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Thread: Help me remember my hotel name

  1. #1
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    Default Help me remember my hotel name

    Hello everyone. I am hoping for some help please. When I was 17 in 1980, I was walking through the West End of London, where I live and would pass a Travel Agents everyday. I always looked in the window to see what offers were available. One day, I saw an offer to Miami Beach. 2 Weeks at an undisclosed hotel with flights. It was about 220, which at the time was not exactly cheap but a good price none the less. In July 1980, the exchange rate was $2.36 to the , happy days for us travelers. I worked loads of overtime and bought my ticket and got 400 saved up for spending money. I had a thousand Bucks, 17 years old and no one to tell me what to do. I was in Heaven.

    I flew out on the 3rd July, arrived at the airport, got on a courtesy bus with the other Brits and we were dropped off at various hotels. This is were I need some help, I am not sure if my hotel was called Regents or Regency. I think it was near the Sans Souci because we would go there for cocktails at Happy Hour. In fact, we would bounce from a couple of the nearby hotels, as the Happy Hour times were staggered. I had the most incredible time. The race riots were happening Downtown and we were warned to stay clear, so that was the first place I went to. I had no problems at all, everyone, of all colours were very friendly and helpful. They didn't have an issue with a white kid from England. I went to the Omni shopping mall, I had never seen anything like it. I remember going to the Fontainebleu pool for the day and finding $60 floating on the water. Lucky me.

    We went on organised trips to places like Rosie O'Gradys and a nightclub called September's in Ft Lauderdale. The Breakers Palm Beach and not once was I asked for ID. I was 17 and drinking Pina Colada, Jack Daniels and Beer and no one stopped me. It was really great fun. We did the usual, airboat on the Everglades, Disney World, Cape Canaveral and a rodeo on the 4th July. At Disney, I met up with 4 guys from Liverpool who were at my hotel but hired a T Bird Convertible instead of doing the group thing, so I ditched my group and went with them and have no memory of what we did or got up to. I remember my last night, sitting on the beach behind the hotel, drinking and smoking while watching a hurricane hitting the Bahamas. I left the next day but some of the friends I met had another week but hardly left the hotel as the hurricane made it to the mainland. It was the best holiday ever until 1986 when I returned for my Honeymoon. Not the traditional type though. We hired a car and drove around Florida for two weeks. We were in Key West the day Prince Andrew married Fergie. They didn't make it but we are about to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this July 12.

    I would love to come back but I have a very bad back problem and can't fly that far anymore. Anyway, sorry for the digression, once I started, it all came back to me, except the name of the bloody hotel I stayed in. So if anyone can give me the name and address of my Collins Avenue base, you would make this Brit a very happy man. Fingers crossed x

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    Default Re: Help please

    What an awesome story!!!

    Flights were 220pounds? wow...

    As for the hotel, I hope someone can help you there, I wasn't around then but who knows, maybe someone can remember.

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    Default Re: Help me remember my hotel name

    What a great story! You seem to have an amazing memory too. Businesses and hotels change names and ownership and forms so much in Miami that it could be impossible to figure it out. There is a Regency hotel near the Miami Airport. The only San Souci is the neighborhood in North Miami. The fact that you got to do all that with under $1,000 is amazing. I wish I could be of more help.

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    Default Re: Help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    What an awesome story!!!

    Flights were 220pounds? wow...

    As for the hotel, I hope someone can help you there, I wasn't around then but who knows, maybe someone can remember.
    Flight and Hotel for 220.

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    rk
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    Default Re: Help me remember my hotel name

    Interesting. Of course $1000 from 1980 is about $4000 in today's money.

    The San Souci of course is a notable hotel in Miami Beach. Currently it's known as the Riu Plaza and located in mid-beach (3101 Collins). It opened in 1949 and was the first collaboration between Ben Novack and Morris Lapidus (and Lapidus' first project in Miami Beach), who would later team up for the Fontainbleau.

    Do you recall how far your hotel was from the San Souci? Was it a couple of blocks, or a mile away?
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    Default Re: Help me remember my hotel name

    Quote Originally Posted by rk View Post
    Interesting. Of course $1000 from 1980 is about $4000 in today's money.

    The San Souci of course is a notable hotel in Miami Beach. Currently it's known as the Riu Plaza and located in mid-beach (3101 Collins). It opened in 1949 and was the first collaboration between Ben Novack and Morris Lapidus (and Lapidus' first project in Miami Beach), who would later team up for the Fontainbleau.

    Do you recall how far your hotel was from the San Souci? Was it a couple of blocks, or a mile away?

    I think I might have been quite a bit South of the San Souci, especially if it was near to the Fontainebleau. I remember getting the bus up to there. It was called the Regency, I am 99% positive and within 10 minutes we were drinking in two other bars or hotel bars that had happy hour. We had a smallish pool and our pool boy was Hispanic and would do a dance routine to New York, New York by Sinatra. He liked to dress up and the Brits like a cross dressing character. There is a history of entertainers in this genre, so they would play it on the poolside jukebox five, six times a day just for him.
    I know what I am going to say is cliched but across the road there were several retirement buildings or condo's with a Sephardic bent to the occupants and a Kosher deli round the corner. Yes, I know that doesn't narrow it down but facts are facts. The owner was a character, he was adamant that he wanted to show me his facial plastic surgery work and I remember so clearly the tucks of skin behind his ears. He had just married a very young girl. I thought he was about 70 plus. We would call people like him as Dirty Old Men back in the 70's but he was charming. It really was a wonderland to me. I remember buying Billy Joel's Glasshouses, Springsteen's Born to Run and the 12" version of the SOS Band's Baby we can do it which was huge that summer. Records I treasure to this day.

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    rk
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    Default Re: Help me remember my hotel name

    Very interesting details. Many of the buildings in that block are unchanged as those few blocks were a bit of a backwater for south beach (though starting to change now). I am fairly sure you stayed at the Regent Hotel, 1685 James Ave, a block or so from the beach and a mile or so south of the San Souci. The Regent is a 2 story steamline moderne building designed by the well known architect L. Murray Dixon in the early 1940's. The address no longer exists though the building is intact. It merged with the Gale Hotel directly behind it at 1690 Collins Ave and reopened a couple of years back as the new Gale Hotel after extensive interior renovations. The name carries on a bit as "The Regent Cocktail Club" inside the Gale. I think you'll recognize it immediately if you decide to revisit.

    A forum member, elchevere, has stayed at the Gale a few times and can provide better details.
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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me remember my hotel name

    Fontainebleau is quite a ways north though. It's north of the Sans Souci, which is north of where the Gale is now. But I think rk is probably close to the right answer, and maybe you memories of how close you were to FB are off?

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