The Betsy Hotel: A First Class Destination for Arts and Culture
Written by: Taylor Lynn
Scene Reporter: Nikoleta Morales
Betsy Ross Hotel
Have you heard of The Betsy Ross Hotel? Rather…the famous, historical, high valued and adored, Betsy Hotel? Well, we were lucky enough to get a face-to-face interview with the owner of this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind establishment, Jonathan Plutzik! After picking his brain and meeting the famous Betsy Hotel canine friends, we learned a lot about the history of the hotel, and what makes the space a favorite of artists, world scholars, celebrities, and so much more!
A Brief Overview
The Betsy Hotel is located in South Beach, Miami on Ocean Drive (noted as the most influential and well-known street by Plutzik). The grand hotel features dozens of high-end rooms, all of which contain top-quality bedding, cozy furniture, and even desks for getting your work done. Each room has fabulous views of the courtyard area or even the Miami Beach surrounding area itself. Guests come from all over the world to stay at this stunning hotel for a wide variety of reasons that we’ll discuss later on. Plutzik had much to say about his pride and joy throughout our interview, let’s get into the detailed highlights below! Also, please stay tuned for the full interview with Plutzik and his personal guided tour of the hotel to premiere on Cultured Focus Network coming November 1st 2021!
Nikoleta Morales with Owner Jonathan Plutzik
The Betsy Hotel was built in 1942 by L. Murray Dixon, an art deco pioneer at the time. The hotel quickly became the staple of Florida Georgian architecture and is still referenced as such today! The hotels first residents were primarily American troops who used the hotel as their safe space to rest. As time went on, locals started to take notice of the hotel and began staying at The Betsy Ross Hotel for short periods of time, spreading word about it to their friends and family, and attracting more and more visitors.
When Plutzik, who states that he actually did not plan on entering the hotel/service industry, took over the hotel as CEO, he had every intention to keep the hotel’s history alive and well. Although the Betsy Hotel may feature some fresh coats of paint and upgraded linens, the Florida Georgian architecture remains the same (perhaps with a few expansions and refurbishments). Even the expansion done in 2017 was built to mimic the original look of the hotel, rather than “upgrade it” or “alter” it. Plutzik points out that much of the hotel’s intrigue is in its history and by changing the architecture, we’d risk losing its historic value, so he keeps it as in tact as he can!
The features The Betsy Hotel has numerous unique features, all put in place or expanded upon by Plutzik. Among the top features of the hotel are the owner's (Canine Executive Officers) that guests get to meet upon arrival! There are three adorable pups that watch over the hotel, greet guests and help keep operations running smoothly! They are Betsy, Daisy, and Rosa and boy are they cute (albeit a little scared of thunderstorms as we discovered during the interview!).
Plutzik believes that guest experiences are of upmost importance at the Betsy Hotel, and he strives to provide guests with an environment where they can relax, work, and enjoy the company of themselves or their spouses. Plutzik noted, now that COVID-19 cases have lessened, live music has resumed 9 times per week (yup, 9!) and is primarily in the form of live pianists at the moment. There is also a dining area for guests to enjoy delicious meals and craft cocktails. With COVID-19 leading to an increase in people working from their laptops, Plutzik wanted to be sure that all of his guests felt like they had a place to do whatever they needed to do for work. He took us a guided tour highlighting several beautiful areas for lounging, working, and even an entire room dedicated to writers (appropriately called “The Writers Room”). Visitors will have no trouble finding a space to hide out and focus. The bar is even widely popular amongst working guests and is encouraged amongst staff! Known for supporting local and international artists, their works line the walls of The Betsy and are a much loved part of what makes The Betsy Hotel so special. In fact, creativity is in their DNA. as Hyam Plutzik, father of The Betsy’s owner, Jonathan, was a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry, and continues to inspire our love for literature today. The hotel has hosted more than 1,000 artists in our Writers’ Room. The Plutzik family personally curates the visual art exhibits with emphasis on photography from emerging and established artists. (Insider-tip – contact us about a private art docent tour.) Where art and literature end, music begins - guests can take in nightly live jazz, chamber music performances and curated playlists that set the tone throughout their stay and we certainly enjoyed our personal tour and the ambience. The Betsy serves as the community’s artistic oasis, and it’s the perfect place for both cocktails and culture.
Upcoming performance include artists such as Allen Paul, Brian M Murphy, Ryan Ellis, Edjar Pantoja and the amazing Jim Gasior who we personally enjoyed seeing perform during our visit. The calendar of upcoming events is jammed packed with something for everyone to enjoy.
The Betsy Hotel is a one-of-a-kind hotel that features a rich history that emphasizes the Miami Beach area and strives to be the best of the best in terms of comfort, relaxation, and focus. We highly recommend the hotel for a relaxing getaway with first class amenities, hospitality and luxury. Plutzik makes sure that all of his guests are well taken care of, have the space they need to get their work done, and have access to the Canine Executive Officers for a little added comfort when needed!
For booking your stay and more information on the hotel, visit: https://www.thebetsyhotel.com/
Upcoming events calendar: https://www.thebetsyhotel.com/calendar