Coconut Grove, also known as “The Grove” to locals, is located in the heart of Miami, Florida. Anchored at the bay, visitors love the tropical oasis that offers a warm, laid-back atmosphere and features charming boutiques, galleries, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and sailboats. As one of the neighborhood’s distinct bohemian flair and lush canopy, the destination is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

The Courtyard by Marriott in Coconut Grove redefines contemporary comfort with its scenic accommodations and modern amenities. Views from the hotel’s spacious guestrooms capture the sparkling ocean and Miami’s stunning cityscape.

More Than Expected

While the owners of this desirable Marriott-brand hotel hired JAI in early 2017 to be the designers for a substantial renovation, no one expected Hurricane Irma to cause such enormous water damage to the site in September of the same year. The building had to be demolished down to its metal studs and rebuilt. The scope of the project became closer to a new build than a renovation.

After the water damage, the project was accountable to the hotel’s insurance company, which meant each contractor had to be keenly aware of everything being replaced. This shift required an immense amount of coordination and communication with the full team of contractors. We could not exceed what was there previously, from the number of rooms to the number of electrical receptacles.

A Certain Familiarity

This wasn’t JAI’s first experience with the Courtyard at Coconut Grove. The original building, constructed in 1972, housed condos that had a night club on the 20th floor. In the mid-’90s Doubletree purchased the property and converted it into a 196-room waterfront full-service hotel.  Just over a decade later, the building was purchased and reflagged as a Courtyard by Marriott and JAI was invited to be part of the design team. Since the new owner had purchased a full-service hospitality space, the kitchen and food and beverage spaces were much larger than a typical Courtyard by Marriott, which paved the way for including a large public bar and expanded menu offerings.

With the latest renovation, the client wanted a totally custom interior design package. JAI’s lead designer for this project, Chelsea Alvarez, did an outstanding job of staying true to the brand standards of Courtyard by Marriott while also disguising them enough to create a unique boutique experience.

Fast-forward to October 1, 2020, when the hotel re-opened and revealed its newly renovated lobby, infinity pool with semi-private cabanas, guest rooms with luxury bedding, and functional event space. Standing 20 stories tall, the Courtyard at Coconut Grove also houses a ballroom, boardroom, and smaller meeting spaces with incredible views, all on the twentieth floor.

Our Two Favorite Features  

Trying to choose a favorite feature of one of our hotel designs is like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. We love everything about this hotel for one reason or another. Coconut Grove is one of the hippest, most energetic, inviting corners of South Florida, and the Courtyard by Marriott reflects that hip style while maintaining a level of sophistication that competes with the higher-end hotels in the area.

If we had to pick two of our favorite features, they would be the lobby and the pool deck.

Casual Yet Lively Lobby

After a full day of work, shopping, or sightseeing, guests experience a stylish and relaxing atmosphere from the moment they step into the lobby. The design of the lobby includes natural lighting, biophilic elements, and great views coupled with sleek marble and porcelain surfaces. We wanted to keep the views the highlight of the design, so we chose white, tan, gray, and navy to enhance the nautical landscape that includes yachts and boats both sailing by and docked at the marina. The light and airy palette optimizes the perception of spaciousness and has a yacht club vibe.

The client wanted a casual yet lively environment for guests to drink, dine, and connect. With the bar and lounge being joined to the lobby, we added a pool table and multi-screen media wall to attract both travelers and locals. It’s yet another way to extend hospitality in the historic neighborhood of Coconut Grove.

Refreshing and Relaxing Pool Deck and Patio

The pool deck and patio are a focal point for any Florida vacation, but with the hotel’s infinity pool and all its amenities, it’s sure to be a highlight of anyone’s stay. Guests can lounge in style with access to covered and uncovered outdoor dining, as well as poolside cabanas. While the pool and patio are located on the main level, the hotel is elevated on the land so the higher elevation views of the surrounding area are stunning.

The Best Part of the Project  

As much as we love The Grove and this property, what we cherish most is the fifteen-year relationship we have had with this client. We are grateful that the Marriott connected us many years ago, and appreciate all the properties we have completed together over the years. It’s proof that our clients trust our expertise and the twenty-five years of experience that JAI has in the hospitality design industry. This client was a small company just like we were fifteen years ago and it has been so gratifying to grow alongside one another over the years.