As Airbnb continues to raise the level of competition for travel dollars, more and more hotels are having to find ways to offer unique experiences to their guests — from car manufacturers partnering with hotels to offer visitors a courtesy car for an afternoon of fun to building awareness prior to the booking phase via content marketing.
Some hotels rely on their distinctive interior designs to draw in guests. Frequent travelers may start to feel like all their hotels look the same after a while. The difference between hotel A in Atlanta and hotel B in Houston becomes indistinguishable in a blur of neutral colors. But the Blue Moon Hotel in Miami is definitely a place that’s distinguishable. After a major renovation in 2015, it became memorable in a powerfully colorful way.
The Blue Moon is located in the Miami Beach Architectural District, commonly known as the Art Deco District, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Conceived of in 1997 as a fusion of two existing hotels (the Lafayette Hotel from 1934 and Florel Apartment Hotel from 1940), the Blue Moon Hotel quickly became dated in the years after its opening. When it came time to revamp the complex, the designer’s biggest challenge was remaining respectful to history while also giving it a contemporary feel. In the end, a mix between art deco artistry and 21st-century modernity was achieved. It’s now a hotel where you can experience Miami Beach around colors and textures that simulate the sensation of being outside even when you are inside.
Painted four different shades of blue, the hotel’s reception desk resembles a vintage dresser, with each level of decorative drawers separated from the others by a metal trim. The handles exist purely for ornamentation, giving the desk a unique identity that foreshadows the tranquility locked away in the rooms upstairs. Blue Moon presents old imagery as something new, giving you the feeling of a place that you think you have been before, but really have not.
Each of the hotel’s 75 rooms and four two-room suites give guests a choice between enjoying the city like a tourist or living like a true Miamian. With their blue accent walls and white and light brown furnishings, the more traditional rooms provide enough visual balance to be comfortable but still exciting. In other rooms, the accent walls are adorned with contemporary imagery and art deco patterns for a more audacious look. In every room, the natural light from a large set of windows creates the perception of a vast interior space.
The art deco theme can also be traced throughout the hotel’s common spaces, from the hallways to the meeting rooms. This theme is only interrupted by the restaurant and pool, where white tables are offset by an array of colorful seating. The splashes of blue and green on the restaurant’s only wall nicely tie the deisgn together, simultaneously acting as a kind of exclamation point.
The Blue Moon Hotel provides its guests with an intimate experience without coming off as over the top or gaudy. The hotel’s judicious emphasis on contemporary design in some areas and the art deco style in others keeps it feeling fresh and relevant. Something like that is usually hard to attain in historic places, but here it seems to have been effortlessly achieved.