Victor's Good Vibrations

Miami's South Beach welcomed a new contender in the boutique hotel battle last month with the opening of Hotel Victor, a 91-room renovated hotel located on that haven of the hip, Ocean Drive, next to the infamous “Versace mansion.”

What traveling trendinistas most likely won't know when booking their ultra-chic Jacques Garcia-designed accommodations is that Hyatt Hotels & Resorts manages the property. There is no reference to Hyatt anywhere. And that's the way Hyatt and Victor's developer, ZOM, likes it.

“It's a one-of-a-kind experience and if we had called it the Hyatt South Beach it would have been a different hotel,” explains Ilan Segal, Victor's genial general manager, formerly of the Tides. “It would have been associated with a chain hotel and it's not a chain hotel; it's a lifestyle hotel, a small boutique hotel.”

That said, Segal extols the benefits of Hyatt management. “It's the best of both worlds for us — you find few boutique hotels that offer the level of service we offer here. In South Beach, there's been a lack of resources, a lack of training, a lack of service essentials. Here, we've been trained by the best of Hyatt and we look forward to offering that level of service you'd find at a Park Hyatt or a Grand Hyatt Resort. We bring the best of Hyatt but we present it with our own unique twist.”

Victor's “vibe manager” is an example of that redefined service. Well-connected Victoria Prado is charged with managing the guest experience in the public areas and overseeing the concierge staff. “We talk about provoking the senses and Victoria's job description really is just that and to make sure we're one step ahead of our guests in terms of what's new, what's hot and what's exciting,” says Segal.

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