Forbes Inspector

Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

Forbes Travel Guide created America's original hospitality Star Rating system in 1958. Since then, its team of incognito inspectors have checked into thousands of hotels, dined at just as many restaurants, and experienced scores of spa treatments to bring you information on the very best places to stay, eat and relax around the world. Throughout ForbesTravelGuide.com, you'll find answers about these Star-Rated and recommended hotels, restaurants and spas, as well as destinations and activities, written and provided by Forbes Travel Guide's team of professional inspectors. It's a dynamic group of people who live around the world, have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds, and are united by a passion for travel and a devotion to hunting down the world's most outstanding places.

  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What special amenities are in the rooms at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    Special amenities in the 85 studio suites and the 45 tower suites at The Setai, Miami Beach include luxurious bath products from Roja Parfums; a stylish woven beach bag that you can use during your stay (a similar one is for sale in Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Spa at The Setai if you become attached); two bathrobes and pairs of Asian slippers; Illy espresso makers; fresh fruit and chocolates as a welcome amenity; and Taittinger champagne available for purchase from the mini-bar.

    We also love that the rooms at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Miami hotel come equipped with an in-room bathtub (perfect for personal spa treatments), flat-screen LED Samsung TV, Bose Wave system with iPod docking station, complimentary Wi-Fi and touchscreen phones (so with the push of a button, you can order room service or book a spa appointment).
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best rooms to stay in at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    While we were quite charmed by the Studio Spa Suites within the Art Deco building, the best rooms to stay in at The Setai, Miami Beach are arguably the one- and two- bedroom suites that face the ocean in the Tower. These rooms offer the best of both worlds, in that they’re modern and sleek, but still outfitted in the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s signature Zen-chic teak and black granite with expensive furniture and Asian accents.

    These suites would be the most comfortable for families, too — the kitchen is a treat to cook in, although 24-hour room service is just a call away. These rooms also have balconies where you feel like you could touch the Atlantic, along with Jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms to simulate your own spa feel if you’re just too lazy to zip down in the elevator to actually get a treatment in Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Spa at The Setai.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What kind of bath products are offered at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    All guest room and suites at The Setai, Miami Beach feature bath products designed exclusively for the hotel by one of the world’s master perfumers, Roja Dove. In your guest room bathroom, you’ll find Roja Parfums shampoo, conditioner, body wash and bar soap as well as thick body milk. The scent, created to evoke the tranquility of the hotel and its Floridian setting, leads with Neroli and other citrus notes and includes hints of rose and jasmine for a bright fragrance. After a day spent on the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s private beach, you’ll feel nothing but refreshed after lathering and putting on lotion with this line of products.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the bathrooms like in the rooms at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    When you walk into your bathroom in your room at The Setai, Miami Beach, it will look more like a spa than a typical bathroom. The teak wood, black granite and jade decoration make for a stylish place to get clean. In our studio suite, there were his-and-her sinks on separate sides of the space (with shaving/makeup mirrors) and a changing area and closet between them. Inside the closet, you’ll find two plush robes, slippers, a safe and a Setai beach bag (for your personal use while at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel).

    The dark-tiled rain shower is the perfect way to wash away the salt and sun after a day on the beach. We also love the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Miami hotel’s signature Neroli-scented line of bath products by London-based legendary perfumer Roja Dove. The fresh scent of citrus is light enough to be subtle, but strong enough to still provide a luxe aroma.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the beds like at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    All the beds in the 85 suites at The Setai, Miami Beach are high-end models from Duxiana (a luxury bed line built with support in mind) and are dressed in fine cotton, off-white bed linens by Frette. At the foot of your bed, you’ll find a cozy brown throw to wrap yourself in while you sit back and watch TV, take in the views of South Beach or drift off to the tunes of your iPod on the Bose surround sound system. You’ll have no problem propping yourself up on the bed’s four pillows (and two decorative ones) and controlling the drapes and lighting from your bed-top perch. A touchscreen phone next to your bed makes it ultra-easy to tap for room service when you get hungry during your stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are rooms like at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    Rooms at The Setai, Miami Beach are some of the most luxurious in Miami. Clean lines in teak wood dominate the studio suites in particular, with accents of black granite adding to the dramatic look. Some of the suites in the Art Deco building boast black soaking tubs built into the wall (facing the beach, of course), which are surrounded with built-in couch seating around the edge of the room. It makes for a distinctive looking room, and one you can’t wait to play in.

