Swedish massages are so much better than the stairmaster.
By Kathryn WexlerThe lowdown:
It's no hassle to waltz into the Four Seasons for some pampering. But the Spa is integrated into the Sports Club/L.A. That means that if you choose to use the sauna, steam room or showers, you will be competing with some 3,200 gym regulars. Smartly, spa planners have arranged to have a locker room reserved for spa-goers. And to help the spa experience feel personal, guests are escorted from the time they arrive. Beyond the spa's heavy door, there is plenty of solitude. The Relaxation Lounge is cozy and dim, the 10 treatment rooms efficiently arranged with silk panels above the beds. Booking two spa services entitles you to use the massive, 40,000-square-foot gym for the day.The 'hood:
Spa guests get no reduction on valet parking ($14), but self-parking for the spa is free for the first three hours. Enter the Four Seasons from the north, on 14th Lane. The spa is on the fourth floor.The vibe:
A little frenetic when you first arrive and are melding with gym-goers, but once inside the spa itself, it's peaceful and professional. Decor is Asian-influenced, with hardwood floors and a faux fireplace for flickering candles.The highlights:
A Miami Mojito Massage Treatment involves an exfoliation with Florida limes and sugar, followed by a lime, mint and rum oil massage (50 minutes for $146; 80 minutes for $240). The Thai Herbal Poultice is an energizing, rhythmic massage with heated, lemongrass poultices (padded instruments) applied at pressure points (110 minutes for $301).
The Spa at The Sports Club/L.A., The Four Seasons 1441 Brickell Ave., Miami; 866-386-2720
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Massage therapist Yliana Rodriguez demonstrates the Miami Paradise Body Treatment on Vanessa De la Rue. Photo: Carl Juste.