The Setai Miami Beach has a volunteer Ambassador, Bob Fetty. He lives in one of the hotel’s residences and every morning he posts the real-time view from his balcony (see above). Over the last few years the affable sculptor has amassed a following of over 2.5 million worldwide.
This 130-room Leading Hotel of the World has some of the best marketing worldwide and it more than justifies its reputation. Consider its eatertainment, all home-grown, home-run. Regulars come back again and again, knowing service will be thoughtful, by young professionals who appear to have graduated in body language’s emotional intelligence. A week ago, mid-week, over 200 dined at the hotel’s beach-set Ocean Grill, which sensibly has instantly-removable Italy-made roofing ‘just in case’. Simultaneously, nearly 600 had booked for inside-outside Jaya, a restaurant with lots to watch.
Jaya is an easily-seen corner spot on trendy Collins Street. Inside are several high-ceilinged rooms, and outside, tables are set around, or in, water-free alcoves of a decorative pool flanked by ceiling-high living palms – here, too, a rain-proof roof can be activated in a couple of seconds (this one was designed by South African yacht specialists).
At breakfast Jaya, and a magnificent new-nutrition buffet, offers the calm the hour demands. Lunch attracts locals. Dinner is another level, with an ongoing son et lumière of multi-coloured lights and electronic music complemented by occasional DJs. At weekends stilt-walkers and acrobats join the glitter.
Ocean Grill’s entertainment is subdued sounds of exercisers tramping South Beach’s famous beach walk, crashing of waves beyond. People-watching is a silent guide to southern Florida’s appeal.
Top of their professions include household-name financiers, some New Yorkers drawn to Miami mode, and some live in the residences that are part of The Setai complex.
Miami Beach, to me, IS The Setai. From suite 2403’s balcony I looked down, over three parallel lap pools, thoughtfully different temperatures, to the Ocean Grill. Walk there, past eight double-width loungers, cleverly surrounded by two metre-high living bushes. People-watch while nibbling shaved and charred artichokes.
Follow this with a man-sized Arkansas steak and Grigich Hills 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. For tonight, abstain from usual Australian to appreciate America.
The packed Ocean Grill bar, open to the elements, tonight includes Bob Fetty and his wife. The hotel’s ringmaster Alex Furrer, also known as the Swiss-efficient General Manager of The Setai, knows everyone, and we all talk Art Basel and other culture. And those sunsets.
Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.
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