REVIEW: The Setai Miami

The Setai is quite a fancy place – this area outside of the main lobby is where they regularly hold bikini shows during swim week in Miami

This hotel was one of my first forays into luxury travel shortly after I made my first monies (I can’t say money – I swear).  Consequently, it holds a dear place in my heart, and I have been back many times since the hotel was first opened back in 2004.  It’s gone through quite a few owners and phases since, and I can’t say that it’s as great as it was back in 2004-2007 but it is still an amazing property and still ranks at the top of my list for quality of service and luxuriousness.

The first thing you notice when you enter the Setai is the very unique decor.  This is because the builders were Indonesian and imported most of the materials from Southeast Asia, opting for teak from that region and exotic manta ray skins and handmade items imported specifically for the hotel from Indo, Philippines, and Malaysia.

The result is stunning, with a sexy Asian elegance that you won’t find in many US based hotels other than a few select Mandarin Orientals (like the one in Vegas).

There are two distinct areas to the hotel, the standard hotel room side with its own lobby, and the suite towers which have their own entrance and smaller lobby.

The pool is also one of my favorite aspects of this hotel, with three pools each at a different temperature so that you can roam from one to the other based on your whim.

Three pools each with their own temperature

I highly recommend checking out the suite towers when you book, although they are not reasonably priced by a long shot, they’re worthy of special occasions, and the corner units with their floor to ceiling glass walls and the height of the building (it’s one of the tallest in South Beach) makes for spectacular views that you won’t find anywhere else on Collins Ave.

The Asian theme is throughout, the rooms are relatively small by suite standards but the glass makes you forget about the size

Before the Fontainebleau was rebuilt, and the Soho Beach House was established this was always my first choice, but since those two have come into existence I only choose the Setai if there’s a great deal to be had.

The service is bar-none though, and the concierge service is exquisite.  However, since the changes in ownership some of the previous amenities have been deleted, including complimentary service in a fleet of Range Rover’s and Rolls-Royces.


  • You can’t beat the views here, it’s one of the tallest buildings on South Beach
  • The pools are spectacular, and if you want to relax in South Beach it really doesn’t get better than this.


  • The price is pretty high even for a luxury hotel
  • The service is not as good as it used to be, and they have deleted many amenities


  • Try out the Passion Fruit Martini, it’s one of my favorite drinks ever, and i’m not into sweet drinks normally.  It has a nice spicy kick to it!
  • If you are trying to get a great rate, google “Setai Miami Rentals”.  The condo units owned here often have great rental rates, especially off-season
Order the Passion-Fruit Chili Martini (or two)


  • I’ve mentioned some of these in my other post from South Beach here

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