    The chic and comfortable rooms have a definite spa vibe and feel. Rooms in the Tower building feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows that bring the beach right to you, with a similar design to the Art Deco rooms. These rooms at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel also benefit from having spacious living areas and gourmet kitchens, as well as large balconies and dramatic ocean views that’ll make you feel like you’re squarely in the heart of the action on South Beach, complete with amenities that make you feel like you’re right at home.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What cool in-room technology does The Setai, Miami Beach have?

    In-room technology at The Setai, Miami Beach includes MITEL 5360 COLOR IP phones, complimentary Wi-Fi and wired Internet access, an Illy espresso maker, and a Bose surround sound and Wave system with an iPod docking station. You’ll also find a cell phone set up in your room for you to use during your stay. Use your own personal number to make unlimited local calls and surf the Internet or check your email as much as you like. This is a great amenity for international travelers. Suites also have light controls with dimmers. If you or your little ones are into gaming and movies, a special themed entertainment suite has an entire room decked out for media immersion, with an Xbox for games and the iMedia system for movies and Web entertainment. Though, to be honest, we think you’ll want to soak up the sunshine when you stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, given its prime location in the heart of South Beach.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What special amenities are offered at The Setai, Miami Beach pool?

    The Setai, Miami Beach’s three beachfront pools, divided by meticulously maintained hedges and surrounded by large, comfortable gray daybeds, feature special amenities including sunscreen (on request), beach towels, bottled water, and a range of newspapers including the Financial Times and The New York Times, as well as a few different magazines. If you’re heading down to the beach, you’ll find staff members there who will help you get set up at a lounge chair and they’ll bring over a small basket with ice cold bottled water and a water spritzer that you can take with you if you venture to the beach. (Note that the daybeds are not able to be reserved; they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) The pool concierge at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Miami hotel can also help you arrange more active water diversions such as jet-skiing, deep sea diving, and a private yacht charter.

    Each of The Setai’s separate pools has a different temperature: The lap pool is 75 degrees, the lounge pool is 85 degrees and the family pool is 95 degrees; the family pool is open to kids but the other two are reserved for adults only. After a day of sunning and swimming at one of lovely pools, simply walk over to The Pool & Beach Bar, a 90-foot poolside bar with cool beverages and grilled Mediterranean-style dishes. Or you can order a cool beverage or snack from your seat by the pool from one of the staff members walking around.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is involved in The Setai, Miami Beach’s turndown service?

    The Setai, Miami Beach’s turndown service includes a circular wooden tray placed on your turned down bed at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel. On the tray sits a wood-carved do not disturb door hanger and a sweet treat (we received white and milk chocolate truffles one night and the other night, tiramisu petits fours). An in-room dining menu will be tucked into your folded-down sheets making it easy to order a room service breakfast. You’ll also find bottles of water placed on the nightstand with a glass next to it. Black slippers are placed at your bedside, the bed’s decorative pillows and throw blanket are removed, and the lighting is dimmed.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What five words would you use to describe the style of The Setai, Miami Beach?

    When you walk into the lobby at The Setai, Miami Beach, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star oceanfront hotel, it’s tough not to be speechless. We’ve collected ourselves and wrangled up five words to describe the style of this gorgeous Miami hotel:

    1. Art Deco. The Art Deco landmark building was originally built between 1936 and 1938 as the famed Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel and the style of that period, merged with Asian Art Deco, inspires The Setai’s décor. In fact, the antique gray bricks in the lobby were actually transported from an Art Deco building in Shanghai.

