Fun Facts about Miami's Famed Fontainebleau
“Vegas meets art deco” (Fodor’s) is one way to describe this legendary Miami Beach hotel. Yet behind its fabulous “see-and-be-seen” vibe and lively party scene, there’s more than meets the eye. Below are five fun facts you may not know about the Fontainebleau.
The hotel dates back all the way to the 1950s and was considered to be one of the most luxurious hotels in Miami Beach. It officially opened in 1954 and when it was completed, it cost a total of $16 million, which if you think about it was a huge amount of money back in the day. It's about $143 million in today's currency!
Guess Who’s Stayed Here
A hotel of this caliber was sure to attract only the crème de la crème ... and did it ever! Past guests of this hotel include Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland to name a few. It has even been said the hotel was forced to have armed guards standing by to prevent those who weren’t guests of the hotel from entering and catching a glimpse of these celebrities.
Morris Lapidus, the hotel’s famed architect, created his signature “Staircase to Nowhere,” which actually only led to a small coat room. Back then you would see women dressed in couture descending down the staircase to the lobby wearing their finest evening attire. Guests of the hotel can check out the staircase to this day as it has been preserved and refurbished.
Fast forward to present times and the hotel is still as impressive. The resort has invested in what they call “Water World,” an underground stack of aquariums that holds live fish and seafood for the hotel’s nine on-site restaurants. The logic is that the "less stress a fish feels, the fresher it’s going to taste."
It’s All in the Details
When the hotel was revamped and reopened in 2008 they made sure to pay a lot of attention to detail. Special pool chairs were made in-house to feature convenient pockets for storing items like cell phones and magazines so that they don’t get wet. Luxury and convenience!