Oceanfront Hotels in South Beach Miami | The Shelborne FL

History

Learn about the Shelborne, a historic South Beach Hotel

The Shelborne owns a shimmering South Beach history from the 40´s 50´s and 60´s as one of the foremost Miami Beach hotels.

At a grand opening on December 28, 1940 everyone´s favorite bandleader, Chet Brownagle and his orchestra played.

Article from Miami Herald, December 1940:
"Chet Brownagle, favorite bandleader here for the last 10 years, will begin a season´s engagement tonight at the formal opening at the Shelborne Hotel. Chet and his orchestra will play in the Mayan Room hotel cocktail lounge from 4 until 6 p.m. and in the Blue Room from 7 until 10 p.m. for dinner dancing."

In 1940 you could have nine pounds of laundry washed for 29 cents and you could rent an Oceanfront Penthouse for $15 per day from December through June 1941.

The Shelborne offers an unusual cocktail lounge replete with a Mayan theme with walls and ceilings splashed in vivid and brilliant colorings of reds, greens, blues and yellows. Queer-shaped hieroglyphics and gargoyle grinning heads depict the calendars and shields of Mayan-land which is now Central America.

A mural completed by Ethel Tennyson of Miami depicts "True Man", ruler of this ancient civilization seated on his throne of gold and jaguar skins, dressed in finest of jades, embroideries and a very elaborate headdress of quetzal plumes.

Bordering the Mayan Room is the dining salon Blue Room featuring natural wood walls with matching tables and chairs upholstered in Biscayne blue. A dance floor centers the glassed-in room, bordering the flagged terrace and pool.

Designed by Igor Polevitsky, the Shelborne has a less ornate style than other buildings in South Beach. Ultra-modern and sleek, it is a forerunner of the International Style.

In pink pastel with blue trim, flaunting its trademark 30-foot deco sign, the Shelborne cannot be missed. At the time of the Shelborne´s construction the sign was poured in place on top of the building. The trademark Shelborne "S" is 28 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

The Shelborne hospitality, along with the Miami Beach sun, sand, and surf, attracted guests from everywhere. Indeed, the Shelborne enjoyed almost mythical status in the 1940´s, 50´s, and 60´s.

The Shelborne was home to the Miss America and Miss Universe Pageants, and was a home away from home for some of America´s biggest stars.

Now, the Shelborne continues its reign as a home away from home for business, leisure and international travelers, and for celebrities seeking style and relaxation at Miami Beach’s finest oceanfront hotel.