Tag Archives: Lido Spa

Another Belle Isle post card memory: The Lido Spa

Touting the Lido as "Miami Beach's only spa."

Touting the Lido as “Miami Beach’s only spa.”

As we wait for updates on the next step for The Standard’s proposed renovation, our crack research team cranked up the Wayback Machine for a look at the Lido Spa in its second coming.

A new way to vacation...

A new way to vacation…

Remember, the Belle Isle motel/spa/hotel launched in 1953 as the Monterrey Hotel, designed by noted Miami Modern architect Norman Giller. Second Gen was the Lido Spa, in 1960, when the new owner added the three-story lobby and spa building with the classic sign and gold grille panels.

Out latest postcard find dates back to the early 1960s. The only high-rises visible on Belle Isle in the postcard are Belle Tower, the island’s first high-rise (1958) at 16 Island Ave., and behind it, Belle Plaza, at 20 Island Ave., Belle Plaza was completed in 1962.


Standard Hotel expansion gets mixed reception from Belle Isle residents

The Standard wants to demolish the east wing (on right), to make way for parking, 2-story wing.

Plans involve removing the east wing (on right), to make way for parking, 2-story wing.

Belle Isle residents gave a The Standard hotel an uneven reception to its proposal to tear down its east wing to make room for a 160-space mechanical parking structure and a new, two- story building.

Attorney Monica Entin and architect Arthur Marcus at The Standard.

Attorney Monica Entin and architect Arthur Marcus at The Standard.

In a presentation Wednesday night at the hotel, 40 Island Ave., the lawyer for The Standard’s development team,  Monica Entin, said the expansion “will benefit the neighborhood.”

She said it would  reduce traffic, won’t add any hotel rooms, and will enclose the kitchen for the hotel and therefore reduce noise.

“We aren’t seeking any additional uses or hours of operations,” she told residents.

But residents who attended the meeting from the north side of Belle Isle — where The Standard is located — expressed concern that the increased scale from the expansion would have a negative impact on their quality of life.

The Standard team, which included architect Arnold Marcus and specialists in traffic, acoustics and landscaping, outlined a construction plan that begins with demolishing the one-story wing of rooms at the hotel.

A robotic parking structure would rise just behind the three story lobby/spa building that would be roughly 45 feet high — about the same height at the building in front of it.

Behind the parking structure, The Standard would build a two-story wing of rooms.

If the project moves forward,  it would take about eight months to a year to get city approval for the changes design, and the demolition and construction process would take more than a year, after that developer representatives said.

But nothing happens unless the Miami Beach City Commission okays the demolition of the original wing. If that is approved, the city planning and design boards would be next in the process to evaluate the garage design and the new two-story wing.

The Standard team emphasized how aspects of their plan could lessen impact on Belle Isle residents.

— While the 160-space garage would mean cars could park on site, they said it would actually decrease Belle Isle traffic. Because the hotel and spa has no on-site parking, each visitor to the hotel, spa or restaurant who arrives in their own car generates multiple trips at the hotel, traffic engineer Joaquin Vargas said — one into the hotel, then two more as a valet and trailing shuttle bus drive to a rented parking lot in Sunset Harbour, and then a trip back.

The process of parking that single car takes time, and as a result, cars often back up at the porte-cochère at The Standard front door — and so taxis sometimes stop on Island Avenue to drop off hotel guests.

“If we have a garage on site, it will alleviate” much of the traffic and congestion, Vargas said.

— The parking garage walls would be clad with landscaping — “a living wall of plants,” the landscape architect said — to lessen its visual impact.

— The new two-story wing of rooms will have interior hallways, and all the balconies would face the hotel’s center courtyard, rather than the bungalows on Farrey Lane. That will decrease noise affecting residents east of the hotel, they said.

— The Standard will install acoustical panels on the east side of the complex, and well as panels around the air conditioning chillers, said Don Washburn, a sound expert hired by The Standard.

But residents — especially those on Farrey Lane — were not pleased. They said the new garage will tower over their small homes, and change their quality of life.

Farrey Lane resident Frank Scottoline said he now looks out from his kitchen to trees and blue skies. If the garage is built, he said, all he will see is a big wall, blocking any view and light.

The shift of auto activity from the front of the hotel on Island Avenue to the east side of the property also will impact the Farrey Lane residents, they said. At one point, the homeowners were asked if they would prefer if the traffic would stay as it is.

“Yes,” they answered emphatically.

The Standard plans renovation, construction of robotic parking structure

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only -- today.

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only — today.

The Standard, the hip hotel and spa in the renovated Lido Spa on Belle Isle, is planning an ambitious reconstruction that includes rebuilding a wing of rooms and constructing a mechanical on-site parking structure.

“The Standard is looking at an expansion,” Belle Isle Residents Association president Scott Diffenderfer told island residents at a community meeting Wednesday night.

The Standard has scheduled a meeting to give Belle Isle residents an overview of the plans at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the hotel, 40 Island Ave.

Diffenderfer said The Standard has said the project will add only a few rooms to the property. It involves knocking down the one-story eastern wing of rooms. The garage would go behind the main, three-story lobby and spa structure. A new, two-story east wing of rooms would be built — with larger rooms and interior hallways.

Cars entering the robartic garage on Collins Avenue.

Cars entering the robotic garage on Collins Avenue.

The parking structure would work like an automated garage that opened earlier this year at 1826 Collins Ave, billed as he first of its kind in South Florida.  Built by Stellar Construction, the Collins garage looks like a retail space, with a wide entrance where cars drive in. Once inside, robotic platforms slide underneath, lift them up and put them in a parking spot.

The old Lido Spa was renovated and reopened by hotelier Andre Balazs in 2005. Parking always posed a problem, with a valet-only policy and a rented lot in Sunset Harbour.

In renovating the Lido — a 1950s vintage hotel that was renovated in 1960 with the MIMO Three-story lobby and spa building in the early 1960s– Balazs brought quiet hip to sleepy Belle Isle. Neighbors always worried the party might get too wild.

Restrictions on the property due to its residential surroundings — they can’t serve liquor after midnight and music can’t be so loud that it will disturb neighboring properties — were in place before the 2005 renovation.

Diffenderfer said the Belle Isle association has not taken a position on the proposal — and don’t until they see it in its final form and get neighborhood feedback. “We need to see what shape it will ultimately take.”