Leisure & Hospitality International - Spring 2015 - 55

T H E NAT IO NA L HO T E L

Maximizing
Opportunity

The National Hotel nears the end of its final $12 million
renovation phase and looks to the future with a new social
media initiative. BY JANICE HOPPE
As the final phase of renovations
kicks off this summer at the National
Hotel Miami Beach, guests are in
awe of the progress already completed with the hotel's authentically
restored art deco interior and exterior
that transports them back to the Miami Beach of the 1940s. "Fans of the
National are enchanted that the hotel
respected the art deco inside and
out," Hotel Manager Yaser Mohamad
says. "People love art deco and are
in tune with the movement, so they
were pleased we kept the interior of
the hotel to reflect the most historic
and memorable elements."
Originally designed by Roy France,
one of the period's foremost architects
in Miami Beach, the National is a hybrid of the American and Latin American art deco styles. Groundbreaking
began in 1939 and the 11-story hotel
opened one year later. As the years
passed, the National gained two
additional floors and maintains its 13
stories today. The four-story cabana
building was added in the 1960s for
additional guest lodging.
Today, the National offers 116
newly renovated guestrooms in the
historic tower, 36 poolside cabana
rooms with oversized balconies, a
restored tri-level penthouse suite, a
one-of-a-kind 205-foot infinity-edge
pool and 20,000 square feet of event

space. Restaurants include a Mediterranean fine-dining experience, the
casual poolside Aqua Bar and Grill,
and the Blues Bar jazz lounge. The
National is also an affiliate of Historic
Hotels of America.

RESTORING HISTORY
The Dray family has owned the
National Hotel since 2007 through a
purchase they bankrolled by selling
their collection of art deco furniture,
sculptures and paintings. "They were
devoted art collectors and found the
National to be one of the most beautiful art deco buildings in Miami,"
Mohamad explains. "They put their
entire collection up for auction in
order to acquire the National Hotel,
the final piece of their 'art' collection.
It is now a family treasure."
The National Hotel will begin the
final phase this summer of its $12
million renovation project. "We've
worked closely with the Miami Design
Preservation League to ensure we
got every last detail right," Mohamad
notes. Phase three will primarily fo-

Yaser Mohamad

hotel manager
"We are pleased to have honored
our original vision and kept the
hotel art deco style."

Spring 2015 LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INTERNATIONAL | WWW.LHIMAGAZINE.COM

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