The Betsy South Beach, Miami

'Family owned colonial-style property is in the middle of Miami's Art Deco district'

LOCATION: This beautiful colonial-style hotel can be found smack bang in the middle of Miami’s Art Deco District on Ocean Drive. It lies just a short amble away from South Beach, where the hotel has a dedicated area of sun loungers exclusively for use by guests.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Seeing the bright white façade of this historic-looking hotel instantly made me smile. It certainly stands out in the crowd, with the majority of Miami hotels either located within huge steel and glass clad high- rise buildings or dated art deco-inspired structures covered with neon lights.

The family-owned The Betsy oozescool and sophistication and it’s even a popular among locals – the sign of a truly great hotel. Locals come here in droves for a spot of people watching and al fresco dinning in the street-level veranda at the front of the property. Having breakfast and watching roller skaters zooming along the beach is a wonderful way to start the day.

Art and design is key here and the owners organise revolving photography and art exhibitions. Writers, poetsand novelists are often invited to usethe hotel’s writer’s room – and with photographs of famous faces dotted around and a huge library space,the property is a haven for thoseseeking inspiration.

THE FACTS: Part of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, the property is split into two themed sections. The first is the classical colonial wing, which faces South Beach and is where the Betsy Ross Hotel, as it was originally known, was built in 1942. The second wing is art deco- inspired and has been added followinga merger with the neighbouring Carton Hotel on Collins Avenue. The hotel has 58 rooms in the colonial wing, including 19 suites, and the art deco wing has 70 rooms and suites. Across the two you’ll find two restaurants, a super-cool rooftop pool, a library and an events space.

A GOOD BASE FOR: If you want to explore Miami it’s great, though you could quite easily stay close to home at The Betsy because pretty much everything is within a five-minute walk. Before you head off exploring other restaurants in the city – be sure to check out the LT Steak & Seafood restaurant and newly opened Poeti, a trattoria-style Italian eaterie.

WOW: The hotel’s rooftop space is a sanctuary of relaxation. One side of the hotel boasts a rooftop bar and spa area – the only outdoor spa in the city – while the other wing has a rooftop pool – the perfect sunspot to get away from the crowds on South Beach. There’s also a shaded pool area on the ground floor for those not keen on lapping up the sunshine.

Hollie-Rae Brader

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