscombe, Richard (2008-11-22). "Hotel to the stars gets billion-dollar makeover". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  15. ^ "Fontainebleau III Tower Closer to Reality". GlobeSt. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  16. ^ Ferla, Ruth La (2008-10-31). "Flamboyance Gets a Face-Lift". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  17. ^ "After 30 Years the Fontainebleau Won't Be a Hilton; New Owner Turnberry Associates Plans on Running the 1,400-room Resort Itself / February 2005". www.hotel-online.com. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  18. ^ Stieghorst, Tom (January 21, 2005). "Turnberry Buys Fontainebleau". Sun Sentinel.
  19. ^ "History". Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  20. ^ D'Angelo, Tom (March 15, 2023). "LIV nightclub in Miami Beach looking to block LIV Golf's attempt to register trademark". Golfweek. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  21. ^ Leibowitz, Aaron (2023-03-15). "LIV Miami vs. LIV Golf: Iconic nightclub wants to block golf group's trademarks". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2023-03-17.
  22. ^ Diaz, Johnny (June 13, 2019). "Eva Longoria's new 'Grand Hotel' TV drama stars Fontainebleau Miami Beach and a South Florida cast". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  23. ^ Ugoku. "The Sopranos location guide – Miami Beach hotel". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  24. ^ "'Scarface' turns 35". Sun Sentinel. 9 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Roberto Duran KOs Vilomar Fernandez This Day January 29, 1977 and Retains Title". 28 January 2018. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Fontainebleau". Genius.com.
  27. ^ "Bond's Miami Beach Hotel (Fontainebleau Hotel)". James Bond MM. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016.
  28. ^ Yancey, Kitty Bean (December 9, 2004). "At 50, venerable Fontainebleau regaining its glitz". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2017-11-01.