Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove...Going, going, almost gone...

The Grand Bay, then....

Miami News, May 31, 1983.
(Click here to enlarge.)



Miami Herald
Sunday, December 4, 1983

It is billed as a hotel for executives, which sounds like gray-suited pipe smokers sitting next to big spitoons, clearing their throats and checking stock tickers.

So how come this place called the Grand Bay Hotel rises above Coconut Grove like a giant Mayan wedge, with bougainvillea dripping from terraced balconies?

And how come the rooms are filled with baby grand pianos, spiral stairways, canopied beds and bathtubs as big as volcanic craters?

And why has the hotel 's grand opening cocktail party for 1,200 next Friday become, as the Grand Bay 's sales director puts it, "the most coveted invitation of the social season?"
A room at the Grand Bay isn't cheap. To get a two-level suite with a spiral stairway and a baby grand piano you must have a baby grand expense account. Those top-of-the-line suites go for $375 a night. (Only two of them come with pianos).

A special corporate rate for single or double rooms, sans piano, is all the way down there at $90 a night, and still includes a pretty big bathtub.

That rate, along with the hotel 's style and list of amenities, has inspired nearly 100 corporations to open accounts with the Grand Bay.

Doormen at Grand Bay Hotel, Jan. 9, 1986.
Photo - Al Diaz/Miami Herald.

Limo driver in front of the Grand Bay in Coconut Grove, Jan. 19, 1989.
Photo - Mary Lou Foy/Miami Herald.


There was a time when Miami tourists couldn't do better than stay at the Grand Bay Hotel. Now homeless people sleep in the lobby.

Miami Herald
April 3, 2010

Pigeons live in the barren penthouse nightclub of the former Grand Bay, South Florida's last five-star hotel.

A vagrant recently went to the bathroom in the vacant lobby, where black graffiti colors the walls. The dining room hints of smoke, the remnant of a campfire built on the polished cherry floors.

No local hotel has suffered as steep a fall as Coconut Grove's Grand Bay, which closed two years ago for a $20 million renovation and never reopened.

Now the subject of a protracted foreclosure fight, the boarded-up hotel offers no hint -- inside or out -- that it once epitomized the lavish and libertine Miami of the 1980s.

"It was hot. It was the place," said David Feder, general manager of the Turnberry Isle resort in Aventura and a long-time hotelier in South Florida.

'"If you were thinking luxury in Miami, you thought the Grand Bay Hotel."

Michael Jackson and his entourage occupied two floors during their stay in 1984 before the late singer's Orange Bowl concert. Liberace requested a Baby Grand piano for his suite.

On the ground floor sat the Grand Cafe, where the French chef served Everglades frog legs with sheep's cheese polenta. Waiters offered guests white gloves with newspapers to prevent soiled fingers.

Abandoned Grand Bay Hotel, April 1, 2010.
Photo - Al Diaz/Miami Herald.


...and now.

"Demolition is almost completed and the pilings and site construction
[on Grove at Grand Bay] will commence between March 15 – April 1.
The vertical upward movement ofconstruction will commence
between mid April and the first part of May."
-via Cervera Real Estate.


Video by Bill Brothers


  1. That is an excellent video!

  2. How very sad. Never been there but I feel like I was in those rooms in the '80s. I can see Crockett and Tubbs in the nightclub. Good work with the video.

  3. I will not miss that preposterous red phallic blot on the landscape.


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