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“Ocean Drive, The Betsy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Betsy - South Beach

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The Betsy - South Beach
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (City Center)   |  
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NEW Breakfast with Betsy
Ranked #5 of 201 Hotels in Miami Beach
London
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Ocean Drive, The Betsy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

What a fantastic hotel, loved the old colonial feel of the place, books, pictures, more like an old plantation house than an Ocean Drive hotel. A tranquil place to wind down after the hectic Miami Beach experience. Great roof terrace with views of the ocean, complimentary towels, & beds on the beach just across the road. Unheated ground floor pool plus Spa on roof. Impeccable service. Great location for the Miami Beach vibe.

Room Tip: Quieter at the back
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Midwest
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

Our stay had some issues, but if I were to go back to Miami Beach, I’d try The Betsy again – I think it has potential to be a 5 star experience. In retrospect, I would have booked a Suite rather than a “classic” room and called a week ahead of time to confirm my reservation – I think had a done those two things I would be giving The Betsy another star.

Getting to the hotel was pretty straight forward – it’s an easy cab from Miami International. The bellman working the curb was quick to snatch up our bags and whisk us through the crowded entrance into the hotel (the entrance doubles as an outside seating area for their restaurant, and it was in full swing). As you enter the lobby, the BLT restaurant occupies the left hand side, the bar/lounge occupies the right hand side, with the front desk located in the hallway that separates the two. The noise was deafening. Live music was happening in the bar/lounge and the overflow crowd in the restaurant was all in full voice trying to talk over the music and their fellow diners. Talking to the clerk at the front desk was almost impossible. Normally, you really don’t need much communication when checking in – a credit card and maybe a driver’s license goes across the counter and a room key and a pointer to an elevator comes back. Unfortunately, that would not be the case for us – we got the six words you never want to hear when checking in – “Could it be under another name?” Luckily, I had the printout of our reservation, complete with confirmation number, deposit amount, check in dates, etc. So I handed that over, the clerk called in reinforcements (the reservations manager) and lots of huddling and checking and keyboard typing ensued. After about 10 minutes or so, they found us a room for our four night stay. They never did find our reservation. Worrying that our deposit was somehow lost as well, later I checked my past credit card statements and found that they never had taken the deposit either – despite the online reservation system indicating it had done so – complete with confirmation number, deposit amount, balance due, etc. If they normally do something regarding orientation (e.g. how do we get to the beach, rooftop bar, etc.), they skipped it with us that night – honestly, conversation was impossible with all the noise.

Based on the above, you can imagine that we didn’t have the highest opinion of The Betsy when we came down for breakfast the next morning. That is… until we met “Amazing Paul”, the concierge. I stopped by to chat with him about a place for dinner, and as he wasn’t that busy, he ended up giving us a personal tour around the hotel. Awesome! After he got a feel for what we were looking for, we took him up on his offer to “surprise” us and book all of the dinners for the rest of our stay. It all worked out great. Three very different restaurants, all easy to get to, all excellent! I did not recount my experience from our check-in with him – he wasn’t taking pity on us, he apparently is just a really nice guy who loves his job. The experience with Paul kinda reset our opinion on the hotel.

Back to our room - I suspect we may have gotten a room that was out of service (and hence available without a reservation…), and therefore not representative of their normal rooms – it had issues – water stained ceiling, torn awning above the window, missing tv remote, flush handle on the toilet kept falling off, an occasional weird puddle of water that would appear under the toilet, etc. Definitely needed some TLC. The room did appear to be one of the more desirable “types” – 3rd floor, pool view - it was quiet. The view (Room 301) wasn’t anything special, by the way – you’re mostly looking into the side of the hotel, so take that into consideration if you’re pondering paying extra just for that view.

The non-suite rooms are small, and the limited horizontal space is pretty much taken up by hotel “stuff”. The only additional seating is a desk chair (which will quickly become full or your “stuff”) – so the only place to sit in your room is the bed… so you probably won’t want to spend time in your room, other than sleeping. As other’s have mentioned, the hidden gem at The Betsy as far as a place to hang out at the hotel is the rooftop lounge. The bartender was really good there the night we spent some time up there.

Beach access is great – just walk across the street, down a walk way and check –in at the first towel station, and they give you towels and summon someone to set up your beach chairs and umbrella. Don’t plan on being completely out of the sun – the umbrella’s aren’t that big.

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant (BLT) was above average, if a bit pricey. Another convenient option, for both breakfast and lunch, is The Front Porch Café, which is across the street at the Z Ocean - quite a bit cheaper and a menu with a much bigger selection. We kinda split our breakfasts and lunches between the two. The Front Porch is a really nice place to go directly from the beach as it’s more comfortable/casual if you’ve got your beach cover-up on.

