I recently had a walk through at the Cabanas Guest House and Spa to see all the new renovations as well as to meet new spa owner Carlos Rodriguez. Carlos is Cuban born, and grew up in Miami Beach. He has made Fort Lauderdale his home for the last 8 years. Carlos is not an esthetician or Masseuse, but rather an Entrepreneur who has managed several businesses, most recently with his husband, Harry Martinez, who owns Studio 33 Interiors, a boutique interior design firm also based in Fort Lauderdale.

What made you purchase The Cabanas Spa?

Norman and I have been friends for over 35 years so I’m well aware of how much Spa Cabanas’ success is a result of his passion for wellness, coupled with his vision of filling a much needed void within the Fort Lauderdale gay community. Norman has created a high caliber Men’s Spa, within the peaceful setting of what was already a well-regarded gay guesthouse.  We started discussions about my buying the Spa more than 18 months ago when he started thinking about relinquishing the business and retiring. Now was the perfect time for him to entrust his jewel of a spa to me, a trusted friend. I’m more than ready to take on the role of Spa Cabanas next incarnation.

You just became owner a couple weeks ago, what is the first thing you are going to do?

Actually, I’ve already started by hiring 2 incredibly talented and educated estheticians who have a very well established client base and credentials within the field of skin care, complementing what is already a booming massage division. Their names are Victor and Juan.  The latter was not only a practitioner but also an educator within the industry.

What do you think is the best part of being the owner of the Cabana’s Spa?

It’s very important for me to continue the legacy that Norman has started, as I know he has an impeccable reputation as a business man and visionary.  As a gay man, I love the sense of fellowship that Fort Lauderdale offers. It’s been amazing to see the support from the community as word has spread that I am the new owner.  That’s something that I feel differentiates our gay brotherhood from other cities: our support for each other. What makes Spa Cabanas unique is that our guests can use the amenities offered by the Cabanas Guesthouse for an hour, either before or after their services. In addition, for a nominal fee, they can stay all day and take advantage of the entire property.

I asked Norman, why he sold to Carlos?

This year I decided it was time for me to retire, but I wanted to make sure that whomever I sold to that they would continue running the business up to my standards and I also wanted to make sure they would get along with the owners of the Cabanas, John and Bill, as well as I do.

In addition, I always treat my staff like family and I wanted to sell to someone who would treat them the same.

Carlos is definitely that person.

I spoke to owner John about his thoughts on the sale of the spa and he said: 

“Norman came to me a little over 11 years ago and asked why I didn’t have a spa on property and I told him that I knew nothing about spas and Normans said ‘I Do,’ and the rest is history. We have had an amazing relationship for 11 years. Bill and I are sorry Norman is retiring (before us…LOL), but we are very excited about the new opportunities Carlos will bring and I know we are going to work well together.”

I then asked John what was new at the Guest House and he said “Bill and I were fortunate enough to open a bar like 8 months ago for our hotel and spa guests, and we call it ‘Lucky’s Bar.’ In addition, the Cabanas Guest House owns a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment right near Fort Lauderdale’s gay beach, which can also be booked on our website –

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the rest of the staff at the Spa Cabanas: 

Oscar – Their Veteran Massage therapist who is skilled in multiple forms of physical healing.

Caspar – German gentle giant who is a highly educated massage therapist

Randy – Their award winning therapist with a lot of experience in deep tissue massages.

Cristian – Their adept massage therapist who is proficient in giving great massages

Gabriel – Their Puerto Rican masseur with nearly a decade of experience.

Brett – Their Uber talented and uber knowledgeable Esthetician

Chaz (former Hotspots Cover model) – is their gracias and gorgeous receptionist

Brian – Their exceptional and experienced receptionist.

Take advantage of their March Specials:

  1. Three 60 min massages for only $174 (reg: $285)
  2. Three 90 min massages for only $245 (reg: $375)
  3. PCA Facial with Microdermabrasion for only $85 (reg: $145)
  4. Mani & Pedi for only $49 (reg: $65)

The Spa at the Cabanas Guest House (2133 NE 26th Street, Fort Lauderdale) is open 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am to 7pm and Sunday 9 to 6pm. For an appointment you can call them at 954-565-2307 or email them at