Arlo Wynwood an oasis in a changing neighborhood

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The fastest-growing neighborhood in Miami, Wynwood has gone from warehouses to luxury towers.

A weekend in Wynwood is just enough time to take in the blocks of street art, shops, museums, and dining. The best place – and only luxury hotel to stay at is the Arlo Wynwood, an experience-driven hotel that opened on November 1, 2022. 

Located in the heart of Wynwood, the hotel is the first in Miami’s preeminent creative and cultural district, currently home to the world’s largest concentration of street art. We quickly checked in to the 217-room, nine-story hotel, marveling at the outdoor mural, soaring lobby, and digital wall art.

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Designed by Nicholas Architects, a distinguished Miami-based architecture firm with over 55 years of experience in the hospitality sector, Arlo Wynwood draws on the neighborhood’s curated artistic nature and an eclectic industrial aesthetic of organic meets modern. Meyer Davis was responsible for the exceptional interior design of the building, contributing significantly to its overall appeal.

The sleek elevator has a bullet-proof security entry system that whisks you to your floor; artist Brooke Einbender designed each of the elevators with 3D decals that reflect the intersection of where art and technology meet. 

Once in the room, we liked the metal hat rack and slatted wood cabinet with a well-stocked coffee and snack station. The king-sized bed had luxe white linens and a padded headboard with various lighting setups. A huge TV is anchored on one wall. The white and gray tiled bath is modern and stocked with products and towels. 

The best feature is the balcony with two seats and a grand view of the sprawling, colorful city. From the 7th floor, it was a clear shot of the bay and the gleaming towers that defined the new Miami skyline. Watching the city change from day to night, with views of courtyards and penthouses, was a thrill.

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After checking, we returned to the lobby to eat at MaryGold’s, led by James Beard alum Chef Brad Kilgore. Their modern American cuisine pulls from Miami and the melting pot of flavors that make up the country’s culture. Kilgore, a James Beard “Best Chef: South” nominee and Food & Wine “Best New Chefs in America” alumnus, has been credited for helping define the Miami dining scene. We scanned the menu of locally caught seafood, homemade pasta, and numerous small and large plates.

Brunch has beignets with dipping sauces, salads, brioche French toast, egg dishes of benedicts, frittatas, and something called eggs in purgatory. Super delicious blueberry muffins were warm and fruity, and the almond latte was one of the best I’ve ever had. Later, we feasted on prawn cocktails, ravioli with creamed sweet corn, and spicy brown butter for dinner. Desert was chocolate cake and sorbets.

We made our way up to the pool to check out the 360 view with cabanas and lounge chairs. Arlo’s 76-foot-long heated pool is the property’s crown jewel, with resort vibes in the city’s heart. A full-service menu has Asian beef skewers, roasted chicken wings, tuna poke guacamole, and more to go with wine, beer, cocktails, juices, and soft drinks. 

Art is everywhere—the hotel has more than 250 works of art throughout. On the serene yoga deck, Florida-based collage artist Ari Robinson created a plexiglass mural featuring overlapping organic shapes of varying sizes and hues.

The property’s exterior walls feature works by Miami-based artist Hoxxoh, known for his “spheres of life” that illustrate the motions of space and time, and MILAGROS Collective, whose co-founders Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre created site-specific work that explores the history of the community through striking arrangements of color and lines. 

Photo Gallery

Venturing out to see the top attractions in the area, we visited Aliona Ortega Fine Art gallery, whose current show, “Songsforstarlings,” was of elegant dark, moody paintings by Psychedelic Furs singer / visual artist Richard Butler (who prefers to call himself “a painter who sings”). A black and white video of him singing and painting his visage runs on a loop in the back.

“When I was a child in rural England, starlings would flock in the thousands on telephone wires. It presaged the beginning of winter, and it invoked a certain sense of melancholy. I would like to think the paintings do the same — a certain sense of beauty, yet sadness simultaneously,” Butler says of the show.  

Ortega says, “I try to stay with art, not street artists per se. I work mainly with painters, sculptures, photographers, and designers who create functional art.”

“It was scary to start a gallery in Wynwood back in the days,” she says. “But I’ve been in the art business a long time. I’m working with new artists that have joined the gallery. I just finished a solo exhibition by Luis Garcia Nerey, whom I’ve known for a long time.  On view through Miami Art Week is Butler’s show, and afterward, I’ll have a group exhibit. I enjoy doing group shows because you make your own story with different art, creating a dialogue between the works of artists that are very different. It’s an enjoyable, curatorial exercise.”

“We built our business around second Saturday art walks here. It was always a new show, always crowds guaranteed that came to see the galleries. There were more than 80 at one point. Around 2017, landlords increased the rent so galleries couldn’t survive. Many went north to little Haiti or west to Alapattah, but then came back as more upscale places like condos and offices opened here.”

Ortega says a lot of people from New York are now here, along with the new high-tech businesses. 

“I’m happy that we’re still here; I enjoy the fact that people are walking around this neighborhood, and there’s the sea and major museums close by.”

Other top attractions are the Museum of Graffiti, Wynwood Walls, art galleries, the Oasis shops, and Panther Coffee with fun 3D art by Mark Diamond.

Arlo Wynwood has partnered with internationally recognized L.A.-based artist and painter ThankYouX, a leader in the NFT space who is bridging the gap between the traditional art and crypto worlds, to create a brand-new mural on the rooftop called “Want to Be Reminded.” ThankYouX’s creation will showcase the energy and movement around the city by incorporating unique color schemes that represent both the hotel and the neighborhood. The mural will be unveiled on Wednesday, December 6, during a free event – open to the public – from 6-9 p.m.

Online at www.arlohotels.com. On Instagram: @arlohotels @marygoldsbrasserie 

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