Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum Conference 6.4.2017

CHIEF (Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum)conference at Hyatt Regency Exchanging ideas and serving on CHIEF’s “Leveraging the Sharing Economies” panel  was very interesting l-r Brian Frontin, CEO, Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association, Wendy Kallergis, President & CEO, GMBHA; Simon Suarez, VP, Grupo Puntacana; Frank Comito, CEO & Director General, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association


2017 hurricane season

The 2017 hurricane season officially begins today and runs through November 30.

Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say that the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year. According to their predictions, there will be a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

The City of Miami Beach wants to ensure the safety of all of its residents and visitors, and urges everyone to have a hurricane plan. The city is prepared – are you?

Download the 2017 Miami Beach Hurricane Guide for tips on how to stay safe this hurricane season, visit our hurricane webpage and watch our hurricane special below. Hurricane Video

MIA HOSTS WELCOME RECEPTION FOR EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES More than 100 community leaders attend celebration for future Miami-Tel Aviv service

(MIAMI, June 5, 2017) – On June 2, More than 100 community leaders joined Miami-Dade County officials for a reception and press conference to celebrate the announcement of Miami-Tel Aviv nonstop service by EL AL Israel Airlines, scheduled to begin on November 1.

Among those in attendance were: Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz; Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera; Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez; Board of County Commissioners Chairman Esteban L. Bovo, Jr.; County Commissioners Sally Heyman and Daniela Levine Cava; City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; EL AL Israel Airlines President and CEO David Maimon; and Lior Haiat, Consul General of Israel in Miami.

“We are proud to welcome EL AL Israel Airlines to our community, and to be the only destination in Florida and in the southeast U.S. with non-stop service to Tel Aviv,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Miami-Dade County and Miami International Airport continue to attract air service by the world’s top airlines from the world’s most influential cities.”

EL AL will operate three weekly roundtrip flights on Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 279 seats, which will bring thousands of new travelers to Miami from Israel and the Middle East monthly. Miami will be EL AL’s only destination in Florida and the airline’s fifth route in the U.S. EL AL flies to 36 destinations from Israel and serves hundreds of other destinations throughout the world via partnerships with leading carriers.

“We deeply appreciate EL AL Israel Airlines for choosing Miami as its fifth and newest U.S. destination,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “In our efforts to make MIA a truly global gateway, Israel has always been one of our top strategic targets because of its unique and historically significant global location, and because of its deep cultural ties with Miami. We look forward to offering our passengers another travel option to that region of the world.”

EL AL is the seventh international passenger airline to schedule a service launch into the Miami market this year. Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris began four weekly flights to Guadalajara and daily service to Mexico City on February 1; Canadian airline First Air began charter passenger flights on February 4 from Ontario; low-cost transatlantic airline WOW air launched thrice-weekly service to Reykjavík, Iceland on April 5; Avianca Brazil will begin daily service to Sao Paulo on June 24; Aer Lingus will launch three weekly flights to Dublin, Ireland on September 1; and SAS will begin weekly service to Stockholm, Sweden on October 29. MIA currently serves 106 airlines, which is the most of any U.S. airport.

Ronit Neuman: Ties Sagamore Hotel into city’s fast-growing arts scene


Roughly a year ago, Ronit Neuman walked into the Sagamore Hotel, which her dad had just purchased on somewhat of a whim, to find white walls and a proverbial blank canvas.

Though she’s a fashion school graduate with some experience in the real estate and medical industries, Ms. Neuman felt ready for the job of taking the Sagamore, historically known as Miami’s art hotel, to the next level by elevating its presence and making it a major art destination for people other than its guests.

The overarching goal is to further include the hotel in not only Miami’s booming art scene, but the growth of the community overall. By collaborating with everyone from international organizations, such as the Consulate General of Israel in Miami, to non-profit organizations to local street artists to international curators, Ms. Neuman sees the hotel fulfilling its goal of evolving into the best hotel on South Beach.

That evolution will be encouraged by a major renovation next year. Though she promises the DNA of the hotel will stay the same, Ms. Neuman said the hotel is working with prominent designers and artists on renovation plans.

The Sagamore and its staff seem to never stop working. If they’re not hosting their well-known Art Week brunch, they’re treating VIP guests to live painting, all the while establishing collaborations with community organizations in anticipation of their next exhibit. Ms. Neuman praises staff, adding that everyone from the general manager to the engineering department knows exactly how to deal with the – sometimes very expensive – art in the hotel.

