FROM the A1A, lifeline of South Beach pedestrians and drivers alike, The Setai Miami Beach hotel blends into its tropical surroundings. Originally built between 1936-1938, the hotel has been completely restored to its original austere Art Deco refinement. But behind the white and ivory facade that contrasts to the blue sky behind it, guests will find an award-winning international leader in hospitality, a property unlike any other in Miami.
The Setai, Miami, exterior and entrance
Guests are drawn into the lobby by way of a red carpet and ushered into a space that embraces and celebrates the cultural diversity that the Art Deco movement saw internationally. Inside, The Setai is reminiscent of a temple from the Far East, strong and grand, yet meticulously crafted in terms of its materials and proportions. Guests are sheltered from the intense Florida sun inside a lobby built from dark grey antique bricks transported from Shanghai – another city which Art Deco flourished – creating a stark contrast between outside and inside, a modern take on an imperial fortress decorated with bronze and wood finishes.
The Setai Miami, interior
Opposite the entrance is one of The Setai’s most iconic spaces: its courtyard. With a retractable ceiling, the courtyard is one of the hotel’s most special places, with its water feature cooling down the space and the private dining cabanas that surround it for an extra oomph of lux. The courtyard’s brought to life by Jaya, The Setai’s award-winning restaurant, which reinforces the hotel’s link between North America and Asia. The Sunday brunch selection is reason alone to visit The Setai, but a dinner for two at the courtyard with views to the sky’s changing colors is still the one to beat.
The pool at The Setai, Miami
The crowning jewel of The Setai, however, is its pool area. Rather than having a large space for all the guests, three pools divided by shrubbery and vegetation give guests a sense of privacy, creating an intimate setting. With beach loungers tucked in between the green for extra privacy, the zen-like calm the hotel exudes in its interior follows you outside. If you don’t want to move a muscle (but if you do, the fitness center’s right there), the hotel staff will come by to take your order from The Ocean Grill’s drinks and food menu. Needless to say, during the day time, the poolscape’s a vision, but during the evening, the three pools – each made with recycled glass – glow in cerulean, tempting guests to indulge in that sweet midnight dip: the perfect remedy to hot Miami days.
Suite at The Setai, Miami
Scurry your way up to your suite – The Setai exclusively boasts suite-accommodation – tucked inside a plush towel and the hardest decision you’ll face is whether to have a refreshing rain shower or a relaxing bubble bath, each using Roja Dove bath amenities. After that, plump bedding on the handmade Swedish Duxiana king-sized bed will call your name, but before you lay your head, make sure the curtains are open. The sunrise’s yellow rays coming in the room, will play beautifully with the warm tones of the wood accents and furniture, gently waking you up with Vitamin D before you get your sweet Vitamin C at Jaya again. For travellers who want to be close to the Miami action but who also want to retreat into a temple of tranquility when they’re done, there are few better places to wake up in than The Setai Miami Beach.
by Regner Ramos
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