Taking in Miami’s sun and surf is an exhausting endeavor. At the Trump International Beach Resort alone, I had to decide between swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, taking a dip in their gorgeous pool or just lazing away my time in a private cabana, while enjoying tropical drinks with umbrellas. Fortunately, my superior time-management skills allowed me to enjoy all three, but still, all that relaxing can be exhausting. Fortunately, Miami has an excellent selection of spas to really allow your clients to unwind after a hard day of taking it easy. Here are my Fave Five spas.
The Standard Spa, Miami
The Hammam area inside the spa at the Standard Miami Beach // (c) 2010 Standard Miami Beach
What I liked about this spa is that it really focuses on the “bath” experience. It has patterned itself after ancient bath houses, creating what they call a “communal hydrotherapy experience.” The main common room, the massive hammam allows guests to decompress while lying or sitting on heated marble. Other indoor experiences include hammam baths which can be filled with a selection of salts and oils, a DIY scrub room, an aroma steam room and a sound shower. Outside, there’s a gorgeous infinity pool and lots of areas for relaxing.
Because the spa focuses on community, there was definitely an energetic vibe happening the day I visited. If your clients are traveling solo, they may find this vibe a bit too overwhelming, but, it is the ideal place for a girlfriend getaway.
Hotel guests can enjoy the spa area free of charge, while outside guests can purchase a $40 day pass. The hotel also is offering a "Pay for Two Nights, Stay for Three" offer, starting at $395 per night, which includes a complimentary fruit smoothie and one 30-minute treatment for each day of the stay.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental // (c) 2010 Spa at Mandarin Oriental
A disclaimer: I only had a quick overview of this spa, so am not as well versed as I could be on its treatments and services. However, no spa report about Miami would be complete without including this gorgeous facility, which is billed as Miami’s only five-star spa.
The 15,000-square-foot spa is located on three levels, with 17 treatment rooms. On the top floor, there are six stunning spa suites with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay. In a city where stunning spa views are as common as Cuban restaurants, this spa still stands out.
The spa focuses on natural elements and Asian-inspired treatments, and what I particularly liked is that guests can reserve Time Rituals. Ranging from two to six hours, these treatments allow guests to totally customize a treatment specifically to their desires. The Time Rituals begin at just $175 per hour with only a $15 surcharge to enjoy the services of the Spa Suites.
The Mandarin Oriental is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary and is offering a Top Ten package for $300 per night (minimum three nights), that includes a $100 resort credit at any restaurant, bar or spa offering.
Elemis Spa, Loews Miami Beach Hotel
The Spa Terrace at the Elemis Spa // (c) 2009 Monica Poling
Not unexpectedly, this spa — run under the Elemis umbrella — focuses quite heavily on facial treatments. Still there are plenty of body treatments to be had, including a number of Spa Ceremonies carrying Loews’ signature SoBe style.
Where this spa excels, however, is the spa cuisine. This is one of the few places in the nation where celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has created his “new” New Orleans menu, including lighter, spa fare. The spa menu is served al fresco on a gorgeous terrace overlooking the ocean, the perfect way to enjoy post-massage bliss.
The 2 ½ hour SoBe Renew package, for $355, includes an Aroma Spa Seaweed Massage and a Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial, followed by lunch on the Oceanview Spa Terrace. Loews Hotels is currently offering a Delicious Deals offer, where the longer clients stay, the more hotel credit they receive. Credits start at $20 for a one-night stay and guests staying seven nights will receive a $500 credit.
Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
The world's only Tanning Butler // (c) 2010 Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
Considered one of the best day spas in Miami Beach, the Ritz-Carlton spa topped Allure magazine’s 2008 A-list. It is the first and biggest Mobil Four Star Spa on Miami Beach. In addition to the high-end service you would expect of the Ritz-Carlton brand, the spa also excels in creating unique treatments and therapies.
While many of the massage treatments are inspired by the ocean, one of the resort’s most popular treatments is the Astro Balance Massage, a treatment based on your birth date and astrological sign. The treatment draws its inspiration from the four elements (fire, earth, air or water) and uses unique oils, music and massage techniques based upon your astrological sign.
Additionally, the resort is home to what has been called the world’s greatest job: the Tanning Butler, who strolls the pool and beach area, applying complimentary sunscreen on guests’ hard-to-reach areas.
The resort is currently offering a Tres Chic Pampering package, starting at $559 per night, which includes a two-night stay in a deluxe guestroom, daily breakfast for two and a choice of three select spa treatments.
Spa V, Hotel Victor
The relaxation room at Hotel Victor's Spa V // (c) 2010 Hotel Victor
In a city where more is definitely more, I found my favorite spa experience to be at the Hotel Victor’s Spa V. This intimate feel of this cozy spa, situated on (just) 6,000 square feet, made this one place where I truly felt removed from the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach. While the hotel has a uber-hip vibe, with the requisite people spilling over from the patio onto the street, the spa is nothing less than a total retreat.In a city where more is definitely more, I found my favorite spa experience to be at the Hotel Victor’s Spa V. This intimate feel of this cozy spa, situated on (just) 6,000 square feet, made this one place where I truly felt removed from the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach. While the hotel has a uber-hip vibe, with the requisite people spilling over from the patio onto the street, the spa is nothing less than a total retreat.
While there, I enjoyed the signature Hammam V body treatment. While hammam seemed to be a bit of a theme in Miami Beach, Spa V has created an entire Turkish Ritual around the theme. While lying on heated marble slabs, my therapist cleansed, exfoliated and hydrated my skin, leaving me feeling like a whole new person.
After the treatment, I enjoyed the spa’s relaxation room, one of my favorites of this trip. The room featured perpendicular day beds, with each one offering sheer curtains to afford extra privacy. In general, I always have a tendency to wonder if the spa staff is watching me, clocking the length of time I spend in the relaxation room. This was one place where the thought never entered my mind, and I truly could enjoy a little quiet time reflecting (and of course rubbing a finger over my freshly polished skin).
The Hotel Victor is currently offering the Hammam V and a 30-minute Detox Massage for just $115, normally a $350 value. Rooms start at $299 per night.