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.
- 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. Our new restaurant, Jaya, invites you to discover a menu that dedicated to the traditional flavors and dishes of Asia from China, India, Thailand and Japan. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Setai Hotel Miami Beach
- Setai Hotel Miami Beach
- Setai Miami Beach