The service in the main floor bar/lounge was pretty bad both times we tried it. The bartender wasn’t really interested in fixing us a drink, nor were the waitresses that would come round. I think the greeting we got the first time we sat down in the lounge was something like, “you two don’t really need anything do you?”. There are so many great bars in the area, I don’t really consider to this to be that big a negative – you simply go down the street to find a better bar/lounge. The waiter we had lunch at BLT when we sat out on the porch was awesome. So, in general, service was kinda hit or miss, depending on the employee.

Checkout was easy and efficient and the bill was accurate. The bellman was again very helpful in arranging for us to have a cab waiting to take us to the airport.

As I reread what I’ve written above, part of me thinks I’m being too easy on the hotel and what should be expected if you’re paying $500/night. However… most things in Miami Beach are over-priced, so I don’t think you go there looking for value – you go there for the unique atmosphere and experience. Relative to the going rate for that unique atmosphere and experience – I like The Betsy and would try it again.

Room Tip: Book a suite if you can afford it - regular rooms are really small
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBetsyHotel, General Manager at The Betsy - South Beach, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Bud 4977,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review on your recent stay. It is truly only through the insight of our Guests that we can continue or never ending mission to respond and improve. I aplogize for the mishap with your reservation - we have since identified that glitch in our reservations interface the day your booking came through and resolved it. Regarding the room that you stayed in, it is simply not representative of the Betsy and I would appreciate the opportunity to make that up to you on a future visit. Our restaurant, BLT Steak, does indeed reach a crescendo (usually between 7-9PM) that can be pretty intense...the good news is that unlike many of the other hotels in the area, we don't keep that pace up all night long, so that both a high energy South Beach experience and a peaceful night can be wrapped up in one location! Please contact me directly the next time that your plans bring you to Miami Beach - I would be happy to handle your arrangements personally.

Sincerely,

Jeff Lehman
General Manager
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Wilson, North Carolina
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

A very nice hotel lobby, but it's old and the rooms are terribly small. Fresh paint and other renovations don't make up for the price gauging for the tiny rooms you get. We had a king bed - and that was it. No chair. No drawers to put away clothing. A narrow closet that forced us to jam suitcases and clothes in this small space. A miniscule bathroom and tiny shower, so the floor got wet all the time. At $550+ a night, this is the most overpriced hotel I've ever stayed in in 20 years of travels.

Too many other options in South Beach. Don't stay here.

Room Tip: If you insist on staying here, book a suite. The regular rooms are almost too small for two people.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBetsyHotel, General Manager at The Betsy - South Beach, responded to this review, March 7, 2012
Dear Jnenc,

Thank you for your recent stay with us, and for taking the time to write a review. With regards to the room size and cost, indeed there are a variety of room types and configurations in all categories and suites - I am sorry that you were disappointed by your last stay. I would appreciate the opportunity to make that up to you on a future visit - I know that I could help you book a room or suite that is more typical of the Betsy, and allow you to further enjoy all that the Betsy has to offer, from the Roof Deck to the live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays - without feeling that you don't have a peaceful, comfortable haven to return to at night! Our rates vary dramatically throughout the year, and we alwyas have special rates for our repeat Guests. Plesae contact me directly any time your travel plans are bringing you to Miami Beach and I will do my utmost to ensure that your stay is flawless!

Warm regards,

Jeff Lehman
General Manager
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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

My daughter and I stayed at the Betsy for a birthday weekend get-away. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend the hotel. A few things to note- the pool is a big disappointment- it is small and no view - if you are looking for the big fabulous pool scene this hotel is not for you. The Betsy is comparatively small and not having been here before I don't know what it used to look like but now is chic, well appointed decor, lovely lobby with big ceiling fans and palm trees, nice bar and BLT restaurant. The hotel is not far - definitely walking distance to the beach, and once there you can check in with an attendant and get set up with towel, chairs and umbrella. Beach is great - crystal clear water, white sand and great people watching. Nice touches at the hotel, turn-down service, great amenities in the bathroom, flat screen TVs. A few odd things - the TV inset in the bathroom mirror never shut off after we turned it on, and none of the maids were able to shut it off either. We had a suite- it was small but two rooms. The sitting room part had a couch and a flat screen TV on the wall but no coffee table so we had to set things on the floor. No balconies on any of the rooms but a great roof-top living room set up with chairs to lie in the sun, couches, a bar and an area for massages. No bar scene to speak of and the service for food and drink on the roof was spotty. On Friday night we wanted to go back up to the roof but the bar had closed at 9pm - odd for a Friday night. Overall - if you want a small hotel with a lot of 5 star touches, and you are ok with trekking to the beach then this is the hotel for you. Conveniently located to everything in South Beach- and a big thumbs up for Ed the concierge who didn't steer us wrong on any of his recommendations for eating and shopping. If you are looking for the big hotel with a great pool - go elsewhere.

