Miami Beach hotels at crossroads

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A hotel guest enjoys having the pool practically to herself at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The hotel reopened on June 1 after having to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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After more than two years of delays, the Esmé Miami Beach was supposed to open in time for this year’s Art Basel.

A retrofit of the former Clay Hotel, the Esmé had suffered setbacks due to Hurricane Irma but was poised to return as a focal point along Española Way.

Then came COVID.

Now, the Esmé is slated to open in March — but with contingency plans should the pandemic linger.

“We are still optimistic,” said James Stuart, director of hospitality for Infinity Collective, the hotel’s developer. “We hope that in three to six months things will have improved, and there are potentially fewer protocols needed.”

Still, the hotel is prepared to implement all the safety

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