The Real Deal Miami

Sydell’s Miami Beach hostel gets sunny reviews

April 05, 2013 03:00PM

An interior shot of the Freehand Miami

Freehand Miami, a recently-opened hostel in Miami Beach developed by the Sydell Group, has attracted the kind of buzz normally reserved for swanky hotels, the Miami Herald reported. 

Sydell — which also developed the Ace hotels in New York and California and owns Manhattan’s NoMad Hotel — became interested in the idea of a “premium hostel” brand in the past couple of years, believing that price-conscious American customers would embrace the concept, CEO Andrew Zobler told the Herald.

“We thought it was inevitable that hostels would get better and we wanted to be out there in front of it,” Zobler said.

Indeed, Freehand Miami’s casual yet innovative design – the lobby is bathed in light and has wood trimming – has attracted both American and international guests, such as Londoner Nicola Doran.

“I’m incredibly impressed with it,” Doran told the Herald. “Whoever came up with the style concept for this place is genius.” She described it as retro, cool and vintage, but “not overdone.”

And hostels can rake in the profits, Karine Bourget, hotel and leisure consultant with the investment advisory at Nordic Hotel Consulting, told the Herald.

“Hostels are typically less cost intensive [than] a budget hotel, for instance, as they require less staff, [fewer] amenities, etc.,” she wrote in an email to the Herald. “Revenue[s] are calculated per available bed instead of available room, which maximizes revenue.” [Miami Herald] —Hiten Samtani