Don't ever forget, the first part of the word glamping is "gla." It's the glamorous part of glamping and is always the keystone to our adventures.
This week, a few of us spent the day at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort on Miami Beach. Formerly the site of the Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa (Miami version), the Carillon is a boutique hotel and a spa and a wellness experience that includes a spectacular beachfront location, luxury at every turn, health and wellness experts and exquisite dining options.
Despite the many delightful ways to enjoy the Carillion property, for the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on a day at the spa and wellness center:
Upon leaving the elevator on the 4th floor of the main building, you are stunned with a view of the Atlantic ocean and Miami Beach, a grassy rooftop and a two-story rock climbing wall. All of this is surrounded by a modern, open and relaxing glass lobby with various workout areas. It makes you literally stop to take it all in, and immediately lets you know you have arrived at a place where you must leave the musings of your mind behind for a while.
To start, if we may make one suggestion - in fact, we will insist - plan to arrive at least one hour before your spa treatments. The heart of this facility are their spectacular "Thermals," a European-inspired hydrotherapy circuit with nine thermal experiences. Unlike many spas that simply walk you through a locker room and sit you in a quiet room with spa water prior to your treatments, here you are encouraged to get a major head start on relaxing via experiential rain showers, an "Herbal Laconium," a hydrospa, foot spas, a Finnish sauna, thermal heated loungers and even an Igloo room.
Your mind, body and spirit begin on a journey of relaxation well before your treatment even begins.
We began in the hydrospa, which is a heated, jetted pool. Of course this is always relaxing and a great way to start. After we were warmed up, we tried the experiential rain showers - tall individual shower stalls wrapped in iridescent tiles. You have three decisions to make once you wind yourself to the back of the private shower: a Caribbean Monsoon, an Atlantic Storm or a Polar Mist. Each button you choose brings a dramatic water and light event with varying water temperatures and intriguing sounds.
Our next destination led us past a beautiful, traditional Finnish sauna and individual foot spas to the Herbal Laconium. To be honest, we had to look up the word 'laconium' to write this piece, but even without knowing what it was going in, we were excited to try it over the other options. This room is basically a ceramic-tiled sauna with a bit less heat and humidity than a traditional sauna. Heated seats are build into the walls of the room, and the steam is infused with a soft, soothing herbal concoction that relaxes and revitalizes. The ceiling, as in many areas of the Thermal Experience, has tiny, starry lights that twinkle and change color. It is easy to sit and relax in this room for a long period of time without getting overheated. (Our vote for best part of the experience!)
After 15-20 minutes in the laconium we walked out nicely heated and zenned-out. So much so, that despite swearing we would never want to try the last option, the "Igloo Room," we were warm enough - and curious enough - to try something cold. Similar to the experiential rain showers, this one large, ice-blue tiled shower offers three Arctic mist buttons: menthol, mint, and eucalyptus. While the mists are cool, they are not uncomfortably so, and the scents are really delightful.
It is surprising how quickly an hour can pass, so we quickly tried the thermal heated loungers, and recommend giving yourself plenty of time to lay back and relax on these individual lounge chairs.
After a quick change out of our bathing suits (yes, you may go nude, if you must), a spa attendant guided us down to the treatment areas, on the 3rd floor. We had signed up for massages only, but plan to return for more next time!
Without too much fanfare, our massages were simply fabulous. Choose a type of massage, the length of time you'd like, and be sure, as always to communicate as much as you can before your treatment as to what you are looking for that day, what mood you are in, and what you are hoping to achieve. This Glamper has constant lower back and hip tightness, and by explaining a few short things to the wonderful Maria I was assigned to, this masterful expert found every spot to work out with incredible knowledge and finesse. Not just a masseuse, but a very knowledgeable and gifted wellness professional.
Plan to relax more after your services if you can. We had a busy day and a birthday to celebrate, so we showered and dressed, and went downstairs for lunch at The Strand Bar & Grill inside the lobby of the hotel. This gorgeous space overlooks the pool area and ocean, is the perfect place to enjoy a fresh and healthy bite, infused with many flavor characters and influences.
With a toast of Prosecco to our fellow Glamper's birthday, we put the finishing touch on a very special experience. Enjoy!
CARILLON MIAMI: A WELLNESS RESORT
866-800-3858 | www.carillonhotel.com
Photos reposted from Carillon Miami.