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Things Were Not Always Good at The Setai But Here's Hoping It Can Get Better

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  Site Where: 2001 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
April 5, 2012 at 5:23 PM | by | ()

More info continues to come in from ex-employees at the Setai Hotel in South Beach which was the scene of a management shakedown last Saturday. And it looks like things were not very happy at The Setai for quite some time.

This Sun Post Weekly article from July 2011 details the rough working conditions inside the hotel's F&B operations. Namely, that GHM was importing young employees from other countries through their GHM Exchange program and had them working in excess of 40 hours a week.

According to the Sun Post, many of these exchange workers were threatened if they refused to work that many hours. Additionally, the report said the restaurant's service charges (aka automatic gratuities) often went to the hotel to pay for their expenses and not to the restaurants or their workers. One former employee emailed us to say that the GM of the hotel had told her they had to turn around every dollaras the owners were very tough on them.

Another former employee emailed us to detail more of the abusive nature that went on, even amongst the ranks of upper management. Additionally, this employee says the hotel botched an installation of their video-on-demand system and internal WiFi network by iBahn which resulted in giving massive amounts of refunds to guests who were paying the steep Setai nightly rate.

Yet even though several employees say GHM was a difficult management firm to work under, many are not sticking around to see the new order installed.

Trevi Luxury Hospitality Group has sent out a new letter to the hotel's residents that essentially acknowledged the departure of staffers during one of the busiest times of the year (Easter weekend.) Looks like that $500 incentive they were reportedly offering didn't work.

Atef Mankarios, founder and CEO of Trevi, apologized for the inconveniences, assured residents that the problem was "temporary" and that all fruit and frozen drinks at the Pool and Beach Bar would be complimentary. He also mentioned that he will be hosting a homeowners reception this Saturday as well as every Saturday in April to address their concerns. He even offered up his cellphone for especially concerned homeowners who want a one-on-one interaction.

Despite all these efforts, the Setai is not a happy place to be right now. In fact, it's kind of living up to its down low nickname from ex-employees, The Shitai. All of which has us realizing that hotel takeovers like these and the one that hit the Waikiki Edition seem so unnecessary and are definitely more disruptive than just filing a lawsuit.

But we guess the real test will be what happens to the hotel when the dust finally settles. In other words, will the Setai still be the place to go come High Season next year? We shall see.

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