Best Florida Spas
Year-round recreation and loads of sunshine make Florida an attractive option for the athletic- and wellness-bound. But, let’s face it; sometimes all you really want is a relaxing massage or facial in the hushed realm of a world-class spa. Florida has more than a few. From the Gulf coast to the Atlantic, Florida's shores include spas that will leave you feeling good inside and out.
Palm Beach, FloridaSashay past the fountain at the discreet entrance, slip into a robe and sip raspberry-infused water or tea in the relaxation room before your therapist escorts you to your treatment at this Mediterranean-inspired spa inside one of Florida’s most historic resorts. (The Breakers was built in 1896 by Florida railway tycoon Henry Flagler.) Afterwards, kick back in a lounge chair in the spa’s private courtyard, go for a swim in the oceanfront lap pool or soak it up in the sultry whirlpool. The spa also includes sauna and steam facilities for both men and women -- a nice European touch.
Treatment to Try: The Moonlight Massage, offered on full-moon nights, is a 90-minute massage set in the spa’s Oceanfront Sanctuary -- a 400-square foot oceanfront facility with outdoor treatment areas and your own private shower. The treatment starts at sunset and continues as the moon rises over the ocean in the night sky.
Miami, FloridaUpdated in 2010, this spa at the Mandarin Oriental offers visitors an Asian-inspired world where the scent of sandalwood drifts through the air. Ancient healing traditions from Chinese, Balinese and Thai cultures inspire the treatments. Fresh orchids, bamboo, rice paper and natural linens also add to the Asian theme. The sound of trickling water and lounge chairs contoured to your body ease you into a state of calm before your treatment -- so be sure to arrive at least half an hour early to take advantage! The 6 treatment suites on the spa’s top floor have sunken tubs and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in views of Biscayne Bay and Miami’s sparkling skyline.
Treatment to Try: The Herbal Thai Compress Ritual, with heated compresses filled with herbs such as lemongrass and ginger, applied to the body between massage techniques.
Palm Beach, FloridaSpas rarely get as fun and funky as Eau, a $30 million oasis in Palm Beach. Rubber duckies float in the whirlpools and an outdoor relaxation area lures guests to lounge in basket swings over shallow pools of water and breathe in the ocean air. The image of a backward ticking clock that’s projected on the spa floor encourages patrons to forget the time. At the spa’s “Scrub and Polish” bar, you can handpick the herbal, sea salt, oil and floral elements to make a personalized elixir to target specific areas ailments such as stress, lack of energy and general malaise.
Treatment to Try: The Champagne Shimmer Body Luster treatment uses Champagne oil to smooth your skin and add sparkle to your body’s contours. Drink it up!
Boca Raton, FloridaGet whisked away to a scene right out of Arabian nights at this spa modeled after the Alhambra in Spain. Illumined Moroccan lanterns in the hallways and exquisite mosaic tile in the whirlpool room create an exotic ambiance for relaxation after treatments like caviar facials and hot stone massages.
Treatment to Try: Swe-Thai Massage blends Eastern and Western practices, such as soft tissue Swedish massage and yoga-inspired Asian techniques, and includes a complimentary ritual bath led by a therapist who’ll guide you through various soaking stations in the mosaic-tiled whirlpool area.
Naples, FloridaThe only East Coast outpost of Golden Door Spa (it was started in California), this spa in Naples is a study in minimalism and Zen-infused balance. Find your inner peace while strolling the courtyard’s reflecting pools before your treatment. Or relax on the spa’s outdoor sundeck after a dip in the whirlpool. The Labyrinth, a meditation area inspired by concentric, spiraling Japanese design, is a place to walk slowly in gently widening circles and reflect.
Treatment to Try: The Bamboo Massage plays on the spa’s Asian influences with bamboo sticks applied to the body in a treatment that’s choreographed to move your muscles into relaxing positions and stimulate circulation.
Orlando, FloridaAll that theme park action can put a crick in your back. So work out the kinks with a visit to the finest spa in Central Florida at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. A Spanish-Mediterranean theme, with arching doorways and earth toned colors, prevails at this 40,000 square foot facility. The wellness theme behind the treatments is ‘sanitas per agua,’ which means ‘health through water’ in Spanish. Florida ingredients are incorporated in citrus-inspired treatments and there’s an outdoor rooftop eco space where you can lay in a hammock for a special massage that will render you a weightless feeling while hands massage you through the netting. The spa facility also has a private lap pool, yoga and zumba classes and a full fitness facility.
Treatment to Try: The West Indian Lime Scalp and Body Massage infuses your senses with the smell of citrus, meant to invigorate and energize, during an 80-minute head-to-toe treatment. Warm lime blossom and ginger oil are key healing ingredients.
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