Kayak Is Opening Its First Hotel in Miami Beach — and It's Going to Be So Futuristic
The travel search site Kayak is making its first foray into the hospitality business with a new Miami Beach hotel that’s opening later this spring.
The new Kayak Miami Beach will serve as an innovation lab for technologies like touchless check in, digital door locks, and a robust mobile app that will let guests connect with hotel staff virtually through their phones. (No more calling downstairs for more towels!)
"This is Kayak's first hotel launch," says Steve Hafner, the CEO of Kayak, in an email to Travel + Leisure. "It's something we have been thinking about for a couple years and COVID-19 has accelerated the need for innovation for independent hotels."
Miami Beach was a natural fit, Hafner says. "[It's] one of our top 10 search destinations, it's a fun market for us — and for anyone — to enjoy year round," he said. "We found a beautiful building in a great neighborhood that fit our vision; we want this to be a locally rooted experience."
Plus, Hafner adds, "flight searches to Miami are down only 24 percent compared to pre-COVID versus the national average of 50 percent."
To pull off the project, Kayak is partnering with Life House, a boutique hotel brand that recently opened a gorgeous outpost on Nantucket. The Miami Beach property will be similarly chic, set inside a landmarked Art Deco building dating to 1934. Previously known as Life House, Collins Park, the hotel is three blocks from the sand and also near the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The goal of the partnership, says Life House CEO Rami Zeidan, is to use technology to make stays more seamless for both guests and hotel staff. "Life House software," he says by email, "empowers the staff to focus on engaging with guests rather than conducting transactions, looking at a computer screen, answering phones, and so on."
In addition to the tech-focused amenities, the hotel will also feature a rooftop bar and restaurant, as well as a lushly landscaped pool deck.
Rates for the new property start at around $229 a night, but it's likely they'll shift with the moods of the global travel industry: Kayak says it will use data from the "billions of travel queries that it processes annually" to help inform nightly rates at the new hotel.
Still, a night at the Kayak Miami Beach will likely be an affordable one, says Zeidan. "Our goal isn't to maximize revenue with this hotel," he says. "It's to fundamentally rethink the guest experience."