Above: Lobby bar at The Betsy – South Beach

The Betsy stands half a block from the northern end of Ocean Drive, in a relatively tranquil location, mercifully removed from the hordes of cruise ship passengers that now overwhelm much of the once-glamorous thoroughfare.The Betsyis unusual in that it is the area’s sole example of “Florida Georgian” architecture, having been designed in 1947 by architect L. Murray Dixon, who elsewhere worked in the prevailingart deco style. (He was responsible for numerous other well-known hotels, includingThe TidesandThe Raleigh.) As a result, The Betsy has a traditional feel, an atmosphere augmented by potted palms, ceiling fans, colonial furniture and a long congenial lobby bar. Essentially, it is the South Beach hotel for people who don’t like South Beach hotels. True, many of the rooms are on the small side, but the 600-square-foot Royal Suites are extremely stylish and comfortable, and come with separate living areas and unexpectedly spacious baths. The courtyard pool provides a peaceful place to read and sip a margarita. And the rooftop Ocean Deck is a wonderful setting in which to enjoy a light meal and a glass of wine, while gazing at the glinting water of the Atlantic.

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Above: Lobby bar at The Betsy – South Beach

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