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“Very disappointing and over priced”
Review of The Setai

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The Setai
Ranked #6 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Very disappointing and over priced”
Reviewed 25 November 2011

We booked a ten day vacation at the Setai, looking for a luxurious and relaxing beach break. We booked a $700 per night Junior Suite (room 516). The first night we were unable to sleep due to the noise from both the hotel's central Air con system and a car park facing our room. You might expect this in a cheap motel not a 5 star $700 per night hotel! Day two we asked to change our room and had to be downgraded to a Courtyard suite which was fractionally quieter, but hugely disappointing. Service in the hotel restaurant for breakfast or at the Beach/Poolside restaurant was consistently appalling - the staff had no idea what they were doing, couldn't understand English and everything was served so slowly. Every day we were confronted with smiles and apologies but all we wanted was the service we thought we were paying for. To add insult to injury, everything we ordered comes with an automatic 20% service charge added - how can the hotel justify this when service is so poor? On the surface, especially when you first arrive, you have the impression of a very beautiful and relaxing hotel. After a day you discover it is everything but that. Very poor value for money.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank miles_russell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2011

We really loved the setting for this hotel, perfect location and service and the rooms were beautiful. Access to the beach was ideal and the staff were really helpful - only, only issue was the cost of incidentals. Having stayed at many luxury hotels all over the world, I don't have an issue for paying for quality, however do draw the line at $93 for breakfast, $200 for a facial (that didn't last an hour) and $26 for jasmine tea, which was effectively hot water and a teabag....The incidentals were disproportionate to the hotel and as a result, we would neither return or recommend the Setai, which is a shame as the formula is very good.

Room Tip: A partial sea view will be enough
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LucyandBoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2011

It is unfortunate that such a beautiful hotel could have such poor service and amenities. I have never heard of a 5 star hotel [or any hotel for that matter] that has suites without bathtubs...

The Good: Great breakfast, nice decor and helpful doorman.

The Bad: The service is horrendous, everyone smiles but then does nothing. Do not have packages sent to this hotel, do not expect to have any requests met and do not expect good service or food at the restaurants.

If you end up in a handicap room, prepare for no bathtub and hideous guard rails every where akin to a hospital. Want a different room? Too bad, they are "fully booked"

This is not the hotel for a special occasion or a hotel that is suitable for anyone use to staying at 5 star hotels.

Room Tip: Request that you would like a suite with a bath tub!
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank liza_loves_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2011

The Setai on the surface describes itself as one of the small luxury hotels of the world, but it falls short of it's high costs. The staff is kind and attentive, but kindness and attention don't make up for poor organization and service. Our telephone did not work properly in our room, and was replaced with a small mobile phone which made it very inconvenient for lengthy business calls which we needed to place, and this solution only came about 4 hours after the problem was first brought to the attention of the hotel staff. When we attempted to switch to the business center to make the calls we need to make, we learned that there were no telephones in the business center. When we ordered lunch in the lobby area, on two separate occasions we waited 45 minutes for our meals to be served, and even the waiter was embarrassed and remarked that food was not served quickly at the Setai. Normally, these issues could be overlooked, if the hotel were not so expensive, and if the staff did not so overtly advertise their customer service. Repeatedly we were asked to understand that the part of the reason for the problems we were encountering had to do with the fact that the hotel was fully booked. Since when does a luxury hotel (or any hotel for that matter) complain to their customers about the problems they are having? Overall, the Setai is simply not good value for money.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank tansyliverwort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chantilly, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2011

My wife and I spent three nights at The Setai in October for an anniversary get-away. The best things about the hotel are in the subject line. The service is very genuine and extremely helpful. They really seem to go out of their way to make sure your stay is a superior experience.

Example: we walked over to the pool and asked for a day-bed. Soon, a phalanx of pool boys and attendants had covered it with towels, provided cool water and spritzing spray and asked for any orders from the pool grill.

Lounging pool-side with my wife, we shared the pizza margherita and the Setai version of the caprese salad along with a couple tropical drinks. Delicious and super relaxing.

