‘Storm Trooper’ Hotel Invades, Acquires, Neighboring Hotels
by Sean McCaughan
The owners of a hotel most well known for a battalion of Storm Troopers taking over its balconies for Art Basel 2011 are on a buying spree, nay an Imperialist invasion into the Collins Park neighborhood with recent purchases of multiple historic hotels along 21st street. Shawn Vardi and his business partners/childhood friends at the Think Hotel Group createdThe Boulan, a luxury condo/hotel on Collins Avenue and 21st street, directly facing Collins Park, that opened just after that Basel installation by street artist Mr. Brainwash. Vardi’s other 21st street acquisitions include the South Beach Hotel, the Ansonia, and the Plymouth, which has long been used as a dormitory for New World Symphony students.
The 6 story Boulan Hotel was designed by Zyscovich Architects. The rather straightforward but sleek midcentury modern look of the Boulan with its distinctive wrap-around ribbon balconies is made up for in guest room size. The units are some of the largest available on South Beach (look at that bathroom!), ranging from 600 to 1500 square-feet, with full kitchens The rooms are clean and modern, while the lobby looks like a graffiti gallery. (Excuse the total lack of graffiti in our picture of the lobby. It’s actually there. Vardi partnered with The Arts Fund in San Francisco for the job) The somewhat Brooklyn-esque street level restaurant, Charles St., is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a neighborhood dominated by dinner-only spots. But the real ‘wow moment’ is the impressively large rooftop pool, with park views to the north and ocean views off in the distance.
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