Oscar, Pablo and Some Very Rich Decor

New York contributing editor Jessica Pressler checks out Miami Beach's Faena Hotel.

Within a single paragraph, New York magazine contributing editor Jessica Pressler bestows high marks of distinction upon both Alan Faena, the Argentinian owner of a new ultra-exclusive Miami Beach boutique hotel, and an element of the destination’s elaborate and artfully conceived scenery:

As usual, Faena, who, at 52, has roughly the build of an Academy Award statuette, is dressed in all white: white suit, white fedora, white neckerchief and white-rimmed sunglasses. Turning on his white shoes, he points out a squat palm tree. “This was the tree of Pablo Escobar!” he says triumphantly, explaining that he was able to salvage it from the former drug lord’s recently demolished Miami Beach estate.


We can’t recall a body type being described in this offhand, statuette manner. And any palm tree that avoided being machine gunned, uprooted and-or burned to the ground while in the possession of Pablo is indeed something equally worth celebrating. Hashtag this paragraph #OscarsSoArgentine and #PalmTreeSoLucky.

If you’ve spent any time in Miami Beach recently, you will instantly recognize the vibe that permeates Pressler’s reportage, titled “The Woolly Mammoth in the Coal Mine.” Right down to the subtler Faena touches:

“This is going to sound crazy,” my husband had said the night before, coming back from his second trip to the restaurant’s bathroom with a funny look on his face. “But I swear they do something to the light in there that makes your pee sparkle like diamonds.” Yes, he’d been drinking. But it wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility.

We believe it. In addition to the Faena Hotel and a luxury condo tower called Faena House, the three-block “Faena District” taking shape along a formerly derelict stretch of Collins Ave. will also soon encompass an arts center, Faena Forum, and a shopping center, Faena Bazaar.

Image via: faena.com