MIAMI- If you have to ask the room rate, the 329-room, $100 million Mandarin Oriental, Miami isn’t for you. Winter season rates are $525 to $740. Suites are $1,000 to $3,000 per night. And the 2,365-sf Presidential Suite at the 20-story asset is a bargain at $4,000 per night.

If you really want to look the place over before the established jet set arrives, the hotel is offering introductory nightly rates of only $180 until February The grand opening is March 31. The soft opening was Nov. 20.

Locally-based Swire Properties and Mandarin Oriental International Ltd. built the hotel on exclusive Brickell Key at a development cost of $303,951 per room. Based on room cost alone, the project is the most expensive hotel ever built in Miami, according to area brokers familiar with recent luxury product construction. Brickell Key is a 44-acre island adjacent to Miami’s Downtown financial core. Swire Properties is part of the Hong Kong-based Swire Group.

“They’ll have to have a full house most of the time to at least break even in the first few years,” Robin L. Webb, vice president and managing principal of Winter Park, FL-based Arvida Realty Services Inc. tells

Conference and banquet facilities totaling 15,000 sf can handle a crowd of 600. Tony Chi and Associates of New York designed the 120-seat Azul restaurant and the smaller Café Sambal. The design team comprises RTKL Associates, the project architect and Hirsch Bedner Associates, the interior designer. Both are nationally known.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has a major hotel project under development in New York scheduled to open in late 2003. The company has a staff of 9,000 on three continents with 10 hotels in Asia, seven in North America and four in Europe.

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