A rendering of Me Miami’s pool deck // © 2014 Melia Hotels International
Feature image (above): Me by Melia will open its first U.S. property in downtown Miami, come 2015. // © 2014 Melia Hotels International
Melia Hotels International already has a significant footprint in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. But the company — its Me by Melia brand, in particular — wants to take on new territory. Slated for a spring 2015 opening, Me Miami will open as the brand’s first U.S. property.
“The company is not a player in North America at the moment,” said Tony Cortizas, vice president of global marketing for Melia Hotels International. “This was an opportunity in a key market destination that we had identified for the brand.”
Me Miami will be taking over the current property of Casa Moderna Hotel, which shares its space with a residential tower that occupies the higher floors. Located at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard, Me Miami will cater to a trendy part of downtown, neighboring the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
“For us to go into one of Miami’s more established locations, such as South Beach, would be to enter a more competitive environment,” said Cortizas. “We can bring something different to downtown.”
Following the success of Me Madrid Reina Victoria and Me London, Me Miami will pursue a similarly urban resort concept, but with local twists.
“The design inside will be contemporary,” said Cortizas. “It’s going to be clean but not straight lined — there will be some funk, original art and eclectic components.”
The hotel’s design will cater to a clientele who mixes work and play, with two rooftop pools and a spa interspersed with event spaces. There will be plenty of bars and restaurants as well as free Wi-Fi access in every corner of the hotel. Among its dining facilities, the star is the Stk Rebel restaurant, a casual take on the traditional steakhouse.
Additional renderings — more detailed and of the hotel’s design and interior — will soon be unveiled by the Cgi Merchant Group.
Sitting at the crossroads of the Caribbean and South America, Me Miami hopes to play on its existing brand recognition in Latin America as well as its European customer base to attract visitors. But, Me Miami is also heavily invested in engaging local traffic.
“We want to become part of the cultural fabric of Miami,” said Cortizas. “We’ll be creating a hotel experience that will bring the city into the hotel. It will be a social epicenter.”
Hit by suburban flight and urban decay in the 1970s and ‘80s, Miami’s downtown is now experiencing a renaissance, according to Cortizas. The master plan for the area includes retail, restaurants and residential developments. In the rapidly developing Miami skyline, the residential tower that is home to the Me Miami stands tallest.
The Me brand was launched in 2007 and was stalled by the ensuing economic downturn in Europe and the U.S. The company’s outlook is positive, however. In two years’ time, Me will own a total of nine properties, including Me Milan and Miami set to open in 2015 and Me Dubai to follow in 2016.
Cortizas said the brand hopes to establish more U.S. properties in the future, hinting at Los Angeles and New York as possible locations.