The Betsy, South Beach, Miami

The Betsy, South Beach, Miami



The
Betsy is something of
anomaly on Ocean Drive. More South Carolina than South Beach, its
colonial facade and synonymous interiors juxtapose the revelry of
infinite happy hours and drag shows underway a little further down
the street.

Sprawling two buildings – the Art Deco Wing and the Colonial
Wing – The Betsy is a little quirky. Meandering through
labyrinthine corridors you’ll take in an impressive photography
collection dominated by a Brit invasion theme and a wealth of
public-art pieces. Once you’ve mapped your way around you’ll really
start to enjoy the cubbyhole layout of the place with its
libraries
and reading nooks – plus some out-of-the-way hiding
spots for when your family holiday gets too intense.

The lift system isn’t exactly straightforward, but at least if
you can’t find your room you can rest easy(ish) in the knowledge
that your clouded judgement isn’t solely down to those 3am tequila
slammers.

Bedrooms

Spacious rooms and seriously comfy beds (complete with Sferra
linens) are some of the most generously sized on South Beach. The
marble bathrooms with rainfall showers and Malin+Goetz products
don’t hurt either. By your nightstand you’ll find a sound machine
(set to “ocean breeze”) and an iHome dock (vital if you’re that
person who always forgets their adapter). Interiors are subtle if a
little safe – think accent-colour pillows and eclectic bookshelves
– while a sense of home comforts the core focus. Light and
uncluttered, you’ll wake up feeling fresh (and no that’s not a new
Malin+Goetz fragrance).

What’s for breakfast?

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then there
are some very important decisions to be made at The Betsy come 8am.
To start, will it be multigrain pancakes with rum caramel banana
flambé or croissant croque madame? Make things simple and opt for
the American breakfast (which is included with your room)
comprising of fried potatoes, eggs any style, bacon, sausage,
fruit, toast and Panther coffee.

How about lunch and dinner?

If a menu of short-rib bao buns, sushi and more conventional
steakhouse favourites sounds like the shortlist for your last meal
on earth, then LT Steak & Seafood (headed by renowned chef
Laurent Tourondel – who’s also opened shop at the Café Royal in
London) is a must book. Although this is the kind of place we could
camp out at for breakfast, lunch and dinner (that ocean breeze
makes us so damn lazy), it’s worth wandering around to the hotel’s
side entrance, where you’ll find The Alley for one of the best
meals you’ll find on the strip. Keeping it casual, this pizzeria
also serves an assortment of pastas and meat dishes. For dessert,
order the frozen orange or head to the neighbouring gelateria and
creperie. Revisit for that morning coffee run, or head to the
Panther Coffee Shop located in the lounge of the Art Deco
building.

Is there a bar?

The lobby bar is casual and laid back, opening from 11am until
midnight. On the top floor, the Skybar has bordello-style interiors
and tropical outdoor areas. Stop for one (but make it quick) and
hit the pavement along Ocean Drive – that’s where the fun (and
Gianni Versace’s former home) is.

Amenities

For prime people watching along Ocean Drive head to the rooftop
pool (the ground-level pool feels like a poor relation in
comparison) – a great space for sipping sundowners. Also on the
roof you’ll find an outdoor spa complete with draped cabanas and
wind chimes to get you feeling particularly zen. If you’re an early
riser, sunrise yoga classes are offered on a complimentary
first-come, first-served basis.

Things you should know

If you’d like your dog to stay at the hotel, you’ll be glad to
know that half of the additional fees for pets go to shelters in
South Beach and Zimbabwe.

Within a short walk you can find…

Upland restaurant is a tasty (and tasteful) dinner spot, right
at the tip of South Beach. Think less neon-yellow signage and more
preserved lemons and you’ll have a sense of the palette of this
place. The food here surpasses its New York outpost.