Four Ideal Sybaritic Experiences Around Miami
Mr. Chow at the W South Beach
There are spa historians who argue Bliss started it all. Sure, there were rubdowns before, but when this superexclusive hot spot opened in New York’s SoHo in 1996, suddenly oxygen facials were cutting-edge. Fortunately, we now have our own Bliss at the W South Beach. There, you can’t go wrong starting off with its most popular massage, the Blissage 75 ($150), then capping it off with the hourlong Pedi Colada ($70). Grab a pair of Bliss’ bright-red FitFlops ($59.99), which showcase those toes and promise toning while you stride, and then move downstairs to Mr Chow for a lemonade (trust us, it’s more vodka than Kool- Aid). Then it’s a walk to the Gansevoort South, where, bar-side at STK, some French author is likely chatting with some Russian mogul. Join the conversation—and order the foie gras French toast. See, we promised bliss. blissworld.com
Start with a martini at Joe Allen. You could argue that all paragraphs, or all experiences, should begin that way, but at least this one does: The bar opens thoughtfully at 11:30 AM, and old-school hard-boiled eggs are complimentary. After a nosh, it’s 0.4 miles (we checked) to The Standard at Belle Isle. Start off with a manicure (from $25) in their ultrasunny salon. Then, head to the steamy hammam, where in one of the more unusual treatments available, the Rub and Scrub, a frowning man with serious hands will smooth you with oil on a shelf of warm marble ($75). As the steam lifts, you’ll notice that people have wandered in to see you barely clad in a towel, but at this point you’re so relaxed you don’t care. After another martini, this one with lychees and vodka, The Standard’s pool—one of the rare hotel pools in Miami open all night—is looking good. Dive in. Your nails will be dry by now. standardhotels.com/miami
You can see the ocean from the carving station at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, even over the silhouette of its giant roaring beast. The hotel’s over-the-top Sunday brunch, a maze of tables (and people), is strong on selection and sybaritic bliss (noon to 4 PM, it’s $65). After indulging, head crosstown to the Mondrian’s Agua Spa. This new incarnation (Agua has long had an outpost at big sister Delano) has been designed by Marcel Wanders, who plunks a leafy terrace amid it all. Recommended: the Milk and Honey massage ($140), which will make you forget how many lemon meringue tarts you inhaled at brunch. Slink away to catch the sunset at Asia de Cuba. Insider’s tip: The cabanas are normally pricey, but they’re not sticky about the charge early in the evening. A $10 rosy-peach bellini matches the glorious view. mondrian-miami.com
The best view of Miami is from the hot tub at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. The skyline sparkles in the sun as the jets bubble at your back. The treatment to get at the Mandarin’s lush bamboo-and-beechwood spa is the bespoke Time Ritual (from $175 per hour), and yes, we know the name sounds bogus, but it’s not. Wrapped in the nicest bathrobes in Miami, Florida, the galaxy, you will receive an individualized treatment that gets your chi energized, your feet washed and, somehow, your back aligned. Stay waterside for a snack at Café Sambal, where the crunchy cashew chicken salad somehow mixes strawberries with cabbage and makes it work. Now, if you’ve lazed long enough, the nearby Viceroy’s buzzy scene should be well underway. Take the elevator to the top where, with your improved posture, you can poise attractively on one of Club 50’s barstools while ordering a Mellow Yellow (passionfruit juice mixed with rum and Prosecco). Of course, since you’re looking so good, you probably will have someone else ordering it for you. mandarinoriental.com/miami
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GREG CLARK (MR CHOW); COURTESY OF MANDARIN ORIENTAL (MASSAGE); KEN HAYDEN (POOL); COURTESY OF THE MORGAN HOTEL GROUP (SUNSET LOUNGE)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.