Luxury hotels that get better and better with each visit always make the gal happy – and all those who appreciate perfection should approve of what The Setai has done. Firstly, in the last year a complete new rooftop has been added to the original 1930s-vintage seven floor Collins building. Now, the centrepiece of this lovely property, running from Miami Beach’s Collins Avenue east to the beach, is its outdoor courtyard, basically a decorative pool with walkway around and, inset into the water, palm trees, and sunken sitting areas. In the last few months a retractable roof has been added. Within four minutes the open courtyard becomes a fabulous indoor space, impervious to the elements (see the image above).
The return on investment is obvious. The courtyard is now ideal for weddings and other functions, and the spend has quickly been covered by such events, especially during Art Basel earlier this month, when once again The Setai achieved the highest average rate in the whole of the USA (all I will say is well over $2,000, which does include breakfast). Ah breakfast, a fabulous spread, with Swiss muesli that is perfect for the Zurich-born GM, Alex Furrer, through to Middle East salads, probably favourites with at least one half of The Setai owners, the Nakash family.
The Nakash family, formerly Naccache, makes Jordache jeans – look at their names, JOe, Ralph, David, Avi nacCACHE (I wonder yet again why jeans tycoons love investing in hotels, as in the case of JK Place properties in Italy, and, in New Zealand, Blanket Bay, owned by former Levi Strauss President, Tom Tuscher). At The Setai, the Nakash family wants nothing but the best. Since my last visit, for instance, the equipment in the excellent gym, which is opened 24/7 on demand, has been switched to Technogym, with Sudoku included. Toiletries in rooms are now Acqua di Parma. Espresso machines are easy-work Nespresso, with Raynaud cups, two sizes. The minibar comes with Querciabella Chianti Classico 2012, and Roederer.
Any time, through 24 hours, I could order up a range of caviar, in 30-gram portions, Tsar Imperial Kaluga, or Chinese Thousand Island Lake Royal Shassetra Schrencki, or, from Northern California, Alverta President. This is a 77-room hotel with adjacent residences, some of which can be rented and all with stunning views, which has a total of 400 team members, who can speak 32 languages between them. 50% of the people staying here are non-American, many coming via Leading (very good for us, says Alex Furrer). This is a seal of approval for a luxury hotel that is unique, here in a destination that is becoming more stuffed with hotels every year – but how many of them have dedicated avocado stations at breakfast? There IS nothing like The Setai. I love it. NOW SEE SUITE 701, BELOW