Now open in South Beach: a boutique hotel with British flair.
The Lord Balfour hotel, at 350 Ocean Dr., held an official ribbon cutting this week, but the 64-room property has been open for the past few weeks.
First opened in 1940, the hotel has undergone $10 million worth of renovations in recent years. The end result mixes edgy modern design — think wall murals featuring body art — and tributes to the hotel’s namesake, Lord Arthur James Balfour, a British prime minister.
The property is owned by Cometsa, a joint venture between Green Comet II and Etsa, a group from Argentina. Green Comet first bought the property in the South of Fifth neighborhood in 1999 for $13 million, remodeled it and called it the Wave Hotel.
Developer Alessandro Ferretti, Green Comet’s principal shareholder, said he entered the joint venture in 2010 with Etsa and started planning the new renovation.
“We think the hotel is going to be very appealing, very modern but with the twist of a link to the past of the glorious years of Miami Beach,” he said. The hotel said rates start at $199 in low season.
The renovated hotel went back to using its original name, which has always remained on the historic building — and now it has a personal connection. Ferretti met the original earl’s relative Roderick Balfour, the 5th Earl of Balfour, when he was traveling in Miami Beach a couple years ago.
“He was very happy to see the name of his family,” Ferretti said.