There are a number of things that make the Ritz Carlton South Beach (a.k.a. SoBe) stand out from the collection of boutique hotels located in Miami's historic Art Deco District: an official Tanning Butler; an elevated infinity pool with unobstructed views of the Atlantic; the only oceanfront restaurant on South Beach; an in-house $10 million art collection; and the only 4-star spa in South Beach - to name just a few.
And, when it comes to the Spa at the Ritz Carlton South Beach, well, there's a bit of innovation there as well.
"All spa menus need a few innovative services to set them apart," says spa director, Liliana Grajales. I couldn't agree more. When they travel, frequent spa goers often want something a little different than what is offered at their "home" spa.
Among the list of signature services on this menu the ones that catch my eye are the Divine Derrière (a facial for the behind) and the Astro Balance designed by astrological consultant Jeff Wallace. Lilli says South Beach is known as being very innovative so we wanted to be "a little more adventurous" with our treatments.
She says the Divine Derrière targets one of those areas of the body often neglected. She also points out with a smile that this is South Beach and people like to show a little skin. "Like feet," she says "it (the derriere) is an area of the body that's often ignored." At first, it was mostly woman booking the treatment, now, she says, "it's half and half."
The 80-minute Astro Balance incorporates one's astrological sign and element (earth, fire, water, air) the essential oils, the massage techniques and music that complement the spa guest's astrological sign and element (earth, wind, fire or air).
While it sounded appealing, I decided on one of the other signature treatments - the Rain Drop Technique, another treatment not usually found on the average spa menu.
The treatment uses 11 different and powerful essential oils poured in drops along the spine one oil at the time then massaged in one-by-one each using different techniques and each selected for a different purpose and customized to the client's needs. To detox, strengthen the immune system or relax the muscles, for instance. "Think of it as a grazing of aromatherapy," says therapist Anna Camacho.
The session also includes some stretching and general jiggling of the appendages and combo of pressure point techniques. I'd recommend another massage or body treatment if all you want to do is just relax.
Grajales says Rain Therapy is listed under Body Treatments rather than Massages on her menu because it's more about the back than a full body massage, but acknowledges that it's more therapeutic than other body treatments such as the average scrub and wrap.
The Spa at the Ritz Carlton South Beach has 14 treatment rooms, a mani/pedi area, a salon, steam room, sauna and an intimate lounge where dimmed lights set a mood and guests can snack on mixed nuts and fresh fruit while sipping on herbal teas or fruit-flavoured water.
And while the Ritz Carlton South Beach is not technically a spa hotel, there are little spa lifestyle touches sprinkled throughout - for instance, mint and lime infused water on tap in the lobby, fresh green apples for guests to snack on, chilled and scented hand towels poolside and, in the oceanfront DiLido Beach Club restaurant, a healthy-focused Sun Cuisine created by Chef Jeff McInnes.
For more information, visit: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SouthBeach.
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Anne DimonTravel to Wellness is a website dedicated to spa + wellness-minded travel around the world. Go to TravelToWellness.com for more great spa + wellness articles.
Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: spa, eco, wellness, healthy living