As I have mentioned almost every year, one of the best parts of doing the Annual Spa Edition (this is year #11) are the relationships the Hotspots staff have formed with the local spa owners. Every year we look forward to seeing them and spending some quality time with their staff. In addition, we get to meet new people when new spas come on board (Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA).
Spa E South Beach
630 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
7 days a week 10am – 8pm
Spa E is the award-winning day spa that has been voted the Best Day Spa in Miami Beach as well as having award-winning staff members. When you walk up to Spa E, you can see almost the entire spa from the outside and it is very inviting to the eye. The beds they use for services are unlike any bed I have ever seen in a spa. When we walked into the spa we were immediately greeted by Brenda Le Grange, the owner of the spa, who offered us water and to take our umbrellas. We were very lucky to get the services on a day when the Executive Vice President of Repêchage, Shiri Sarfati, happened to be visiting the spa. Spa E is the exclusive home of Repechage, the pionners in seaweed-based skincare in Miami. Repechage is in over 50 countries and is globally recognized as high quality, and is based in New Jersey where they have an R&D laboratory on site. Their main ingredient comes from sustainably harvested seaweed which is sourced and processed in the USA. Shiri’s mom, Lydia Sarfati, started the company in 1980 and both Shiri and her dad still work alongside Lydia.
We were then taken to the bed and told we were going to get the 4-Layer Facial (called the 4-layer fetish at Spa E…$165), which is and has been the signature facial for Repêchage, and The Happy Feet treatment, both at the same time. Spa E is actually famous for their Menage A Spa Signature treatments where they give their clients a facial, manicure and pedicure all at the same time (You have to see the beds to understand this, but I promise you will love it). When I asked Brenda how this came about, she explained that she realized that in South Beach a lot of people want to be pampered, but they don’t have the traditional amount of time to get all three services separately, so she came up with this idea so that her clients can maximize their time at the spa and still receive all the pampering they wanted.
The 4 Layer Facial was quoted as “The Best Facial of the Century” by Cosmopolitan UK. Layer upon layer of pure, fresh European seaweed is put on to rejuvenate, tone and firm with immediately visible results.
The facial starts with cleansing the skin with a creamy cleanser which removes dirt and debris. This is followed by an exfoliation with a Honey and Almond scrub. Pure honey and crushed almond gently exfoliate without causing skin trauma. During the first two steps the steamer is on. After this, the C-Serum is applied. This is a pure filtrate of seaweed that contains multivitamins for the skin. This hydrates and moisturizes the skin while rebalancing and making sure your skin is even toned. This serum is massaged into your skin. This is done to stimulate skin and allow the benefits of the product to do their job. This is followed by a massage cream with a 10-minute massage on the full face and neck and even onto the shoulder area so the clients can release tension. This massage exfoliates and hydrates the skin. Afterwards, Eye Rescue pads are applied, which are soaked in 4 teas and depuffing seaweed. Then a cold mask is applied that has a gel-like consistency. This is followed by a Mineral Mask which is 101 degrees F to create a thermal effect on the skin and the heat will allow it to penetrate the skin. Once this dries the mask comes off in one piece (see pic).
While the facial was being administered by the amazing Alessia, Yenny was administering the “Happy Feet” treatment ($50). This is a foot therapy treatment that includes reflexology, exfoliation, and a foot massage. This treatment also includes a hand massage.
Can you imagine how pampered we felt when we left Spa E?
Island City Massage
Christian Perez, LMT
2881 E. Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm (closed Sat and Sun)
After being in business for 4 years, Christian recently had the grand opening of his new location at the Crexent Building in Fort Lauderdale. The new location is only minutes from the beach, has plenty of free parking and staffed by a friendly receptionist. It’s a beautiful colonial style building with breathtaking views.
His new suite is bigger, has unique art and is cozier than his original one in Wilton Manors. Christian only focuses on massage therapy treatments and offers a choice of Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue, or Hot Stones. This year, Christian introduced me to Sports Massage ($99hr) with a session of cupping on my upper and lower back. After 11 years of the Spa issue, this is the first time I received a cupping treatment. Before the massage started, Christian showed me the different cup sizes, and made sure I was comfortable receiving cupping. The cup size changes depending on the area being treated.
