Sneak peek: Faena Hotel opening soon

The walls of the lobby are decorated with colorful murals, the floors inlaid with an intricate mosaic pattern. Outdoors, a huge, gilded mammoth greets visitors at the entrance to the oceanfront pool and beach.

Faena Hotel Miami Beach is planning to open to the public on Dec. 21, marking the next step in the completion of the Faena District, which runs on both sides of Collins Avenue, from 32nd Street to 35th Street in Mid-Miami Beach. Other components include the recently completed Faena House condominium tower; Faena Forum, an arts complex now under construction; two Faena Versailles condominium towers; Faena Bazaar, a retail building; and a parking garage, all also under construction.

For Faena Hotel, partners Alan Faena and Len Blavatnik completely gutted and renovated the former Saxony Hotel, originally built in 1947 by George Sax and designed by Roy F. France. Faena hired film director and producer Baz Luhrmann and costume designer Catherine Martin to help create an old-world ambiance with Art Deco decor, designed to recall the property’s former glamour of the 1950s.

“This was really an incredible joy for the past three or four years,” Faena said, recalling how Blavatnik invited him to Miami to see the Saxony Hotel, and told him “See what you can do.”

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

A recent tour gave a peek inside the hotel, including a 10th floor suite and the indoor fitness center, spa and Hamman sauna, as workers were placing the finishing touches on the property.

Faena Hotel has 169 rooms and suites and 13 penthouse residences, decorated with hardwood floors, red velvet and turquoise furniture and blue tiled bathrooms. Prices begin at $750 a night, according to a hotel spokesperson.

Plans for the hotel also include launching the restaurant Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, which will be the chef’s first restaurant in the United States, offering Argentine cuisine; as well as Pao at the Dome, chef Paul Qui’s first restaurant outside of Texas, offering Asian cuisine.