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“Unpretentious Luxury in South Beach!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Setai

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The Setai
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139 (City Center)   |  
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Ranked #8 of 201 Hotels in Miami Beach
Weston, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Unpretentious Luxury in South Beach!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

My wife & I just returned from a two night stay at The Setai and we had an amazing time. The hotel is wonderful - unlike anything on South Beach. The hotel doesn't try to impress with trendy features or flashy gimmicks, but it wins you over with understated elegance and over the top service. The scale is perfect, an intimate setting, but with all the necessary amenities. There is a open common area just off the lobby with comfortable pod seating around a reflection pool with amazing cool breezes even on an 89 degree day. The Fung Shui atmosphere is very natural and relaxing.

Rooms:
The rooms are awesome - large and comfortable with several unexpected features (e.g. Bose speakers for music or the TV). The rooms are well insulated - despite our neighbors having a party until 6:30 AM the first night and a lot of construction going on in the area, the room was quiet.

The Beach & Pools:
There are 3 lap length pools set to different temperatures (75, 80 and 85 degrees), the warmest of which is for families. The pool/beach service is great - attendants setup your lounge chairs or bed and provide you with bottles of cold water and cold face towels. Every couple of hours, they bring you fresh towels and offer food and beverage service.

Restaurants:
"The Restaurant," is the main place to eat all meals. The breakfast buffet ($36/person) is as good as it gets. Everything you could want and very fresh. Have a late breakfast and you won't want to eat again until a late dinner. Dinner was very good (although selection is limited) and the wine list was nice. The beach front restaurant is great for lunch - cool breezes and ocean views, but does have a limited menu. There is a small steakhouse, but we didn't get a chance to try it. There is a nice bar with many creative drink selections (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

Spa & Gym:
While not bad, this was my biggest disappointment. The gym is fine given the scale of the hotel. you can get a good workout, but the equipment is limited. The spa seemed like an after thought. The message rooms are very nice, but I was surprised at the limited services. The locker rooms were small and only a shower and small sauna were offered. Surprisingly for a luxury spa, there was no "quiet room" to chill in before or after your treatment. My therapist was average.

Service:
WOW - with only a couple of exceptions, the staff was amazing. Everyone was incredibly friendly and almost everyone greeted us by name. The staff to guest ratio is very high.

Would definitely recommend The Setai!

  • Stayed May 2014, 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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543 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Oxford, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

The Setai is a beautiful property in a great South Beach location. The outdoor dining area between the Tower and the Hotel is gorgeous. The staff are pleasant and welcoming. The beach is well attended with staff who rush to provide towels, arrange your chaise lounge, and provide complementary water, tea and cold washcloths. We stayed in the Ocean View Tower Suites. The package deals (either with American Express or through the hotel) included a very generous breakfast buffet, an mini-bar setup with complementary bottles of rum, whiskey, vodka, and a bottle of Tattinger champagne. We loved the fact you weren't nickeled and dimed to death at the beach and pool and the towels, umbrella, etc all came with the price of the room.

The Tower Suites are basically condos with full kitchen, washer and dryer, a small living room, a bedroom, a balcony, a master bath with shower and tub, and a small powder room. The lighting controls are a bit confusing with so many light switches it takes a while to figure out how to turn everything off at night. The Setai follows the same policy as so many of the big high end hotels and turns the air conditioning to a warmer setting overnight. Every time you came back into the room, the air conditioning seemed to be set to a different temperature as there appear to be an "away" setting it defaulted to during the day. The hallways from the elevator to the rooms are a stark contrast to the plushness of the lobby areas. They come across a bit Motel 6 - like in their stark white, narrow feel.

The rooms are full of amenities -- perhaps too full. The counters are all full - with the complementary alcohol, the extra alcohol available for purchase, the mini-bar snacks available for purchase, room service menus, directories, and magazines that they don't leave much room for your stuff. The same for the bathroom -- there are so many places where toiletries are placed that it doesn't leave much counter space for your toiletries. The hotel has the typical card about saving the environment and allowing you to reuse your towels if you hang them on the rod - but there isn't enough rod space to hang two towels and allow them to dry overnight. The turndown staff seemed to have figured this out and automatically changed the towels anyway.

Our biggest complaint was with the concierge staff. We contacted the concierge to plan a rental car for a day trip and make restaurant reservations. They emailed us a list of restaurant menus to review and some information and prices for rental cars. We were initially impressed with the timeliness of their response. But when we tried to actually book a car, it was a disaster. The first car we tried to book came back at twice the price they had sent us. The second car was unavailable. The third car was two and a half times the price they had sent us. When we called to inquire about the issue, they emailed a link to a web site where we were supposed to be able to see the prices. The web site required a login which they didn't share with us. It took about 10 tries to finally rent a fun, high end convertible for the day. We also had the concierge make dinner reservations at three restaurants. The concierge sent us an email confirming to us the reservations had been made yet when we got to the restaurants they had no record of our reservations. When we checked in, they didn't seem to link the car and restaurant reservations with our room number, so we never got a printout confirming anything. For the price point of the Ocean Suites, you expect top level concierge service.

