Some of Miami’s coolest architectural transformations have been taking mid-century motels and making something new out of them. Biscayne Boulevard is full of good examples. Now there’s one up in Fort Lauderdale, just steps away from the beach. The Ikona Hotel, formerly the Shell Motel, opened its doors today following a multi-million dollar renovation that simultaneously restored key features of the midcentury modern building while modernizing the interior design with smart technology and stylish amenities.
The Ikona Hotel is part of the new Gzella Collection, a group of beachside hotels spearheading the boutique hotel movement in Fort Lauderdale Beach. Maybe this will finally give Lauderdale that je ne sais quoi that South Beach has been enjoying for years. The atmosphere that only smaller projects with a touch of historic value can give. “Visual whimsy is in short supply among the sober high-rise hotels of Fort Lauderdale Beach,” points out Pawel Plata, co-founder of Gzella Collection. “Today’s independent-minded travelers are seeking local adventures and authentic experiences at properties equally intimate and personalized services that are hard to find at big hotel chains.”
The project was designed by the Travel Channel’s Blanche Garcia, an interior designer on the popular show “Hotel Impossible,” Ikona is a fashionable yet low-key escape. The new hotel was designed for deep relaxation and sophisticated coastal living. Conceived as a contemporary re-imagination of a seaside cottage, Ikona boasts 24 stylishly designed deluxe rooms, family apartment suites and well-appointed penthouses.
The rooms, also deigned by Garcia, include custom-made modern furnishings, premium amenities such as Nespresso coffee makers and Oasis Collection cotton sheets, and natural finishings such as exposed wood and sleek metals. The three-story hotel overlooks a private pool and courtyard garden with indoor and outdoor event space including a second-level balcony overlooking the ocean.
This won’t be the last cute hotel by the group. The Ikona has sister property the Fortuna Hotel, which opened this summer, and another one, called the Mirra Hotel, scheduled for 2017. Collectively, the properties showcase individual charm and unique personalities while introducing South Florida travelers to a new level of custom experiences and service intimacy found only in boutique lodging.
Ikona Hotel is located at 3030 Bayshore Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.