Art Basel Miami Beach — the biggest art event in the U.S. — touches down for its 15th edition December 1 through 4. Over 260 galleries from 29 countries are participating, a small increase over last year, which drew 75,000 attendees to the Miami Beach Convention Center.
It’s a place to see and be seen, buzzing with art collectors, art critics, celebrities and socialites. Festival regulars like Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay Z and Beyonce are expected, and the fashionable crowd will cap off the night at events in the Design District and parties in South Beach.
The festival underscores Miami’s rise as an art destination. In addition to the main fair, which draws New York dealers Miguel Abreu Gallery, Acquavella Galleries, Marianne Boesky Gallery and Gagosian, there are more than 20 smaller festivals going on.
With so many people descending on the city, finding a chic place to stay in advance is a must. While hotel attendance is down this year in response to the Zika virus, those fears are not expected to impact the mostly older art crowd. Here’s a roundup of some of the most artful accommodations.
Swimming in opulence
Villa Casa Casuarina was built in 1930 and purchased in 1992 by the late fashion designer Gianni Versace. Versace’s touches are not to be missed — the pool and garden are among his additions to the estate. The opulent furnishings and luxurious décor feel more Mediterranean than Miami Beach. Rooms have balconies or terraces, and separate sleeping and sitting areas. December rates $2,200 to $2,500 per night; www.vmmiamibeach.com
South Beach style
Orchids, palm trees, rooftop yoga and a 24-hour fitness center are just some of the amenities you’ll find at The Betsy South Beach. This pet-friendly hotel will also pamper your pup — a couples massage is available for you and your furry friend. For Art Basel, The Betsy will be hosting a Salon Series to bring together art enthusiasts for inspiring conversation. The Betsy is near Bagatelle Miami Beach, a hot spot for brunch. December rates $500 to $5,000 per night; www.thebetsyhotel.com
Art Deco delight
The 74-room Como Metropolitan has an Art Deco vibe that even extends to the hotel’s rooftop hydrotherapy pool — although dramatic ocean views offer strong competition. During Art Basel Miami Beach, the hotel offers a package for city-view rooms and features its own art exhibit by digital artist Anne Spalter. Art in the City package starts at $650 per night; www.comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach
Three years in the making, Asian-themed EAST Miami, in the center of the up-and-coming Brickell City Centre, is now open. For a room with an impeccable view, consider the EAST Suite, an expansive 1,650-square-foot room with bay views. There are three eateries, including a posh rooftop bar, Sugar, which serves cocktails and Asian tapas. Rates $350 to $1,650 per night; www.east-miami.com
Elegance on the beach
This pet-friendly, 98-room beachfront hotel has three pools with cabanas, a spa and fitness center. In honor of Art Week, Acqualina Resort & Spa offers a package that includes free Wifi, VIP admission for two to Art Miami (a separate event from Art Basel Miami Beach) and spa credits valued at $40 per day for two adults. For children, there are art activities like painting and sand art at the hotel’s children’s center. Art Week package starts at $795, three-night minimum, available in Oceanfront rooms; www.acqualinaresort.com