While Miami is not the Caribbean it is an easy option especially for East Coast travelers. It is not the idyllic island getaway but my husband, Gordon, and I just spent 4 nights at the Setai, a 135 room oceanfront Asian inspired hotel. www.thesetai.com One of South Beach’s chicest hotels which offers discreet luxury, top notch service and direct beach access. It offers two options for accommodations… the Art Deco building on Collins Avenue with entry level rooms starting at 600+ sq feet and the high rise tower building on 20th Street with gorgeous suites fully equipped with full kitchens, washer dryer, wonderful oceanfront views and it’s own check in and concierge services.
The gym is well equipped and the spa treatments are top notch all set in beautiful couples spa rooms over looking the swimming pools. The highlight of the property is the three pools with varying temperatures (75, 85 and 95 degrees F) and pool beds that are fit for a king. I enjoyed many peaceful swims in the adult pool that has great piped in music. The Cabana service is complimentary and the waiters are seamlessly available to assist with every possible request.
Dining options are over the top in Miami but our favorites were the Ice Box Cafe for lunch, Juvia for drinks and The Restaurant at The Setai for dinner. The breakfast buffet that is included for Virtuoso guests is about as sumptuous as I have ever experienced with an endless array of healthy and delicious options fit for any palette.
What is there not to like at The Setai? NOTHING… it is a perfect getaway for those looking for something peaceful yet fun and chic in what is a busy nightlife scene part of Miami.
WHEN TO VISIT:
High season is from November to April so expect to pay a premium on hotel rooms and plan ahead on dining reservations due to larger crowds. As we experienced, summer is stifling hot with quick rainfalls every afternoon or early morning but a welcome relief despite the humidity that comes with it.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Miami is a a mix of many different cultures, food, art and as you will learn to say “ANYTHING GOES IN MIAMI!” Even the hotel scene is split clearly in two. There are the party properties who offer more wild nights on property (SLS, SOHO BEACH HOUSE, and the W) and the more understated spots that create oases of calm in the center of the action (the Setai, the Betsy and Tides). It is a diverse city and possibly not everyone’s style , however, we found it a fun change of pace and something for everyone.
WHAT TO EXPERIENCE:
The thriving cultural scene is a must and booming. There is the Design District and Wynwood which is famous for its graffiti covered walls and funky galleries. Of course, ART BASEL, is world renowned!