Bow Ties Galore at an Iconic Miami Beach Hotel

A landmark for more than half a century, the Fontainebleau features an interesting design element that can be found throughout the resort.

Photo by: Fontainebleau Morris Lapidus, the Fontainebleau's architect, included his signature bow ties in the design of the historic hotel. Look closely at the collection of pools and you'll notice they are shaped like a bow tie.

When it opened in 1954, the Fontainebleau was the largest and most luxurious hotel in South Florida. Morris Lapidus, the hotel's architect, included many interesting design elements like the curving facade and the "Staircase to Nowhere." But he also left his personal signature throughout the property: bow ties. Not only are the pools shaped like bow ties, but the tiles on the floor of the lobby are also shaped like bow ties.

Photo by: Fontainebleau The white marble floor is decorated with black marble bows. This was the only signature that I placed in the hotel. I have worn only bow ties all my adult life. - Morris Lapidus

Through the 1950s and '60s, the resort reigned as Miami's place to see and be seen, and Lapidus' gently curving facade came to symbolize the very essence of glamorous Miami Beach. Celebrities and entertainers like Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland made the hotel so popular, that the hotel posted armed guards to bar non-guests from entering.

In 2008, the resort completed a two-and-a-half year, $1 billion renovation and expansion. Today the resort pays homage to Morris by offering actual bow ties for purchase at Bleau Signature. Coffee cups, restaurant take-out bags and even bow tie-shaped brownies are sold at the hotel.

Photo by: Fontainebleau Bow tie-shaped brownies are sold at Solo, the resort's coffee and pastry shop.

For more information about the Fontainebleau, visit

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