These Newly Renovated Miami Hotels Are A Design Lover’s Dream

Anyone who craves design inspiration through travel is in for a visual feast: After a five-year renovation, two Miami-based partner hotels—Esme and Casa Matanza—are open and ready to welcome guests. Run by Infinity Hospitality, the two Mediterranean-style properties are bursting with rich colors, luxurious textures and vintage furnishings, thanks to designer Jessica Schuster.

In Esmé’s lobby, the reception desk features Foglizzo leather detailing.

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“The two sister hotels are layered with detail and texture and provide so many moments of discovery,” Schuster gushed. “It’s a unique and fun space in South Beach that goes back to our original concept: transforming the [property] in [place where you can experience] time out of time.

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The lobby of Casa Matanza is adorned with a Jamb globe chandelier.

Christian Harder.

Formerly known as The Clay Hotel and the Spanish Village, the property opened in 1927 as a bohemian artists’ colony. Schuster says many of the original architectural elements were retained, but it was rather “bare and shabby” when she signed on to give it a makeover. So she set out to create a lasting experience tied to South Beach and the architecture and history of the building.

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This area of ​​the Esmé features a tiled fireplace uncovered during construction and an antique mirror that Schuster placed over it.

Christian Harder

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A Spanish chest from the 1940s is in the lobby of Casa Matanza.

Christian Harder

Of course, the renovation of hotels has not been without difficulties. “The main one being that it was a quirky 1920s hotel,” says Schuster. “Each piece was a different size and shape, which made it difficult to design on a large scale.”

Esmé comprises 145 rooms and five dining concepts spread over eight buildings, connected by paseos. The boutique hotel is now filled with jewel tones, textured mahogany, and gold accents. Casa Matanza exists as a stand-alone 42-room building with a restaurant, accessible from Esmé via a tunnel that takes guests across Drexel Avenue. Her rooms take on a darker, darker color scheme than Esmé’s.

bedroom with pink walls
This Esmé guest room features walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Rosetta.

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bedroom with pink walls
This Casa Matanza guest bedroom features a rich yellow wall with moody accents.

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For both hotels, Schuster was careful not to rush the process, looking for the perfect elements to fit the historic spaces. “Over three years, I curated an assortment of vintage furniture and lighting from travels around the world and combined it with custom-designed pieces,” the designer says, pointing to pieces like a 1940s Spanish chest. which is located in the lobby of Casa Matanza.

There were also a few surprises along the way: “One of my favorite things we’ve designed is the fireplace [at Esmé]that we discovered during construction,” says Schuster.

Much of the bedroom furniture is custom designed by MCM House, including beds draped in Bellino linens. In the bathrooms, you’ll find colorful tiles from Bedrosians Tile & Stone and Grown Alchemist bath products. Other hotel highlights include a rooftop pool at Esmé, where guests can take a yoga class or relax while sipping cocktails.

It’s safe to say that these sister hotels are a must-see, whether you’re a local looking for a bite to eat (or indulge in a staycation) or a tourist who appreciates well-designed spaces with attractive features at every turn.


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