Virgin Hotels Ventures to Miami With New Development in Brickell Slated to Open in 2023

USA, Miami, Florida. October 07, 2019

Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, announces plans to open and operate a new hotel in Miami, Florida. Virgin Hotels Miami will be managed by Virgin Hotels, developed by Blue Jay Capital with BLUR Workshop as the architect, and is slated to open in 2023.

"I'm personally very passionate about this property, as it brings Virgin Hotels into a city that holds a great deal of significance for us. In addition to being my home, Miami is the headquarters of Virgin Hotels, so this is a milestone that has been a long time coming," comments Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal. "Miami is one of our nation's premier vacation and nightlife destinations and a major cultural hub. Our team cannot wait to make our mark here by bringing the Virgin Hotels experience to this lively city."

In the heart of Downtown Miami's Financial District, the hotel will be located at 1040 S. Miami Avenue in the Brickell neighborhood - a hotspot for locals and visitors alike. Virgin Hotels Miami will be in the center of this urban oasis and steps away from Brickell City Centre, a $1.05 billion shopping and mixed-use project in development.

The 40-story new-build hotel will feature 250 chambers; a spa; over 15,000 square-feet of meeting and event space; and multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand's signature culinary experience Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and modern social club; a beer garden live music venue; and Funny Library Coffee Shop, a communal work space that will house an assortment of whimsical and funny books and games. Funny Library Coffee Shop will pour coffee by Laughing Man®, the brand co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman. The hotel will also feature a three-story terraced rooftop complete with pool, lounge, and event space all designed to feel like a rooftop conservatory. Virgin Hotels Miami will take to heart the brand wide celebrated "No Nickel and Diming" policy, which includes street-priced minibars, free WIFI, and zero resort fees, urban fees or amenity fees. The hotel is slated to break ground in 2020.

"Blue Jay Capital could not be more excited to partner with Virgin Hotels on this new project in our hometown of Miami. We have all seen Virgin Hotels' increased presence in recent years and are very proud they selected Blue Jay Capital to join their family," stated Eric Soulavy, President at Blue Jay Capital. "We look forward to delivering an exciting new hotel option to the countless travelers that visit South Florida and the Brickell market."

Notably, the development is planning to incorporate a car elevator system for valet parking as a nod to the future of transportation and to maximize the space available for amenity, entertainment and office uses. Tapping into Virgin Group's commitment to sustainability, the project will seek green building certifications, aiming to be one of the healthiest and lowest carbon consuming hotels.

The development will incorporate a residential component operated by Blue Jay Capital with 15 floors of furnished residential spaces consisting of 150 micro units and co-living units. All residents will have access to Virgin Hotels Miami common spaces and amenities, and the design will be inspired by the signature Virgin Hotels look. With micro units under 400 square-feet and three to four-bedroom co-living units, this project marks Virgin Hotels' foray into mixed use residential.

"Headquartered in Miami, Virgin Hotels joins a growing list of Virgin Group's investment in Greater Miami including Virgin Trains and Virgin Voyages," said William D. Talbert, III, CDME, President & CEO, GMCVB. "Our destination offers one of the most dynamic hotel markets in the world and we are proud Virgin Hotels has chosen Greater Miami as their entryway into the Florida market."

The property joins Virgin Hotels' rapidly growing roster, which includes Virgin Hotels Chicago, Virgin Hotels San Francisco, and Virgin Hotels Dallas, opening later this year. The brand has broken ground on four locations: New York, Nashville, New Orleans and Edinburgh, UK. Forthcoming hotels have also been announced in Palm Springs and Silicon Valley, including the newest acquisition, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas which will be converted to Virgin Hotels in later 2020.

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Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.