Luxury Hotels

Back to Miami Beach’s culture-full Setai

View from suite 2105

The Setai, Miami Beach, is a significant player on the world stage of luxury hotels – and now, having a sibling in Tel Aviv’s trendy Jaffa district, the Miami Beach hotel gets even more acclaim (the Nakash family have Setai rights for the USA and for Israel).  The gal went back to The Setai Miami Beach and, once again, the view out over the Atlantic was breathtaking.  This stay was actually in the new Tower, built in between the 1930s original Art Deco hotel and the beach.  Choose a Tower suite for even more space, and for light and the fresh air that comes with being able to open sliding glass doors on to your private terrace.

Alex Furrer, flanked by Chow Kam and Vijay Veena

This is a hotel which is increasingly a gathering-place for top people, with many interests.  Those who like lounging near the water can lie on the sandy beach, or next to one of the hotel’s three parallel outside pools, one 75°F, one 85° and the third 95°.  Those who like finest shopping now find a selection of ten superb boutiques actually in the hotel, including Edoardo Borrelli bespoke tailoring, as in Coral Gables, and Orlebar Brown swimwear, from London – have your own house, or garden, printed on your swim shorts.  And then, not surprisingly, The Setai is a centre for food.  Some undoubtedly come here just for the Pekin duck made by duck master Chow Kam, who has been roasting these beauties for over ten years.

Truffle-topped dimsum

Jaan, the restaurant, is an interesting concept in that although its name implies Asia it is truly international, in an indoor-outdoor setting.  At breakfast its buffet is one of the world’s best: see a video below.  I have never before seen both guacamole and also a bowl of perfectly-ripe avocados that can be prepared to order – I had sliced avocado with a superb omelette.  Other outstanding dishes appeared at dinner.  Yes, I do recommend Chow Kam’s light-as-a-feather Pekin duck but also the scallop and shrimp dim sum covered in truffle cream foam and slices of black truffle, made all the more enjoyable by a glass of American Pinot Noir, The Four Graces, Willamette Valley 2017.

Courtyard portrait

And there are other draws that make this luxury hotel a magnet for connoisseurs.  Yes, it is a main sponsor of the annual Art Basel Miami Beach, which this year saw a pop-up of Alec Monopoly cartoon sculptures in one of the hotel boutiques. But its art connection runs year-round. Right now there are still five foot-high collage portraits of, say, Kate Moss, all done by Chuck Close, a New York-born artist who spends much of the year here at The Setai.  One reason why this hotel is so successful is that the owners are prepared to invest: a pull-back awning that covers the property’s main water-lined courtyard apparently cost $2 million but what an effect. The courtyard, which has peripheral and in-water seating, can now be used year-round. I had not realised that as well as developing The Setai Tel Aviv, the Nakashes also own and run the Versace Mansion, Casa Casuarina, here in Miami Beach: it has ten bedrooms but is mainly used for events and is extremely popular as a tourist dining venue. Clever.  AND NOW, DEAR READERS, I AM ON THE HIGH SEAS FOR TWO WEEKS SO EXPECT ONLY INTERMITTENT REPORTS.  MEANWHILE, SEE BELOW SETAI SUITE 2105, AND JAAN’S BUFFET BREAKFAST