Shortly after the Fontainebleau Miami Beach opened in 1954, Frank Sinatra began playing the hotel’s La Ronde nightclub every winter season. Sinatra was often accompanied on stage by the Rat Pack, most notably Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., a convergence of star power that anticipated his great 1960s frolics in Las Vegas.
At the Fontainebleau, Sinatra filmed Tony Rome and Lady in Cement, as well as broadcasted “The Frank Sinatra Timex Show” from the hotel (he's pictured on the Fontainebleau boardwalk, above, in 1968). His “Welcome Home Elvis,” program, with Sinatra and Elvis Presley appearing on stage together, still remains legendary television.
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On September 2, the Fontainebleau will commence a 100-day countdown to Sinatra’s 100th birthday, which falls on December 12, 2015. To honor the Sultan of Swoon, the Fontainebleau will mount a never-before-seen photo exhibit, curated by the Sinatra family and brand management firm 1966 Americas. It will exhibit the evocative work of renowned British photographer Terry O’Neill.
The Fontainebleau will also conduct a nightly toast—featuring Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select whiskey—at the Bleau Bar, and offer “Live Like Frank” packages at $1,195, with a kind of un-Sinatra “junior suite,” as well as a $250 credit at one of the Fontainebleau’s restaurants. It’s a good moment to order a steak at Michael Mina’s StripSteak onsite, and raise a toast of Jack Daniel's to Big Frank, still the Chairman of the Board.
Tom Austin is based in Miami and covers the Florida beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter at @TomAustin__.