Hotel AKA Brickell Unveils Its Newly Transformed Design

World-renowned architecture firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates spearheaded the renovations.

AKA recently revealed the design transformation of Hotel AKA Brickell, a 36-story property at the Brickell Arch, 1395 Brickell Ave. As Brickell undergoes a continuous evolution and shapes the burgeoning area of Miami, AKA is leading the charge in the hospitality and design space by constantly evolving and shaping the industry.

Following the acquisition of the 201-key property in 2021, AKA invested $16 million into the property for a design reimagination led by the renowned architecture firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates. The transformation includes an elevated and personalized sense of arrival that offers guests a seamless and welcoming experience within the porte cochere leading to the new calming lobby, a spacious lounge on the 25th floor that exudes a sophisticated ambiance, and ADRIFT Mare, a restaurant and bar by Michelin-starred Chef David Myers that promises an epicurean delight.

“AKA’s continuous journey is what inspires me every day and one of the most significant milestones of that journey is with what we envisioned and evolved at Hotel AKA Brickell,” Larry Korman says, CEO of AKA. “We transformed a very corporate design, reimagined it with what AKA is known for, and brought life to the property by adding an atmosphere AKA guests expect. We made sure that in every new space, guests could feel the calm.”  

Before the refurbishments, guests had to go to the 25th floor to access the lobby. However, the newly transformed Hotel AKA Brickell now offers a serene outdoor greeting area for guests to relax while waiting for a car service. This area leads into the redesigned ground floor lobby, featuring light-oak wood-paneled walls and satin bronze mirrors, providing guests with a seamless and elevated arrival experience.

Upon check-in, guests are directed to the newly launched 25th-floor lounge at Hotel AKA Brickell, which has a floating living room vibe and boasts breathtaking views of Miami’s skyline and lush tropical greenery. The lounge is surrounded by expansive windows providing abundant natural daylight and Miami’s warmth, especially during golden hour. The floors of the lounge feature custom-patterned stones that flow like waves, adding an organic and elegant element to the lounge’s magnificent design.

“We were so excited to work with AKA as we have a very similar aesthetic and design philosophy, including incorporating sustainable design principles,” Michael Gabellini says, Partner at Gabellini Sheppard, who was personally involved in every step of the redesign and renovation. “Both Larry and I were able to take our collaborative approaches and infuse so much of what we both envisioned for Hotel AKA Brickell.” 

Photo Credit: William Waldron  

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.