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
Best Western Hotels & Resorts opened its third Aiden by Best Western. The Aiden brand is designed to give travelers boutique, modern, stylish and locally inspired stay experiences. The new property is situated in Warm Springs, Georgia, adjacent to the Warm Springs Hotel and Event Center.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
THE BEGINNING OF AUTUMN in America offers a time to savor the last precious moments of summer against the countryside’s mosaic of reds, yellows, oranges and purples. Before long, the chill of winter will enter the air and the trees will grow barren. This is not news to most of us. Indeed, leaf peeping has become ubiquitous. Most states have 24-hour toll-free hotlines to keep you informed of nature’s progress ... and then there’s the traffic. It seems the entire population of New York City and Boston climbs behind the wheels of cars on congested New England roadways. Thus we’ve tried to avoid the mainstream routes so you can truly appreciate the kaleidoscopic splendor. After all, a fall foliage road trip provides more than a mere drive. It also incorporates picking apples, tasting cider and hot doughnuts and leaving your vehicle behind to take a much-needed scenic walk to a lonely waterfall, where autumn’s colors reflect off the water.
My husband and I enjoyed an impromptu Saturday dinner at The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the restaurant specializes in seasonal farm-to-table dining. There is a second location in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Travelers arriving at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania will find themselves walking along a trail of pink spots on the floor — dubbed “cold pink” by the country as it matches the distinct color of the country’s national šaltibarščiai soup. The trail ends at a 10-foot replica of the famed dish.
THERE’S NO DOUBT 2020 HAS BEEN AN UNPRECEDENTED year for the travel industry. As borders begin to reopen and destinations, hotels and airlines around the world prepare to welcome travelers once again, we’re celebrating travel and looking to the future as we congratulate the winners of our eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards. This annual survey honors the best in the world of leisure and lifestyle travel, awarding goods, services, destinations, hotels, airlines and cruises.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.