The Royal Palm History
In 1939, as Europe entered World War II and New York City hosted a world’s fair, Russian immigrant and partner Nat Hankoff built the four story Royal Palm Hotel, one of the earliest and best works of architect Donald G Smith.
It was named for the famous Henry Flagler hotel in the city of Miami that had been destroyed by fire a few years earlier. In 1941, due to popularity of The Royal Palm and Miami South Beach, the Royal Palm expanded to seven stories.
The U.S.’s entry into World War II in December 1941 brought the sudden transformation of Miami Beach into a training and redistribution of the U.S. Army Air forces. The Royal Palm and Shorecrest hotels were among over 300 Miami Beach properties that served as military barracks, mess halls, classrooms, and other facilities for the approximately 500,000 troops that trained here during the war. In October 1945, both hotels reopened for their first post-war vacationers.
The Royal Palm and Shorecrest hotels were designed at the climax of the “Art Deco” style: including strong vertical elements and horizontal lines implying movement, and the whimsical decoration, usually of geometric or stylized motifs. The Miami Beach Architectural District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979; and ironically the same Miami Vice television show of the late 1980’s which conveyed a troubled image of Miami, also served to create an interest around the world in Miami’s pastel-colored Art Deco hotels, beautiful tropical beaches, and fast-paced Latin flavor.
In 1993, the mayor and Commission of the City of Miami Beach approved the purchase of the unrestored Royal Palm Hotel, already targeted for incorporation in the Convention Center Historic Village plan. R. Donahue Peebles and his team, including the world-renowned Miami based design firm Arquitectonica, were selected. During this time, Peebles initiated the purchase of the adjacent Shorecrest Hotel, and the City of Miami Beach partnered with him on the acquisition. The front section of the Shorecrest was restored to its original condition and is now part of this new resort complex. The Royal Palm continued under the management of the Joe Rose family until 1995.
The Compass Rose
Start your day in this curated space featuring the resort’s trademark art-deco inspired décor, and enjoy a delectable selection of small bites, espressos, lattes, coffee, juices and herbal teas. Then as day turns to evening, celebrate as The Compass Rose transforms into a gathering spot that captures the energy and iconic nature of South Beach. Experience the history of South Beach by sipping on a Post Prohibition Era Cocktail Special, while being surrounded by original architectural elements from the 1930s, including the original Terrazo flooring boasting a Compass Rose, and the resort’s original green glass reception desk now being used as the Compass Rose Bar.
Enjoy al fresco dining, in the newly renovated Grove Restaurant, featuring Regional Florida fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, and a fusion of cultural cooking styles. Enjoy fresh ocean breezes, and panoramic views that overlook the beach and pool, and pay homage to the Art Deco roots of the original buildings, including the original Shore Crest hotel which was acquired by the Royal Palm in 1996. Enjoy favorites from the celebrated menu, including Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta Crème, Balsamic Pearls and Micro Mint, as well as Grilled Skirt Steak with Manchego Whipped Yukon Potatoes, Corn Succotash, and Chimichurri.
Enjoy breakfast in an atmosphere that boasts floor-to ceiling windows overlooking the pristine beach and pools, with an inspired mix of abundant daylight, sundry woods, clean lines, and evocative nuances. Arrays of imaginative flavors range from local specialties like Cuban Eggs Benedict to Chicken and Waffles.
Palm Island Bar
Enjoy a specialty cocktail under the stars and steps from Miami’s world famous beach, in the newly inaugurated Grove Bar. With a variety of local rums and specialty cocktails, try one of our famous mojitos or pomegranate margaritas.