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Sam Nazarian Advances Commitment and Development Plans for the
Ritz Plaza Hotel in South Miami Beach, Florida; Will Open as the
142-room SLS South Beach in Spring 2012


Sam Nazarian and Nazarian Enterprises to Lead Development Team of Exclusive Collaborators Including Creator & Designer Philippe Starck, Chef José Andrés and Chef Katsuya Uechi

LOS ANGELES - Leading luxury hospitality, real estate development and lifestyle company, sbe, has advanced its commitment to the Ritz Plaza Hotel in South Miami Beach, Florida. sbe additionally announced its development and programming plans for the historic asset, which will open as the second location of its renowned, award-winning SLS Hotels brand as the 142-room SLS South Beach in Spring 2012.

The development will transform South Beach’s iconic Ritz Plaza Hotel into a best-in-class hospitality and food and beverage destination, bringing together an unparalleled team of creative and operational talent. Joining Nazarian and sbe in the creative development of the SLS South Beach are exclusive collaborators including designer Philippe Starck, culinary director Chef José Andrés and Chef Katsuya Uechi.

“In developing the SLS Hotels brand, we re-examined and re-thought every possible aspect of luxury hospitality and teamed with the best minds in the industry to deliver a premier experience with an unwavering commitment to absolute innovation, intuitive guest service and the highest quality,” said Nazarian. “Situated across 17th Street from the Delano against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ritz Plaza site is the best piece of undeveloped real estate in South Beach and provides a perfect extension for the SLS Hotels brand.”

The SLS South Beach will deliver guests a unique luxury hospitality platform that combines the unparalleled design ingenuity of Philippe Starck, the world-renowned culinary brilliance of Chef José Andrés, including the second location of the award-winning Bazaar by José Andrés brand, the incomparable artistry of Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi, the unrivaled relaxation and pampering of Ciel Spa and the unmistakable exclusivity and vibrancy of Hyde Lounge. “I could not be more excited to come to Miami with my partners at SLS,” says Andrés. “It is an amazing city, full of life, and full of friends.”

Originally built in 1939 under renowned South Beach architect L. Murray Dixon, the SLS South Beach features a rooftop architectural design depicting a lantern reaching to the sky and is the tallest art deco structure in South Beach. Starck’s design for the hotel will feature a stunning surrealistic feel highlighted by a white-on-white palate with limited accents from carpeting, stone or artwork. Perfectly suited for a luxurious yet vibrant beach experience, the project will mark Starck’s successful return to South Beach where his 1995-designed Delano remains the market standard.

“SLS in Los Angeles is a full boiling bucket of energy made of life, vision, creativity, intelligence, fertile surprises, love, tenderness and sexiness, but also great food and wine. It is called a modern miracle. But who said that miracles happen only on the West Coast? The new SLS South Beach shall be another huge bucket of sparkling energy, but with sea, sun and sand. The perfect miracle?” added Philippe Starck.

Previously operated with 132 rooms, sbe’s development of the SLS South Beach will be highlighted by the construction of 10 new luxury pool-side bungalow suites. In addition to bungalows, pools, decks and cabanas, the new construction will also mark the fourth location of sbe’s Hyde Lounge brand. Dubbed Hyde Beach, the venue will feature 8,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor lounge amenities emptying onto the sand just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Joining sbe’s existing Hyde Lounge Sunset, Hyde Lounge Staples Center and Hyde Lounge Mammoth Mountain in delivering true nightlife innovation, Hyde Beach will provide an unprecedented new experience to the vibrant South Beach market modeled after the best beach-side destinations of the Mediterranean Riviera. The venue will also feature sbe Restaurant and Nightlife Group’s best in class service and VIP guest relations.

The SLS South Beach experience will be further enhanced by sbe’s exclusive collaboration with renowned culinary innovator José Andrés, who will serve as overall creative director of food and beverage for the hotel. In the gifted hands of Chef Andrés, SLS guests will be treated to revolutionary culinary experiences across the hotel’s lobby, bars, and expansive pool deck, as well as in-room dining and events. In addition, the SLS South Beach will mark the second location of The Bazaar by José Andrés. A true fête extraordinaire, the Bazaar concept, created with Starck, first debuted to unprecedented critical and guest acclaim at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills in October 2008. At The Bazaar by José Andrés South Beach, Andres re-imagines the experience with influences from local flavors while still featuring a heady array of pioneering culinary and lounge concepts. The restaurant will also deliver more traditional breakfast and lunch amenities to guests.

