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Florida Hot Spots

by Jennie Nunn

From a dreamy island resort and spa only accessible via boat or seaplane in the Florida Keys, to a LEED-certified seaside getaway with a private beach club dating to the 1930s, here are four rising spa stars spanning the Sunshine State. 


North of Jacksonville near the Georgia border, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is lined with biking trails, a world-class 18-hole PGA golf course, on-site tennis facilities and trees draped with wispy Spanish Moss. 

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island, a resort highlight, recently unveiled the new ESPA Strength and Resilience Massage, targeting the immune system. The luxurious comprehensive treatment includes a combination of aromatherapy oils, yogic stretching, back massage, sinus release and scalp massage. For the ultimate drift-off-to-another-dimension experience, book Heaven in a Hammock, a zero-gravity treatment using a hand-woven hammock and massage mimicking the gentle lull of the tide. Off-site, spend the afternoon at nearby Fernandina Beach with a 50-block historic downtown dotted with galleries and boutiques. (Fun fact: Pippi Longstocking’s fictional house, Villa Villekulla, is here.) ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island 


The LEED-certified, 154-room Seagate Hotel & Spa, about 54 miles north of Miami in Delray Beach, features four mega aquariums stocked with reef fish and Moray eels; an 8,000-square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms and a fitness center; and a private beach club (originally built in 1932) for surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding and snorkeling. The tranquil spa, offering a variety of coastal-inspired treatments, is the perfect haven for escape. 

Restore tired and achy muscles with the Hot Shell Massage with heated tiger-striped seashells, or dip into a reformative state with the Himalayan Salt Serenity package. Inside a private halotherapy booth (a dry salt therapy unit) lined with 84 microelements and minerals designed to melt away stress and toxins, breathe in the benefits targeting everything from asthma and allergies to eczema. After, enjoy a soothing aromatherapy Himalayan salt stone massage to further balance the nervous system and meridians. theseagatehotel.com 


In southwestern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples is a go-to spot for families, adventure seekers and spa aficionados. Following a refresh last year, the property is equipped with a Moët & Chandon vending machine in the lobby; a newly revamped beachfront restaurant, Gumbo Limbo; private beach cabanas with a private cabana butler; and water sports such as stand-up paddleboarding and WaveRunners (think guided tour of the area and dolphins playing in the wake). At the spa, book the Well Aging facial, with Ayuna products to cleanse, exfoliate, treat and detoxify skin, or reflect and regain balance with a personalized treatment plan with the Intuitive treatment. Post-treatment, lounge poolside on the rooftop spa deck with a smoothie at the on-site café, =H20+. ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/naples 


Accessible only via boat or seaplane, the newly restored and reopened Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, located offshore from Little Torch Key, is lined with palm trees, natural waterways and footbridges, and crushed seashell pathways for prime viewing of local wildlife from iguanas to endangered Key deer. Favored by U.S. Presidents and dignitaries, the four-acre private island features 30 refreshed thatched-roof beachfront bungalows with a nod to British West Indies style with four-poster beds, velvet settees, peacock wicker chairs. At the on-site spa, SpaTerre, notable treatments include the calming CBD Ritual Bath (includes tea service) with a warm hemp honey back application using Mana Artisan Botanics infused with local honey, turmeric, vanilla and macadamia nut oil, and the grounding and healing Rose quartz stone massage using smooth quartz pieces hand-carved exclusively for the spa. littlepalmisland.com 

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