Art Basel is the time of year where people flock to Miami and observe modern spectacles of art and, of course, parties -- a lot of parties. One who appreciates art and design would only be fit staying in the Art Deco district. With a restored Art Moderne building, The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is a great place to get a lot of luxury with your dose of art. But don't for one second think that Art Basel is the only time you can experience art in South Beach.
Noel Lanzas is the Ritz's official Art Basel Ambassador and resident concierge. Seriously, Noel is so knowledgeable and passionate about art in Miami that this title was created just for him. Noel is present to help sift through the rubble and find the perfect installations and events tailored to you. Noel's relationship with local galleries and artists really helps define his bespoke itineraries for guests. With over $2 million worth of art floating around the property, it's safe to say you don't even need to leave the Ritz. I was able to talk with Noel about what guests can expect from this experience and a few of his personal favorites. Here is what he had to say:
Antoni Tapies is featured in this photo.
How do you go about creating personalized itineraries for the must-see activities and events at Basel for your hotel guests? Do you have an annual routine to get you ready before the big week?
As Art Basel develops, I read local publications and seek out information online. Oftentimes, I reach out to the Lowenstein gallery, and they provide us with information and different events for Basel. I live here on South Beach. As the winter approaches, I begin speaking with local artists and also our hotel guests. They can be quite informed and knowledgeable about the must-see actives at Basel.
When a guest is requesting a personal itinerary, I get to know them, as always, and I try to understand what their interests and intentions are while they are visiting. Generally, it doesn't take very long -- just a few minutes of conversation and I can give the guest a very personalized agenda to see all of the fairs.
As the hotel boasts an impressive $2 million dollars worth of collected art throughout the property, what are your favorite works in the hotel currently?
I am a bit sad to see the old pieces leaving, but I'm also very excited to see the new pieces that will bring some glitz to the lobby. One new piece, in particularly, is Daniel Gonzlez's "Daddy's Girlfriend After Picasso." One of the older pieces by Antoni Tapies called "Jeroglifics." This piece has been in the lobby bar since our hotel opened. This piece moves me, and I have always enjoyed Mr. Tapies' work.
What Art Basel show or presentation are you most excited about personally attending this year?
The main Art Basel event at the Miami Beach Convention Center brings many amazing galleries from around the world. This show boasts the most extensive art exhibits and is simply the largest. Of course, there is the revived area of Wynwood. Here the art is very eclectic and somewhat abstract. There are many small galleries lined along each neighborhood street and can be a great adventure for an art lover.
If you had to give one recommendation on a must-see artist's work this year, who would that be?
Joan Miro, who has three pieces at our property, is one of my favorite artists. His work is difficult to describe. Some may view it as abstract. The pieces are almost childish or naïve, but at the same time, his expression is quite colorful, and the pieces are accentuated their bold lines. They are very, very interesting pieces.
Aside from your Basel expertise, you are known for scheduling those impossible-to-get dinner reservations and arranging for seamless transportation for your guests. What else do you offer guests during this hectic week?
The culture of our clientele is much different during Art Basel. Strangely enough, as the masses feast on delicious food and drinks all week, one of the most common arrangements I make is for yoga classes and lessons. Our guests are very artistic, forward-thinking people, and they're in Miami to enjoy themselves. At the same time they like part of the experience to include time for mental peace and to revive their bodies.
Could you tell us about the special art installation at the hotel that is premiering for Art Basel?
Diana Lowenstein has a very large piece that will be premiering in our lobby the week of Art Basel. It's going to be a very large piece, commanding attention, but certainly is beautiful, from what I've seen. The sculpture is primarily white but has a floral, almost organic design that is sure to impress.
Tulio De Sagastizabal is featured in this photo.