South Beach Spa Scene Heats Up
In the heart of Miami’s South Beach are some of the hottest spas for poolside pampering and relaxation supreme. The spa scene is sizzling on Collins Avenue (and beyond) at new, hip hotels like the Shore Club, as well as at the old-is-new hotels like the legendary Fontainebleau. Hey spa-lovers, put these Seven Sexy South Beach Spas on your radar.
During its original heyday in the 1950s and 60s, entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Elvis stayed or performed at this hotel, and so flocked the hip and fabulous. Well, old is new and the massively grand Fontainebleau is again the place to be (Lady Gaga rang in 2010, with a buzz-worthy private New Year’s Eve concert). The luxurious, 40,000-square-foot Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau is truly a “communal sanctuary” and is a know-it-all when it comes to transformative water experiences. I was overcome with childlike delight during an hour spent in one of the most sophisticated hydrotherapy circuits available in the U.S. The mineral-enriched water therapies are designed to complement or enhance the benefits of spa services. Lapis suggests you simply plunge in the Energy Deluge Shower, glide through the Elements Rain Tunnel, linger in the 75-foot co-ed Essence Mineral Pool, lounge on heated hammam benches, detox in a eucalyptus-infused steamroom, and more. My facial utilized Yon-Ka products (pioneers of aromatherapy and phytotherapy), and was the icing on the delicious cake.
Lapis Spa & Salon: 4441 Collins Avenue Miami Beach; 866.750.4772
This über eco-friendly beachfront hotel features a pool set in tropical gardens and an Aveda concept spa. (The staff, trained at nearby Aveda Institute, clearly loves their work at this new luxury lifestyle destination spa). Treatments at The Palms Spa use all-natural ingredients and range from Open-Air Ashiatsu to Chakra Reflexology. Spa-goers may embark on half day Spa Journeys for the mind, body and soul, or experience the unique HydroCapsule (a personal pod-like capsule with a Vichy shower that left me in a euphoric state) with four different treatments to choose from (30 min, $70), or linger in the beautiful steam room where soft spa music is heard from the latest Bose speakers (a simple but very nice touch). Select treatments are offered al fresco in Tiki Cabanas. Thursdays are made for the Sip & Spa happy hour at Essensia Lounge – by the way, the lobster BLT is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted, and once you have an organic manicure (using the vegan luxury nail care line by SpaRitual), you may never go back to a regular mani. There’s something extra-special and real about this hotel and spa, without pretense , that reveals a surprising element of luxury. It’s evident in the spa’s holistic philosophy, which in simplest terms is “inspired by nature.”
The Palms Spa: 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305.908. 5460
I was eager to check out this hot hotel because of all the celebrity buzz (plus, it’s the place my grandparents honeymooned more than 60 years ago!). It’s only been about a year since The Delano’s grand reopening, and the property is another old-is-new again urban resort. The hotel interior, famed for its classic white drapes, is the scene for the most posh of happy hours in South Beach. The rooftop retreat known as Agua Spa offers 360-degree panoramic views of SoBe and is said to be a favorite of actress Eva Longoria. Treatment highlights include the Blue Kashmir – Saphir Facial (60 min, $275) using the extraordinary, holistic själ product line, and which incorporates a pearl enzymatic mask, décolleté massage using oils infused with blue Kashmir sapphire, and special gem stones used for massage and Chakra balancing. Another favorite is the White Cloud Algae Body Mask, (60 min, $150) which utilizes Italian-imported white mud.
Agua Spa at the Delano: 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305.674.6100
The interiors are airy and spacious at this chic, Miami-style hotel, with leafy foliage surrounding the pool and sheer white drapes elegantly enveloping the lobby. The 8,000-square-foot rooftop retreat features wet and dry spa treatment rooms, as well as massage decks (as pictured) for those who favor spa-ing amidst ocean breezes and stunning views. The spa’s signature Wild and Zesty Scalp & Body Massage (60 or 90 min, $155 or $185) is great for jet lag or fatigue. The After Sun Calming Treatment (60 min, $155) is another favorite for the sun-soaking crowd. Poolside pedicures are available at the Shore Club (to be enjoyed as a live DJ spins tunes), as are the full menu of massage, facial, body and nail treatments in private suites or on outdoor terraces.
The Spa at Shore Club: 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305.695.3293
The Mondrian boasts stunning views of the Biscayne Bay and a fabulous pool deck, often peppered with celebrities, complete with an oversized outdoor “living room” with playful bursts of color. The 4,000-square-foot Agua Spa, located on the hotel’s third floor is another area of the space by Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders; the eccentric masterpiece pays homage to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Treatments range from facials (from six to choose) including själ’s which uses specialty gem stones to body treatments like the favorite agua Milk and Honey to Citrus Sun Scrub. Mmmm. Speaking of tasty, anyone else get hungry when they spa? Agua Spa let’s you enjoy selections from their spa menu in private outdoor lounges. Poolside services include Cabana Massage (60 min, $140), foot massage or neck and shoulder massage, (both 20 min, $50), plus manis (30 min, $50) and pedis (60 min, $70). This time, feel the Bay breezes while you spa.
Agua Spa at Mondrian: 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach; 305.514.1950
The oceanfront Setai is remarkably elegant in its refined, minimalistic Asian style combined with simple luxury. At the 10,000-square-foot spa guests are transported to experience the central philosophies surround Ancient healing traditions of the East (to realign the body and spirit). In accordance, the Ancient Balinese Massage, (60 min, $180) is a signature treatment, which feels much like Swedish in stroke, although Balinese commences with a foot bath, and the therapist begins with the lower body. Extra attention is paid to the feet (a treat, I find) without my asking! Don’t miss the steam room in the locker rooms; day spa visitors who enjoy a package are welcome to use the Setai’s three azure pools for the day, the beach, and fitness center. Each spa suite has ocean and pool views, a private bath, and steam room. This year, the Setai celebrates its Fifth Anniversary. Ask about the Spa Experience Package, (60 min, $225), and choose from a Swedish or Balinese Massage, facial or body polish, plus lunch, valet parking and all day access to the Setai’s pool and beach.
The Spa at Setai South Beach: 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305.520.6900
Have a favorite South Beach spa? Tell us about it!