Iconic Vagabond Motel is finally open for business

The 1953 hotel on Biscayne Boulevard underwent a multi-million dollar restoration
August 25, 2014 02:15PM

The Vagabond Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard

After years of delays, Biscayne Boulevard’s iconic Vagabond Motel is again accepting guests.

The Miami Modern-style hotel, designed by Robert Swartburg, originally opened in 1953 offering affordable drive-in lodging to vacationing families. Now, following a multimillion-dollar restoration, the hotel gives off a hip and “decidedly grown-up vibe,” according to the Miami Herald.

“We’ve had so much community support, it’s been great,” said developer Avra Jain, who purchased the then-vacant property a year and a half ago for $1.9 million. “It’s a good place to be because of the neighborhoods.”

To say the Vagabond’s reopening defines a sharp turnaround from the boulevard’s dodgy recent past as a haunt for prostitutes and drug dealers might be an understatement. To make it abundantly clear that it’s a new day for the Vagabond and the boulevard, Jain has instituted a strict no-cash, no walk-ins policy. “And no hourly rates,’’ she joked.

Over the years, the Vagabond had served as the site of a clothing shop and a farmer’s market, with owners gutting the building in hopes of a restoration that never panned out. [Miami Herald] Christopher Cameron