Living / Insights

Lighting Find: Beehive Lamps

Sexy dimmed lighting with clean modern lines gives us something to buzz about.

September 02, 2011

Diffused lighting has never been more stylish. The Foscarini Beehive table lamp is designed to mimic its namesake, with the light encompassing circular rings made from ultralightweight, durable ABS polycarbonate. It also comes with a dimmer option, making it ideal for both intimate bedtime reading or illuminating a full-size living room. Abitare, 21 NE 39th St., Miami;



The New Face of Morgans Hotel Group

Hospitality wunderkind Michael Gross takes the helm of Morgans Hotel Group.

September 02, 2011

Upon first impression, Michael Gross looks like he might be one of the young, upwardly mobile guests enjoying themselves in the lobby or lounge of a chic boutique hotel, a wellheeled yet hip young customer. But he’s actually the new CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, one of the most renowned and glamorous boutique hotel collections in the nation. At his new post, he oversees a hospitality empire based on uniqueness that includes groundbreaking properties in Miami (Delano, Mondrian, Shore Club), Los Angeles (Mondrian), Boston (Ames), New York (Mondrian Soho, Hudson, Royalton, Morgans), London (Sanderson, St. Martin’s Lane) and San Francisco (Clift).

From where Gross sits, he’s at the center of what he believes is Morgans’ core demographic. “I’m 36,” he says. “I know what [our guest is] expecting, though it’s less about age and more about a lifestyle. We attract a client who tends to be more experimental, less conformist. Our properties feel unique. I have tremendous respect for both Ian [Schrager] and André [Balazs],” he says with regard to the men who pioneered the boutique hotel concept in Miami and elsewhere. “But I want us to lead what happens next.”

Growing up as a customer of these properties (his parents, Nachum and Sandy Gross, have lived in South Beach for 16 years), Gross counts the Delano among his favorite places. “We watched this town evolve. The Delano is truly iconic and in many ways was one of the key catalysts for the creation of South Beach today.” And though he started out in finance, the business may just be in his blood. “My parents are entrepreneurs and have always done extensive traveling. In high school, our house was where my friends would hang out after basketball practice. I’ve always been someone who likes to host.”

Gross has barely moved into his new office, but change swiftly followed. There have been seismic shifts within the board of directors, as well as on the operations front. New York’s Morgans and Royalton hotels have been sold, as well as the Mondrian Los Angeles, though the company will stay on to manage the properties. “By selling our assets, we’ve repositioned the company and created an influx of capital, which we can now reinvest in the properties.”

A large part of Morgans’ reinvigoration process has entailed buying out its food and beverage partners, China Grill Management. “Now we have the ability to handpick the food, beverage and nightlife.” Case in point: Morgans has seen a great reaction to executive chef Sam Talbot’s Imperial No. Nine at Mondrian Soho. As for Miami, “We’re going to completely relaunch the food and nightlife experience of the Delano,” Gross says. At press time, the company remains tightlipped regarding the names it’s bringing in, but the rumors are exciting.

Needless to say, Gross—a devoted husband and father of twin girls, with another child on the way—is a busy man. But the new post brings him back to what he loves. “I have a dream job, which allows me to combine left brain and right brain,” he enthuses. “I’d love to leave a mark.”



Rocking Eco-Chairs

The classic rocker gets a modern, eco-friendly upgrade.

August 23, 2011

One of the most talkedabout series of pieces at Salone were the Tip Ton chairs by Barber Osgerby for Vitra. Each is manufactured from a single mold of 100 percent recyclable polypropylene, which means it’s as lightweight as it is durable. The Tip Ton only tilts forward at a slight, nine-degree angle. The sitter’s spine is thus held in an ergonomically correct position, improving oxygen fl ow, which increases concentration and focus—all with a dash of colorful, minimalist flair. Luminaire Lab, 3901 NE Second Ave., Miami;



A Mother-Daughter Spa Haven

The Delano's agua spa will make you wish everyday were Mother's Day.

April 29, 2011

The agua terrace at the Delano

This Mother's Day, schedule some quality time with mom at the Delano’s award-winning agua spa. Mother-daughter duos will have their pick of three relaxing spa packages (valid through May 15) sure to encourage plenty of bonding and bliss. Moms-to-be can also get in on the pampering with the spa's special prenatal massage. Schedule an early appointment so as not to miss the Delano's splendid Mother's Day brunch.

