The Betsy South Beach

Cultural, comfortable, boutique

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach 33139

(305) 531-6100

See Website

At a Glance

The Betsy provides a more intimate option for culture-loving travelers who want proximity to South Beach's trendy restaurants and bars but prefer not to share a roof with a thousand other guests.

Indagare Loves

  • Art exhibitions in public spaces are constantly rotating and the Writer's Room encourages creativity
  • The floating roof deck with its zero-edge pool that receives sun all day long
  • LT Steak in the lobby brings a cool crowd, and serves delicious cuisine


From the exterior, the Betsy’s colonial architecture immediately sets it apart from its Art Deco neighbors on Ocean Drive. That distinction remains true well after walking through the front doors, and the Betsy is a welcome alternative to the bigger luxury options further up Collins Avenue.

The property’s 130 rooms and suites are divided between two buildings, connected via catwalk over an alleyway. The Dixon Wing is the original section of the hotel, inside a neo-Colonial gem at the northern end of Ocean Drive. It's here that guests will find the restaurant—seafood and steakhouse staple LT— library, a loungey basement bar, peaceful rooftop (with treetop views over Lummus Park to the water) and a small courtyard pool. Behind it, the Hohauser Wing occupies the former Carlton Hotel, an historic Art Deco property on Collins Avenue. This wing has a coffee shop (serving the local favorite, Panther), fitness center, art gallery, large interior courtyard, and, above it, a "floating" rooftop with a sun-soaked pool deck.

Rooms throughout are furnished comfortably and simply, with crisp, white Sferra linens, custom walnut floors, plantation shutters, raffia and sisal accents and pops of color. Although the best views are of the sea, guests who want quieter evenings should ask for pool views. Ocean view rooms overlook Ocean Drive, which can be noisy late into the evening. Beware of the city view rooms, which may overlook the alley behind the hotel or Collins Avenue.

The original wing's rooftop has a gorgeous view but no services—apart from morning yoga—and feels secluded and private. Before the expansion into the Carlton, the Betsy's courtyard pool left much to be desired, steering many guests to the beach instead. The newer pool, however, is stunning, with 360-degree views over a swathe of South Beach and over to Miami proper. The best part: no buildings block the sun, meaning there is direct light all day long—unheard of for any other top Miami Beach property. This is a major plus, since the Betsy's beach access, though close, is in the public section of Lummus Park and can get crowded.

The lobby houses LT Steak, a trendy and tasty hotspot that serves steakhouse specials as well as sushi, but real insiders know the place to be at night is the lounge hidden behind unmarked doors in the basement. The low ceiling is made of stretched vinyl, which reflects the entire bar.

Jonathan and Leslie Pletzik bought the property to be a hub for their many philanthropic causes, and the hotel has developed an identity based in arts and culture, hosting art shows, poetry readings and other surprisingly intellectual events. The homey feeling in the lobby extends throughout the building, with such touches as backgammon boards, funky art exhibitions, and a Writer’s Room that welcomes authors and poets from around the world.

Who Should Stay

Art lovers who want a fabulous pool and convenient location but don't need direct beach access. Anyone with mobility issues and families with young children will find the third-floor connection a hassle, as it requires two elevator rides and a winding walk to transfer from wing to wing.

Written by Indagare

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