Its name caused a stir at this week’s Historic Preservation Board meeting, but the Celino in South Beach made even bigger waves on the international stage: It has been named to Architectural Digest’s list of “The 12 Best-Designed Hotels Opening This Year”.
The Celino is a combination of three historic buildings at 622, 640, and 650 Ocean Drive – the Park Central Hotel, Heathcote Apartments, and the Imperial Hotel. As the buildings enter their final phase of redevelopment, the HPB was considering a request to introduce an outdoor bar counter within the ground level courtyard and retractable awnings. But when mention was made of a new name – the Celino – for the combined development, Board member Nancy Liebman objected saying she could not support a name change from the Park Central. Celino attorney Michael Larkin said the hotel will be treated the same as similar historic hotels in Miami Beach, giving the Edition (formerly the Seville) as an example, where the old signs remain in place. “When it’s a name change it does seems potent,” he said. “But in truth it will be very discreet, just like the Edition.” Other examples mentioned were the Ritz Plaza (now the SLS South Beach) and the Saxony (the Faena).
Design and Preservation Manager Debbie Tackett advised the Board it did not have the authority to require a business take a certain name, however, it could require “the retention or recreation of important historic signage as architectural elements.” In approving the requests for the outdoor bar counter and awnings, the Board added the requirement to keep the buildings’ signs. Coming back to the Board in July is a request to exceed the allowable hours of operation for the outdoor bar.
In the meantime, the Celino was making news of a different kind. Designed by Miami-based Borges + Associates Architects, it is on the just released list of “The 12 Best-Designed Hotels Opening This Year” by Architectural Digest:
One of the largest developments on Ocean Drive is the Celino, a $40 million project fusing three historic Art Deco buildings and one new build[ing] opening in the fall (part of this constellation is the 80-year-old Park Central Hotel). With 132 rooms, 12 balcony suites, and 14 one-bedroom suites, the property pays homage to the glitzy vibe of Ocean Drive in the 1940s. From $350/night; thecelinohotel.com
Image: Borges + Associates Architects