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Inside Miami’s legendary Surf Club – revived for the 21st century

Few openings have been so hotly anticipated as the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami, which has been brought into the 21st-century by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier.

The glamorous hotel – founded by Harvey S Firestone (of tyre fame) in the 1930s, and popular with a global elite ranging from Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza to Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra – has been given more than just a nip and tuck by the Modernist architect.

Photography: Christian Horan. Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami
Peacock Alley. Photography: Christian Horan. Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami

Meier has retained Russell T Pancoast’s original 1930s clubhouse, and added a sleek 77-room glass-and steel hotel which cantilevers over the top of it. Two 12-storey residential towers (also operated by Four Seasons and designed by Meier) flank the hotel, with residences starting from $3.75m.

Meanwhile Parisian architect and designer Joseph Dirand drew on The Surf Club’s glamorous heritage for its interiors.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami
Photography: Christian Horan. Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami

‘There was a rich archive of photographs where you could feel the energy and the mood. Our aim was to capture that mood, but not copy the look,’ says Dirand. ‘The public areas are where the feeling of the older building meets the architecture of the new – they should have the vocabulary of the original, but the language should be contemporary.’

Dirand has restored original detailing inside the Peacock Alley – The Surf Club’s old loggia – and added a splash of colour with tropical flora. Bedrooms, which start from $899 per night, channel a more subtle 1970s vibe, fitted with fluted plaster-cast walls and a custom-designed travertine sofa, breakfast nook and desk.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami
Photography: Adrian Gaut. Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club in Miami

Antonio Sersale of Le Sirenuse leads the club’s restaurant while Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Per Se is opening a second restaurant on the hotel’s grounds to be designed by Martin Brudnizki.

Read next: 2017’s most anticipated hotel openings

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