Room Tip: Ask for a suite - we were upgraded from a king size bed but a smallish room.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

We stopped at The Betsy for one night on our way through Miami. We found the hotel on Trip Advisor and thought it looked promising. It was a good choice. The staff was excellent, the accommodations modern and comfortable, the food excellent. The location was superb as well- right across from the beach and the hotel provided free lounge chairs and towels. Upon arrival, we were pleased to find our room had been upgraded to a lovely room above the pool, which we appreciated.
Since we had been driving for days, I booked a massage on what looked to be a lovely rooftop spa. We went out sight seeing and when we returned, there was a message for me saying that the rooftop would be closed for special event and the massage would have to be in one of the hotel rooms. They didn't know this ahead of time? Not ideal, but I was grateful for the nice room and good service and decided it would be rude to complain. Then they changed the time of my appointment by an hour, which I would not have minded except that we had dinner plans. But we said okay. Then they called to change the time again. This time they offered us a glass of champagne, which we appreciated and again, decided it was not worth arguing over. Then they called again to change the time and when they finally came to get me, they were ten minutes late. The massage was good, but afterwards, when they returned me to my room, I noticed the time and I had not been gone 45 minutes. The hour massage was $150 and I did not appreciate being cut short because they were behind. Also, they charged a twenty percent tip, which I would not have given due to the poor service. All in all, I would return again, but definitely not use the spa. I did fill out a survey to inform management of this problem.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBetsyHotel, General Manager at The Betsy - South Beach, responded to this review, March 5, 2012
Dear Heather,

Thank you for taking the time to review the Betsy on your recent stay with us. I am so sorry that the Spa Experience turned out the way it did - on the rare occasion that we need to move reserved Spa Servies indoors, it can be challenging but rarely causes the problems that you went through. I am sorry that this experience happened, and can understand how it could reflect pooly on the hotel. Please let us know the next time that your travels bring you to Miami Beach and we will do our utmost to have you experience on of our Global Spa Rituals the way most people do, in our roof deck Spa, to hopefully leave you with fond memories of that aspect of our service as well!

Sincerely,

Jeff Lehman
General Manager
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Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

We had dinner here on our last trip to Miami and were so impressed, we booked to stay and dine this time. We were not disappointed. The room was lovely, service attentive and dinner was fantastic. Treat yourself and stay here or at least eat here - you won't regret it!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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sutton coldfield
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

This was the first stop of our honeymoon. On arrival (after an 8 hour flight) we were told our room wasn't ready, despite it being past the time of check in. We then proceeded to wait 50 whole minutes before being allowed into our room; during this time we were completely ignored and offered no apology, despite them knowing that we had just flown from the UK and it was our honeymoon! Horrible start to it. The room itself was lovely, clean and modern and in a great location, but the awful service on arrival dampened this.
On checking out, we discovered they had added $40 for drinks that we never had!? Despite having no signed receipt for the drinks off us to prove it was ours (anything you charge to your room, you sign for), we were still forced to wait over 30 minutes for them to figure it out and call the duty manager - who was incredibly rude and completely ignored us - before accepting it was not ours. We were again offered no apology. Customer service at its worst.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheBetsyHotel, General Manager at The Betsy - South Beach, responded to this review, March 5, 2012
Dear Frannylu,
Congratulations on your recent wedding! I wanted to reply to your comment, which quite frankly has me a bit mystified. We have a very robust Guest response program here at the Betsy, and our attempts to cross reference your comments with your stay - any stay - have proven fruitless, that is, we can find no record of such an interaction. Even goiing back 6 months to your stay, the lack of attention and caring that you claim are just not our style, as our other reviews surely show. I would be happy to discuss your stay from Augugst further, if you would please contact me at the hotel at your convenience. If you prefer, as you are in the UK, you can email me at Jeff@thebetsyhotel.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jeff Lehman
General Manager
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Additional Information about The Betsy - South Beach

Address: 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach > City Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#3 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#4 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Betsy - South Beach 4.5*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Betsy is an elegant, historic landmark hotel located in the heart of South Beach. Relaxed tropical interiors and an intimate courtyard pool create an aura that is passionately low-key. Sharing The Betsy's lobby is BLT Steak, an iconic modern American steakhouse featuring a full Sushi & Raw Bar. Betsy's rooftop Deck is expansive with sweeping views of the Atlantic, offering a Wellness Garden with a full range of spa treatments and complimentary sunrise yoga. The 61 room property cocoons its guests in timeless luxury, while offering an incredible view of the beach, exquisite amenities, and a unique presence for art and culture that invites travelers to relax, refresh and renew. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Betsy Hotel Miami Beach

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