Hoteliers Jamila & Akino welcome guests at The Copper Door B&B

Located in the heart of Miami’s Historic Overtown, The Copper Door B&B bridges the best of the past and present with its vintage-inspired interiors and modern comforts. At its helm are co-owners Jamila Ross and Akino West, two former food & beverage industry professionals whose hospitality journey began when they began opening vacation rental properties in South Florida. When the opportunity came up to transform a historical building into an intimate bed-and-breakfast in 2018, they jumped at the opportunity to get their feet wet as boutique hoteliers.

Today, The Copper Door B&B boasts 22 stylish rooms, 3 spacious private double room suits, and many chef-driven amenities including a delicious in-house breakfast prepared every morning. Stay awhile and you’ll likely find yourself in conversation with Jamila and Akino—getting the scoop on the best places to discover and experience the culture of one of Miami’s most vibrant and storied neighborhoods. 

ATLIST Travel caught up with the hospitality power couple to chat about their new pop-up restaurant, guest experience changes, and how they champion voices in the Black community through events and programming.

One of Copper Door B&B's stylish and vintage-inspired suites

ATLIST: Describe your typical guests. Where do they come from and what kind of experiences are they looking for when they check into Copper Door B&B?

Jamila and Akino: About 80% of our guests are going on a cruise. Most are international travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path type of experience where they are amongst culture and art.

You’ve recently expanded your offerings to include Rosie’s Mia, a pop-up restaurant. What inspired you to expand into the food & beverage space?

We are culinarians first and hoteliers second. Offering breakfast was always what made The Copper Door B&B experience special. Once the state had shut down hotels we needed to find a route to maintain employment and generate revenue, that is how the pop-up was born.

"We are advocates for our city and love spending time helping travelers discover cool and local things to do while in Miami."

Guests at The Copper Door B&B wake up to Jamila & Akino's culinary creations

Are there any other convenient add-ons that you offer your guests? (e.g., transportation services, welcome snacks, baby-friendly equipment, etc.)

Since being a B&B, breakfast truly is the main amenity along with our guest relationship services. We are advocates for our city and love spending time helping travelers discover cool and local things to do while in Miami.

We would love to introduce more beverages into our amenity offerings along with a 24/7 front desk.

Are there any important changes related to service, design, or the guest experience that you’re making this year? If so, what additions or changes can guests look forward to in the near future?

In light of the pandemic, we’re doing our part by keeping all rooms vacant for at least 48 hours, then cleaning and sanitizing them prior to guest check-in.

The front desk at The Copper Door B&B

Face masks are required at all times by all team members and guests. Common areas/frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, hand railings, etc.) are cleaned periodically throughout each day.

All linens and towels are laundered at 160°F (71°C), based on CDC standards for cleanliness. We have a hand sanitizer station within the lobby area and our team will only access guest rooms upon request.

Our guest experience has changed slightly, as we now offer a contactless check-in (guest communication is now limited to phone or email).

While our communal breakfast is temporarily suspended, guests will receive a 20% discount at Rosie’s Mia Pop-up.

Guests can soon look forward to Rosie’s Cafe, our new on-site dining option, being open 7 days a week. 

"Understand your community and what it has to offer."

What are some of the ways that you like to give back to the community and champion local and diverse voices?

Bunny Yeager Art Talk and photography exhibit during Art Basel Miami at The Copper Door B&B

We love giving back to our community in small ways. We often host free events, such as book signings, film screenings, and art openings, and have an open-door policy when it comes to communal questions/concerns.

A few of our recent events have included the Bunny Yeager Art Talk during Art Basel Miami, a Lunch and Learn with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and a talk with 10 Days of Connection, an annual community-led challenge to fight divisiveness and bring together people from different backgrounds.

We partner with local organizations to help promote healthy eating, entrepreneurship, and job opportunities to local candidates.

We run an internship program with Booker T. Washington High School and regularly support community initiatives like street clean-ups, group runs, and non-profit organizations that need space to host talks and events.

Photo courtesy of The Copper Door B&B

Jamila and Akino's Top 3 Tips for Elevating the Guest Experience

1. Understand your community and what it has to offer

2. Negotiate smartly with vendors and partners

3. Remain genuine to your brand

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