Between Miami’s beautiful people, culture, weather, beaches and the Sagamore itself, the community has become so alive that it’s evolved from somewhere people used to go to get old to somewhere where it’s impossible to get old, Ms. Neuman said.

If she’s not having her regular meetings at the Sagamore, Ms. Neuman could be painting, playing golf or spending time with her tight-knit family.

Miami Today reporter Camila Cepero interviewed Ms. Neuman in an art lounge at the Sagamore Hotel enveloped in diverse interpretations of Wonder Woman for the hotel’s current exhibit about the feminist superhero.

To read the full article and the rest of the Miami Today issue, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact replica of the printed edition.

Congratulations to our Inn Key Award Winners


Lodging Employees of the Year.jpg

Lodging Employees of the Year Yesenia Mena, The Standard Spa Miami Beach and Daniel Outerino Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

The Awards for Hotels over 200 rooms

Bell person 1 Hotel South Beach John de la Hoz
Food and Beverage Hilton Miami Airport Yennifer Meneses
Front Office Embassy Suites Miami – International Airport Brian Cardoza
Room Keeper Mandarin Oriental, Miami Rodna Ashtalkoski
Security Officer Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Victor Jimenez
Recreation The Biltmore Hotel Renel Datulma
Engineering Trump National Doral Miami Wisler Bien-Aime
Culinary/ Kitchen JW Marriott Miami Antonio Diaz
Concierge The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami Carol Curry
Valet Shelborne South Beach Hugo Chavez
Administrative W South Beach Debbie Jackson
Banquets InterContinental Miami Jaime Pelaez

The Awards for Hotels under 200 rooms

Bell person Seagull Hotel Miami Beach Mateo Furlan
Food and Beverage COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach Alexis Sanchez
Front Office Doubletree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay Thalia Antoine
Room Keeper Faena Hotel Miami Beach Lumanette Bosselman
Security Officer The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour Tino McKenzie
Recreation Sonesta Coconut Grove Miami Leon Bellevue
Engineering Delano Yendry Mackchaser
Culinary/ Kitchen The Setai Miami Beach Mike Pantaleon
Concierge Clevelander South Beach Domingo Llerandi
Valet Sea View Hotel Gabriel Crespo
Administrative Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach Nubia Palma
Banquets Regency Hotel Rafael Trimino

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science Officially Opens

The Real Deal: Take a look at the new Frost Museum of Science: PHOTOS

Hammerhead sharks, baby alligators, an interactive river of grass and an all-digital planetarium.

All that is just about ready for The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science’s long-awaited opening on Monday.

The $305 million museum, at 1101 Biscayne Boulevard, is nearly completed after funding issues that caused months of delays. The museum closed its Coconut Grove location in August 2015, and will be moving its staff over to the new building in Museum Park, next to the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

A preview tour of the five-story, 250,000-square-foot facility included its four buildings, the Frost Planetarium, aquarium and north and west wings. The 250-seat digital planetarium has six projectors with a 16-million color 8K system, and will bring back the museum’s monthly laser shows starting in June, Jorge Perez-Gallego, curator of astronomy and exhibition developer, said. The 8K system is one of only 13 in the world, according to marketing materials.

The three-story Gulf Stream aquarium features a top deck where guests can watch mahi-mahi, devil rays and hammerhead sharks, a open aviary with rehabilitated birds, and other exhibits; nearly 30 aquariums on a level below; and the final component with the 31-foot-wide oculus lens to view the bottom of the aquarium. It also includes an interactive MeLab exhibit and a gift shop.

In the west wing is the Lunar Terrace, the museum’s “living” rooftop, as well as a casual dining concept called Food@Science. And in the north wing, the museum features a “Feather to the Stars” interactive exhibit, River of Grass exhibit, the LASERsHOW: Lights, Color and Geometry show; the Solar Terrace and the Learning Center.

Grimshaw Architects designed the museum.

Check out photos of construction of the museum about a year ago here.

Last year, the museum faced a funding gap and Miami-Dade County had to step in and provide about $49 million in emergency funds to get construction of the facility finished in time to open this year. The root of the problems had been a shortfall in private donations. The Frosts replaced the museum’s board of trustees with new members, including Patricia Frost herself. And in June, Gillian Thomas, the museum’s president and CEO of 13 years, announced her resignation.

Earlier this year, the Frosts announced a $100 million gift to fund the Frost Institutes for Science and Engineering at UM, which they hope will turn Miami into a world-class science and technology destination.

The Real Deal sat down with billionaire Phillip Frost, the chairman and CEO of OPKO Health, to discuss his vision for Miami as a global science and technology hub, in its March issue.