Posted on 04 March 2014.
By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento
Though there are numerous four star, four diamond hotels that span the globe, spending a few days and nights at Miami’s exquisite colonial-styled Betsy Hotel is the most superb retreat anyone can ask for.
The Betsy is conveniently located on Ocean Drive amidst South Beach’s tropical landscape. The staff rolls out the red carpet for everyone that walks through the doors and across the fabulous terrazzo tiles. It’s the type of place where every ice bucket comes delivered to the rooms filled to the rim and the fruit trays are always fresh and extravagant.
The Betsy’s staff waits on guests hand and foot, so expect to live like a king or queen. The plush king-size poster beds are draped with bright white soft pillows and the finest linens available. The staff even places a poetry bookmark made with wildflower seeds on the pillows every night and waiters constantly refill water glasses after only a few sips.
Don’t even think about lifting a finger or blinking an eye because The Betsy has its guests covered. Let’s say a couple decides to take a walk along the white sandy beach and enjoy a cool breeze by the palm trees. The Betsy’s concierges will supply two padded beach chairs, a hut, fresh towels and a complimentary tote bag for carrying books. The Betsy knows how to provide everything without question, whether it’s an umbrella, snuggly robe or a Sherpa.
The luxury retreat boasts 61 rooms and is known for its lively, captivating details and feature areas that will pamper you in paradise. There’s a state-of-the-art 24 hour fitness center, a courtyard pool and a Wellness Garden and Spa equipped with private cabanas for deep massages. And don’t miss a chance to visit The Betsy’s rooftop wooden deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, where a cool ocean mist lightly showers over the bar area.
The Betsy – restored as a boutique hotel in 2006 – is the Southeast’s singular literary hotel noted for its award-winning, studio-savvy Writer’s Room. The tranquil second floor hideaway and best kept secret has hosted some of the most creative minds and thinkers of our time: Poet Laureate Billy Collins, President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural poet Richard Blanco, NPR’s Scott Blakenship, Project Runway’s Emilio Sosa and NYU professor Thomas Healy.
The Writer’s Room was unveiled in April 2012 during National Poetry Month to ensure the arts are preserved and regarded as cultural necessities. On any given night throughout The Betsy, there is live music, art exhibits, poetry readings or book signings going on simultaneously.
Historic yet contemporary, The Writer’s Room is breathtaking attraction at The Betsy. The space is replete with authentic black walnut hardwood floors, white wooden shuttered windows and white cabinets. Pulitzer Prize finalist poet Hyam Plutzik’s desk, the main feature, has a mini-library above. The marble bathroom is another dose of dramatic: high definition LCD-TVs with a Bose sound system in the mirrors, as well as a spacious walk-in rain shower.
Literature and those that create it are highly revered here: writers are given a daily per diem during their stay and a journal as a token of appreciation.
If patrons work up an appetite, The Betsy’s BLT Steak features some of most delectable cuisine, courtesy of Chef Laurent Tourondel. Consider trying a succulent sushi fish taco or the magnificent peekytoe crab with mango. One of the best steak restaurants in South Beach, it’s wrong to not sink your teeth into a mouth-watering Porterhouse for two or a juicy New York Strip with a side of creamed spinach or grilled asparagus.
The Betsy is also one of the few hotels in the world that reaches out to diverse communities. Since reopening in 2009, The Betsy has actively partnered with over 200 service organizations on-site. The American Black Film Festival (ABFF), the Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Association National Conference and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus are some of the few programs and festivals that selected The Betsy as their host hotel.
Among the many other fine touches: all of The Betsy’s rooms each carry MALIN+GOETZ bath products, Sferra linens and Illy coffee (each of the brands support strong community and the environment). Proceeds from purchased tote bags at The Betsy are donated to Zara’s Center, which assists children in Zimbabwe affected with AIDS.
The Betsy Hotel’s environment breathes an unprecedented regal attitude and flare to all guests. It’s genuine service that’s beyond exceptional. The Betsy Hotel redefines Southern hospitality. Even after just one night there, it’s quite obvious that The Betsy Hotel’s presentation and experience are everything its motto insists: “Expect no more. This is happiness.” Visit thebetsyhotel.com and book your getaway today.