Miami Heat

by Becca Hensley

Beautiful beaches, Art Deco architecture, Cuban rhythms, artistic underpinnings and an insatiable flair for fitness define Miami’s undeniable leadership status as a global playground and wellness world titan. Equipped with a passion for beauty, an energetic vibe, a penchant for trends and global savoir faire, this coastal haven—the “Magic City”—has a plenitude of restorative wellness options. 

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

At the beachside Carillon, popular with membership-holding local fitness seekers, you’ll feel like another buff Miamian on a health quest, thanks to the glamorous, apartment-style suites, warm staff welcome and abundant programs offered at the 70,000-square-foot spa. An urbane hideaway set on Miami’s longest stretch of beachfront, the resort combines pioneering technology with ancient motifs to offer a range of East-meets- West-inspired treatments from cupping to cryotherapy, acupuncture to the Somadome, the world’s first technology- enabled meditation pod, which deploys color, sound and energy therapies. The gym features a two-story rock wall (with boot camp classes) and more than 300 fitness classes per week, spanning the gamut from TRX strength to candlelit yoga. 

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

The Rat Pack and other Mid-Century celebrities flocked to the buzzy Fontainebleau, a landmark for 60 years, making the tower-adorned, beachside marvel their hotspot. Later, refurbished but just as fashionable, the immense resort on Millionaire’s Row caught Martha Stewart’s attention, when she labeled its Lapis Spa “the most beautiful in America.” With a sought-after pool scene, the hotel’s spa offers a place to seek quietude and repose amid the chatter. 

Evoking Marrakech’s rich hammam culture, Lapis Spa still stands out as the place for repose. Treatments run the gamut from Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage to Marine Detox Body therapies. But before you sign on for a relaxing body treatment, make sure to carve out enough time for a journey through the vast hydrotherapy circuit, with healing mineral-rich water—mist, rain and steam—throughout the hammam, water-jet bath, eucalyptus steam room and more. 

Mandarin Oriental Miami

On secluded Brickell Key, a small man-made island with views of the Miami skyline and a jogging path surrounded by water vistas, the sleek Mandarin Oriental rises as a virtual oasis in the heart of the buzz. Its private beach and capacious, Asian-intoned guest rooms beckon, but nothing tempts more than the three- level spa equipped with 18 treatment rooms—three of them for couples. Effectively embracing some of the world’s top healing modalities—Chinese, Ayurvedic, European, Balinese and Thai— the spa extends a slew of possibilities. Choose from an extensive range of beauty treatments. Or, de-stress with Oriental Harmony, the spa’s transformative, two-hour, four-hand massage. 

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach

Architectural legend meets culinary master in this twofer hotel, a marriage of old and new, which satisfies all the senses. Now a hotel within a hotel concept, the Miami Modern-style structure, built by renowned architect Morris Lapidus on a prime spot of beach in 1955, contains both the swanky, original Eden Roc hotel, as well as Nobu Miami, a minimalistic, Japanese-chic retreat, created by Robert De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. While Eden Roc, once the “It” spot for a heyday Hollywood crowd, has never lost its bling, Nobu Miami exudes contemporary global elan just as brilliantly. Together, they share the restorative, 22,000-square-foot Esencia Wellness Spa. Try the Omakase Spa package, a play on Nobu’s culinary offerings, which allows the therapist to guide the spa-goer on a bespoke wellness journey. 

The Biltmore Miami 

Immerse in Miami’s Gatsby-era glitz at this National Historic Landmark Hotel, a symphony of Mediterranean fanciful folly, which occupies 150 tropical acres. Purportedly haunted, with the largest pool on the East Coast, the Jazz Era marvel boasts a bodacious, 12,000-square-foot spa, perched on the seventh floor. Kitted out with a Zen Suite, sea views from panoramic windows and amenities such as a Himalayan salt sauna, the spa draws from its history with its signature Guava Massage, a homage to the property’s past as a guava farm. Also on offer: a range of aqua fitness and wellness classes and healing therapies from Abhyanga Massage to Cranial Sacral Massage Therapy. 

Acqualina Resort & Residences

Loads of open spaces, oversized guest rooms and romantic living room-style lawn nooks, accented in Acqualina’s signature lipstick red hue, make this Sunny Isle Beach-sited retreat as appealing to honeymooners as babymooners. Not to be denied, wellness aficionados here can hit the bullseye dead center with treatments at the elegant, 20,000-square-foot Acqualina Spa by ESPA, where facilities include Finnish saunas, relaxation lounges, Himalayan salt walls, crystal steam rooms, experience showers and the Royal Spa Suite, an 820-square-foot room with a private mother-of-pearl steam room, rainforest shower for two, treatment beds and a gorgeous private terrace overlooking the Atlantic. Conceived for athletes by Spa Director Catherine Daville, the Targeted Recovery Treatment uniquely ameliorates muscle tension with a tissue-warming Hypervolt tool, ESPA warming Fitness Oil and a grand finale healing Cryo T-shock session. 

Kimpton Epic

Join the other cool kids at Kimpton Epic. In downtown Miami, on the Miami River, it overlooks Biscayne Bay, a scene best relished on the 16th floor while submerged in one of two tantalizing pools. With loaner bikes, perks for canine pals and hard-to-resist balconies, the boutique-y hotel will satisfy wellness mavens with barre, cardio and yoga classes; the option for “spa parties” (bring your friends); and 12,000 square feet of spa happiness at the Zen-centric Exhale Spa. Choose from 15 facials, which include the Z Peel, powered with Japanese Mushroom. 

The Setai Miami Beach

Ensconced amid the Art Deco District, within the bones of a hotel built in 1937 by heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, the Setai gracefully maintains the gravitas of its beginnings, but ups the opulence ante with modern Asian-inspired elements, an emphasis on tranquility and one of the best locations in the area. The recently refreshed Spa at the Setai offers that well deserved reset: The tony sanctuary promises ultimate results with its Setai Signature Master of Time Treatment, a two-hour, $1,000-dollar rich, firming and nourishing body treatment, along with a range of targeted purifying and rejuvenating treatments. 

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