In 2011, Philip Goldfarb took over as president and chief operating officer at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Together with owner Jeffrey Soffer, Goldfarb is responsible for transforming the hotel into the ultimate “oceanfront playground.” This fall, Goldfarb will continue to provide an ultraluxe (and always ultracool) experience for guests with the renovation of the beloved Bleau Bar and the Sorrento Tower suites. Here, he gives Ocean Drive a sneak peek.
How will the Bleau Bar be reimagined?
Rockwell Group is leading the design, which will blend sophistication and glamour to create a modern take on the hotel’s iconic architecture. The circular bar will be replaced with a tear-drop shape, enlarging the diameter and offering expanded seating areas. The lightup glass floor will be transformed by Brooklyn-based artist Fernando Mastrangelo, who chose a refined terrazzo floor in 15 shades of blue, fading from light to dark and creating a sense of movement with a serene gradient effect. We will also unveil all-new cocktails that will blend modern mixology techniques with the integrity of classic cocktails.
How will the new bar tap into the LIV nightlife experience?
One of the most amazing elements of original architect Morris Lapidus’ design is how spaces throughout Fontainebleau blend and flow together in a seamless experience, but our goal with this project was to give Bleau Bar more of its own identity. A series of 16-foot-tall screens comprised of delicate bronze and glass, designed in collaboration with artist John-Paul Philippe, will conceal the bar and help define the space as a kind of calm oasis within the lobby. As the Bleau Bar becomes electric at night, we think it will really complement and elevate the LIV experience.
Tell us all about the renovation of the Sorrento Tower suites.
The Sorrento Tower renovation pays homage to the building’s history. Originally a separate, stand-alone hotel, the tower was rebuilt and attached to Fontainebleau. The design was much more in line with classic art deco, where stylistically Fontainebleau is considered midcentury modern. Our goal is to merge both styles while reconnecting the line between Miami Beach and Sorrento, Italy, which the original hotel was named after.
All of the properties that you work on have a rich Florida history. How much looking to the past do you do when you’re planning for the future?
Having local ownership has been a big influence on our projects. Our company, Fontainebleau Development, has continued to invest heavily in the South Florida market. It’s very important to Jeff that we preserve—and pay tribute to—the history of our projects; we very much try to be stewards of these amazing properties.
Photography by: PHILIP GOLDFARB PORTRAIT BY NICK GARCIA; BLEAU BAR PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FONTAINEBLEAU MIAMI BEACH