Dressed in a skintight leopard print mini-dress, 26-year-old Danielle Alvarez stumbles drunkenly across the Setai Hotel's opulent South Beach lobby. In one hand she holds the arm of hotel guest Jordan Silverstein, the son of wealthy industrialist Harold Silverstein and her beau for the evening. In the other, a pair of pink stiletto-heels that she removed from her feet before leaving the Ocean Drive club where the two met hours earlier. Dirt and droplets of blood from her calloused feet track her erratic gait.
Ms. Alvarez is a "pata sucia", a colloquial term for a woman who removes her heels after leaving the club to walk the dirty streets barefoot. The term's literal translation is "dirty feet."
Mark Lapazzia, the Setai's nighttime manager, watches pata sucias like Ms. Alvarez walk through his lobby every night, each with the same result: Dirt is tracked through his lobby by the shoeless women his guests bring back from the club.
But tonight is different.
"Having to deal with pata sucias every night was driving me mad,” said Mr. Lapazzia. “There were so many that we had to hire a full-time night janitor to mop the lobby whenever one of these shameless women would walk through.” But after months of strategizing how to keep his lobby clean, Mr. Lapazzia realized that to solve this problem he needed to be proactive.
"I thought, instead of trying to clean the lobby, it may be easier to just clean these women's disgusting feet," said Mr. Lapazzia. And thus, by installing a simple footshower outside of the entrance of the Setai, and supplying his concierge with a stockpile of complimentary slippers for his guests' overnight paramours, Mr. Lapazzia solved an age-old hospitality problem and created the newest must have accomodation for Miami's luxury hotels.
"The Setai services some of the world's wealthiest and sophisticated clients. The type that expects nothing short of perfection. Unfortunately, sometimes those guests are enticed by a tremendo culo in all white stretch pants and bring a ratchet woman back from the club. The Setai is proud to be able to offer our guests’ colorful friends a place to wash the dirt off of their feet and a nice pair of slippers to wear as they walk through our stunning lobby to our lavish guest suites for the night.
The Plantain caught up with Ms. Alvarez early the next morning as she left the hotel and asked her what she thought of the Setai’s unique pata sucia accommodations. The Cutler Bay native said that she thought it was “like a super classy thing” for the hotel to offer before suspiciously volunteering that the two Rolex watches loosely dangling from her right wrist were "for sure literally" hers.
When asked to clarify, Ms. Alvarez said she "was like super hungover" and had to leave. The unemployed esthetician then quickly scuttled away to an Uber waiting for her outside the hotel, still wearing the complimentary slippers she received upon her arrival the night before.