    2. Zen-like. When you walk into your guest room at The Setai, you’ll notice the black granite bathtub. We recommend taking a relaxing soak after a day spent on the sand of the hotel’s private beach.

    3. Modern. Though The Setai’s look may be antique, between the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s two-story Lenny Kravitz recording studio and the technology found in The Setai’s suites, the technology throughout the resort is up-to-date. The TVs in the suites even come with Bose surround sound, and you’ll find a complimentary cell phone in your room to use during your stay with your own personal number to make unlimited local calls and search the Internet as much as you need.

    4. Luxurious. The vast wine list at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Restaurant, the lobby’s jaw-dropping mother-of-pearl bar and the handmade Duxiana king-sized bed topped with Frette linens are enough to tip you off that this resort is pure luxury.

    5. Private. The hotel was designed with privacy in mind, so you can have your own time on the beach or poolside. If you’re looking for even more privacy, try Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Spa at The Setai, tucked behind the Art Deco and Tower buildings, which comes equipped with four completely private spa suites, each decked out with its own bathroom, steam shower and robe to lounge in.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the design style of The Setai, Miami Beach?

    The design concept of The Setai, Miami Beach is “Design Art Deco fusion,” a philosophy that melds the Art Deco architecture of South Beach with the influence of the Art Deco period in Asia. The hotel’s lead designer, Jean-Michel Gathy, envisioned the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort as more of a vacation home than a hotel. You’ll feel more than welcome amid the natural materials, expansive space and light filling up Gathy’s beautifully planned design. The tasteful décor has an underlying Asian aesthetic and values, from the antique bricks on the lobby level salvaged from Shanghai’s Old City to the Asian-style teacups used in place of regular glass tumblers in the guest room bathrooms at The Setai, Miami Beach.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best amenities at The Setai, Miami Beach?

    A hotel doesn't earn a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rating without offering you a variety of handy and pampering amenities. With that in mind, here are the five amenities you can't miss at The Setai, Miami Beach:

    1. You'll have a tough time finding a more stunning décor and variety of amenities after visiting one of The Spa at The Setai’s spa suites, with steam showers and remarkable views over The Setai's pool decks toward the ocean. Be sure to check out the décor throughout the hotel — we love the gray antique bricks in the lobby that were imported from an old Art Deco building in Shanghai. Now, the restored bricks are the perfect bridge between the Art Deco styles of Miami and Shanghai.

    2. Incredible Mediterranean-inspired cuisine served at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Restaurant means you won't have to travel farther than an elevator ride to get a fresh, fantastic meal. Besides the mouth-watering food, we were entertained throughout the meal by watching seasoned chefs hard at work in the stunning exhibition kitchen.

    3. Tucked behind the Art Deco and Tower buildings, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Spa at The Setai stands out as a particularly special accommodation. When it's treatment time, you'll head to the second floor to one of the four completely private spa suites, each decked out with its own bathroom, steam shower, and a robe to lounge in. The traditional treatments incorporate the healing techniques of Bali, India and Tibet.

    4. The two-floor Setai Recording Studio designed by Lenny Kravitz's company, Kravitz Design, lets you live and work like a rock star while you're checked in at The Setai, Miami Beach — quite an appealing amenity for any burgeoning musician.

    5. Luxurious Roja Parfums bath amenities — a bespoke line crafted specifically for The Setai by master perfumer Roja Dove of London — stocked in every guest bathroom brings signature-scented body milk, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and soap right to your room. You won't have to worry about bringing your own toiletries along for the trip. In fact, you'll probably want to take The Setai's offerings home with you.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are five things I should know about The Setai, Miami Beach?

    We could probably talk about all the wonderful parts of The Setai, Miami Beach, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star South Beach hotel with Asian Art Deco style, for the rest of the day. But rather than just gushing on, here are five things you should know about The Setai, Miami Beach:

    1. The hotel consistently has the highest room rates on the beach, but the beauty of the entire hotel — think an elegant palette of brick, bronze, tropical timber and leather — and the attentive service explains why you’ll notice a higher average rate than other hotels you might find nearby.

