Arrival/Check-in: Due to a delayed flight into Miami Airport, I didn’t arrive at The Setai South Beach until after midnight. There are two entrances: a discreet hotel entrance on Collins Avenue and the entrance to the residences, which is easier to access, thanks to a roundabout. The taxi driver dropped me by the residence entrance. The concierge at the tower promptly found a porter to escort me to the main desk of the Art Deco building. To a newcomer, the walk inside the property was a bit of a maze, especially at midnight, but I knew immediately I was in for a treat as I was transported from Miami into a Pan-Asian world of luxury. Once I arrived at the front desk, I was checked in and escorted to my room within minutes. (26/30)
Guest Quarters: After a long delay at the airport and the roundabout entrance, the room offered me the peaceful serenity that I needed. I liked the design of the room, which offered Asian inspiration and appeal for all the senses. Off the entrance of the room to the left and right were sink and vanities. Accompanying the vanity on one side of the room was the shower; on the other side was the separate toilet. The king-sized bed was the centerpiece of the main portion of the room, and opposite the bed was the bathtub! It took me a moment to understand the setup, and then I had to smile. It was provocative yet sophisticated and was indeed the main focal point. Around the rest of the room were large windows and couches. A small, separate desk area provided a pleasant space for work. There was only a small TV, but it was state-of-the-art and offered enough entertainment for me. The whole room — and hotel — have recessed, dim and dark lighting. I liked the trendy vibe it gave off as a place to see and be seen. It was also a nice contrast to Miami’s bright sunshine. (28/30)
Services/Amenities: The hotel offered true luxury on South Beach, which I believe is hard to find. The hotel has the amenities to brag about luxury, but I also enjoyed the pleasant and very helpful staff. I needed dry cleaning done, and my piece arrived before the expected time. I needed to rent a car, and the concierge took care of everything, including making sure it was delivered on time. As a General Hotel Management and Leading Hotels of the World property, its highly experienced staff comes from around the world.
Having arrived at the hotel on a Sunday, I could experience the beautiful pool and restaurants for the day with no stress around me. I opted for the pool to catch some sun, rather than the beach operated by the Setai. There are three side-by-side pools with full-service amenities: Lounge chairs or beds surround the pools, and the staff is ready to take food and drink orders. An attendant took me to my chair and set me up with a towel, a face spritzer and a glass of water.
I ate lunch at the pool and beach bar. I was pondering what to have when the chef suggested the special sandwich of the day. It was excellent advice, and I enjoyed every last bite. As my lunch was being served, it started to rain. The staff quickly moved me from an ocean view to the bar, under cover, where I enjoyed lunch raindrop-free. All the restaurant and bar venues were sleek, sexy and sophisticated. This atmosphere coupled with the friendly staff won me over. I didn’t have time for the spa, but I used the well-equipped fitness center. (40/40)
The Experience: The Setai was fantastic for relaxing in true luxury in South Beach. It was a great place to soak in the sun or to grab a drink and experience the nightlife without feeling like I was on spring break. Its sophistication and experienced staff transported me to Asia but with all the benefits of Miami around me. During the week, it performed as an equally proficient business hotel and suited all my needs as I raced from one meeting to the next.
Total Score: 94/100
The Setai Resort & Residences
2001 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139-1913
tel 305 520 6000
The Setai Resort & Residences
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