Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

The Julia to Debut in Miami Beach Early Next Year

SMS Lodging adds a new boutique hotel to Miami's South of Fifth neighborhood

MIAMI BEACH, FL. January 10, 2017 – The Julia, an adults-exclusive boutique hotel, is scheduled to open its doors in Miami Beach in the spring of 2017. Situated in the South of Fifth “SoFI” neighborhood, a growing enclave of restaurants and shops, the property was built from the foundation of the third oldest hotel in Miami Beach.

Named after the iconic founder of Miami, Julia Tuttle, and owned by SMS Lodging, a family-owned company that operates a handful of hotels in South Florida, The Julia is located between 3rd and 4th Streets on Collins Avenue, one block from the beach. The property will feature 29 guest rooms, each outfitted with custom-designed furnishings, coral and grey accents, and solid wood flooring, as well as artwork from local artists throughout the rooms and public space.

The interior of the hotel, designed by Stephen Busto, will feature a chic modern lobby complemented by a few features from its original design that includes the authentic Cuban tile flooring. The Julia’s exterior has been meticulously restored in order to retain its history with a traditional look that traces back to its original build in the 1930s.

The property will offer several value-adding amenities for guests, including a 24-hour front desk, a daily complimentary wine and cheese happy hour and French continental breakfast, offering fresh baguettes, croissants, juices, yogurt, coffee and tea. Outside seating, as well as high-speed Wi-Fi in a modern and comfortable setting will also enhance guests’ stay.

“The SoFi neighborhood is an ideal area for The Julia, as it offers the best of South Beach with a neighborhood vibe,” said Gustaf Arnoldsson, CFO of SMS Lodging. “We are confident that the hotel’s prime location just steps from the beach and within walking distance to great shopping, nightlife, and cuisine will be a significant draw for travelers.”

With more than 20 years of experience in hospitality and real estate, brothers Gustaf and Jesper Arnoldsson founded SMS Lodging in 2010. Having doubled in size every year over the past six years and building upon their success managing several award winning boutique hotels in Key West and Miami, SMS Lodging looks forward to once again putting their mark on the SoFi neighborhood with The Julia.

Rates begin at $189 a night. For more information, visit thejuliahotel.com.

Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.