Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill Miami 2006 - A weekend at The Setai
Take a vacation without leaving town, but don't leave home without your wallet (or before requesting a higher limit on your credit cards). Experience a weekend of relaxing in hotel paradise and think of it as a meager sampling of the life of a celebrity. Walking into the lobby of The Setai, you are immediately transported to a tranquil plane of harmony. Good Chi flows from the teak wood and the antique bricks transported from Shanghai. The design of the hotel, described as "Art Deco Fusion," melds the architectural standard of classic South Beach -- it is, after all, a replica of the historic Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel -- with soothing elements of Asian flair. Talismans adorn the walls to ward off evil spirits, so you will experience nothing but positive energy throughout your relaxing weekend stay. You will sleep on luxurious Dux beds with Irish linen sheets, watch your cable shows on flat-screen LCD or plasma televisions sets with Bose surround-sound, and make your morning java jolt with a Lavazza espresso maker. If you forget your bathing suit, simply go to the gift shop and buy one of the very cool Blue Glue bikinis ($120 each). (You decide you want both the purple one with the cute cutouts and the one with green iridescent sequins, so you splurge. You're on vacation, right?) After a hard afternoon of chilling by one of the three pools, you can return to your suite for a soak in your big tub or a scrub under the shower, which is equipped with Acqua di Parma products. Enjoy delicious Asian cuisine or comfort foods prepared before your eyes from The Restaurant or Sushi Bar (about $240) and a Zen-like, mind-altering spa treatment including shiatsu massage and aromatherapy oils, followed by a Jacuzzi soak ($450 per couple). Although weekend packages normally start at $3900, May 1 marks the off-season, which means deep discounts for locals. Two nights will set you back only $1220, which brings the total to $1890 (before the two bathing suits are tacked on to your bill). The effect it will have on your demeanor is priceless.