Top Luxury Spas for Summer

By Robin Jay

eau-de-spaEAU SPA at Eau Palm Beach
The five-star oasis where you can Pause, Play and Perfect

When it comes to luxury spas, Eau Spa has guests saying Ohhhhhh Yeah! Recently, Forbes Travel Guide awarded this oasis of relaxation with a coveted five-star rating – a prestigious honor bestowed on fewer than 50 luxury spas in the United States.

I had the pleasure of visiting this magnificent, newly renovated spa in Manalapan. Without a doubt, it was the most innovative, whimsical and relaxing spa treatment I’ve ever experienced. More than just a facial – it was a fanciful journey. The resort’s Creative Director, Ayelet Rahav, and the Director of Eau Spa, Catherine Warren, have truly outdone themselves!

My experience started with a spoonful of honey – harvested by a local beekeeper. I was handed a tea-light candle, advised to make a wish and set it afloat in the spa’s wishing well fountain – it was like sending all my cares out to sea. Next, I was led to what looked like a room with candy-filled apothecary jars. But this was no confectionary store – it was a Scrub & Polish bar, where I selected my own sea salts and natural scrubs for the post-facial rain shower.

Time to Pause
My Eau Naturale Facial was 90 minutes of sheer ‘me-time’ bliss. To help me ‘pause’ and relax, the aesthetician scented the room with lavender and mint, turned the light to a soft blue, and played soft “chill-out” music. Somewhere along the line, I drifted off to sleep.

Time to Play
Then, shifting to ‘play’ mode, the room scents changed to citrus and eucalyptus, the light changed to red, the music picked up tempo. I was handed my little bags of salts and scrubs and sent off to visit the rain shower – complete with a signature yellow rubber ducky to keep me company.

Time to Perfect
Switching to ‘perfect’ mode, scents of ginger and vanilla wafted in the air, the lights turned gold, and the music changed to a whimsy mix. On my face, the aesthetician used advanced crystal-free microdermabrasion to  ‘smooth my contours,’ micro-current to ‘lift and sculpt’ my cheeks, and a calming LED light to help ‘even my skin tone.’ The organic anti-aging facial involved some of nature’s most powerful allies: omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, beta glucans, ellagic acid and concentrated antioxidants. I felt like new.

But that wasn’t the end of my Eau Spa adventure at this 42,000 square-foot oasis. I was led outside to the Self Centered Garden with airy cabanas, dipping pools, suspended swinging chairs, music, refreshing cocktails and, yes, giant-size yellow rubber duckies floating throughout. It’s an experience I will never forget and one that I can hardly wait to do again.

Eau Spa is located within Eau Palm Beach at 100 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan. For reservations, go to or call (561) 540-4960.


ritz-coconut-groveSpa At Ritz-Carlton– Coconut Grove
A sanctuary of beauty and wellness, the boutique Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is renowned for its personalized service on an intimate scale. A comprehensive selection of massage techniques, body treatments, modern facial care and precision nail services is enhanced by tranquil surroundings and the famous superior service for which the Ritz-Carlton is known.

A popular massage for men is Shankara’s Abyhanga Massage. It’s designed to make one float to a rhythmic motion of smooth, gentle and rolling massage techniques to enhance your consciousness, nourish the body and refresh the mind. On behalf of South Florida Opulence, Richard Kingan traveled to Coconut Grove to try this unique treatment. “Being 6’7” tall, I find many spas aren’t equipped for me, but I felt right at home at the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove,” Kingan said. “It was a little slice of heaven.”

To get a female’s point of view, we sent Shannon Wechsel to experience the Signature Carita Lagoon Hydration Facial, which immerses you in Polynesian lagoon water, a rich source of essential minerals. Carita’s signature Renovateur is applied to remove impurities. “I’ve never experienced anything so relaxing,”  Wechsel said. “It was like drifting off on a magic carpet ride.”

The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is located at 3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove. For reservations, call 305-644-4680 or visit


new_RCKEYBI_00057Spa At Ritz-Carlton – Key Biscayne
One of the top resort spas in Miami, this tropical oasis, a 20,000-square-foot spa welcomes guests to an arrival experience with a mosaic waterfall, modern gold
fixtures and contemporary art displays. Wet areas, including the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, incorporate a contrast of natural tones of custom mosaic murals, greeting sunlight in relaxation area.

Enhancing the relaxation experience and boasting the lush tropical surrounding, the spa menu caters to men, women and expectant mothers, with treatments such as the Signature Tropical Paradise Hydrating Wrap, Piña Colada Body Polisher and Island Escape package. Fresh signature nails services allow guests to create a unique and personalized experience from a menu of scents, ingredients and vegan nail polish.

Editor’s Choice
Personally, my favorite treatment at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is the HSR Lifting Facial (80 minutes, $265). The soothing anti-aging products plump up my skin and leave me feeling 10 years younger.

Locals may enjoy spa facility access with a spa treatment or fitness center when participating in a class. For those looking for a relaxing getaway, ask to book the
resort’s Spa-Cation package.

What Gentlemen Prefer
Or, if you’re like local Florida resident Michael Jay, try the Gentlemen’s Retreat. “It’s the very best men’s facial, gentlemen’s manicure and signature massage that a guy could ask for,” he said. The Ritz-Carlton Spa Key Biscayne is located at 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key  Biscayne. To book an appointment or for more information, call 305-365-4197.


miami-beach-massage-1-(1)The Five-star Spa At Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Tucked away on Brickell Key in downtown Miami, the consistently fabulous five-star  Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami recently launched Inspiring Rituals, a selection of spa and wellness programs designed by the Spa’s expert team of therapists to improve mind, body and spirit. Each monthly ritual focuses on a different
inspiring theme and includes two hours of spa treatments, an inspirational fortune cookie, spa gift and at home spa tips.

“Our therapy team is always seeking opportunities to better serve and educate our spa guests with personalized experiences,” said Osa Mallo, Spa Director. The rituals are available through December and are priced from $335 to $380. In the summer, spa guests can enjoy a Spiritual ritual available in June offering the two-hour Kundalini Journey using a variety of advanced massage techniques with aromatherapy, color, gemstone and sound therapy. South Florida Opulence sent Ryan Michael to give it a try. “It was a wonderful experience of relaxing stretches that left me speechless,” he said. “Hands down, it was the most relaxing massage I’ve ever received.”

But some things are tried and true – like the Opulence Rejuvenescence Facial. For South Florida Opulence contributing writer, Cara Jay, this is the treatment of choice no matter what time of the year. “Once you’ve experienced the antiaging products developed at the clinic of Dr. Ivo Pitanguy in Brazil, which are used in this amazing facial, you’ll never want to use anything else on your skin. I always request aesthetician Osa Mallo because she makes every visit a splendor.”

This luxurious facial features intensive treatment with the Clarisonic Opal, as well as scalp, hand and foot massage. Results of this 120-minute facial are
as effective as they are relaxing. $400. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
For reservations or more details, call 305-913-8332, email or visit

Top Luxury Spas for Summer