Spa fancy: Guerlain

 

At this sprawling spa in the Regent Bal Harbour boasts showers and ocean views in every room -- we're thinking of moving in.

Guerlain Spa 1
Guerlain Spa.
 

By Jessica Sick

The Lowdown: Guerlain Spa has relaxation down to a science. Literally. "We've conducted psychographic studies on stress to find out guest's needs," says spa director Michael Perez.

So what do studies show? According to Perez, places such as the locker room (people talking on their cell phones) and the front desk (long lines) are where it can start and end, thus ruining the goal of heading to the spa for relaxation. Therefore, guests are escorted straight to their private suite, where they can change, freshen up and even shower (each suite comes with a private one).

Upon arrival, guests are asked to choose a signature fragrance, based on questions such as "are you hear to relax or revitalize?" (don't worry, you can say "both") and "do you prefer soft or bold scents?", with which their linens will be subtly sprayed. Curtains can remain closed for a dark bedroom effect or opened to reveal an ocean view. Rooms are purposely minimalist in design to, again, help relieve stress. "We don't want guests to think the whole time, 'I wonder if I can get that picture at Pottery Barn,'" offers Perez. Couples' suites feature a door, which can be closed at either party's request. "More often than not it gets closed," Perez says with a laugh. "One of the two might start snoring or is perhaps too talkative." A 15-minute foot bath and comprehensive analysis to determine a guest's needs starts all treatments, and afterward guests are invited to spend time in the "makeup playground," should they be on their way to an event.

Complimentary valet; spa bites available; gratuity is included in all service prices (to minimize stress, of course).

The 'hood: Oceanfront hotels and condos as far as the eye can see; swanky Bal Harbour Shops just down the street.

The Vibe: Cavernous, couture.

The Highlights: Guerlain's signature facial, the Orchdee Imperiale treatment, is a two-hour experience that includes a hand paraffin wrap, customized mask and eye contour treatment ($390); all massages are 60 or 90 minutes and the same price ($165; $250, respectively), as, based on your analysis, the therapist will suggest a style - anything from deep tissue to lymphatic drainage. A pre-massage soak in the hydrotherapy bath, which features 144 air and water jets and light therapy, is suggested for maximum relaxation.

The Sweet Deal: Complimentary upgrade (30 minute hydrotherapy, vichy shower, 30 express manicure, express pedicure or massage) when you book a 90-minute or longer service (an $85 value).

Guerlain Spa, Regent Bal Harbour, 10295 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-455-5411

Published: 8/08

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