Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Leslie Hotel Reopens In South Beach

One of the smallest boutique hotels on Ocean Drive, the quaint Leslie Hotel catches your eye with its rectilinear Deco angles and columns and songbird yellow paint.

Our team had the privilege to meet with the managing director, Juan Pablo and learn about their four year journey to renovate and reopen this darling hotel.

The process is arduous as owners must follow guidelines, procedures from the Historic Preservation Board and city laws. At times there were no laws to dictate new additions such as music and rooftop pools.

The hotel was purposefully repainted in bright yellow. The sun fades it quickly.

Leslie Hotel front facade

Architects Rodrigo Carrion and Julien Bergier from DN'A handled both architectural revisions and designing the interiors. Rodrigo was also the lead architect for renovations at Hotel Victor a couple of hotels south on Ocean Drive.

Julien Bergier , Juan Pablo D'Onofrio, Rodrigo Carrion 
 John E. Stevens and Christine Michaels from Miami's Art Deco Walking Tours attended the Lively Libations at the Leslie Hotel and enjoyed a private tour of the property.
Leslie Hotel South Beach Ocean Drive
John E. Stevens and Christine Michaels
Normally a pool is dropped in with a helicopter but there was no landing strip for the helicopter. The closest landing site would be too far. So a crane was alternative solution. Ocean Drive, in front of the hotel, had to be closed for the day as the skeletal foundation was dropped in. 

The introduction of a rooftop pool brought weight and structural issues.  The structure had to be reinforced  by attaching two set of columns to the existing columns and braced with steel.  Contrary to concrete pools for in the ground the pool is made of stainless steel. The hotel followed cruiselines in their innovative approach to include pools at lighter weights. 

Below are photos depicting the loading of the pool with a crane from Ocean drive, above the air and onto the rooftop.