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MIAMI BEACH, FL—The new South Beach Marriott at 161 Ocean Drive is the second Marriott-flagged hotel to open in Greater Miami during September.

Earlier in the month, an $80 million, 21-story JW Marriott with 300 rooms debuted on Brickell Avenue in Downtown Miami’s financial district. Additional new product is in the wings.

The first big local hotel-building boom since the early 1980s will see another 3,700 guest rooms added in the metro area over the next three years, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. All this new development represents an estimated investment of at least $1.4 billion.

Much of the new construction is aimed at the high-end lodging market. Besides the two new Marriotts, Greater Miami is getting a Four Seasons, a Mandarin Oriental, a W Hotel and possibly three Ritz Carltons.

South Beach Marriott co-owners Jose M. Ardid and Juan Couret were able to obtain one of the last available beachfront parcels on trendy Ocean Drive and incorporated in their project the Century Beach Club, built in 1938. Their 236-room hotel includes nine suites, along with 12 rooms and one two-bedroom suite in the renovated Century building.

The lobby highlights a rain forest-type aviary with waterfalls and finches. A spire atop the tower of the 11-story building lights up in the evening in one of three colors: blue, green or yellow. It is definitely not a typical Marriott, management agrees.

The design aims to capture the unique character of South Beach. At the same time, local hospitality market-watchers see it as broadening the section’s appeal to visitors accustomed to staying at national-brand hotels.

Marriott, which is managing the new South Beach facility, now operates 29 hotels in South Florida including the new JW Marriott on Brickell. That recent market entry features four restaurants and 18,000 sf of meeting and ballroom space.

The next Greater Miami hotel to open its doors will be the $100 million, 329-room Mandarin Oriental, slated to debut next month also in the Brickell financial district. Among its amenities will be a 200-seat signature restaurant, 15,000 sf of meeting rooms and a grand ballroom.

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