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Discover Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach, which was designed by renowned architect L. Murray Dixon in a section of Miami Beach known as “Hotel Row.”

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Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2022, dates back to 1940.


Listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure within the Collins Waterfront Architectural District, the Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach has been a cherished local landmark in Miami Beach for nearly a century. This beautiful historic hotel opened when Miami Beach was in the middle of its rapid ascent into one of America’s most celebrated holiday destinations. Much of the city had been developed through the ambitious plans of a Mississippi real-estate developer named Carl Fisher, who viewed the location as a brilliant place for a vacation hotspot around the start of the 20th century. Fisher subsequently created Miami Beach’s original commercial structures, including its first luxurious hotel. His tireless work eventually inspired numerous hoteliers to create their own stunning hotels and resorts along the nascent community’s majestic shoreline, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s. Among the hotels constructed at the time was the Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach, which debuted as the “Greenbrier Hotel” right before America’s entry into World War II. Designed by the renowned architect L. Murray Dixon, the building was one of the many new local hotels to showcase a spectacular assortment of Art Deco design motifs in a section of Miami Beach known as “Hotel Row.” Its sleek and modern appearance made the Greenbrier Hotel an alluring site to visit, especially among the throngs of U.S. Army recruits that had begun to arrive in Florida for their basic training. The War Department briefly rented out the building to house soldiers returning from overseas once the war had ended.!

The Greenbrier Hotel remained a fixture in Miami Beach for decades, hosting countless vacationers eager to experience the city’s fantastic beaches and tranquil climate. But in the 1990s, new owners gradually converted the historic structure into a series of condominiums replete with studio and two-bedroom apartments. Then, starting in 2017, the building underwent a magnificent two-year renovation that saw it reborn again as a stunning boutique hotel. The architects in charge took great pains to thoroughly restore every facet of the Greenbrier Hotel’s gorgeous Art Deco architecture, ensuring that future generations would be able to enjoy its historic character. Now under the masterful care of Driftwood Hospitality, this amazing historic hotel operates under the name “Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach.” Its 71 refreshed, modern residential-style guestrooms and lavish creek-front patio— “Greenbrier Swim & Social”—have truly transformed the hotel into one of the best that Miami Beach has to offer. The hotel’s proximity to the Indian Creek Waterway has also made it a popular spot to sample many of the city’s finest restaurants, storefronts, and galleries. In fact, a few outstanding cultural attractions—like The Bass and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden—are just moments away, too. Few places are better for such a memorable travel experience in Miami Beach than this wonderful historic hotel.

  • About the Location +

    The history of Miami Beach is a rather spectacular tale, starting with a failed coconut farm. Long considered to be a marshland of little value to most real estate moguls, land speculator Henry B. Lum decided to take a chance on developing the sand bar opposite Miami. He specifically noticed a few palm trees growing along its shoreline and believed it to be the perfect place to cultivate coconuts. In 1881, Lum gathered a group of Northeastern investors to help him start his nascent coconut farm. Lum and his associates quickly attempted to plant some 334,000 palm trees in an orderly manner, although they soon gave up and planted them in an increasingly irregular pattern. His team had even resorted to throwing coconuts into the water and allowing them to drift aimlessly back to shore to plant the trees. But the combined effects of the coconut’s long germination period and the state’s inhospitable climate for largescale coconut horticulture quickly made Lum’s project a financial calamity. By 1889, Lum and his family—who had moved out to the sand bar—decided to abandon the whole venture.

    One of Lum’s partners—John S. Collins—had not given up on the endeavor. In 1896, Collins left his native New Jersey for Florida in order to revive Lum’s coconut reserve. An avid horticulturalist, he was committed to salvaging Lum’s project in some way. Upon arriving at the sand bar, Collins noticed something peculiar about the spot. Pine and palmetto trees had sprung up not too far from Lum’s former coconut farm, revealing that the area had access to a wealth of freshwater. He quickly realized that citrus plants would thrive at the location and spent the next ten years acquiring the land for such an endeavor. Collins dreamed of growing avocados, as its market in the United States was virtually non-existent. But a serious logistical problem soon emerged, making it incredibly difficult for the New Jerseyite to transport his produce across Biscayne Bay. To resolve the situation, Collins immediately began developing a massive wooden bridge. Unfortunately, he exhausted all his available money right before the bridge was completed.

