Miami’s Wynwood Has Its First Ever Hotel and It’s Covered in Art

First it was the microbreweries, then it was food halls, or maybe it was vice versa. But every small city and town across America for the past decade was touting one or both of them to lure visitors and keep hold of residents. Over the last couple years, a new from-the-top-down amenity has become the hot selling point: street art. Once a blight or nuisance that needed to be stamped out, murals and graffiti now have the seal of approval from chambers of commerce and millionaire developers. Call it the Wynwood effect.

After all, nearly two decades after Wynwood and its walls first became blanketed with artwork, this neighborhood and the surrounding blocks are filled with sparkling new high rises, shopping, and restaurants. That artwork brought millions over the years to this area of Miami, giving a city that has never been a destination with a long check-list of must-sees (other than grimly gawking at the Versace mansion) a spot that every first-time visitor felt they must see. It made the neighborhood one of the major centerpieces of Art Basel, the week where everybody and anybody who wants to be seen as somebody descends on Miami, theoretically for the art. That’s why the latest selection for Room Key, our column on exciting new hotels, is the neighborhood’s first ever hotel, the Arlo Wynwood, which just opened last month.

While many of the galleries from when Wynwood Walls first started are gone, and, some would argue, the “street” feel to the neighborhood due to gentrification, the hotel is a top to bottom nod at the art that made this area famous. The nine-story box-like building has graffiti on its exterior by Douglas Hoekzema, a.k.a. Hoxxoh and a social media-friendly staircase drenched in work by Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre, also known as Milagros Collective. The lobby contains work from local artists like Alain Castillo, Coruna Luna, and Ryan Coleman. You’ll find art on the yoga deck, the benches of the jungle-like terrace, and in the elevators.

The hotel is a mere 15-ish minutes from the airport sans traffic and even closer to the Brightline station. Wynwood is Arlo’s fifth location, with three other hotels in New York City and one other, Nautilus, in Miami. Its entrance is a leafy, lofty atrium-like space with colored tiles, textured surfaces, and funky light fixtures. To the right when you walk In is the hotel’s signature restaurant, MaryGold’s, a “Florida brasserie” created by the James Beard-nominated combo of Brad Kilgore and Bar Lab. Now, I’m not sure what makes something a Florida brasserie, but when it’s a a charmingly decorated space with a French onion burger or a roasted butternut squash with smoked pecan praline, and pumpkin seed duqqa, I’m game.

There are 217 rooms and suites in the property which look out to the burgeoning neighborhood of Edgewater on one side and on the other over the steadily filling in Wynwood district. While the halls of the hotel are busy with an almost dizzying array of striped carpet patterns, the rooms are designed in a spartan style with bare white walls and light oak furnishings with small touches of whimsy like a mirror bordered with colored glass or teal-colored chairs.

The star of the entire property, though, is its rooftop pool and bar, currently only available to guests. The pool is huge, and bordered by chic red and white striped umbrellas and cabanas. Tucked around the corner is a bar open until sunset, and for those readers fascinated by Miami’s recent explosive growth there are probably few vantage points better for seeing it than here. All around the hotel—Midtown, Edgewater, Wynwood itself—are the areas where members of the financial, tech, consulting, and artistic classes flocking here have decided to live. If you come to stay, and just happen to return a mere six months later, let alone a year, you might not even recognize the view.

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