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The Setai, Miami Beach, Florida 

See the Miami Guide ›
2001 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 520 6000
view web site ›'s insider take:

In a place as devoted to Mammon as Miami, it was bound to happen: an Amanresort. Well, not exactly, but this combination of hotel and residential tower from Adrian Zecha is as gorgeously appointed, as serenely Asian, as quintessentially luxurious as his chain of sumptuous resorts. And as expensive: Rates move well into the four-figure range in high season. Hence the burning question since its opening in 2004: Is it worth it? Perhaps. The place is stunning: While the exterior is Miami Deco (formerly the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel, built in the late '30s), inside, it's Shanghai Deco, decorated in brick, bronze, jade, and teak, along with Asian art and artifacts and arrangements of roses as precise as topiaries. The 75 guest rooms and 50 suites carry the Asian stamp as well, with large granite baths, teak floors, and silk coverings—and maybe a few too many pieces of furniture (you can't, for example, tuck the desk chair all the way in). The spa is an oasis with a variety of Asian treatments, and there's an Asian grill restaurant with an open kitchen. The pool area may be the best feature: Three of them, held to varying degrees of temperature, are surrounded by hedged-in seating areas that provide just enough privacy. That's the essential difference here: It's a hotel for grownups, people who aren't interested in parading around the pool or having a party in the lobby. (Here, the socializing is done in a serene courtyard with reflecting pools.) And the service, while not exactly meticulous, may be the best on Miami Beach. So if you're short on patience and long on cash, it's worth coughing it up.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
"Leave the Bentley in the parking lot" and enter this "sanctuary of tranquillity." The interiors of the 1930s Art Deco main building—the other part of the hotel is a contemporary tower—have been given an Asian makeover. Artfully lit guest rooms are decorated with dark woods and beds so comfortable "they are narcotic!" The Restaurant's specialty is Asian, but a second spot, The Grill, offers Mediterranean tapas and "an extensive wine list." Staff "create a hip atmosphere."

(130 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 93.4
  • Design: 96.9
  • Food: 88.5
  • Location: 95.9
  • Rooms: 94.8
  • Service: 90.7

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

Amenities: Beach, Pool, Spa

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