We initially embraced the introduction of Jetsetter Now, which was added in October as a new feature of the Jetsetter app. It essentially did what HotelTonight doesoffer that-night rooms from an approved pool of properties, at discount ratesbut Jetsetter Now would do it BLIND. Guests wouldn't see the name of the property they'd booked until after the non-refundable, non-cancellable sale was made. Yikes. Still, we threw caution to the wind in the name of Operation Last Resort.
Around 1pm Saturday, we checked the apps. Jetsetter Now was offering a "South Beach Classic" hotel for $263/night and a "South Beach Hip" for the same price. Meanwhile, HotelTonight had The Dream on sale for $259 that night. Wanting to try a new property, we double-checked we wouldn't end up at The Dream by scrolling through Jetsetter's regular hotels available that night. It showed The Dream was unavailable, but properties like the Ritz-Carlton, King & Grove The Tides, The Perry, Shore Club and the Mandarin Oriental were. All of those sounded good.
Alas, we booked that blind rate and our email confirmation not a minute later showed The Dream. WTF?! We called Jetsetter's help line, only to be told very nicely in many ways that there was nothing they could do. We called The Dream, who said they didn't even have the booking yet and could do nothing. Look, there's nothing wrong with The Dream other than their WiFI didn't function well enough to allow us to do the work we needed to do and we didn't want to spend another day hunting power outlets and sitting in a busy Starbucks on Lincoln Road. But we had places to go and people to see, so we let the issue be.
Returning to South Beach after an evening at the various Art Basel fairs, we headed down to The Dream. Walking in, the receptionist knew who we were right away (because we were the last guest to check in to a full hotel that night) and immediately apologized. She explained that something had happened with the rooftop, causing water to leak into some guestrooms and, since they were full-up, she'd have to move me to another nearby hotel "in the same category." She called a couple hotels, all of which were full as well, before securing a room a few blocks up at The Betsy.
A porter at The Dream walked us up to The Betsy, took care of that room (their going rate that night was $309 at The Betsy) and we were finally in a room by 11pm. There ends the drama.
At left: JetSetter Now. We booked the "South Beach Hip" choice for $263/night, and it ended up being The Dream. At right: the HotelTonight offers for the same night, which shows The Dream for $259
Having searched current Jetsetter.com sales for that night, we were comforted by seeing The Dream listed as unavailable. Guess it was a lie
What we liked (about The Betsy):
· The room was so comfortable, clean and well laid-out. Outlets were bedside and easily accessible, and overall it felt like staying in the guestroom of a well-to-do friend with good taste.
· The lobby was noisy with its BLT Steak restaurant and bar, but none of that drifted up to our 3rd floor room.
· Despite the cacophony, the lobby seemed a chill scene. Couples dressed to go out were seated with cocktails and actually playing board games. Obviously several straight days of Art Basel parties was catching up.
· The toiletries are Malin + Goetz. Love them!
· The TV cabinet included a variety of books to borrow while staying. Poolside reads!
· Speaking of poolside, though the hotel has a courtyard pool, their location at the top of Ocean Drive right on Miami Beach means it's a super-short walk to the sand.
· A rooftop space has an outdoor living room look, with chaise lounges facing the sun and the beach.
· The WiFI was fast and included with the $15 resort fee.
· Thoughtful bathroom design. The dials were located on the wall away from the showerhead, meaning you could turn on the shower without stepping in and getting soaked by cold water.
What wasn't so great (about The Betsy):
· That aforementioned courtyard pool is tiny and gets almost no sun, but they plush it up with very nice deck chairs and service.
· The bathroom is very small, with no tub.
· No breakfast included in the resort fee.
If you're in Miami as well (or any of the other multitude of international cities HotelTonight serves), download their free app, register here, and get to booking, as we'd no longer recommend Jetsetter Now.