Luxury for less: The Setai versus Hotel Victor
"Luxury" and "value" don't have to be mutually exclusive. Sure, if you could afford it, you'd stay at The Setai in a heartbeat -- but at over $700 a night, it just might not be in the cards. But that doesn't mean you can't get pampered like an A-lister. At the Hotel Victor in South Beach, you'll get style and features that are comparable to those at some of Miami's priciest luxury properties. Not the same, mind you, but similar enough that -- like a really good designer knock-off -- you'll hardly be able to tell the difference.
Paradise doesn't come cheap. Striking but sober mood-lit design; impeccable service; huge, immaculate rooms; three pools, each a different temperature; and a prime beachside location make the Setai one of the best hotels in Miami. Its restaurants are more about design than food, but several of Miami's best restaurants are just half a block away.
With eccentric furniture, a jellyfish aquarium and a coed, clothing-optional hammam, the Victor packs sexy glamour into a small Ocean Drive boutique (just across from the beach). Though the pool and rooms are small, the Victor compensates with an excellent spa and a restaurant that even locals frequent.
Oyster's Take: A luxury spa? Check. A trendy restaurant? Check. Inventive, mood-lit design? Check. The Hotel Victor has a lot of the same luxury draws as The Setai -- for a heck of a lot less.