Dezerland Beach Resort Hotel

How would you like to dine in the back seat of a 1959 Cadillac while listening to the Shirelles sing, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" Howard Johnson Dezerland Resort Miami Beach is an excellent choice. Located in Miami Beach near Bal Harbour shops and minutes from South Beach, this hotel features a unique, 50’s style diner and a newly opened 1,500 square foot, onsite spa that offers a multitude of relaxing and rejuvenating experiences.

Dezerland is the home of Michael Dezer's antique car and nostalgia collection.You'll be thrown back to the days of "ducktails" and poodle skirts the minute you walk into this fantasy land of the 50's. Dezer took his antique car collection and turned many of the snappy old autos into dining pieces. Take a load off and sip on a Coca-Cola in a 1957 Ford Fairlane, a 1959 Chevy Impala or a vintage DeSoto. Some of the cars remain intact and just sit there looking real pretty; like the turquoise 1955 Thunderbird with porthole windows. Yowsah! And what would nostalgia be without Miss Marilyn Monroe? You'll see her in more than a few places.


The walls are covered with old 45 rpm records, posters, ads, and vintage clocks. Neon abounds. Dezer even has authentic jukeboxes scattered around the restaurant. Black and while tile floors are reminiscent of an old time soda shop.The food is fun and good ol' Americana—hamburgers, hotdogs, club sandwiches and pizza. No wheat grass here to wreck your good time.

Dezerland is also famous for its buffets. Everyday you can enjoy a breakfast buffet from 7:00am-11:30am and a lunch buffet from Noon-4:00pm. They offer Early Bird Specials from 4:00pm-6pm. Salads are fun to eat here; the salad bar is built into the back of a 1950 Ford Pickup truck.

Besides its fabulous American Classics restaurant, the hotel offers 227 oversized newly renovated rooms, fresh water pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts and is within walking distance to the Surfside and Bal Harbour shopping centers. The pool area features old gas pumps and serves hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks during the day. Dezerland is one of those places that really is fun for everyone. 8701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL., Tel: 305/865-6661. (photos courtesy of Dezerland Hotel and Morty T.)

Featured Local Artist: Jo Beth Thomas, Mosaic Artist

There's always a person that stands out from the rest of the crowd for their talent and vision and in this case, it's Jo Beth Thomas, one of Miami's most creative and vibrant artists.

Jo Beth expresses herself as a versatile artist whose work ranges from clay replicas of Miami Beach Art Deco hotels to pottery and mosaics. In the past few years, Jo Beth's mosaic work has become some of the most popular and sought after art in the Miami area.

Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Jo Beth has made Florida her home for the past 22 years. She has studied at The Grove House, Ceramic League of Miami and Cedar Lake Craft Center in West Virginia.

Her pieces include lizards, decorative boxes, flamingo statues, garden pots, bowls, frames and votives. She has even produced a dining room table complete with a hand-painted pedastal of antique botannical orchids. (For sale at It's a Take. See bottom for address.)

An interest in mosaics was sparked in the artist after she saw the work of Luciano, whose clientele included Versace and Gloria Estefan. She has traveled to Europe and had tea with the Baroness Stoclet at Stoclet Palace in Brussels to discuss Gustav Klimt's mosaics.


Her commissions include a sea turtle mosaic for a pool to an entire fireplace in a private residence. and a 7-foot tarpon for the bottom of a swimming pool.

Jo Beth's work displays her keen attention to detail. Her pieces are distinctive, elegant, upbeat and convey a sharp sense of color and design.

Says Jo Beth, "In the haunted house of life, art is the only step that doesn't creak."

Inventive and original, this fine artist is always coming up with new ideas for her beautiful, engaging mosaics.

You can purchase Jo Beth Thomas's work at The Maya Hatcha, 3058 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove, FL., Tel: 305/443-9040. Or by emailing Jo Beth Thomas


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