Like many respected global hospitality brands, sbe never rests. But something about the growth this company is experiencing feels different. Sbe, which plans to have 28 hotels in its portfolio by the end of 2018, seemingly announces new projects with the frequency that others report restaurant menu changes.
It’s no surprise that the label’s latest ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in South Florida, with the June debut of SLS Lux Brickell. Miami, after all, is where the brand already has a host of hotels (SLS South Beach, Delano South Beach), restaurants (The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya Brickell) and buzzy nightclubs (Hyde at American Airlines Arena) under its chic, custom-designed umbrella.
And don’t look now — another in-town project, Hyde Midtown Hotel and Residence Tower, is right on schedule for its opening later this year, too.
Additionally, fresh sbe properties outside of the Sunshine State, including those in Atlanta, Dubai, Washington, D.C. and Cartagena, have also been declared over the next few years. As we said, the brand is taking its expansion seriously.
Presently, though, all of the excitement is centered around SLS Lux Brickell, a mash-up of hotel lavishness (70 rooms and suites) and residential living (450 sold-out condominiums) that showcases elegant dining options, a world-class spa, MOMA-worthy art and much more.
To get the lay of the luxurious land, we caught up with sbe’s chief brand officer, Michele Caniato — between site visits, we’d guess — to get his thoughts on Miami’s attraction and the master plans for spreading sbe culture around the globe.
With SLS Lux Brickell’s June opening, sbe has more than 10 properties in South Florida. Why has the partnership between the brand and the city worked so well?
Over the last 10 years, from both a travel and residential perspective, Miami has become a much more global destination and continues to be one of the great international thoroughfares, with visitors coming from Latin America, Europe, Canada and Russia.
In 2009, when we opened our first SLS Hotel in South Beach, we saw an opportunity to offer diversified and sophisticated hospitality alternatives, and we still do in 2018. Today, Miami offers even more fertile ground — not only in South Beach but also in Brickell.
We pride ourselves on being a solution provider and not just overseeing another project but also integrating ourselves into the DNA of the city. I couldn’t be more excited to extend the SLS footprint into the city with its third location and providing amazing experiences, from our hotels to our award-winning culinary offerings.
Miami is a destination that offers our guests the 360-degree experience, including SLS, Katsuya, Hyde Beach, Redbury, Cleo, Fi’lia, Hyde Hotel & Residences and much more. Miami is a very critical market for sbe, with over 11 hotels [in operation] by the end of 2018. In addition to our growing portfolio of hotel properties, we also operate 14 restaurants and 13 nightlife locations.
For those who don’t know much about Brickell, explain how the area has evolved over the past few years.
Brickell has become the heart of the business community in Miami as well as a residential destination. The rapid urban development that’s taken place in Brickell is something that many cities in America are shying away from, but this former-financial-hub-turned-economic-powerhouse is a beacon of the endless possibilities when developers and local government work together.
We are delighted to not only bring the community our hotel offerings but also our restaurant and nightlife brands. By the end of 2018, we are very proud to have, between the Brickell and the Midtown area, three hotels and residential components with the opening of Hyde Midtown Hotel and Residence Tower.
SLS Lux Brickell dazzles with a great location and Yabu Pushelberg-designed rooms. What other aspects of the property are you most excited for travelers to see?
We are very excited for guests to indulge in our 14th Katsuya globally and second in the Miami area, also designed by the world-renowned Yabu Pushelberg team. In addition, we’re opening our mixology concept, SBar, which will offer music, novelty cocktails and light bites. It’s sure to be a destination for the local community here in Brickell.
We also look forward to activating our partnership with Lincoln Motor Company, sbe’s official automotive partner in the U.S. Guests staying at SLS Lux Brickell will be able to choose a chauffeur experience with the all-new Lincoln Navigator.
The residential side is completely sold out. Did you expect that kind of success with SLS Lux’s condos?
We are extremely delighted to see the success overall of our SLS Lux residency. The sbe “tribe” wants to not only dine with us, stay in our hotel and enjoy our nightlife, but also extend the 360-degree SLS experience into their everyday lives.
We partnered with one of the top developers in the U.S. and Florida’s leading developer of sophisticated metropolitan living, The Related Group, [on the project]. SLS Lux marks the fourth of nine jointly developed projects in the pipeline with Related Group, which includes not just the U.S. market, but also Argentina and Mexico.
Food and beverage always play a big role with sbe projects. What are some of the tastiest details for this new hotel?
Katsuya will be our featured restaurant with some new, signature dishes exclusive to this location. Inspired by chef Katsuya and our new head chef, Denevin Miranda, we encourage guests to explore some of the new items on the menu. The chicken ayako kamameshi is a fantastic addition to the menu. Kamameshi is a traditional Japanese hot pot and, for the Katsuya diner, we’ve replaced edamame with black beans and plantain confit.
We’ve also added a gyoza to the menu. Although, it’s seemingly a simple dish, I love our spin on the traditional Japanese potsticker. Both dishes are sure to delight the palate.
What other exciting hotel/restaurant projects does the brand have lined up for the second half of 2018 and into 2019?
At sbe, we are devoted to pushing the boundaries and creating extraordinary experiences throughout our proprietary brands. We are very excited about the upcoming opening of Hyde Midtown [Miami], designed by our international award-winning designer David Rockwell. This will be a great addition to our Miami portfolio.
By the end of 2018, we will also open a new property in Rio de Janeiro and our first Delano in Dubai, which will also include a residential component.