We happened to be laying next to one of the hidden speakers piping in the techno-club music making it hard to nap, but you probably can chalk that up to me being a middle-aged dad instead of the euro or latin millionaire that's more typical of their clientele. Still, we just loved the pools.

We didn't get any spa services but we did use the gym, locker room and sauna which are very nice. Maybe it was because it was off-season, but they were wonderfully empty.

We had a room in the "original" building so no balcony and only a fleeting view of the ocean. It's kind of hard to stomach a $450/night bill in South Beach with no ocean view or balcony I'll admit. But the room itself was lovely.

A couple of room problems I feel compelled to point out (again, given the price): 1) the PVC pipe work under the sink was exposed. It looks cheap and out-of-place in a room like that. I understand it must have been a conscious design decision but it doesn't work 2) there were no power outlets at the desk. I had to push the bed aside and unplug a lamp to plug in my laptop. 3) the bed was a little soft for us - not enough to ask for a different room but not as good as the average Hyatt bed 4) there was only one hook in the bathroom to hang up towels and bathrobes - maybe it was the whole Zen design thing - but there was also almost no counter space in the bathroom.

We did not try the restaurant but we did indulge in the Sunday brunch. We are not big breakfast or brunch eaters so I was hesitant. Plus, it's $75/person with an included 20% gratuity so you're looking at close to $200 for brunch for two. Definitely an extravagance. I wouldn't do it very often but it was worth it. We found it a great way to sample the restaurant's fair including some great Indian and Thai choices.

This was the perfect, romantic get-away spot for us. I'll get a room in the "new" building next time but we are definitely coming back.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank toramo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2011

This hotel is very expensive, very luxe and extraodinary. My friend had his wedding here back in 2009 and my wife, a friend and I had a two room suite overlooking the ocean for 3 nights. The suite was spacious (i think 1400sq ft), gorgeous (clean lines) yet simple with a zen like feel. The hosting area, beds (fantastic sleeps) and bathroom were all fit for a king (Usher and Gilbert Arenas were staying at the hotel while we were there)

The outdoor lounge area just beyond the lobby also had a zen like feel. We spent some time here at dusk and the atmosphere was surreal. The asian theme inside and outside the hotel flows effortlessly.

The pool consisted of 3 different pools at different temperatures. Not sure if this is the norm in South Beach but we found this to be over the top. The pool area and pool staff were fantastic. Drinks and pool side pizza was flowing daily.

We at dinner at the thai fusion restaurant. I don't remember anything in particular but do remember that it was delicisou thai fusion. The bar there is also spectacular. If you can get a seat, you're in luck.

There are many little inexpensive places to eat after a night or day of drinking and partying. Most placed around there boasting signed pics of celebraties that have eaten there after a few cocktails. We also took a 10 minute cab ride for to Fogo du Chao one night. Another great dining experience.

If you can afford to stay the Setai... go for it. World class servce and ammenities.

Room Tip: Get up early if you want a bed at the pool or ask the concierge to book one for you.
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JoToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2011

Very good stay at the setai. We stayed 3 nigth in the tower. Big rooms, personalised service, good beach service and great pools. Asia staff is extreemly helpfull and put the non asian staff a bit at a lower service level. However this is just impression, all staff are extreemly friendly and willing to please the guests. Only downside is the price 1500usd/nigth, but if you can afford you get something for it in return.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Setai

Property: The Setai
Address: 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139-1913
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Miami Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Miami Beach
#5 Luxury Hotel in Miami Beach
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Miami Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
#14 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Setai 5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Setai is an intimate, serene oceanfront resort in the heart of South Beach. Its design vision artfully combines the rich architectural history of the neighborhood and its cultural diversity with the International Art Deco movement, particularly its influence in Asia. Our new restaurant, Jaya, invites you to discover a menu that dedicated to the traditional flavors and dishes of Asia from China, India, Thailand and Japan. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Setai Hotel Miami Beach
Setai Hotel Miami Beach
Setai Miami Beach
The Setai Miami Beach, Florida

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