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“Luxury Defined”
Review of The Setai

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The Setai
Ranked #6 of 208 Hotels in Miami Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Barcelona, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Luxury Defined”
Reviewed 12 December 2011

This is our third stay this year at the Setai, I can only say good about this hotel. Readers please bare in mind we are speaking about Miami, and not only Miami but South Beach. I have read a few reviews to feel what others have experienced at this hotel and I must say that either people do not understand the real deal about this hotel or I might be a terrible traveler after having visited most of the best hotels in the world from Asia to Europe and from North to South America.

First things first, is a small hotel compared to the other hotels in Florida, I think it has about 80 rooms, so I have always been welcomed by my name from the doorman to the breakfast staff. Concierge works extremely helpful and front desk is just as fast as you could call and hang up. Engineering mostly impressive (almost too fast), we have experienced brief trouble with our TV and the Shower and they immediately came to our room and fixed everything.

The Rooms are not as you might expect, but come on, isn´t it what you want when you travel? They really manage to bring a little touch from Asia to America. This is a Hotel that belongs to a company that has several hotels in Thailand, Indonesia etc... So what they are good at is bringing the Asian feel to America, as well with their decor, staff, and service. So please for those who say people do not speak english there, just listen a bit carefully they have to speak english to be able to work at this hotel, they might just be a bit shy or timid.

The swimming pool area is just perfect, you can find privacy, and a relaxing atmosphere in South Beach. For those who are looking for a place to see, party and be seen - avoid. This is a hotel for Family, Couples, and Business men as well as people who appreciate quality.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alkatrunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
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
1 review
Reviewed 25 November 2011

One of the best I ever bin. The only one at collins with privat beach. Great pool restaurant

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BojanStricevic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
4 Thank miles_russell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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
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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
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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
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank toramo
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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