Overall, the staff made up for the weakness of the concierge. From the doorman to the servers, they made you feel at home and pampered in an unintimidating way.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

I was there a few weeks ago with friends, I spend a really good time there, the pool was awesome! food excelent and rooms pretty charming and clean. The spa small but nicely decorated and very friendly staff in there. I recommend the salmon when you go !

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

This place is uber sexy, but very relaxing and layed back. The drink selection was amazing and service was top notch. It was a great place too relax and to possibly spot some celebs. No pretentious as other South Beach lounges and there were all types of people, so it was very comfortable. The music level was perfect, so you could actually chat and catch up.

We had the CHILI PASSION MARTINI and it was amazing! Everything is expensive, but you are in South Beach. Loved this place, will definitely eat here another time.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

We were in a house hunting trip to Miami when we decided to stay at the Setai. We are not big fans of the crowd at South Beach but we were ready for it. However we were VERY pleasantly surprised with our experience at the Setai. The hotel did feel like home with a very attentive staff. I liked the outdoor dining area and the pool area the best. The pool itself is a decent lap pool. That alone and the upkeep of the area are enough for me to return to this hotel. The clientele I think also tend to value the need for peace and quiet even in a place like Miami beach. The rooms are not the best features of the hotel. However seeing the beach and the pool area, makes one want to be outside anyway. Lastly, as one can see from our previous reviews, any hotel that makes our dog welcome is a big plus for us. The Setai is just that. That being said, we would love to come back to the Setai with or without the dog.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Firenze
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
232 helpful votes 232 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

The setai is probably the best hotel in Miami beach.
Nice pool, private beach, good service but with a lot of space to improve and become an excellence.
The beach for example could be more luxurious and well mantained. Beds are old, umbrellas, little cheap, service slow.
The oriental spirit makes this place more thai than Miami, but the room where i was staying (suite with 2 rooms) for sure an excellent choice in Miami beach.
The service at the restaurant at the pool really slow. Come on guys, we do not want stay here hours find a different solution.
The SPA is a great option

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

NOT WORTH THE MONEY!!!

My husband and I recently just got back from a 5 night stay at The Setai, we are worldly travelers and have had the opportunity to stay in some amazing 5 star resorts/hotels throughout the years. I am currently pregnant so we decided to stay in the US for a baby moon and thought The Setai would give us the quiet, relaxing vacation we had anxiously been awaiting before the baby arrives.

This pretty much sums up our trip:

1. ROOM:
I had requested a quiet room on a higher floor (at The Setai this translates to please give me the worst room in the hotel) they ended up giving us a room on the 3rd floor right beside the elevator, and electrical closet and across from a room that was being renovated - needless to say this room was anything but quiet. When I asked to switch they of course gave the typical "we are fully booked" answer.

2. EXTREMELY NOISY/LOTS OF KIDS:
If you are thinking about coming here for a romantic couples stay - THINK AGAIN!
We were absolutely shocked when we were laying by the pool and couldn't even read peacefully because of the 50 kids that were screaming, jumping, playing in the pool, we felt like we were at a Disney resort - the exact opposite of what we were looking for. We made sure to sit by the "adult" pool but the staff did not reinforce this "adult" policy and pretty much let the kids do whatever they wanted.

3. SERVICE = JUST SIMPLY ODD!
The service is definitely not 5 stars, the staff seemed like they were all just recently trained and couldn't give us straight answers to anything. We tried to make a reservation at the pool grill and the hostess responded " We don't take reservations but I will keep you in mind when you come back" - WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN????

4. FOOD
The breakfast buffet is excellent - this is the only part of the trip that we enjoyed and looked forward to... lunch and dinner - below average and extremely over priced - this place is definitely trying too hard, the menu is not very extensive, as vegetarians we had about 2 options our entire stay pizza or salad.

CONCLUSION:
The worst $1,000/night we've ever spent - we actually ended up coming home a day early because we couldn't stand the place anymore, when we told the receptionist that we were checking out early because of how unhappy we were - we thought a manager would at least come speak to us about our stay and apologize but no - nothing... we assumed it probably happens all the time - but still if our concerns would have at least been acknowledged as a customer we would have maybe (big maybe) given this place a second chance but NO - that will not be happening EVER!

On the bright side - The Setai has prepared us for what to expect out of a vacation when we become new parents.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Setai

Address: 2001 Collins Ave., 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 ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#5 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#6 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
#13 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#19 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Setai 5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Setai is an intimate, serene oceanfront resort in the heart of South Beach. Its design vision artfully combines the rich architectural history of the neighborhood and its cultural diversity with the International Art Deco movement, particularly its influence in Asia. The Restaurant at The Setai invites you to experience a menu that features various cuisines and traditional flavors of Europe's "Sun Coast," inclusive of the Mediterranean regions of Spain, Italy, the South of France and Provence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Setai Hotel Miami Beach
Setai Hotel Miami Beach
Setai Miami Beach

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