In the late 1920s, business mogul Harvey Firestone sailed past Surfside, Florida, aboard his yacht, the Marybelle. Enchanted by this breathtaking stretch of golden beach and blue-green waters, Firestone – along with friends Carl Fisher and Irving Collins – immediately began dreaming about what it could become: a refuge for stars seeking to escape the limelight. On New Year’s Eve, 1930, the Surf Club was born.

Dynamic guests, including Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra, flocked to the legendary members-only club. Away from the flashbulbs of intrusive cameras, they enjoyed lively evenings of cocktails, couture and even black-tie boxing. During the day, they sunbathed in assured privacy beside its world-famous pools. Occasionally, they kayaked in them.

The pursuit of merriment went on for more than nine decades, but the Surf Club closed its doors in 2013. Four years later, Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Surfside, Florida, has brought Firestone’s idyllic refuge back to life.

Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club

This is a combination of a world-class developer, architect, designers and culinary talent. – J. Allen Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons

Today, the original structure is the heart of the property. It contains Le Sirenuse Miami Restaurant and Champagne Bar, the Hotel lobby, a seating area and elevators to the guest rooms connected by the main corridor and ballroom, originally dubbed Peacock Alley. Three 12-storey towers – designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Richard Meier – surround the original structure, and house 77 luxury guest rooms and 119 Private Residences. For these, minimalist Joseph Dirand designed sleek and seductive interiors.

The Surf Club is a historic landmark, “but coming here with Four Seasons really just adds more to that,” says Reed Kandalaft, the General Manager of the Hotel. “We add our service and our standards.” The Surf Club’s new mission, he explains, is deeply rooted in its history: To provide an elegant waterfront sanctuary, one that honours classic glamour while boldly looking forward.

Explore the Surf Club – then and now – through these photos.

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