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The Betsy South Beach: Refined, Historic, Cultural

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Built as The Betsy Ross Hotel by famed architect L. Murray Dixon in 1942, the historic landmark Miami Beach hotel is the only surviving structure showcasing Florida Georgian architecture on Ocean Drive. The inside was remodeled and the hotel reopened in 2009 as The Betsy South Beach, a "refined, beachside haven located in the heart of South Beach." Its renovation kept the "colonial chic" while adding 21st Century technology.

The Betsy is located in the Art Deco District which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and maintains its historic feel today. With its four-column portico, shuttered windows and renovated white facade, this is classic Miami Beach décor at its finest. Fantastic ocean views from one of the 61 rooms or the rooftop Ocean Deck and a relaxing walkway to the beach where a concierge greets you with hotel towel and chair, complete the luxury feel. Amazing amenities and spectacular cuisine that's winning awards at BLT Steak give this timeless hotel Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond ratings, while USA Today and CNN have also bestowed kudos to The Betsy for Top 3 Romantic Hotels and world's greatest literary hotels, respectively. Also worth mentioning, Betsy received the Boutique Hotel of the Year in 2012 from the Boutique Luxury Lodging Association.

The Betsy is a boutique hotel that holds itself to a higher standard. Managing Director Jeff Lehman explains, "Aside from perfect location and a staff to guest ratio above almost any luxury hotel in Miami Beach, we offer a true boutique experience, with staff who remember you and your preferences, personal but important events and visitors through our Philanthropy, Arts, Culture and Education (PACE) program. What we hear most from our guests is our unwavering commitment to service, from the moment guests enter our front door, and until they depart."

The PACE program is the main activity component at The Betsy. Dedication to the PACE program earned the hotel an award in 2011 for community service programming in arts, culture, and philanthropy from the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association. "We color everything we do with our devotion to these four pillars, and engage both our guests and the local community," declares Lehman. "From Breakfast Salons with writers, to amazing musical performances, to the art that adorns the hotel and even the libraries in every room or suite, it is an elevated, stimulating experience that fuels a guest's desire to relax, refresh and renew."

From rooftop sunrise yoga or outside spa and wellness treatment to the fitness room and sparkling pool, there is plenty to keep you healthy and relaxed during your stay. Outside The Betsy there is golf, tennis, watersports and biking. Or take a walk and explore the nearby shops, restaurants, museums and other cultural venues. You can even quietly curl up poolside with a book picked from your room's library.

"Dolly Madison said that a great hotel is a combination of three things, in perfect balance: Comfort, Security and Drama," says Lehman. ." Comfort and security are integral parts of The Betsy experience. "A pop-up musical performance in our Lobby Salon is clearly drama," Lehman continues. Jazz two nights a week in the lobby bar at no charge is entertainment with a dramatic element. "We embrace the element of surprise," states Lehman, "in the hopes of stimulating conversation, comfort and a lifelong memory."

For more information please check out www.thebetsyhotel.com.

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