It looks like there is going to be a bit of hotel reshuffling for some travelers to Art Basel Miami Beach in December, due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Irma.
The post-storm news from Miami Beach’s hotels has recently been looking reasonably sunny, all things considered, for the 16th edition of fair, which opens to VIP guests on December 6. However, attendees who had planned to stay at the popular Ritz-Carlton on Lincoln Road received a jarring email (passed on to ARTnews by a would-be guest) early this morning with notification that, due to damage from Irma, the hotel is cancelling all reservations for November and December. The Ritz-Carlton had initially indicated that it would reopen on October 6.
Art Basel is a significant tourist draw for Miami. Last year’s attendance was 77,000. In 2015, nearly 800 private jets planned to land there for the fair.
In the email sent today, the Ritz-Carlton offered to give guests suggestions of “alternative hotels.” A reservations agent, reached by ARTnews, suggested the Edition, the Winter Haven (Autograph Collection), the Blue Moon (Autograph Collection), and the Marriott Stanton South Beach, which all apparently still have availability.
ARTnews reached out to other hotels along Collins Avenue, including the W, the Shore Club, the Shelborne, the Surfcomber, and the SLS, and learned that all of those are up and running. The popular Raleigh, which is booked solid for Art Basel Miami, said it plans to reopen in the first week of November—a change from early October, which had been the projected reopening date when the hotel was queried by the Miami Herald last month.