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BAL HARBOUR (CBS4) – Most people in South Florida will never spend the night in the ritzy new St. Regis hotel in Bal Harbour. After all, the average room rate is $850 a night. But if you’re a well-heeled tourist, the newly opened hotel is one more thing that makes South Florida one of the hottest destinations in the country.

The luxurious St. Regis Resort and Residences officially opened just across the street from the  famed Bal Harbour shops Thursday morning, on the oceanside spot where the Sheraton Bal Harbour once stood.

The new hotel and condo complex stands 27 stories tall, the resort and residences made up of three towers with the hotel  in the center.

“This is the new Riviera,” said Paul James, the global brand leader for St. Regis Hotels. “We started this project in 2007 and Miami is the place to be. It’s one of the global hubs.”

For those who can afford the ticket, the suites, which start at $1500 a night, are the height of luxury. Each of the 50 suites, comes with it’s own private butler. Slightly less over-the-top are the 243 guest  rooms, each with a view to the ocean and  pools below.

People who choose to live in the St. Regis have  full use of the hotel’s amenities, but they’ll pay to enjoy them.  Condos start at $1.9 million.

But even if you don’t spend the night, or move in, you can still enjoy the new waterfront landmark. This oceanfront hotel features the J&G Grill, named after world renowned chef Jean George Vongerichten. There’s also the Atlantico Restaurant for more casual fare.  The St. Regis bar has a cozy social vibe.

“I’ve lived here 50 years and while things have been nice, they have not been spectacular,” said Bal Harbour Mayor, Jean Rosenfield. “This is spectacular.”


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