Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
Opened in Miami in 2003, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach is not only known for its perfect quality service, Carita Spa, and cuisine crafted artfully by chef Thomas Connell, but also for its fantastic, multimillion dollar art collection, on permanent loan from Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts.
Owned by the Lowenstein family since 1973, the original, 1953 Morris Lapidus-designed DiLido hotel was completely renovated into the present Ritz-Carlton South Beach. When, driven by their passion for the arts, the owners decided to incorporate works of art into different areas of the hotel, Mrs. Lowenstein was naturally given the task of decorating, as she had already been in the art business for twenty years and was an interior designer by trade.
As Lowenstein studied the 1950s MiMo (Miami Modern) architectural style of the building, the designer and gallerist researched and culled artists who reflected that era. She chose Antoni Tapiès for his abstract expressionism; she also looked for contemporary artists whose style and vision were synergetic with the art forms of that period. “I chose Juan Lecuona for the geometric lines of its works. I also had this fantastic Spanish artist, Dario Basso, whose 26 original painted photographs of Amazon fauna fit perfectly on the curve of the Lapidus Lounge,” she recounts.
Since the hotel’s opening, the art collection on display has been such a success that operators have had to create a self-guided art tour booklet for guests who wish to spend time discovering the art. In the near future, there will be a renovation of the Ritz-Carlton in which this current collection will come down and another one will be replace it. “I may look for more contemporary pieces,” says Mrs. Lowenstein with sparkling eyes, already excited by the prospect of art exploration.
After having admired these fabulous works of art, hotel visitors can have dinner at the Bistro One LR or at the DiLido Beach Club. As Chef Thomas Connell explains, “The Lowenstein family has a real passion for art, for design, for architecture. So we always reflect a level of style, of creativity in our menus.“ In the hotel’s service, art, and cuisine, the constant pursuit of perfection and innovation that made Cesar Ritz a legend is still perfectly embodied today.
Images Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach