Faena Hotel in Miami Beach

Faena: More than a Hotel; Art, Culture, Gastronomy and its creative master mind behind

By Montserrat Franco - Lifestyle, Food and Wine Reviewer - mfranco@fashionandwinemag.com -
Twitter: @montserratfranc for Fashion & Wine Magazine (Miami-Buenos Aires-Ibiza)

When entering the opulent Faena Hotel is like submerging in to a Cathedral of art; murals and mosaics by renowned Argentinian artist Juan Gatti called the Coined Utopia (Faena + Utopia) a depict of the Journey of Life and a vision of Alan Faena's magical world.

On the Photo: Montserrat Franco in front of the Coined Utopia by Juan Gatti wearing the Rose dress by Dolce & Gabbana.

Alan Faena; the orchestrator of this Hotel Universe; has always been the utopian businessman; when believing in areas that no one will give credit to; decades ago back in Argentina, transforming and making its own empire from marginal to chic; like a Midas touch; everything turned in to gold.

When understanding the Faena's "cosmovision"; his own style that has been evolving as the Urban Alchemist; dressing in pristine white and a dandy hat but with a humble accessory to complete the outfit: an Indian wayuu crossbody bag. We want to show you more about his fantastic world and here we are for the experience.

On the Photo: Alan Faena.

Golden columns and red carpet guide us to the Living room, the tropical lounge retreat with a curated live music set nightly; elaborated mixology and that feeling of being on your best friend's living room. A few steps right after we are at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann; crowned the Ambassador of Fire; Francis Mallmann brings his own South American "Gaucho" mastery for "asado" as the traditional way on his custom designed wood fired grill.

On the Photo: From the kitchen at "Los Fuegos" (from the Spanish "The Fire") we can see the preparation and the wood fire grill custom designed by Francis Mallmann.

One of the distinctive points at the Faena is the golden mammoth installation by Damien Hirst; "Gone but not forgotten" is an example of the unexpected bringing us back to reality and what is here to stay. The path will take us to the beach on a dreamy oasis of white sands flanked by the characteristic red and white stripped umbrellas with endless tassels; in the Middle East tassels were worn as amulets for protection; tassels can be seen on the decor aroundthe Faena complex.

On the Photo: "Gone but not forgotten" installation by Damien Hirst. Montserrat Franco wearing the Pompom sevillana kaftan by Pitusa @pitusa.co

Coming back to the dining areas; we are ready to contemplate the stunning views from the terrace at PAO by celebrity Chef Paul Qui; a James Beard winner brings his Pan Asian flair to Faena's fine dining arena; from stylish presentations to harmonious flavors; the crudos, kinilaw, ceviche, sashimi or tiradito are once again a delectable sharing experience all paired with a cult and collectible wine list under the tutelage of the sommelier team at La Cava. Another Damien Hirst sculpture of The Unicorn; half gold, half alive in the middle of the dining room is a true expression of the dichotomy myth + reality in Faena's universe.

On the Photo: The Unicorn by Damien Hirst gives also the name to PAO's signature dish Unicorn (pictured below).

On the Photo: Unicorn (Uni+Corn) this dish is served on a bed of mixed peppers (just for the decor) a sea urchin shell and inside a sublime creamy corn and uni dish.

White for the floors and walls, at "Tierra Santa Healing House" spa but full of vibrant colors of Latin American embroidery and handcrafted objects by Eco Fair Trade designer Carolina K who has been working with different ethnic groups from Mexico to Peru and India with successful collaborations such as Anthropology and Urban Outfitters.

Tierra Santa is America's first South American inspired spa, combining ancient healing techniques and treatments; hand blended plant oils, rose stones and vibrating singing bowls. Sustainable in so many different levels Tierra Santa's holistic treatments have been developed respecting the mysticism and rituals of these cultures with their own in-house Shaman.
Spa Director Vivianne Garcia-Tunon explained what makes Tierra Santa Healing House so different from any other Spa experience; a unique collection of seven "Moringa" seed base oils representing the 7 chakras to elevate, calm, restore and heal are used on each specific treatment; Amazonian white clay collected from the Marajo shores and Guarana-maca blend scrubs to purify mind and body; a welcoming scent of Palo Santo and their own custom made soap tower are just examples of the attention to every detail. Once at the Wet Spa; guests can experience the journey of the senses; the hammam, centered by heated gobek tasi stone and incrusted with Faena's signature South American Rose mosaic.

On the Photo: The Hammam at Tierra Santa's wet spa.

On the Photo: The 7 sacred oils used on holistic treatments in combination with singing bowls.

On the Photo: Detail of massage, the suite with wall decor by Juan Gatti.

Back to the spa suites; a rainbow stripped rug representing the 7 chakras and comfy sofas adorned with otomi embroidered cushions make the perfect spot for sipping on blended teas and healing stone infused water while contemplating views of the tropical oasis.

A gracious spa hostess dressed on Huaxacan styled dress by Carolina K guide us to the gorgeous suites covered with Juan Gatti's murals. There, a choice of therapeutic power oils, healing stones and custom massages are used in conjunction with singing bowls to elevate the spirit.

Now, we don't want to go back to reality but we can always dream of that fantastic world and yet have it all; right here in Miami Beach at the Faena District.

On the Photo: Otomi embroidered pillows, Mexican handcrafts and Peruvian rugs; styled and selected by Carolina K at Tierra Santa spa shop, @carolinakuniverse.

On the Photo: Tierra Santa Spa.

For reservations:

Faena Hotel Miami Beach
3201 Collins Ave.
Faena District, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Phone: 305 535 4697
Web: www.faena.com

Tierra Santa Healing House
Phone: 1 844 798 9716

Pao by Paul Qui
Phone: 786 655 5600

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann
Phone: 786 655 5600

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