Miami's Ocean Drive is best known for its rich roster of Art Deco hotels and chic cafés and bars, many of which have starring roles in movies like The Birdcage and Scarface. Tourists come to people watch and soak up the sun, while countless A-listers including Versace, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez have called the city home. It's here that you'll also find The Betsy Hotel, one of the city's most arty, distinct properties.
Ocean Drive continues to reinvent itself, and so does The Betsy. Built in 1942 by L. Murray Dixon, who lent his Art Deco touch to several properties in the area, the hotel is a tribute to Georgian architecture with its stately portico entrance and shuttered windows. In 2016, the hotel completed an expansion, connecting it to the former Carlton Hotel via an artistic orb-shaped sky bridge.
Everything about this hotel is devoted to art and good reading. You’ll often find locals sipping coffee, visitors sidling up to the bar or listening to live jazz, art and literature enthusiasts gazing at the gallery and exploring the library, and businessmen and women dining at the on-site restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood. Overall, the property offers a warm, welcoming ambiance for travelers — and locals — of all ages.
Who Will Love It
Art, literature, and music lovers will all appreciate the property's library and art gallery. Culturally conscious guests who enjoy live performances and poetry readings will also enjoy everything the hotel has to offer.
Who Might Not
The Betsy — with its laid-back, arty vibe — is all about savoring and slowing down. This is very much a place that takes you back in time. If you want a more stimulating atmosphere, this may not be the hotel for you.
The property is a bibliophile’s dream in every possible way. The curated library (which features cozy blue velvet chairs and sofas, plus gorgeous coffee table books and chess sets) and in-room book collections are what makes The Betsy a stand-out. Here, you'll find everything from Michelle Obama's Becoming to literary classics like To Kill a Mockingbird.
A stay here comes with tons of perks, including access to the pool, the rooftop sundeck, and the spa (consider splurging on a chilled stones massage). There's also live jazz music, poetry readings, free wifi, and the opportunity to take in – at your own pace — the property's stunning artwork and photography collection.
Fees and Extra Costs
Spa treatments cost extra, and breakfast is also an additional charge. Laundry and parking are not included, either. And, if your pup weighs more than 40 pounds, be prepared to pay a one-time fee of $150.
How to Get a Deal
Check the hotel's offers page, where you'll often find seasonal deal and promotions. Right now, you can score 20% off your room rate if you stay five nights or longer. There's also the “Miami Getaway" package, which includes daily breakfast for two plus 15% off accommodations.
In the Neighborhood
The Betsy sits at the top of Ocean Drive. A short walk from the hotel puts you in the thick of South Beach activities, and the beach itself is just steps away. Nearby, there are plenty of chic cafés to choose from. It’s a short walk to the Art Deco Museum, the Palace Bar (which hosts daily drag shows, live entertainment, and weekend brunches), and the Versace Mansion, the former home of Gianni Versace that's now a luxury hotel.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is a 20-minute car ride away. An Uber, Lyft, or taxi costs around $30.
Nearest Public Transit
There are plenty of buses near the property, which is easily accessible via public transport (bus 103, bus 150, and the orange and green subway lines). To get to the airport, simply hop on the 150 bus.
This arty hotel offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience from the moment they come through the front door.