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Fontainebleau poised to recapture spotlight

12 May 2008

MIAMI, Florida -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- When it debuts this fall, Fontainebleau Miami Beach will be poised to recapture its place among the world's most celebrated resort playgrounds. Morris Lapidus' emblematic curvilinear building, originally the subject of outrage by critics before being embraced by the world's architects, designers and travelers alike, today defines Miami Beach's often-exuberant architectural aesthetic. His once avant-garde building is now an enduring architectural masterpiece, and perhaps more importantly, his spirit now shapes a spectacular $1 billion rebirth. Lapidus once wrote "If you create a stage and it is grand, everyone who enters will play their part." Few would argue that the new Fontainebleau will succeed in offering a pulse-quickening setting in which guests can make an unforgettable entrance. Virtually every aspect of the 22-acre showplace will celebrate the architect's flair for the theatrical.

"We are moving the resort into the future with a nod to its iconic past," said Jeffrey Soffer, Fontainebleau Resorts' Executive Chairman. "Fontainebleau will be infused with the sexy, glamorous, ultramodern spirit of the idiosyncratic original. With the help of a team of internationally-acclaimed architects, designers and artists, we are harnessing the resort's storied setting and striking architectural details to create a 21st century showplace that will cater to a new generation of tastemakers."

Fronting the Atlantic Ocean, the new 1504-room resort's most distinguishing features will include two new towers; 11 restaurants and lounges; a 40,000-square-foot spa; and dramatic oceanfront poolscape featuring a free-form pool shaped as a re-interpretation of Lapidus' signature bow-tie design.

In re-envisioning the resort, its owners assembled a team of eight international architects, designers and project managers to infuse the space with a modern sense of style and sophistication. From its public spaces, lobby and highly-stylized restaurants to its guest rooms, spa and pool, the resort will sparkle with an intoxicating mix of old and new. In the process, the original Lapidus buildings were stripped to steel studs and bare concrete in order to entirely recreate guest rooms, public spaces and resort facilities. Painstakingly, the design team preserved or recreated many of Lapidus' historical design elements -- including the circular ceilings, bow-tie design motifs and famed "Staircase to Nowhere."

Rooms and Suites with a View

The resort's two original towers, Chateau and Versailles, comprise 846 guest rooms. Complementing these legacy buildings are two new, luxury all-suite towers -- the 37-floor Tresor and 18-floor Sorrento -- offering a combined 658 junior, one- and two-bedroom suites. Stylishly residential, the suites will feature fabrics, furnishings and finishes with an easy tropical elegance. Ranging from 500 to 1,742-square-feet, the rooms will include flat panel televisions; kitchenettes with mini-refrigerator, sink and microwave; marble bathrooms with granite counters, oversized jetted tubs and roomy walk-in showers. Spacious balconies will offer views of the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach, Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami.

International Dining, Trend-Setting Nightlife

Fontainebleau Miami Beach will bring together noted chefs and designers to create dining destinations that are both dramatic and extraordinarily diverse. The resort's 11 restaurants and lounges will include three signature restaurants by celebrated chefs Alfred Portale (chef and owner of perennial New York favorite Gotham Bar and Grill), Scott Conant (formerly of L'Impero, Alto and the soon-to-open Scarpetta in New York City) and the stateside debut of Alan Yau's Hakkasan (Britain's only Michelin-rated Chinese restaurant.)

Designed by Jeffery Beers International, Gotham Steak will be a two-level restaurant with indoor and al fresco dining. Portale's menu will expand beyond modern American steakhouse fare to include fresh seafood, specialty cuts of meat and 500+ wines from around the world. Design highlights will include a brilliant chandelier of hand-blown glass, an open exposition kitchen and a two-level, glass-enclosed wine cellar.

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