Faena Hotel evokes glory days of Miami Beach

A 30-foot-long red carpet leads into the “Cathedral,” a sweeping lobby lined with massive gold-leafed columns and edged with elaborate floor-to-ceiling murals depicting lush tropical scenes. The Living Room is a movie set of red leather armchairs, zebra-print couches and lacquered burled wood tables, complete with grand piano. Columns edging the outdoor terrace are crusted with ceramic seashells — just one of many intricate details guests will find at the Faena Hotel on Miami Beach when it opens Tuesday.

The hotel, at 3201 Collins Ave., marks the public debut of the Faena Arts District, the $1 billion patch from 32nd Street to north of 35th Street between the oceanfront and Indian Creek. Its sold-out Faena House condo, designed by the firm of star architect Sir Norman Foster and home to a record-setting $60 million residence, opened earlier this fall. Last December, Faena reopened the historic 50-room Casa Claridge’s, originally envisioned as a company guest house but so popular it has been opened to the public. Faena Hotel is the once-neglected mid-Beach area’s first “new” public space.