Mom & Me Spa Breakfast Connection
: $387, 9 AM to 11:30 AM only
Treatment: Private, side-by-side 60-minute massage with aromatherapy
Bonus: An elegant post-treatment spa breakfast on the rooftop solarium 

Mom & Me Spa Tea Time
Price:  $340
Treatment: Choice of any two of the following 60-minute treatments: massage, spa pedicure, facial, milk and honey body treatment
Bonus: Sip herbal tea and nosh on spa cupcakes on the rooftop solarium   

Mom & Mini Me Happy Feet
Price: $124
Treatment: Mother-daughter pedicure, available for children under 12  
Bonus: Plenty of chocolate milk and spa cupcakes   

Mom & Me Spa Tea Time
Price: $145  
Treatment: 60-minute pre-natal massage performed by a certified therapist. 

—kelly Mahan


Meet Local Artist Nina Surel

A peek inside Surel's collage art world.

April 07, 2011

Leaves town for… “Handmade buttons in Argentina, Fashion Week in Milan, inspiration at the Tate in London.”

Comes back for… “My studio and artist community at Art Center/South Florida, the fullmoon dance and drum circle at Soho Beach House, and my perma-tourist lifestyle here with my family.”

Latest Miami infatuation: “Laslopezlas, the hand-woven creations of Maria Victoria Lopez. She just arrived from a small town in Argentina and is sure to make a splash in Miami.” Available at

Words of wisdom: “Have the courage to differentiate what is a real threat from what is a positive challenge.”

—Valerie Mattos


Designer Chat: Carolina Diaz

The Allen Saunders interior design director dishes design inspiration, upcoming projects and Miami haunts.

April 01, 2011

Who would you consider inspirational in the Miami design community?
CAROLINA DIAZ: I’m fortunate to be surrounded by talented friends who really inspire me, and Kelly Wearstler in particular. She’s so fearless in combining styles, patterns and color.

Tell us about your current projects.
CD: I’m collaborating with the design team at Allen Saunders and staying busy with more than a couple of projects: a condo unit at the Continuum, a duplex in Boston and houses in Delray Beach and Winter Park.

What brought you to Miami?
CD: I was born in Armenia, Colombia, and have been here since just after high school. My plan was to complete my bachelor’s degree in Interior Design at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and move back, but I stayed.

What excites you around town lately?
CD: All of Midtown, the Design District and Wynwood, where there are so many fantastic new restaurants, showrooms and galleries.

—John Joseph Lin


New Book: The Exile Experience

A bilingual account of the journeys Cuban-Americans have made for freedom.

March 01, 2011

Having fled Cuba in 1967, Latin music mogul Emilio Estefan’s foreword contribution to The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom(HCP/Abroad, $35) is apropos; the bilingual book details the personal accounts of those who left the island for South Florida over the years. A celebration of the Cuban-American community’s accomplishments, it features the names of thousands of brave exiles who have migrated here.


The South Beach Renaissance

A new book dives into the history of South Beach.

March 01, 2011

Explore the charismatic personalities and iconic buildings behind South Beach’s tempestuous rise from Barrier Island to world-renowned resort town in Charles J. Kropke and Eleanor Goldstein’s new book, South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance.


Fitness Find: Anti-Gravity Yoga

Synergy Fitness sweeps yogis off their feet.

March 01, 2011

Bored with downward dog and warrior three? Try Synergy Fitness’ Anti-Gravity Yoga, during which you’ll hover above the ground, buoyed by a swath of space-age fabric hung from the ceiling. 328 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne


Portraits of Nicaragua

Two documentary photographers capture one Nicaragua’s most forgotten regions.

January 13, 2011

Claudia Gordillo Castellón, Aguacero en Bilwi, 1989

Check out “Estampas del Caribe Nicaraguense” (“Portraits of the Nicaraguan Caribbean”), a photographic exhibition on display at HistoryMiami through April 3. It’s an escape to Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast through the lens of award-winning documentary photographers María José Alvarez and Claudia Gordillo Castellón. 101 W. Flagler St., Miami

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