Ever dream of living at the spa? Now you can in Miami

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Couples massage at Canyon Ranch MiamiNow you can live at the spa. At least THIS spa.

So, I’m betting once you’ve read the story of my recent visit to Canyon Ranch Miami, you’re going to be thinking (just as I was): wouldn’t it be nice to live at a spa? Especially this spa. 

Canyon Ranch Miami (, the first Canyon Ranch that is also a residence, offers units in the hotel (the former, historic now completely renovated Carillon) plus two neighbouring towers. The property is beach front, within a short drive of designer mall The Shops at Bal Harbour, the spa is one of the largest in South Florida, owners have access to all facilities (including a state-of-the-art gym and three swimming pools), activities (fitness classes and lectures offered daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and owners get special rates on spa treatments. What’s not to love?  

I’m warm to the idea so I meet up with sales rep Nir Perets, onsite director of sales, who tells me I can purchase a condo in one of the towers or a hotel unit that can be put pack into the rental program. Meaning you can buy your hotel suite – they all come furnished and decorated – then select a program that allows you to put so many room nights a year back into the hotel room inventory.  

Living room of Canyon Ranch Miami suiteAt the time of my meeting with Perets, there are 19 units remaining in the 143-unit South Tower (which opened along with the hotel in 2008). Prices start at $450,000 U.S. for a 800-square foot one bedroom unit,  On the other side of the hotel, the North Tower opened in early 2009 with 207 units, 95 of which are still available. Most owners, says Perets, are 60 plus empty nesters using the units as vacation homes. “Living at the spa is the appeal,” he says. No kidding!

Like many of the guest accommodations at Canyon Ranch Miami, my guestroom in the hotel is a privately-owned unit. There’s an open kitchen/dining area, adjacent living room plus a bedroom and bath. It’s the size of a small apartment and I could definitely see myself living here in the hotel for several weeks a year but, if I bought the unit what happens to the property when I’m not here?  That’s the beauty of this formula. 

As I listen to Nir, the wheels are turning and I’m crunching the numbers – about $450,000 for a one bed-room suite like the one I’m staying in, a minimum of $90,000 down, the mortgage carries for about $2,100 a month, maintenance fees $1,300, about $100 electricity adds up to about $3,500 a month. While I love the concept…a little too rich for my budget. 

If I buy a unit and utilize the option of being able to put it into the hotel rental pool for 50 weeks a year (with an up to 50% of the rental fee going back into my pocket) there is no guarantee that I would recoup enough to pay for the monthly fee. Darn! It’s such a great concept. I could so see myself living at the spa. While the hotel/condo structure isn’t set up to cover the cost of buying the unit, it’s a great perk. Maybe one day.

If you’re interested in learning more, I’m sure Nir would be very happy to hear from you.  Tell him and sent you. [email protected].

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