My mother and I stayed in the Betsy one night before heading out on a cruise. We booked our stay through a promotion on Jetsetter.com and were a little concerned--this was the most we'd spent on one night in a hotel in recent memory. Money well spent! The hotel was absolutely beautiful in a gorgeous campaign-style way. Grass cloth, animal prints, gilded bamboo, etc. I was so bowled over by the hotel design that I took pictures to replicate at home! We were steps away from the beach (and Starbucks) and enjoyed our beach chairs and towels all day during our stay.
The staff was in a class of its own. We arrived at 8 AM and were given our room immediately (hours before check in). Everyone from the concierge to the bellhops to the cleaning staff were friendly, professional, and seemed happy to assist us. I have never stayed at a hotel with such kind and helpful staff. We had a bit of a mix-up with the continental breakfast credit on our account (due to Jetsetter) so the staff credited us with the difference between the cost of our breakfast at BLT. Everything they did, from choosing our room to hailing a taxi to the port was astounding. I hope the owners of the Betsy recognize the amazing staff they have!
My only criticism is that the hotel had a tiny, slow elevator, which I think was original to the hotel. The wait for the elevator during noon check out was about 5 minutes. The hallways were very warm in the Miami heat. The room got a bit loud in the morning as doors were shutting on the hallway and there was some noise from the courtyard. Otherwise, I have no complaints. Beds were firm and linens were high quality. Our beautiful bathroom had a TV integrated into the mirror--a first for me! The Malin+Goetz toiletries were great quality as well.
We can't wait to visit South Beach again and stay at the Betsy. South Beach can have a dicey atmosphere but we were safe and comfortable there. Kudos to their staff for a job well done!