Once he started the massage his talented hands did their magic, which included a lot of stretching and then added the cupping. The cupping suctions the skin and slowly moves the fluid from lower deeper tissues to the surface which allows the deeper tissues to have fresh circulation. This is mostly done on the back of your body as your front is more sensitive. (Christian did warn me that cupping does leave marks, but they go away in like a day, and as far as I am concerned, well worth it!).
Once again, after a Christian Perez massage, my body felt really relaxed, limber, and really good!
Christian’s pricing is easy, with a simple rate of $99 for one hour or $149 for 90 minutes for all massage treatments. With this, you have the choice to personalize your massage with all the different modalities including Hot Stones, Sports, Deep Tissue and Swedish Massage.
2209 NE 26th Street, Fort Lauderdale
Spa Cabanas has been a part of the Spa Edition since we started 11 years ago, so naturally I am always happy to see owner Carlos Rodriguez when I step inside. Also, there is the sexiest voice in Fort Lauderdale, that always greets me, from their Manager Tony Banks. Carlos has now been the owner for 3 years and has really made Spa Cabanas a special place for wellness and pampering built on a strong sense of community and healing. Follow Spa Cabanas on Facebook and Instagram to see all the sexy pics he posts of his clients; trust me you won’t be disappointed! I went to the Spa with Hotspots senior salesman, Anthony Verrico, for our services.
Anthony was introduced to Carlos Blanco who would be administering the deep tissue massage, infused with CBD oil. Carlos has been a Massage Therapist at the Spa for 1 year and already has an immense following due to his Eastern philosophy approach to massage and healing. Carlos intuitively recognized Anthony’s problem areas and addressed his ongoing back issues and overall stress, which he felt immediate relief from, following his treatment. The 60min Deep Tissue CBD massage is $115, adding Hot Stones is $125.
In addition to CBD infused massages, the Spa is now offering cupping services which detoxifies the body on a deeper level as well as relieves migraines and arthritis symptoms. They’ve also incorporated pressure gun therapy as an add on to all the massages offered.
For my hour of pampering, I was introduced to Cristian Alvarez, who led me to his area for an Anti-Aging facial. Cristian immediately asked me what benefits I sought and when I stated how I wanted to look 10 years younger, the pressure was on. My deep cleansing and relaxing facial was perfectly customized, to rebalance and re-energize my skin type for an anti-aging result. It actively increases skin moisture, calms irritations, and minimizes expression lines. After assessing my skin needs and making an evaluation, he proceeded to cleanse and exfoliate using the Spa’s amazing line of PCA products, which they also carry and sell. Once the cleaning is finished, extractions are done, followed by a high frequency treatment used to minimize pores and even out the complexion tone. Finally, a mask was applied that was soothing and refreshing and made me feel quite relaxed. In addition, a relaxing anti-aging eye treatment helped reduce my puffiness and fine lines. 60 minutes $129
This year Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa were thrilled to be presented with the TripAdvisors Travelers Choice award, which places them at the top 10% of hotels and spas worldwide. Quite an honor within the industry.
They remind everyone to ask about their monthly specials and packages by calling them at 954-565-2307.
The Spa at Carillon Miami
6801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
The experience at the Carillon starts when you pull up to their beautiful entrance and your car is escorted away by the valet (if you are having spa treatments the cost for valet is complimentary). You then enter the exquisite lobby and head up the elevator to the Spa.
The Carillon Spa is one of the most comprehensive spas I have ever been to, offering everything from cupping to cryotherapy, and infrared saunas. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort brings a unique and comprehensive mixture of Western, Eastern, Alternative, and Aesthetic medicine for custom treatment plans and impactful results.
Due to Covid 19 they have increased their touchless services, and this is what they wanted me to focus on this year. And boy did they focus on them as I had 6 treatments (not that I am complaining at all).
When I arrived at the Spa’s front reception I was escorted to the men’s locker room. Once in the locker room I was given a luxurious bathrobe and slippers to change into. After changing, I was given a reminder tour of the spa and the multitude of amenities.
My first treatment was the VEMI (Vibroacoustic Electro Magnetic and Infrared Therapy – $99 for 25 minutes). I was told to lay down on a body shaping bed and given headphones to put on. Immediately the Vibro-Acoustic started, which puts you into a deep meditative state in minutes, this is when and where the body heals itself. The Electromagnetic Harmonics open cellular communication to all cells in the body and removes static EMF radiation from your cells & body. In addition, this treatment features Infrared technology, which warms your body from the inside out creating energy reactions like moderate exercises. For those of you who know me, you know it’s hard for me to relax and turn it off, but I promise you in a matter of minutes I went into a state of relaxation I am not sure I have ever experienced.
