A rooftop hotel bar in Miami

Esme Hotel in Miami draws on the "bohemian grandeur" of its past

Saturated tones, Mediterranean patterns and decadent furnishings are found throughout this renovated boutique hotel in Miami with interiors by New York studio Jessica Schuster Design.

Originally built in 1927 as a cultural hub for artists, the building, formerly known as Spanish Village, is located on Miami Beach's pedestrian plaza, Española Way.

A decadent lobby with red carpet
Esme Hotel is located along Miami Beach's pedestrian strip

Event planning and design company Infinity Hospitality Group collaborated with Jessica Schuster Design on the transformation of the hotel, which has 145 guest rooms.

The architecture of Española Way resembles the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France. Schuster looked to the rich local architectural history as a starting point for the interiors.

A round bar with stools around it
Jessica Schuster Design transformed the building into a boutique hotel

"We wanted to create an artful collage of bohemian grandeur alongside Miami's historic Española Way," said Jessica Schuster, founder of Jessica Schuster Design."We had fun playing with furniture, lighting and fabrics to create something timeless and exciting at the same time," Schuster told Dezeen.

A restuarant inside Esme Hotel
The interior has Art Deco elements

Guests arrive at a lobby with plush velvet flooring and benches clad in a fabric that recalls the patterned ceramic tiles often seen in southern European countries. Plants potted in wicker pots add to the hotel's bohemian theme.

"We wanted to create something that spoke to the Mediterranean culture of South Beach, Miami," said Shuster.

"This was achieved using vibrant colours, fun textures and details that remained true to the historical aspect of the hotel's original design."

A green hotel bar
Clashing patterns feature throughout the hotel

After passing through the lobby, visitors can sip cocktails or sample Latin-inspired dishes at El Salón, a cocktail bar inside the Esme Hotel.

Here, stools fringed with tassels are stationed around the edge of a circular mahogany bar. The adjoining, dimly lit dining area has a similar decadent arrangement, with candlelit tables spread across the checkered floor.

Schuster worked closely with the Historic Preservation Board of Miami to replicate some of the original building's elements.

The studio used materials such as the limestone travertine and plaster, which featured heavily in Mediterranean revival design in Miami.

A bedroom with green walls inside Esme Hotel
The rooms are coloured in saturated, rich hues associated with opulence

"It was a historical property, so we worked to bring back the integrity of the original designs that are unique to South Beach, being that most buildings are from the Art Deco period," Shuster explained.

"We reused a lot of pecky cypress wood detailing on the ceilings and throughout the hotel. We also uncovered an original fireplace that we gave life to again and kept the original arches," she added.

A pink bathroom inside Esme Hotel
The bathrooms incorporate gold elements

The Art Deco aesthetic is continued upstairs in the hotel's bedrooms and bathrooms where bath and skincare products by Grown Alchemist can be found.

Many of the rooms have a rose and emerald colour scheme with gold accents and vibrant clashing patterns that create striking decorations for floors and walls.

On the rooftop, there is a vintage bar and swimming pool with frilly red awnings and pinstriped seating.

A rooftop pool and red seating
The rooftop has pinstriped furnishings

Esme Hotel isn't the only interior that references the opulence of Miami's past. American designer Ken Fulk styled The Goodtime Hotel to reflect the art deco architecture of the area.

Fulk also decorated the interior of the Swan restaurant in Miami with soft, candy colours that remind diners of Miami's 1920s heyday.

Photography is by Christian Harder.


Project credits:
Client: Infinity Hospitality
Interior design: Jessica Schuster Design

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Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design
Esme Hotel by Jessica Schuster Design