Chic South Florida Hotels

The Setai’s Penthouse Suite has a private rooftop terrace that comes with an infinity pool and a Jacuzzi.
The Setai’s Penthouse Suite has a private rooftop terrace that comes with an infinity pool and a Jacuzzi.

Home to countless luxe cultural attractions (Art Basel is arguably the most iconic), the city of Miami draws glamorous visitors from all over to participate in its buzzworthy scene. The mecca is also considered the epicenter of Electronic Dance Music, drawing masses of young glitterati for their yearly party pilgrimage to South Beach. Palm Beach has its annual autumn Boat Show, teeming with nautical aficionados; the South Florida Fair, a wintertime occasion that appeals to visitors of all ages; and Sun Fest, an upbeat celebration of art and music, always rings in the month of May with family-friendly festivities. With this in mind, we’ve selected a series of places for weary guests to put up their feet at the end of the day.

The Betsy in South Beach has 650-square-foot oceanview suites, each furnished with a personal library.
The Betsy in South Beach has 650-square-foot oceanview suites, each furnished with a personal library.

The Chesterfield in Palm Beach is a member of Red Carnation Hotels, celebrated for their combination of luxury and home-like accommodations. To deliver elements from its British pedigree, the chain’s South Florida outpost serves a daily “Traditional Afternoon Tea” in the Library. Here, guests sip warm brews and enjoy freshly baked scones while browsing the full bookcases or snuggle up in front of the fireplace on one of the plush couches. Given its scenic status just three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel’s picturesque grounds are suitable for weddings. Director of catering Greg Palmer ([email protected]; 561-659-5800 Ext. 105), is on hand to assist couples with preparations ranging from bridal showers and receptions to rehearsal dinners. Note: We say the eight-mile drive from Palm Beach International Airport to the hotel makes it a convenient option for guests flying in; they’ll also enjoy all the cultural offerings the area serves up in the form of museums, galleries and opera. Check out www.palmbeachfl.com for options.

The Leopard Lounge and Restaurant at The Chesterfield in Palm Beach serves signature feline-themed libations.
The Leopard Lounge and Restaurant at The Chesterfield in Palm Beach serves signature feline-themed libations.

At The Chesterfield, all suites can comfortably host multiple guests, but a stay in a second-floor suite, which has two separate connecting rooms, is best for families. More intimate stays for couples can be arranged through Tara Reiser, front office manager ([email protected]), who can arrange a private tour of Palm Beach in a chauffeured Rolls Royce, a champagne and rose petal-adorned tuckdown (guests looking to fully luxuriate can select to stay in a King Deluxe Room, the hotel’s most requested premium accommodation), and a four-course dinner at Leopard Lounge and Restaurant (reservations should be made one week prior by calling 561-659-5800). The Bar Lounge serves signature feline-themed libations like the Leopard Martini, a shaken cocktail made with vodka and amaretto, anchored with a black sambuca base that creates a layered, leopard-like pattern. The majority of deluxe rooms overlook the neighborhood, where guests can venture into notable Worth Avenue shopping sites (think Tiffany, Gucci, Tourneau, Cartier and Chanel). Others may not even make it past the lobby lounge, where the lure of the weekly happy hour, held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and daily live entertainment keeps them on-premises.

The spa at The Betsy is designed with wood, stone, bamboo and natural fibers, all shaded by retractable sails and private cabanas.
 
The spa at The Betsy is designed with wood, stone, bamboo and natural fibers, all shaded by retractable sails and private cabanas.

Characterized by sleek, Asian-inspired elements housed behind an Art Deco façade, The Setai, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, is a streamlined, ultra-modern, suite-style South Beach establishment known for its breathtaking ocean views and high-end amenities. Accommodations range from an array of one- to four-bedroom suites in the iconic Art Deco Building or the Residential Tower. Perched above the South Beach seascape, the 10,000-square-foot Penthouse Ocean Suite has four bedrooms, an infinity pool and a Jacuzzi on a private rooftop overlooking the ocean. A snazzy Steinway piano and gourmet kitchen are two amenities we love. Though slightly less plush, the 80 standard studio suites have Swedish Duxiana king-sized beds dressed in Frette linens and bathrooms with black granite tubs and rainfall showers. Contact Maite Foriasky ([email protected]; 305-520-6360), chef concierge, Les Clefs d’Or USA, to make special arrangements or to inquire about customized stays. In keeping with the Asian-infused décor and offerings, spotlight menu items such as gyoza dumplings, braised wagyu beef shortribs, and chive blossom and tamari shoyu are a mere sampling of The Restaurant’s delicate cuisine. Furthermore, elegant hand-crafted cocktails (the Chili Passion Fruit martini is a favorite) are expertly mixed at the bar. Guests seeking a soothing escape can book an appointment with Laura De La Rosa ([email protected]; 305-520-6904), spa director at The Spa at The Setai by THÉMAÉ, which opened its doors last July. The intimate retreat houses four therapeutic rooms where guests can enjoy oriental-inspired treatments. Besides its upcoming birthday, the hotel has other noteworthy events as the holidays approach. Art Basel crowds will soon roll in to announce the start of peak season just in time for Shanghai-based artist (his refined series of “Neck paintings” can be found hanging on the walls) Christian de Laubadere’s showcase of new work. Further information regarding the exhibition, along with any remaining questions, can be directed to General Manager Yasmeen Sarwar ([email protected]; 305-520-6231).

The Setai’s Penthouse Suite has double living rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows framing ocean views.
 
The Setai’s Penthouse Suite has double living rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows framing ocean views.

At The Betsy in South Beach, bookworms will feel right at home in 650-square-foot oceanview suites, each furnished with a personal library. Guests here can tailor their experience with a pre-arranged daytime trip to the Everglades led by a local Miccosukee Indian, or a walk through the Wynwood Arts District with Fountainhead Residency creator, and respected art expert, Katheryn Mikesell. Brimming with ideas, General Manager Jeff Lehman ([email protected]; 305-760-6901) is happy to make bespoke arrangements to local attractions. Excursions for golfers are available upon request through Ed Ponder ([email protected]; 305-760-8418), director of guest services. While many honeymooners opt for a beachside setting for their nuptials, couples seeking to renew their vows might choose the Writer’s Room, an intimate nook created in the spirit of the hotel’s artistic heritage. The outdoor spa offers treatments like romantic midnight massages (ask for Reggie) and complimentary sunrise yoga classes. Solo travelers might like to unwind at the lobby bar where savvy bartenders not only pour out drinks, but also a bevy of useful insider tips. There’s live music (mostly jazz) every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Dine onsite at BLT Steak, 2014’s “Best Steakhouse in Miami;” call David Weiss (305-673-0044) to secure a highly coveted table.