07 Apr Esme and Matanza Hotels in T/The New York Times
For her first-ever hotel project, the Manhattan-based interior designer Jessica Schuster took on a doozy, or rather, two of them: Over the last five years, she re-envisioned a pair of Miami Beach boutique hotels, the Esmé and Casa Matanza, both backed by the New York-based firm Infinity Hospitality and located across the street from each other on South Beach’s Española Way promenade. The 145-room Esmé’s interiors were meant to be “softer and sweeter,” Schuster says, while at 42 rooms, Casa Matanza is “darker and moodier,” but in both, Schuster employed a color palette of saturated citrus and jewel tones, and retained many architectural features from the hotels’ original 1920s buildings, including arched doorways, pecky cypress ceilings and a fireplace uncovered during demolition. The result is a richly eclectic space that guests may not want to leave, and won’t need to: Schuster connected Esmé’s multiple roof decks with a series of small bridges, so visitors can saunter from the new pool to cabanas to the Spanish tapas restaurant and sangria bar, and the sibling properties will soon be connected via a subterranean passageway so that people may take discreet advantage of each property’s amenities. “I was borrowing from yesterday, today and tomorrow to create this whimsical and fantastical experience,” Schuster says. “It’s very different for Miami.” Rooms at Esmé or Casa Matanza from $300, esmehotel.com.