During the month of love, South Florida’s finest spas stir the senses with treatments that raise the pampering bar
Drunk in Love Champagne and Caviar Couple’s Journey
Where: Eau Spa
Address: 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan
The experience: The aptly named “Caviar Couple’s Journey” is an indulgent, five-hour itinerary designed for couples seeking uninterrupted relaxation. It’s a luxury also to be enjoyed by singletons, I can attest. The experience has much to do with its laid-back, glamorous environment, designed with an Ibiza oasis in mind.
I was content lying on the chaise lounge before the hourlong Couple’s Signature Massage, sipping on fresh coconut water and looking upon the Self-Center Garden. Women strolled through, reaching for a cupcake or an apple, or pouring themselves tea. In the couple’s version, I would be in a private villa, customizing everything from the colors of the room to the style of music. There would be free-flowing Champagne, and I would be dining on caviar on the lanai in the lush garden.
Nevertheless, I was tranquil in my oversized white robe when Sam, my massage therapist, beckoned. I was in for a standard, full-body massage plus a warm-stone back massage and pampering foot treatment. I swallowed a spoonful of local honey to awaken my senses before opting for firm pressure to soothe the tension in my back, the Pause fragrance (out of Pause, Play and Perfect) for relaxation-focused aromatherapy, and a mixture of soft and upbeat melodies. I was in a trance, feeling light on my feet as Sam escorted me back to the lounge, where I had free run of the facility for the remainder of the afternoon.
The true “Drunk in Love” experience would have been followed by a 60-minute facial and private 60-minute pedicure and 30-minute manicure. Once returning to the villa, couples can enjoy an outdoor or indoor hand-drawn bath. This all-encompassing journey doesn’t come cheap at $1,350, but sometimes we owe it to ourselves to live a little.
Contact: 561.540.4960, eauspa.com
Also at Eau: Eau Spa’s mantra is Pause, Play and Perfect. It’s this focus that earned it a Five Star rating by Forbes Travel Guide. Right off the lobby is a round, bronze room with a candle-lit wishing well to see before wandering the 42,000-square-foot facility. Along with 19 treatment rooms, there’s a bath lounge that features scrub and polish bars, saunas, steam rooms and oversized whirlpools with rainfall showerheads. They are steps away from the Self-Centered Garden, replete with dipping pools, hanging chairs, cabanas and massage benches. The spa menu offers everything from skin care to grooming treatments, as well as luscious massages such as the Royal Recovery: a soothing foot scrub and nourishing treatment followed by a head, neck and shoulders massage—and then the finale, a 30-minute foot massage.
Healing Massage with Himalayan Salt Stones
Where: Acqualina Spa by ESPA
Address: 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach
The experience: Salt continues to have its moment on the wellness scene, with halotherapy rooms promising inhalation benefits that range from stress and respiratory relief to boosts for the immune and lymphatic systems. Acqualina makes its own detoxifying statement with a backlit Himalayan Salt Wall in its Relaxation Lounges—but that’s not the only way that salt enhances a serving at the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States.
The new Healing treatment culminates in a full-body massage that incorporates aromatherapy oils and heated Himalayan salt stones. In addition to their anti-inflammatory benefits, the 84 trace minerals that comprise the salt stones are said to balance the body’s electromagnetic field and central nervous systems while tapping into the “ancient wisdom hidden within.” At the very least, especially in the expert hands of spa technicians such as Aruba-born Juraine, you’ll feel more educated.
Juraine offered moisturizing, toner and cleansing suggestions based on my skin type—the result of the first half of the Healing journey, which includes skin brushing (to eliminate toxins and improve circulation), a full-body exfoliation, an ESPA facial cleanse and a gentle scalp massage. This is an early candidate for the most soothing 110 minutes of 2017—and worth every penny of its $295 price tag.
Contact: 305.918.8000, acqualinaresort.com/spa
Also at Acqualina Spa: Some spas market their facility as “world class,” but this two-story, 20,000-square-foot sanctuary has the credentials to back it up—as evidenced by the Five Star honor bestowed on it by Forbes. Along with 11 treatment rooms, Acqualina recently debuted an 820-square-foot Royal Spa Suite, complete with a private steam room, a rainforest shower for two, a pair of treatment beds and a separate lounge area. Amenities include everything from a Finnish sauna and crystalized steam room to an outdoor spa pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. While the array of treatments (massages, facials, body treatments, nails and wax, multi-hour private spa experiences) certainly distinguishes the spa, it’s the execution and attention to detail that truly sets Acqualina Spa by ESPA apart.
Red Hot Couples Therapy Package
Where: Spa Atlantic at the Atlantic Hotel
Address: 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The experience: The oceanfront spa integrates natural products with modern luxury—and, on occasion, chocolate-covered fruit. Like this month. Following a 50-minute hot-stone massage, featuring rose oil infused with Champagne, couples can enjoy a side-by-side hot-stone pedicure while sipping a complimentary glass of Champagne … paired with chocolate-covered strawberries.
Contact: 954.567.8020, atlantichotelfl.com/spa-atlantic
Champagne and Truffles
Where: SiSpa at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 1200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach
The experience: Senses will be piqued in the quiet Spa Sanctuary with products featuring decadent chocolate and other winter aromas (such as the detoxifying and hydrating chocolate mud masque). The package includes a 50-minute body treatment ($99), an 80-minute deluxe body treatment with an additional 25-minute massage ($150) or an 80-minute manicure and pedicure ($89). Throughout the month, when guests book a couple’s massage, they can enjoy complimentary aromatherapy and a bottle of Prosecco.
Contact: 954.944.9528, marriott.com
Where: Heavenly Spa by Westin at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
Address: 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The experience: If you can’t decide on a treatment, consider trying them all. The Ultimate Package is 230 minutes of bliss, from the Heavenly Spa Signature Massage—a Swedish massage following a heated compress—to the Heavenly Body Scrub with blended sea salts and essential oils. A facial, manicure and pedicure round out the luxurious experience.
Contact: 954.245.3040, westinfortlauderdalebeachspa.com
Where: aLaya Spa at Bonaventure Resort & Spa
Address: 250 Racquet Club Road, Weston
The experience: This 105-minute signature service incorporates three luxurious treatments. It begins with a full-body exfoliation scrub, followed by a soufflé mask infused with natural grape seed oil, which is rich in Vitamin A and E to rebuild collagen and repair dehydrated skin. The Ritual concludes with a one-hour full-body massage with the spa’s essential oil blend to stimulate circulation and relieve muscle tension. Many of aLaya’s services use ingredients found in the Florida Everglades, such as tea tree and bamboo.
Contact: 954.349.5500, bonaventureresortandspa.com/spa
The Ginger Rub Massage
Where: Bliss Spa at W Fort Lauderdale
Address: 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The experience: The trendy, 1950s-inspired spa boasts a menu of massages targeting specific areas of the body. The Ginger Rub is perhaps its most popular: freshly grated, circulation-stimulating ginger root is briskly massaged onto the skin with warm detoxifying essential oils, followed by a warming foil wrap. A full-body massage ends the 105-minute treatment, relieving any lasting tension.
Contact: 954.414.8230, wfortlauderdalehotel.com/fort-lauderdale-spa