    2. To whet your appetite, be sure to have a meal at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Restaurant, the hotel’s first-floor spot for fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Snag a table near the exhibition kitchen so that you can watch chefs grilling specialties from the Sun Coast of Europe.

    3. While The Setai is child-friendly, particularly the spacious suites with kitchens located in the Tower, and the family pool, there are not many activities or amenities designed just for your little one. This is more of an adult hotspot, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a family outing.

    4. While beautiful, The Spa at The Setai is intimate, with four private treatment rooms. The locker room facilities, available for guests using the gym at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spa, are also small — guaranteeing the privacy you crave. There is no dedicated relaxation lounge in the spa, so plan your arrival and appointment accordingly.

    5. The Setai, Miami Beach has three azure pools that overlook the ocean — a lap pool at 75 degrees, a lounge pool at 85 degrees and a family pool at 95 degrees. This may help you to decide which one you’d like to take a dip in first.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best things about The Setai, Miami Beach?

    There’s a lot to love about The Setai, Miami Beach, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star oceanfront Art Deco resort. Besides the recording studio and the sundecks leading out to the Miami hotel’s private beach, here are five things we love most about The Setai, Miami Beach:

    1. The design and décor. The design concept of The Setai merges the Art Deco movements of South Beach and Asia. And it’s apparent the moment you step foot in the lobby — the antique gray brick flooring was actually transported brick-by-brick from an Art Deco building in Shanghai.

    2. The tower views. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the newer Tower suites offer sweeping views of the Atlantic and what seems like a milelong stretch of South Beach — you’ll feel like you’re on an impossibly glamorous cruise liner.

    3. The pools. It’s easy to spend the day lounging in one of the oversized daybeds by The Setai’s three azure pools, each separated with hedges for privacy. With varying temperatures, you can choose which pool is the perfect fit for your afternoon dip — the lap pool is 75 degrees, the lounge pool is 85 degrees and the family pool is 95 degrees. And once you work up an appetite, simply walk over to The Pool & Beach Bar, a 90-foot poolside bar with cool beverages and grilled Mediterranean-style dishes.

    4. The Spa at The Setai. Tucked behind the Art Deco and Tower buildings, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Spa at The Setai stands out as a particularly special and private accommodation. It contains just four private spa suites, each complete with its own bathroom, steam shower and  robe and slippers to lounge in. The spa’s traditional treatments incorporate the healing techniques of Bali, India and Tibet.

    5. The Restaurant. On the luxury hotel’s main floor, you’ll find a tasty Mediterranean-inspired menu with influences from the sun-drenched coastlines of Spain, Italy and France. Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Restaurant relies heavily on grilling a la plancha — that is, using a flattop grill — to emphasize the flavors of the meats and seafood served. You’ll have a challenging time deciding on a main course from the full menu of pastas and risottos, varied options from the sea (including a separate caviar section), poultry and steaks, and the house specialties such as grilled artichokes and squid, and Alaskan king crab served in Romesco sauce with imported Macedonian tomatoes and tender gem lettuces. Besides the mouth-watering food, we were entertained throughout the meal by watching seasoned chefs hard at work in the stunning exhibition kitchen.
  • On January 10, 2014
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What makes The Setai, Miami Beach different from other Four-Star hotels?

    The Setai, Miami Beach is one of the only Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotels located in the middle of Miami Beach, and is unique in its Asian-inspired décor, its level of exceptional service and the intimate and private atmosphere it cultivates for its guests. We’d describe The Setai as a spa-like oasis in the heart of South Beach: Imagine a diamond set in the middle of other precious stones, and you’ll get the idea. The Setai, Miami Beach offers you the best of both worlds: The hub of activity and energy the beach is known for and then a quiet, chic retreat as soon as you step through the lobby doors.