The Betsy South Beach
Beachfront, $$ ($250)
SOUTH BEACH, Florida – Gauzy curtains and pastel throw pillows may not be a novelty in South Beach, a collection of barrier islands between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean connected by several bridges to mainland Miami, but few hotels can lay claim to an original desk used by a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, in a room that’s housed U.S. Poet Laureates and Barack Obama’s inaugural poet. Located on the north end of Ocean Drive, the main thoroughfare that runs through Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, The Betsy – South Beach has everything you would expect from a chic, newly renovated Miami hotel — rooftop pool deck, beach access, bright, airy decor — and plenty you would not, like annual jazz and literature festivals, an artist in residence program, LGBTQ events, and poems placed on every pillow each night. In a city renowned for its thriving arts scene, The Betsy is paying it forward.
At A Glance
Style: Twofold, with a colonial wing and a Deco wing that each take on a vibe of their own. One amplifies the design of the guest rooms: bright, colorful, and beachy. The plantation-style decor like fiber rugs, wicker furniture, and Fortuny chandeliers in the colonial wing blends worldly style and tropical motifs.
Standout Detail: The PACE – philanthropy, arts, culture, education – program, which hosts live concerts, art exhibitions, poetry readings, and book signings to promote artistic exchange between guests and the greater Miami community.
This Place Is Perfect For: Art, literature, and music lovers wanting to take full advantage of the breadth of cultural events arranged by the hotel, and guests looking for a mid-size, boutique alternative to the larger and glitzier properties on the strip.
Rooms: 130 guestrooms, including 32 suites, 30 balcony rooms, and a skyline penthouse. Guests can expect light, airy rooms with nautical decor, tropical floral arrangements, and bright pastel accents. WiFi, a curated book collection, Sferra linens, oversized h robes, Malin + Goetz bath products, and a fully-stocked mini bar come standard.
On Site: The Wellness Garden and Spa, located on one of two rooftop decks with unobstructed ocean views, a 24/7 fitness center with Peloton bikes and personal trainers available upon request, a library, an outdoor terrace with tiered seating, a boardroom that can accommodate up to 25 guests, two larger event spaces (the Carlton Room and the Gallery) that can each accommodate up to 165 guests, a 3,000 sq. ft. outdoor courtyard, two public art displays, and a second rooftop deck with a swimming pool.
Food and Drink: LT Steak & Seafood, the hotel’s signature restaurant from celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel, serves American cuisine far more varied than the name would suggest (although they have plenty of steak and seafood on the menu, too). Two more eateries, the Alley Pizzeria and the Alley Ventanita, are both located in the pedestrian alleyway adjacent to the hotel. The Alley Pizzeria is the spot for traditional Italian food like artisanal pizza and homemade pasta. The Alley Ventanita, a walk-up window serving gelato and made-to-order sweet crepes, is the perfect place to cool down after a hot day in the Miami sun. Panther Coffee Shop is where you’ll find typical cafe food — panini, salads, pastries, wine and local beers. Sip on craft cocktails at the lobby bar and catch live jazz performances Tuesday through Saturday.
Spend the night. Click here for reservations.
What to do Nearby
The Betsy is located across the street from Lummus Park, the beachfront knoll that separates Ocean Drive from the coastline, and you’d be remiss in leaving South Beach without visiting the popular park and (obviously) South Beach itself. Ocean Drive is home to many of South Beach's best hotels, restaurants, and bars. The entire neighborhood is basically an open-air architectural museum, so allow for an afternoon of exploring (or book a guided tour). Be sure to snap a photo of Casa Casuarina, the private residence of late fashion designer Gianni Versace, and, while you’re feeling fashionable, head to Lincoln Road, a ten-block promenade lined with indie shops and designer boutiques. For world-class seafood, don’t miss Joe’s Stone Crab or A Fish Called Avalon, and if you’re up for it, end the night at one (or several) of South Beach’s buzzing nightclubs.