Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Miami Landmark
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 2011
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located in Miami
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Location4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. 33140
Coordinates25°49′5″N 80°7′20″W / 25.81806°N 80.12222°W / 25.81806; -80.12222
Area180,525 m2 (1,943,150 sq ft)
Built1954; 70 years ago (1954)
ArchitectMorris Lapidus
Architectural styleMiami Modern Architecture (MiMo)
Visitation16,349,845 (2015)
NRHP reference No.08001318[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 22, 2008[1]
Designated MFLDecember 9, 2011

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach (also known as Fontainebleau Hotel) is a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Designed by Morris Lapidus, the luxury hotel opened in 1954. In 2007, the Fontainebleau Hotel was ranked ninety-third in the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture".[2] On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter ranked the Fontainebleau first on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[3][4]

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is located on Collins Avenue and is owned by the Soffer family controlled Fontainebleau Resorts.


Fontainebleau Hotel in March 1955. Photo by Samuel Gottscho.
Fontainebleau Hotel, 2004
The hotel in 1982 at sunset

The hotel was built by hotelier Ben Novack on the grounds of the former Harvey Firestone estate. Novack owned and operated the hotel until its bankruptcy in 1977.[5] The Fontainebleau was designed by Morris Lapidus, who was known for wearing bow ties and incorporated them into the design.[6][7]

The Fontainebleau is noted for its victory in the landmark 1959 Florida District Courts of Appeal decision, Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc. 114 So. 2d 357, in which the Fontainebleau Hotel successfully appealed an injunction by the neighboring Eden Roc Hotel to prevent construction of an expansion that blocked sunlight to the Eden Roc's swimming pool. The Court rejected the Eden Roc's claim to an easement allowing sunlight, in favor of affirming the Fontainebleau's vertical property rights to build on its land.[8][9][10] It stated that the "ancient lights" doctrine had been unanimously repudiated in the United States.

In the 1970s, a suite in the hotel was used by members of the Black Tuna Gang to run their operations.[11] This is recounted in the 2011 documentary Square Grouper, which follows the burgeoning marijuana-smuggling trade of the mid-to-late 1970s. It was at this time that large amounts of the drug were being shipped to southeastern Florida; the film alleges that more than ninety percent of the United States' illicit demand was being met through such channels.

In 1978, Stephen Muss bought the Fontainebleau Hotel for $27 million,[12] thus rescuing it from bankruptcy.[13] He injected an additional $100 million into the hotel for improvements, and in 2001, Muss Organization announced a partnership with Turnberry Associates [13] to what over the years would amount to a billion-dollar renovation of the hotel.[14]



The 2002 renovation and expansion led by architect John Nichols, from Coral-Gables-based Nichols Architects, included a 36-story condominium-hotel (Fontainebleau II), and a second 18-story tower (Fontainebleau III), all located on the same premises as the original hotel.[15] During the renovation, Morris Lapidus's exuberant aesthetic and stylistic choices were preserved.[16]

In 2005, the hotel became self-managed, after 30 years of Hilton management.[17] On the same year, the Muss Organization sold the Fontainebleau to Turnberry Associates[18] for $165 million.[12]

The hotel closed a large part of its property in 2006, though one building remained open to hotel guests, and the furnishings were available for sale. The expanded hotel and its new condominium buildings re-opened in November 2008.[19]

On December 22, 2008, the Fontainebleau was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

Fontainebleau's grand re-opening on November 18, 2008 marked the end of a $1 billion transformation. Special care was taken to preserve many of the original design elements, including the "Staircase to Nowhere" (formally called the "floating staircase"). The hotel's elaborate re-opening celebrations included hosting the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show.

Restaurants and nightclubs in the complex include:

In popular culture

The Fontainebleau is a prominent feature in contemporary culture, appearing in numerous movies and television shows, musical lyrics, and nationally televised sporting and other events, including:

21st century







The local pronunciation of the hotel's name is the Anglicized "fountain blue" rather than the normal French pronunciation of the word.[28]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Weekly List Of Actions Taken On Properties: 12/22/08 through 12/24/08". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-12-30. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  2. ^ "BuildingOnline eUpdate News: American Institute of Architects Releases Poll Showing America's Favorite Architecture". BuildingOnline. 15 March 2007. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places". AIA Florida. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  4. ^ "AIA Florida Reveals Winners of the Top 100 Buildings Competition". PR Newswire. 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Ben Novack Sr.,78 Is Dead; Founder of Fontainebleau". New York Times. April 7, 1985.
  6. ^ "A VISIONARY'S REVENGE". Sun Sentinel. 1993-11-28. Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  7. ^ Ross, McKenna (2023-12-09). "What to expect when Fontainebleau opens Wednesday". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2024-02-05.
  8. ^ "FOUNTAINEBLEAU HOTEL CORP., a Florida corporation, and Charnofree Corporation, a Florida corporation, Appellants, v. FORTY-FIVE TWENTY-FIVE, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellee". LexisNexis Academic. Archived from the original on 26 May 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  9. ^ "Fontainebleau H. Corp. v. 4525, Inc". Casetext.
  10. ^ "Case @ University of Chicago". Archived from the original on 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  11. ^ "DEA History Book, 1975 - 1980". U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Gaines, Steven (2009). Fool's Paradise: Players, Poseurs, and the Culture of Excess in South Beach. Crown Publishers. pp. 100–110. ISBN 9780307452214.
  13. ^ a b Van Drake, Stephen (March 11, 2002). "Born to build - Muss, Soffer progeny develop joint project : Fontainebleau II"". South Florida Business Journal.
  14. ^ Luscombe, Richard (2008-11-22). "Hotel to the stars gets billion-dollar makeover". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  15. ^ "Fontainebleau III Tower Closer to Reality". GlobeSt. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  16. ^ Ferla, Ruth La (2008-10-31). "Flamboyance Gets a Face-Lift". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  17. ^ "After 30 Years the Fontainebleau Won't Be a Hilton; New Owner Turnberry Associates Plans on Running the 1,400-room Resort Itself / February 2005". Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  18. ^ Stieghorst, Tom (January 21, 2005). "Turnberry Buys Fontainebleau". Sun Sentinel.
  19. ^ "History". Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Retrieved 5 February 2024.
  20. ^ D'Angelo, Tom (March 15, 2023). "LIV nightclub in Miami Beach looking to block LIV Golf's attempt to register trademark". Golfweek. Retrieved 2023-03-15.
  21. ^ Leibowitz, Aaron (2023-03-15). "LIV Miami vs. LIV Golf: Iconic nightclub wants to block golf group's trademarks". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2023-03-17.
  22. ^ Diaz, Johnny (June 13, 2019). "Eva Longoria's new 'Grand Hotel' TV drama stars Fontainebleau Miami Beach and a South Florida cast". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  23. ^ Ugoku. "The Sopranos location guide – Miami Beach hotel". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  24. ^ "'Scarface' turns 35". Sun Sentinel. 9 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Roberto Duran KOs Vilomar Fernandez This Day January 29, 1977 and Retains Title". 28 January 2018. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Fontainebleau".
  27. ^ "Bond's Miami Beach Hotel (Fontainebleau Hotel)". James Bond MM. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016.
  28. ^ Yancey, Kitty Bean (December 9, 2004). "At 50, venerable Fontainebleau regaining its glitz". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2008-05-23. Retrieved 2017-11-01.