Like my fellow travel bloggers, I have a totally incurable wanderlust and a huge desire to travel the world. I always want to see new places, go somewhere different and have a new adventure.
December was approaching and Mr S and I had a British Airways companion voucher that was about to expire…we searched the destinations that we could visit and, ever the slave to availability, we were left with limited choice.
‘How about Miami’ suggested Mr S…
‘But [shock, horror] we’ve been there before….’ I reply, wide-eyed… ‘There’s so many places, I still haven’t been…’
Anyways #Firstworldproblems… we went ahead and booked it…and I’m so glad that we did.
Not only had we been to Miami before but actually, along with Las Vegas, it was the first holiday we’d ever been on together as a couple. When we’d visited before we had stayed at The Shore Club, but on our first day we’d wondered to the hotel next door for a snack and a cocktail and it turned out to be somewhere very special…
‘This time I want to stay at The Setai
,’ I announced.
We arrived at around 7pm and were greeted by a friendly receptionist and a welcoming iced tea. Feeling tired, we went straight up to the room and found the gorgeous welcome amenities above. We’d requested the champagne but we also received oranges, chocolates, cake and a hand written card. A lovely way to arrive after a nine hour flight.
Every room at The Setai is a suite and ours was gorgeous and spacious.
One my favourite destinations to visit is Thailand and I loved how the decor evoked the traditional South East Asian style with the minimalistic look, dark wood and authentic Asian artefacts.
The bed was huge and so soft it was like sleeping in a fluffy cloud.
The high definition TV swung out so we could watch all our favourite US TV programs whilst sitting in bed.
There were also black out blinds to aid your sleep after a big night out…I find these rather disorientating as it’s really difficult to know what time it is when you wake up but I do see how it’s useful to have them.
We had an extensive mini bar and our own illy espresso coffee machine…which was a very convenient way to help sober up from all the cocktails!
We had a gorgeous big bathroom that was perfect for selfie taking.
With a big bath and a fantastic rain shower.
And a his and hers sink with gorgeous Roja Dove Parfum bathroom bits. It really was a totally fantastic room.
My favourite part of the hotel is the central courtyard.
A beautifully relaxed bar area with tranquil pools. I honestly felt like I could be in Thailand.
And it was the perfect place to grab a martini…chilli passion or espresso….take your pick.
And come out of the courtyard and you’ll find the pool…all three of them…
Each pool is heated to a slightly different temperature, including a slightly warmer one for kids. The service was brilliant, we were given free smoothies and water, they were speedy in bringing drinks and all very kind and amenable to our needs.
When we’d stayed at The Shore Club, it was party central, but The Setai had a much more chilled vibe…it was very relaxed, quiet and child-friendly.
Just beyond the pool, The Setai has it’s own private beach area with days beds and food and drink service. As it was pretty windy, we stuck with the pool in order to avoid getting covered in sand.
The other public areas have that gorgeous Thai aesthetic too…
Now, of course I tried the food for you!! There are two restaurants, The Setai Grill is a modern steakhouse with Eastern influences, whereas The Restaurant has Mediterranean cuisine and is more of a fine dining option with a slightly prettier setting.
As we arrived latish we decided dinner on the first night would be at the hotel and we chose The Restaurant as it seemed the more romantic of the two. As we’d been a slave to air miles availability, we actually arrived on Thanksgiving day and The Restaurant were serving a set Thanksgiving menu, which meant we were slightly limited in our choices.
Starter for me was a stuffed salmon parcel and for Mr S, a duck tart. Strangely, I preferred the duck tart…I know! Not like me!! The starters were followed be a very enjoyable pumpkin soup with parmesan.
I was excited to see one of my favourites on the menu, miso black cod, this was an obvious choice and we went for a lobster bisque from Maine for the other main course. Sadly, there were both very bland, something I’ve never experienced before with black cod. This could have been due to the fact they were serving a set menu so producing the fish en mass. Either way, it was a disappointment.
We chose the apple tarte tatin with salt caramel ice cream for dessert, as this is another one of our favourites, but it was also strangely bland. Fortunately, chocolate solves all of the world’s problems and a dark chocolate bar cake with winter spice was delicious.
All in all, a rather mixed experience. And sadly we didn’t fare much better at lunch the next day. Mr S and I still cherished the memory of dining at the pool bar on our first day in Miami last time and we were excited to visit again.
Mr S and I love globe artichokes and on our first visit to The Setai we’d sample a barbecued version. That artichoke has gone down in SilverSpoon history as THE BEST ARTICHOKE EVER (excuse caps)…
After a few disappointments the night before, I was worried that the artichoke would let me down. But it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Perfectly charred and served with a garlic aoili, the dish really evoked fond memories of the first time around. Don’t you love it when a special dish brings back a memory? That excitement of being in love and on holiday together for the first time.
A mixed ceviche and lobster salad also had good flavour and were tasty and light starters.
Unfortunately, the branzino arrived lukewarm and lacked flavour and the accompanying fries were stone cold. The service at the bar was excellent though, they replaced both dishes and took the price of them off the bill. The next day when we went back for a drink, they couldn’t have been lovelier so I won’t hold it against them. 😉
Finally, the breakfast is fab…as you can see there’s so much choice…
…of both healthy and more filling options. And one of Mr S’s favourite things: an omelette station where they can prepare your eggs anyway that you like.
In terms of service, the best I’ve ever experienced is in Thailand itself, and the Setai certainly emulates their levels of attentiveness. The staff at the restaurant, bar and reception were all incredibly friendly and helpful and our stay there was truly wonderful. We also loved the hotel’s central location on South Beach which meant we could easily head out the door and find lots of other bars, restaurants and shops right on our doorstep.
I don’t think I’ve cured my wanderlust but I certainly loved returning to somewhere I’ve been before. As we walked around we kept saying how familiar everything felt and there were fond memories on every corner.
There’s plenty more adventures to come from my time in USA so follow me on Instagram
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2001 Collins Avenue