    The mammoth construction project was rescued by Carl Fisher, a prominent vehicle parts merchant from Mississippi who had relocated to Miami upon the suggestion of a friend. Impressed with Collins’ tenacity, Fisher loaned the aging farmer some $50,000 to finally finish the bridge. But Fisher had an ulterior motive for helping Collins. Taking notice of the sand bar’s tranquil location along the Atlantic coast, he believed that it was a brilliant spot to develop as a luxurious vacation community. Fisher formed the Alton Beach Realty Company, which subsequently flattened the western half of the sand bar that Collins had yet to plant. Some of the earliest roads appeared, giving what would become Miami Beach its first street grid. By 1915, Fisher had opened a spectacular hotel, as well as two accompanying office buildings and a personal villa that cost him $65,000 to construct. The city of Miami Beach was thus born.

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Carl Fisher continued to champion the development of Miami Beach as a prestigious vacation getaway. A master publicist, he successfully advertised the serene qualities of the area to a national audience. Fisher even sponsored the creation of the Miami Beach News Bureau to push stories of the area’s tropical appeal. Soon enough, countless hoteliers flocked to the region to open their own establishments along Miami Beach’s gorgeous coastline. They, in turn, hired renowned architects to design their impressive venues, such as Henry Hohauser, L. Murray Dixon, and Albert Anis. Some of the earliest structures reflected Mediterranean architectural influences, although they gradually gave way to the sleeker Art Deco design principles that swept through the nation at the height of the Roaring Twenties. At first, the city sported a variety of massive hotels. But those eventually were joined by smaller, more durable stucco buildings in response to both the Great Miami Hurricane and the financial hardships of the Great Depression.

    In just a matter of decades, Miami Beach quickly rivaled its sibling city across the bay in both prominence and luxury. America’s entrance into World War II briefly stopped Miami Beach’s initial wave of commercial development, though. The war also marked the end of the proliferation of Art Deco architecture throughout the city, signaling the beginning of a new era in Miami Beach. But when droves of American G.I.s returned home en masse in the late 1940s, the local travel industry surged once more. The neighborhood of South Beach especially became the center of attention among local travelers, making it the most exclusive district within the city. Miami Beach has since continued to be one of the nation’s most famous holiday destinations. It has access to stretches of warm white sand and azure water. Celebrities frequent the city while on vacation, too, and some of the finest restaurants and storefronts call the area home. Even some of the country’s most noteworthy cultural landmarks reside inside Miami Beach, including The Bass, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and the Miami Art Deco District.

  • About the Architecture +

    The Hotel Trouvail Miami Beach still stands today as a terrific example of authentic Art Deco architecture. Art Deco emerged as a popular form in the early 1900s, when architects desired to break away from past precedents. Within the Art Deco movement, architects aspired to forge their own building design principles based on modern concepts. More importantly, they hoped that their ideas would better reflect the technological advances of the modern age. As such, historians today often consider Art Deco to be a part of the much wider proliferation of cultural “Modernism” that first appeared at the dawn of the 20th century. Art Deco as a style itself first became popular in 1922, when Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen submitted the first blueprints to feature the form for contest to develop the headquarters of the Chicago Tribune. While his vision did not win over the judges, they were widely publicized, nonetheless. Architects in both North America and Europe soon raced to copy his form in their own unique ways, giving birth to the Art Deco movement. In fact, the international embrace of Art Deco rose so quickly that it was even the central theme of the renowned Exposition des Art Decoratifs in Paris a few years later. Artisans and architects the world over fell in love with Art Deco’s sleek, linear appearance, defined by a series of sharp setbacks. They adopted its geometric decorations that featured such motifs as chevrons and zigzags. Interest in the style gradually dissipated. Many examples of Art Deco architecture survive today, with some of the best located in New York City, Chicago, and, of course, Miami Beach.