In 1925, Miami Beach counted only 33 hotels, 80 apartment buildings, and hundreds of homes. At the site of the new Miami Beach EDITION at 2901 Collins Ave, the Pancoast Hotel once stood. It was said to be Miami Beach’s first grand hotel built on the beach. At the time, the oceanfront was chosen to realize a new city with hotels because it was an area least interesting to agricultural prospects—the main focus of certain developers at the time.
The Pancoast’s atmosphere was that of Old Spain—with an aviary filled with tropical birds and waitresses donning the country’s traditional peasant outfits. Leading up to the property was the newly paved walkway Miami Beach Drive. The Miami Herald marveled at it then, “Here is where visitors in the latest fashion creations stroll along the ocean in front of the fashionable oceanfront hotels.”
However, after 30 years as a beacon on the boulevard, it was time for a more modern, more gilded structure to take over in the Pancoast’s place-the Seville Hotel. The entry to the great Seville, opened in 1955, was nothing short of spectacular. Miami’s bright light flooded in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, catching the gold mosaic tiled columns that dotted the snail-shaped entry-way. The resort’s rooms were giant, at 12 x 24ʹ—said to be the largest in the area. It was a stunning piece of architecture fitting for Miami’s opulent age, when the city was a playground to the stars—Joan Crawford, Jackie Gleason, and the Rat Pack ruled. The Seville’s bars, like the Castanet Lounge and Matador Supper Club, kept these glamorous guests properly hydrated, and the nightclub kept them highly entertained. Not only that, but Collins Ave was just establishing its place as one of the best streets in the world to see and be seen, and the hotel’s terrace offered a prime view of this stretch.
Today, Ian Schrager’s Miami Beach EDITION picks up where the Seville left off. The best details from the old Seville are intact, like its fin-shaped diving board, the circular dining room, and the glowing red clock on the building’s façade, which at night is visible far out to sea. EDITION’s bowling alley, ice skating rink, bar with the only uninterrupted ocean view in South Beach, and nightclub spectacular enough to make the Rat Pack proud, call up necessary phrases like “What happens in Miami, stays in Miami.” These distinct details nod to the past while ushering in a new era of culture, style, and only the best of times.