Arrival/Check-In: Arriving at MIA, I picked up my Hertz rental and keyed in the hotel’s address on the north edge of Ocean Drive, just beyond the Versace mansion. My route took me north on Ocean past the restaurants and key locations in South Beach. The hotel is located on the opposite side of the street, requiring what I call a “Philly move,” making an aggressive U-turn to reach the valet parking attendant (a move I repeated many times during my stay). The car was swiftly taken, and during my entire time at The Betsy, the front door and parking staff were helpful with my vehicle, which was always waiting for me out front. The building, formerly the historic Betsy Ross Hotel, was totally renovated in 2009, adding the Carlton Hotel as a wing of the property in 2016 to create a single hotel.
Check-in could have been a little swifter, but several guests were lined up at the same time, and the team was friendly and courteous. Our luggage was taken to two different and distinct rooms in the Carlton Hotel wing, now known at the Art Deco Wing. The Betsy Ross Hotel wing is referred to as the Colonial Wing. Getting to the rooms is part of the adventure; from the front desk you take a stroll past the pool and then to the next set of doors on the right to an elevator. Once on your desired floor, you navigate around hallways — and in our case, past a quaint reading room and library — to your room.
Guest Quarters: I found the mini suite, room 136, comfortable and set up shop immediately in the little built-in workstation on the far right of the living room. Not huge, the area did have a sofa and a TV on the opposing wall, though the TV was a little on the high side for viewing. On the far end of the area, sliding doors led to a surprisingly large porch located on a large inner courtyard, perfectly suited for events. A few steps from my porch, on the right side of the courtyard, another space provided a quick exit to the side street.
Adjacent to the living room, the bedroom held a massive kingsized bed which just about fit; the bonus was a large walk-in closet to store luggage and hang clothes, complete with padded hangers and a safe for locking up valuables. Between the two rooms, the bathroom featured Goetz Peppermint shampoo, cilantro conditioner and rum hand and body wash. A nice, disposable loofah was tucked behind the product dispensers on the inside wall of the large shower, which boasted an aggressive showerhead. The one sink in the bathroom was in keeping with the historic look of the property.
Services/Amenities: The team was there to please, and we developed a fine rapport with the bartender, Nick, at the B Bar in the Colonial Wing. We had dinner there one evening, ordering from the LT Steak & Seafood restaurant menu. We enjoyed some really lovely grouper and sirloin that evening while tasting some handcrafted cocktails combined with Nick’s wit and sarcasm. Nick talked us into a stroll down to the beach; the water was amazing, and the sand was soft on our feet. Breakfast was also served in LT and was quite enjoyable. Check out the rooftop bar, Ocean Deck, where you can relax, and have a spa treatment at the Wellness Garden & Spa if you wish — yoga classes are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. with the sunrise!
◆ The room included a nicely presented and stocked minibar.
◆ The Betsy is in a fantastic location within walking distance of great eateries like A Fish Called Avalon.
◆ In this terrific section of South Beach, you can swim in the warm waters and enjoy the South Beach sand.
◆ Proud of its support of writers and their craft, the hotel lists more than 300 artists who have called The Betsy home.
The Betsy South Beach
1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139
tel 305 531 6100
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.