Photo of the Week: The Breakwater Art Deco Hotel, South Beach image

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We’ve spent the last week in Miami and one of the things we love most about South Beach is the art deco architecture found on Ocean Drive. Most of the buildings these days are expensive boutique hotels, and although we couldn’t afford to stay in one we got to peek inside some of the gorgeous hotel lobbies that transport you to the 1930s on our Art Deco walking tour.

Although we aren’t usually fans of tours, this year we’ve come to love small group walking tours around a certain theme. Often for us that’s food but in South Beach we wanted to learn more about this famous style.

The Breakwater Hotel shows the use of clean lines, symmetry and ziggurat (zig zag) shapes that typify art deco. Bright colours weren’t used when the buildings were built in the 1930s, but in the 1980s they were repainted by the Miami Vice crew. The popular TV show was filmed here and helped with the revival of South Beach after a period of poverty and dilapidation.

The Breakwater also helped South Beach regain its heyday in the 80s by hosting a Calvin Klein photo shoot on its roof of Kate Moss. The popular ad showed the possibilities for this ocean front area and since then it’s popularity has risen dramatically.

We’ll be writing more about South Beach’s art deco buildings soon.

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8 Comments (2 pingbacks)

  1. I regret that I’ve never seen more of Miami, in living color, than the airport. The Art Deco architecture is so beautiful, I hope to get back there someday to take the walking tour. Thanks for the great photos and information!


  2. Erin, I’ve been following you guys since this Spring. You inspired me to begin my own “never-ending voyage” so to speak, after I quit my job. We missed you in Miami Beach by about 6 weeks, we were there in late September. We stayed near the Breakwater at The Park Central hotel for a week. While we didn’t take this tour, we did take the Red Bus Tours of Miami Beach and Miami. A definitely worthwhile overview of the cities. Would have loved to have been there at the same time and been able to meet you both. We had trouble finding a reliable, less expensive place to stay. Would you mind sharing where you stayed and/or other options you found that were reliable for potential future stays? Feel free to email me directly if you want. Thanks, and safe travels.


  3. Hello Erin and Simon,
    Oh thank you for the introduction. I’m delighted you joined our tour and I’m looking forward to your full review. Safe travels and you now have a new follower!
    Owner of Art Deco


  4. I like the idea of this kind of tour, which can show people something of a city that they may not otherwise know or notice. Great photo–I love art deco.


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