The Gates Hotel South Beach is located on the city’s iconic Collins Avenue, but don’t mistake it for yet another hipster hangout with eye-watering prices and a stressful “scene.” What will surprise you about the boutique property, which was recently reborn from the foundation of the historic mid-century Ankara Motel, is both its affordability considering the high level of service, quality and design, as well as how comfortable it is to stay and hang out at – especially in the stylish lobby lounge and vibrant outdoor deck with cabanas and a beautiful bar overlooking the pool and Collins Canal.
The 235-room Gates South Beach is part of The Gates Gallery of Hotels, an up-and-coming collection of artfully designed properties “offering all-encompassing getaways for guests that reflect local hospitality in uniquely curated environments” with locations in Key West, Barcelona, and San Francisco, with more to come. The portfolio is managed by Highgate, a premier real estate investment and hospitality management company with headquarters in New York and Dallas whose portfolio includes more than 100 properties in gateway cities worldwide.
“The Gates Gallery of Hotels effortlessly combines unconventional partnerships unique to each location and styled spaces to craft a local and authentic hotel experience,” says Jeff Toscano, SVP of Lifestyle Hotels at Highgate. “Bounded by our local roots we continue expanding into new markets to unlock more gates.” Acting as “The Gates” to South Beach, the hotel is central to everything Miami Beach has to offer from Art Deco architecture, art galleries and museums to the beach itself – reachable via the hotel’s imported Tuk-Tuk or fleet of bicycles – and of course world-class shopping and dining.
To bring the Miami project to fruition The Gates collaborated with awarding-winning architects and designers including architectural design firm Dutch East Design and architectural lighting firm Focus Lighting to transform the hotel while maintaining the Ankara’s architectural integrity and original design elements. As Christina Zimmer, Highgate Senior Vice President of Design, puts it, “Aligning our brand with complementary design partners was key to the hotel’s reinvention [and] incorporating branding elements tailored to the Miami area.”
The result is a heady mix of Art Deco and Midcentury-inspired architecture and a dose of vintage glamor enhanced with modern amenities. “Some important tenets to address in the design were to create intimacy and warmth in the lobby and provide a variety of seating arrangements for positive social dynamics,” notes Dutch East Design’s Dieter Cartwright. “To eliminate visual noise each individual space is defined based on functionality.” A color scheme, of dusty pink, sea foam and teal, lends a Miami-esque feel to the hotel’s spaces without being too intrusive.
One of The Gates’ most appealing attractions is a new Mexican-inspired restaurant, Agaveros Cantina, adjacent to the lobby and opening on to the pool deck, marrying traditional south-of-the-border dishes including crispy salt cod fritters, Mexican shrimp cocktail, assorted tacos, and local red snapper ceviche with more than 100 tequilas and mezcals imported from Mexico, available in flights or interpreted via craft cocktails. Agaveros also prepares small plates and tapas-style snacks for the lobby lounge and pool guests. The restaurant’s Executive Chef Nicolas Bour previously held that position at the Ocean House, a world-class Relais & Chateaux property in Rhode Island.
Art is another important element in The Gates’ design, an especially fitting one as the nearby Design District, the annual Art Basel Miami Beach and museums like The Bass and the Perez Art Museum have increasingly made Miami one of the most important centers for contemporary art. Capturing the colors and flair of South Florida, fine art seascape and landscape photographer Jorge De La Torriente’s work is displayed on the walls of the hotel’s lounge, restaurant and guest rooms, while custom images curated by the property’s design team anchor the double height wall in the lobby, offering a mini pop-up gallery experience.
The hotel is also part of DoubleTree by Hilton, a fast-growing, global portfolio of more than 500 upscale hotels including the amazing Hilton Los Cabos across six continents. Guests can enjoy the benefits of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment option that allows them to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free wi-fi and the Hilton Honors mobile app.