Experience Heritage at Dunns Josephine Hotel


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By: Jessica Modkins

New boutique hotel showcases Harlem Renaissance and Black Miami Legends.

Imagine visiting Miami and your hotel stay affords you the opportunity to experience history and culture off the beaten, well-traveled path. That’s the concept for the Dunns Josephine Hotel located in Historic Overtown known for culture and rich entertainment. The Dunns Josephine Hotel is an African-American Woman owned boutique hotel and is one of firsts in the South Florida Hospitality Industry.

The Dunn & Josephine Hotel was originally built in 1938 and then again in 1947. It is one of the last original historic buildings from an era when African-American guests chose to find accommodations in discrimination free locations. Historic Overtown was home to first class hotels such as the Mary Elizabeth Hotel, the Sir John and the Carver hotels. Famous entertainers such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin would come to lodge in the hotels after performing in Miami Beach.

It is this rich history that is infused throughout the concept of the Dunns Josephine Hotel which is set to open this Fall. It will combine the intimacy of a bed and breakfast with the luxury of a hotel. The two story dwelling will have 15 cozy guest rooms. Each of the rooms will be dedicated and themed after African-American legends such as Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Cab Calloway, Marcus Garvey, Billy Holiday and the iconic Duke Ellington as an ode to Miami history and the Harlem Renaissance.

“Taste of Noir” will be a wine retail space offering libations from African-American owned wineries around the country to guests. A meeting space will also be available for small conferences and intimate private gatherings as a convenience to guests and local residences. Guests can also enjoy a southern styled soul food breakfast every morning, courtesy of the food partner and neighboring long time business, Jackson Soul Food. Jackson Soul food has been a staple in the community since 1946.

The Dunns Josephine Hotel is the brain child of Kristin Kitchen and is a brand new bed and breakfast concept for Sojourn Heritage Accommodations. The Miami location is a first and will provide the catalyst to open other establishments across the country. The mission for Sojourn Heritage Accommodations is to preserve pieces of history and use them to restore communities. Kitchen explains that the Dunns Josephine is set not only to preserve the history of the community but also to bring the history of the community back to life and to share it with the world. This is to ultimately establish a positive economic impact on each community through job creation and entrepreneurship.

Kitchen has been in the Hospitality Hotel Industry for over a decade as owner of Six Acres Bed and Breakfast which is a thriving part of the Heritage Tourism Industry in Cincinnati, Ohio. The property that was once part on the Underground Railroad now plays host to international travelers looking for an authentic heritage experience. Those 13 years placed in Kitchen's heart the desire to establish an experience unlike none other and that is the concept behind The Dunns Josephine Hotel. A blend of history, culture and social enrichment. To eat, sleep, and live an experience.

For Kitchen’s, The Dunns Josephine Hotel must source all products from wine to soap that are manufactured and curated by African-American businesses. There must be an intentional level of consciousness that births authentic dialogue between management and guests. This philosophical principal has enveloped thought leaders to take notice and become an active participant in the development. The Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency invested $850,000 into the renovation of the Josephine Dunn Hotel.

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