Retreat to Spa in Clearwater, a Florida gem.
Clearwater Beach, frequently named one of America’s best beaches with soft white sands and breathtaking sunsets, is a prime location for spa goers. Along the beach walk, there are countless cafes (Frenchy’s is an icon), fishing charters, dolphin tours and even pirate ships and miniature golf. Kitschy, sure, but very all-American. Although new developments are opening quickly, one of the gems in this Old Florida enclave is still the Sandpearl Resort, a silver LEED-certified resort with an impressive spa and private beach cabanas.
The Sandpearl Spa has fantastic water amenities, including a co-ed pool with cascading waterfalls. With 16 lockers on the ladies side, this intimate spa never feels too crowded and you often have the steam room or Jacuzzi all to yourself. Both the signature massage and facial here are truly special treatments. The facial begins with a back scrub and body cream application and includes a glycolic peel and gentle facial massage with Comfort Zone products. Finally, a cool algae mask seals in the moisture and lifts off to reveal newly luminous skin. The massage can be customized to fit your needs and my therapist combined deep tissue and hot stone modalities with some Reiki techniques. After 80 minutes, I was drifting on the clouds.
After a morning on the beach and afternoon at the spa, pamper yourself some more with a great dinner. Watch the sunset on the deck at Caretta on the Gulf while enjoying local grouper, organic vegetables or a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin.
Sandpearl’s newer sister property Opal Sands opened last year, featuring more modern décor with a subtle underwater theme. A multi-colored hanging glass sculpture by Florida artist Christopher Still hangs above as you take the elevator up to the second floor lobby. The piece recalls shifting waves and sand in the ocean depths and the rest of the hotel’s contemporary artwork is equally inspired. Every room has a spectacular gulf view from the private balcony, where I saw a daredevil swooping about one morning in a motorized hang glider above families frolicking on the white sandy beach.
The intimate spa’s ocean view make for the perfect backdrop while indulging in a signature pedicure, complete with hot stone massage and a lavender paraffin treatment. The Londontown polish used has a great shine and is healthier than most, with healing botanical to hydrate and strengthen nails. Plus, the relaxation lounge has chocolate-covered strawberries and macaroons to accompany cranberry hibiscus tea.