South Beach Boutique: The Betsy Hotel

The Betsy’s rooftop pool gets a hip makeover at night with purple lights and giant orbs.

The Betsy Hotel is an art deco gem along Miami’s South Beach that has all of the charm that comes from a historical venue, and so much more. Its modern evolution includes all of the elements that you’d expect of a luxury boutique hotel but with personal touches that reflect The Betsy’s owners and their love for Miami.

We spoke to Julie Burstein, Director of Catering at The Betsy, about the hotel’s history, design, events, community connections, and — of course — their dog-friendly amenities.

Tell us about the history of The Betsy.

The Betsy was built in 1942 by L. Murray Dixon, the architect responsible for many famous Miami Beach Art Deco hotels. Enamored with “the colonial chic” of the post-Great Depression era, Dixon’s former Betsy Ross Hotel has an expansive four-column portico and signature shuttered windows. Located at the edge of the water with an ocean deck that peers three stories above the Atlantic Ocean, The Betsy is a historic boutique hotel that combines 21st-century technology with the architecture and grace of yesteryear. In 2016, The hotel expanded to include a second property, designed by Henry Hohauser, another leading legacy Art Deco hotel architect. The Betsy’s two wings are connected by The Betsy Orb, a visionary piece of public art that has become one of the most coveted selfie spots on Miami Beach.

How would you describe The Betsy’s style?

The Betsy is vintage glamour repositioned for modern travelers, re-imagined in two recent restorations by award-winning Italian home designers Diamante Pedersoli and Camelina Santoro. The Betsy’s 130 luxury rooms and suites combine elegant design with the simple beauty of a tropical hideout. Our rooms are finished with marble bathrooms, luxury furnishings, and walnut floors, as well as delights like artwork from the owner’s collection and your own library in-room. Many rooms offer extra space with balconies overlooking the Art Deco District and the hotel’s atrium as well.

Why did The Betsy turn to Tripleseat to manage events at the hotel?

We were drawn to Tripleseat to increase and streamline communication. Since the system allows us to have unlimited users, everyone on our team has access to information in real time, allowing us to accommodate event changes until the last minute. Every detail, large or small, is important to our clients and must be communicated to the operations teams. We strive for perfection so if the catering, banquet and kitchen teams are on the same page at all times, we are poised to achieve that goal.

How many events do you host at The Betsy each year?

With rooftop venues offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Miami city skyline plus multiple indoor spaces, each with its own unique style and character, The Betsy has something for everyone, which is why our business has grown so much in the last few years. We do almost 1,000 events every year in more than 20,000 square feet of event space.

What types of events come to the hotel?

We are the quintessential hotel for corporate groups looking to host meetings, celebrations, and conferences. Our public spaces are creative and light-filled, with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, and our team is adept when working directly with in-house or third-party planners. We also host many weddings in multiple venues; and with the wide range of room types and event spaces, families can host a weekend full of social opportunities to please just about any taste.

What are your favorite Tripleseat features and why?

The discussion templates are great and simplify lead response. Additionally, with the mobile version, we can answer leads from anywhere, providing the client with information in real time. As everyone knows, speed of response is essential in creating and maintaining client relationships. We have also benefited from the automatic tasks, which remind us to check in with our clients so we remain engaged throughout the sales process, into the event, and even after. The reporting function is also impressive.

What would you do if Tripleseat was taken away from you?

Tripleseat has integrated our information-keeping and increased our productivity. If we were unable to access it, our effectiveness would be compromised.

Why do customers choose The Betsy for their events? What can they get here and nowhere else?

There are so many reasons people choose The Betsy as a place to stay and hold their events. In addition to the beauty of our event spaces, we offer impeccable service and exceptional cuisine. We also have talented event planners on staff that ensure a seamless outcome each and every time. How is the client experience at The Betsy, compared to other hotels? The Betsy consistently sees highly-rated reviews across all online travel and social sites from travelers and our event clients. For example, on TripAdvisor, The Betsy has been rated in the Top 10 hotels (out of 222) on Miami Beach for a decade. We have a high percentage of return clients who tell us that they know they’ll have an excellent experience when working with a boutique hotel partner like us.

What is your formula for a successful event?

We are committed to excellence in all of our endeavors. Our team is able to listen to what our clients are looking for, and then deliver even more than they expected. We have great spaces, great food, and great people. This is a recipe for event perfection every single time.

The Betsy has been noted in the local and travel press for your dog-friendly amenities. How did that start and what do you offer for your canine clients?

We offer a weekly doggie meet and greet with our Canine Executive Officers, Betsy and Rosa. Both our in-house guests traveling with their four-legged friends, as well as community members, gather in our lobby bar for special cocktails and snacks, and the pups receive bowls of water and doggie treats. We provide special dog bedding upon request for our guest rooms, as well as doggie toys and snacks. We’ve also created a book of dog poems for pet owners to enjoy when their dogs are napping, or when they’re at the pool or beach.

Your venue has incredible art throughout and hosts local cultural events. Why did The Betsy make a connection with the arts community?

The Betsy is well-known for its unique commitment to arts and culture. Over the last 10 years, the hotel ownership family has provided leadership and funding to hundreds of artists and organization partners. We have an on-property artist in residence program that has hosted 900 visiting creatives and an exhibitions program featuring the world’s great photographers. We host live jazz every night of the week, and we are the home of the Miami Classical Music Festival, sponsoring 80 concerts on Miami Beach in the summer months. We are also the home of O, Miami, the region’s leading poetry festival that celebrates the power of words to champion the diversity of South Florida. The Betsy received an award from Americans for the Arts in 2017, as one of the 10 businesses in the United States doing the most powerful work building community through the arts.

Learn more about successful Tripleseat customers

The Betsy is just one of several Tripleseat customers that are featured in the 2020 New Year edition of Seated magazine. flip through the article below for photos of The Betsy below, or check out the Seated website to learn more about the magazine.