I THINK I’m getting first-date jitters on my second visit to EAST, Miami hotel. I’m not meeting anyone here, in fact, I’m travelling solo. But as an architecture junkie with a weakness for luxury hotels, I know a catch when I see one. Sure, I don’t know EAST that well, and my friends say I’m getting ahead of myself, but it seems to have it all: tall, dark, handsome. And it cares about the environment. No, really.
Corner King Bedroom overlooking Biscayne Bay
From way up on my room’s balcony on the 31st floor – with undoubtedly the best views of Miami – I look down and see a structural wave of glass wrapping itself around EAST’s towers, floating atop Brickell City Centre. The hotel’s Climate Ribbon – designed by Hugh Dutton – captures trade winds from the ocean to bring natural breeze into the property and cool down its public spaces by up to seven degrees Fahrenheit, without needing to rely on air conditioning.
A forerunner in sustainability initiatives within the hospitality industry, EAST – although only three years old – has set itself apart from the competition by incorporating their green ethos into their events and program offerings, like their partnership with Istituto Marangoni Miami, for Earth Day 2019. The hotel and the leading international fashion school in Miami’s Design District are putting on a show, creating eco-friendly fashion by means of donated recycled hotel bed sheets, laundry bags, pillowcases, robes, and toiletry kits.
The Climate Ribbon extended pool area
I told my sister about it, about my infatuation with EAST – along with anyone who’ll listen. Being here, you can’t help but catch feelings. EAST makes me feel special, like I’m the only one that matters, even though I know that whatever’s happening between us, we’re not exclusive – I know that in my head. There’s 352 rooms, after all. But deep inside, I know we’ve got something special going on.
How else can you explain having the sous-chef at Quinto La Huella – it’s signature restaurant – coming over to my dinner table to get to know a little bit more about me so that he could prepare a food board that catered to my heart’s desires? Or the restaurant director coming to sit with me for a few minutes before heading home after a long day of work?
I tell her how being at Quinto is a contradiction, it’s like being in two places at once: dining inside wooden bungalows surrounded by trees, with skyscrapers as a backdrop so close I feel like they’re the next table over. I’m here on my own, but I don’t feel lonely for a second. EAST gives me the exact, right amount of attention; not a lot of other guys – I mean, hotels – do that.
EAST Elevator Installation
Asian Night brunch experience at the Tea Rooms
Maybe I’m just on a high, swept off my feet inside elevators with interiors – designed by Clodah Design – that give the illusion that I’m weightlessly levitating up in the Milky Way. But EAST is just cool. It’s so cool, in fact, that one of its little gems, Tea Room, isn’t even listed on EAST’s website. You simply have to know about it. The restaurant, located on the 40th floor, serves what they call an Asian night brunch, a unique two-hour dining experience with beautiful Oriental dishes paired with your choice of either yoto sake or champagne, and served with 180-degree views of Miami. The other 180-degrees are reserved for guests at Sugar, the rooftop bar and the setting of one of the biggest realizations during my time at EAST.
EAST Tea Room
Twilight at Sugar
As the host at Sugar escorts me into a private nook, a corner closed off with a rope and a ‘Reserved’ sign on the table, the waitress, Sucin, expresses she’s seen me here before – and she has. “I’m on my second date,” I tell her. And as the sun sets and the Miami skyline lights up in purples, yellows, blue and pink lights, I’m taken over by an excitement I hadn’t felt in a while. It’s fine, I can admit it: I’m head over clouds.
by Regner Ramos
Summer rates for an Urban King room at EAST, Miami start at $279/night. For availability and bookings, please visit here