Truth be told, we needed some time to unwind. Traveling to Miami for three full days of meetings, my associate Olivia Falcione and I were desperate for 60 uninterrupted minutes of spa time on our third day in the southern Florida city.
Our arrival to Miami hadn’t been quite so peaceful. Disregarding our gut instincts and eschewing our normal travel habits, we made a last-minute decision to check our luggage when we arrived at Philadelphia International Airport for our night flight to Miami International. It was nearly 9 p.m., after a full workday, our suitcases heavy and laden with materials for our meetings, and it was a direct flight. It seemed unlikely something could go wrong. Murphy’s law. Lesson learned.
Our luggage arrived a day after we did, and we spent our first day in South Beach early-morning shopping for work clothes before a full day of back-to-back meetings. We arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach late at night on our second day, relieved to finally be reunited with our bags.
Following another day of meetings and driving, we once again returned to the welcoming 5-star hotel for our early-evening spa treatments. After checking in, we were escorted through the mood-lit, dark marble spa to the spacious locker room to change out of business clothes and slip into the comfort of luxe spa robes.
The spa feels a world away from the chaotic nature of South Beach. It proved a true oasis from the frenetic pace of the city and of our business trip and offered a respite to recharge at a much-needed moment. The spa’s elite menu of La Maison de Beauté Carita treatments complements a comprehensive list of European wellness and beauty rituals. The award-winning spa features 14 treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, a salon and two couple’s suites. Fitting to the location, the ocean inspired many of the available treatments, while the exclusive Rhythm Massage brings the culture of Miami into the treatment room with Latin-inspired music.
The spa caters to pregnant women (must be in the second trimester), offering four prenatal treatments. All this was welcome news to Olivia, a mother-to-be. Her 50-minute Mellow Mama massage, performed as she lay on her side, included a stomach massage. Using techniques and products curated to be safe for those expecting, the massage increases circulation, alleviates tired muscles and reduces water retention. As Olivia noted, she was so relaxed she fell asleep during the experience.
Other mother-to-be treatments include the 75-minute Smoothie, a moisturizing massage; the 50-minute Healing Hour, specifically designed for women in the fourth trimester; and Belly Bootcamp, a 50-minute treatment performed in four stages, which is also recommended post-birth to tighten loose skin.
A variety of treatments are available for spa goers at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. The 13 massage options range from the typical therapeutic and neuromuscular to four-hand, astro balance and lymphatic drainage massages. Manicures, pedicures and hair services join other luxury, specialized treatments and experiences; treatments for men and those with children and teens in mind round out the menu offerings.
I chose one of the spa’s cleansing and wellness therapies, the Taste of the Tropics Body Treatment. Designed to help get bodies beach-ready (which I doubt mine will ever be!), the treatment draws inspiration from the spa’s signature Mango Guava candle. The smell in the room instantly put me in a beach-y state of mind.
Mango and guava are incorporated into the scrub for their therapeutic, restorative benefits. Mango is rich in vitamin A, and its powerful antioxidants restore skin elasticity and moisturize dry skin. Guava has vitamins A, B and C to detoxify and fight free radicals.
My favorite aspect of scrubs, ironically enough, is after the treatment ends, when the lingering effects are evidenced by the shine and feel of my skin. Scrubs prove so beneficial and do a wonder restoring and rejuvenating the skin.
Overall, our time spent at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach was a soothing experience. From the décor to the expert staff, guests can breathe a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that every wish, whim and necessity will be met during their visit. From the speedy valet service to the bell staff ready to go above and beyond, a smile greeted our every request.
Encompassing the history of the area, the hotel is housed in an original 1953 Morris Lapidus-designed landmark building. Its convenient location boasts an oceanfront infinity pool, The DiLido Beach Club and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
As we checked out of the spa, hesitant of that jolt back to reality, we were left with small parting gifts to remind us of our serene visit. For me, the signature mango guava candle that inspired my treatment — a perfect antidote, now that I’ve returned home, to a busy day whenever I want to escape, at least in my mind, to the tropics. And for Olivia, one of the first gifts for her little bundle of joy — a branded rubber ducky and a bib inscribed, “I had my first massage at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach.” The perfect added touches to cap off our already-memorable experiences.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
South Beach Spa
1 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
tel 786 276 4090
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