Afterwards I was taken to another room that featured the Spa Wave ($99 for 30 minutes), a bed you lay on and again headphones are put on. This is a bed for Sleep therapy that reduces stress, improves concentration, balances mood, and boosts creativity. Their state-of-the-art Quantum Harmonic Sound Therapy table combines music, gentle sound waves and highly efficient vibration, matched to the body’s energy chakras, leaving you in the ultimate state of relaxation. At the same time, I was on the table my hand was put into The AVACEN 100 ($39 for 15 minutes), which is considered the future of pain relief. My hand was placed into this futuristic looking muscle-relaxing vacuum chambered machine for 15 minutes and some really great things happened. Pain dissipates, and joints move more freely.
I was then taken to the Somadome ($99 for 20 minutes), which is an egg-shaped chair/bed you lay in. This is the world’s first technology-enabled meditation pod that combines color, sound, and energy therapies to create the physical space to go within and experience the many benefits of deep meditation. There are twenty different intention-based sessions available to help you in any area of your life, and you choose the one you want. The most calming voice then comes on and talks to you, as you literally drift away. The powerful combination of color, binaural beats, and the micro-crystalline tiles activate to help you achieve the optimal state for any of the intention-based sessions you choose. Each session is twenty minutes long, making it a perfect addition before or after your other spa services to take your experience to the next level.
The final treatment was something I have recently heard of but never experienced: Salt Float Bath Therapy ($99 – 30 minutes). This is very interesting as you go into a huge egg-shaped dome that is filled with maybe a foot of water. You are given a floatie for your head and you lean back, and you just float your stress away in a weightless saltwater bath that incorporates 800 pounds of Epsom salt. The Salt Float helps to relieve muscle pain, calm any anxieties, stimulate blood flow, release natural endorphins, and aids you entering a deep state of relaxation.
After this last treatment I could not wait to take advantage of all the amenities of the spa, which include thermal loungers, experiential rains, foot spa, Igloo, crystal steam room, Finnish spa, herbal laconium, and a vitality tub. I am sure there are amenities I missed, as this is the most amenities I have ever seen at a spa.
Ok, I am a skeptical native New Yorker (although I have been in Florida for 25 years) and if someone would have told me about these treatments beforehand, I probably would say something sarcastic, but I have to tell you I left the Carillon so relaxed and even the crazy traffic on 95 to get home didn’t bother me. In addition, that night I got one of the best night’s sleep ever. My body and mind were at peace!
2312 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors
Call or text: 954-951-0065
I know you are reading this and saying MyBodyGrooming doesn’t sound like they may offer traditional treatments that we associate with a spa, but they do. In addition to waxing, Full body trimming, manscaping and body shaving, they offer massages, facials, shaving, and body scrubs.
Angel Perez met me in the lobby of the Wilton Executive Suites, and led me back to his Spa suite, which was very serene and peaceful. Before starting the massage, he asked me if I need the rest room or some water and then explained to me that he was going to give me the 1-hour Deep Tissue Massage with stretching ($130) and confirmed I was ok with that. When I asked him what the benefits of a deep tissue massage are, he said it’s to release muscle tension, and includes trigger Point Therapy: for the neck, back & Shoulder Alignment, and Range of motion/ Stretching which helps decompressing lower back and joint health. Angel has such a calming aura about him, all I could think about is that he had the perfect name. His hands and fingers are small but the power they have is amazing. Even though it was a deep tissue massage I never felt that there was too much pressure, which is something I never experienced before. He had the magic touch combined with a stretching ability that made my body feel amazing. After finishing massaging my back side, he used a massage gun and then asked me to flip over and massaged my front side.
As you can tell by the pic, Angel is as good a massage therapist as he is cute. When I tell you this was one of the best massages I ever had, I am not exaggerating. When I asked Angel what his philosophy for his clients are, he said: “I am a dedicated and caring masseur with lengthy experience in a variety of relaxing bodywork modalities and techniques aimed to relax the body, the mind and promoting wellness. My number one priority is to provide my clients with an exceptional bodywork service every time!”.
Some of the amenities that MyBodyGrooming.com offers are: Hot Towels, Aromatherapy, Bottled Water, Heated Table, Biotone Lotion, Free Parking, On-line Booking, Open 7 days, and Same-day appointments.