“Aligning our brand with complementary design partners was key to the hotel’s reinvention,” said Christina Zimmer, senior vice president of design for Highgate. “Our vision lies within creating a uniquely distinct Gates Hotel which incorporates branding elements tailored to the Miami area.”
Honoring its origins as the Anakara Motel, The Gates blends Art Deco inspired architecture with modern comfort and vintage glamour to pay homage to The Magic City’s community.
“Some important tenets to address in the design were to create intimacy and warmth in the lobby and provide a variety of seating arrangements for positive social dynamics,” said Dieter Cartwright of Dutch East Design. “To eliminate visual noise each individual space is defined based on functionality.”
Now accessible from bustling Collins Avenue, the hotel’s garden pathway is newly paved with local flora and crushed shells to cover plant beds – opting for a more exclusive entrance. Guests can enter through Collins Avenue or Liberty Avenue, both of which facilitate incoming traffic.
Upon entry, the floor plan allows for ease of flow and circulation from the front door to the reception area. The walnut colored reception desk with natural stone surfaces matches the perforated carved wooden screen and wood slat ceiling.
Reminiscent of iconic Miami culture, the selected color palette of dusty pink, sea foam, and teal evokes a sense of place. Utilizing existing architectural elements, the staircase is embellished with two blade walls of concrete breeze block to add a dramatic flair while creating a more intimate, usable space accompanied by a wooden bench with circular cushions for each guest. Stones, two brass-colored alligators and foliage provide a peaceful landscape, separating the bench from the staircase.
The once exposed ceiling is subdued with a dark deep teal and layers in solid pastels and other muted tones throughout the public spaces. Various lighting solutions were built custom to capture the essence of each space and enhance the mood.
Bridging the lobby bar and lounge, these areas foster a casual environment complete with an integrated book display behind the bar and pool table surrounded by variety of lobby seating. The lounge can serve as an extension to the bar.
Custom double-sided cabanas mixed with natural materials and fun fabric, offer groups, families, and friends a poolside retreat. The expanded pool deck leading to the restaurant, promotes inclusivity with lounging areas and a communal table for outdoor dining underneath the Miami moonlight. A hidden bar is nestled between the pool area and restaurant where guests can enjoy tequila infused cocktails while soaking up the South Beach sun.
Mexican-inspired restaurant, Agaveros Cantina couples Mexican dishes (think traditional specialties, elote fritters, fusion tacos, and Mexican pizza) with more than 100 tequilas and mezcals imported from Mexico. Tequila aficionados can get handcrafted cocktails and flights, balancing savory dishes with sweet sips. The lobby lounge offers tapas style shared plates.
One of the more notable design elements of The Gates is a collection of striking imagery by award-winning Jorge De La Torriente of De La Gallery in Key West. The 235 guestrooms feature De La images representative of local Miami scenes, adding splashes of color to the headboards and walls.