Joining The Bazaar, the SLS South Beach will feature the fifth location of sbe’s Katsuya brand in partnership with Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi. Located in the hotel’s historic ballroom, Katsuya South Beach will deliver guests a masterpiece of design sensuality, beauty and soulfulness – a space where form complements function and the spirit that is Katsuya shines through. Under Chef Uechi the Katsuya concept, “mise en scène” by Starck, has completely revolutionized the Japanese culinary experience for Los Angeles diners by combining traditional Japanese techniques and ingredients with the sensibilities of the American and global palate. Similarly, Katsuya South Beach will elevate the landscape for Japanese dining experiences in Miami.

The SLS South Beach is located at 1701 Collins Avenue in South Miami Beach, Florida.

Founded in 2002, Los Angeles-based sbe brings exquisite balance to the worlds of hospitality, real estate development and events. As a privately held company founded and helmed by CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe acquires, develops and manages exceptional projects through its divisions – Hotels, Restaurants, Nightlife, Real Estate & Events. With a mission to redefine standards of excellence and innovation, sbe has harnessed the creativity and innovation of the best minds in the business, including design visionary Philippe Starck, with whom the company has an exclusive agreement for the creation of hotels, restaurants and lounges in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Mexico. sbe’s Restaurant and Nightlife division constantly stays ahead of the curve, creating and expanding trend-setting restaurant and nightlife concepts, which currently include 4 Katsuya locations (Hollywood, Brentwood, Downtown at LA LIVE, Glendale), XIV by Michael Mina, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Gladstones, MI-6, 3 Hyde Lounge locations (Hollywood, Staples Center, Mammoth Mountain), The Abbey Food & Bar, INDUSTRY and The Colony. As the cornerstone of its synergistic approach, sbe has also completely rethought and re-imagined the luxury hotel experience. sbe debuted its luxury hotel brand, SLS Hotels, with the Fall 2008 opening of SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel which has won international acclaim and numerous awards. Also in the sbe Hotel collection are Miami’s Ritz Plaza Hotel and Las Vegas’ Sahara Hotel & Casino, which will both undergo redevelopment, and Four Points by Sheraton LAX. More information about sbe can be obtained at

Philippe Starck is an internationally acclaimed French creator, designer and architect. This untiring and rebellious citizen of the world, who considers it his duty to share his ethical and subversive vision of a fairer planet, creates unconventional places and objects whose purpose is to be “good” before being beautiful. Most of his designs have become cult objects, and his hotels are timeless icons that have added a new dimension to the global cityscape. An enthusiastic advocate of sustainability, this visionary recently developed the revolutionary concept of “democratic ecology” by creating affordable wind turbines for the home, soon to be followed by innovative wooden prefabricated ecological houses and solar boats. He himself lives, with his wife Jasmine, mostly on an airplane, and in Paris, Burano, and on his oyster farm in the southwest of France.

Internationally recognized as a culinary innovator, José Andres is credited with introducing Americans to both avant-garde and traditional Spanish cooking. A native of Spain, José is a James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup with partner Rob Wilder. TFG is the team responsible for Washington, DC’s award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlantico and minibar by josé andrés, as well as Los Angeles’ celebrated destination, The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Jose serves as culinary director for the SLS luxury hotel brand, in collaboration with sbe and Philippe Starck. In 2009 Jose and TFG partnered with one of DC’s premier caterers to create José Andrés Catering with Ridgewells and was recently awarded the contract to manage food service at Arena Stage in Washington. He next opens in Las Vegas at The Cosmopolitan with a redesigned Jaleo and a festive Chinese-Mexican spot called China Poblano. He is the author of several cookbooks including Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America(Clarkson Potter) and is the host and executive producer of PBS series "Made in Spain." Following a recent trip to Haiti, José launched a nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, which aims to feed and empower vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world. José will soon add educator to his resume when he lectures at Harvard on “Science and Cooking.” Additional information on José Andrés can be found at

As one of only four Master Sushi Chefs in Los Angeles, Chef Uechi brings over three decades of culinary artistry and restaurant operation experience to the SBE team. Known for his distinctive style and first-rate execution of high quality traditional sushi, Uechi is recognized as one of the major style setters in the sushi world and was named “Chef of the Year” by Angeleno Magazine. He partnered in 2006 with sbe to open the first Katsuya by Starck restaurant in Brentwood, which became an overnight success. The partners soon followed with successful Katsuya openings in Hollywood and Glendale. Born in Japan, Uechi was raised by parents active in the restaurant business. Developing a love for the business as a youth, he went on to hone his skills in kitchens of Okinawa at the Harbor View Hotel, Kappo Yama Kawa and Hotel Rainbow. Upon arriving in the United States, Uechi served as Executive Chef at Tatsumo (Seattle), Kabuki Sushi and Seaward Sushi.


The Rose Group
Robbie McKay, 310-280-3710

Also See: SBE Opens the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills Featuring a Philippe Starck Design and Culinary Program by Chef José Andrés / November 2008

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