Planning a girlfriends’ getaway starts with deciding on a location, and when said girlfriends are scattered around the States, the answer is sometimes very simply predicated on gateways. Sure, some of us can easily get to the Caribbean or Mexico, but others not so much. Enter Miami Beach.
Next question, what are we looking to do exactly? Beach, spa, cocktails, great dining and access to shopping. Perhaps a place where no kids are allowed? Sorry moms, that may not be achievable. So with our checklist in mind—and because it’s home to the first-ever ELLE Spa and we were going to be one of the first ones to try out some of the treatments—we decided on the Eden Roc.
With the recently added 21-story Ocean Tower, the hotel gained 280 northern-facing oceanview guestrooms. In addition to the 631 rooms in both towers, there are three 2,500-sq.-ft. penthouse suites for your pampered clientele and 18 1-bedroom suites, all with great views.
However, unlike its neighbor, the Fontainebleau, the Eden Roc isn’t a massive property with sprawling hallways. Our room was on a high floor in the new tower and we were all too happy with what we saw upon entering the accommodations.
Let’s just say these rooms would make any room in Las Vegas jealous: From the large double closets—yes, lots of closet space made this executive wish I were there for a conference—to the views of Miami Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. The bathrooms are modern and spacious and appointed with Aveda products, with double vanities, lots of light and a wet room that has an oversized bathtub and a non-enclosed shower. These are details that are not lost on women.
The comfortable king-size beds face the ocean and when your clients aren’t looking out into that stunning scenery, they can watch the large flat-screen TVs—not too shabby. Oh, and our balcony with comfy furniture was hangout central before going out on the town.
We had no prior expectations for the first-ever, 22,000-sq.-ft. ELLE Spa, a joint venture between the fashion magazine and Eden Roc. But from the moment we entered, we loved the sort of modern “unsnobbiness” of it all, with its white-washed walls and stone decor. The feeling here, much like the resort itself, is, we must reiterate, total unpretentiousness. The relaxation room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden and ocean, and is, in fact, very relaxing. Naturally, there were ELLE magazines to read while we waited for our treatments. The wet spa includes whirlpools, cold plunges, steam and sauna, and we particularly loved the hydro-experience showers.
Tell clients not to miss the signature treatment, the 100-minute, 5-step ELLE Spa Full Body Recharge—one word, amazing. During the treatment, the entire body is immersed in color light therapy and nourished with orange blossom extracts. Next, the skin is exfoliated and enriched with bergamot and verbena, blended with aloe vera and sea algae. Then comes the mineral-rich, vitamin C-packed antioxidant body wrap. Finally, it’s time for a full-body massage with a custom blend of warmed avocado oil and essential oils of verbena, mandarin and jasmine.
As if that’s not relaxation enough, the resort offers four pools, including an adults-only pool that became our favorite hangout spot (see moms, there is respite for the weary). Eden Roc also offers a rooftop deck with VIP cabanas, light dining and beverage service. Known as the Spa Terrace, the rooftop deck overlooks the hotel’s tropical gardens, beach and ocean. There’s a fee to rent a cabana, but for guests who want to get away from the crowds, this is the place to go. It’s idyllic after a spa treatment—pure heaven.
eat, drink & shop
The lobby bar offers a central location to sip cocktails, mingle and is the vantage point for watching the goings-on at the resort.
1500° is the resort’s signature restaurant. A farm to table concept managed by celebrity chef Paula DaSilva, the menu offers everything from small plates to steak, all complemented by an elegant ambiance. Everything was delicious, but the standout has to be the 16-oz., 28-day-aged Kansas City strip steak. Want to dine alfresco? No problem. The restaurant has an outdoor dining patio as well.
Breakfast is also served at 1500°, with a buffet and a full breakfast menu. The only negative is that it is the only breakfast option at the hotel and gets full quickly, so waiting is unavoidable. However, there is an on-premise Starbucks for a quick coffee.
Meanwhile, the Cabana Beach Club, which overlooks the beach, offers a lively bar scene. Guests can opt for the indoor dining, but we recommend they dine alfresco to get the true beachside ambiance.
Eden Roc’s proximity to great shopping areas is ideal for this kind of getaway. We managed to hit the uber-trendy Design District, Lincoln Road and Bal Harbour Shops easily and quickly throughout the weekend.
WHAT TRAVEL AGENTS ARE SAYING…
“In my mind, when I think of a girlfriends’ getaway, I think the beach, fun, good food, spa. Miami has it all and it’s such a cosmopolitan place. It’s a quick flight for travelers from the east coast and middle of the country. I think it’s an incredible destination.The best time to go to Miami is March through May; any time before the kids are out of school. It’s a really good value time to go in November, at the tail end of the hurricane season.”
—Lynn Ciccarelli, Owner, Bella Vacations; accredited Virtuoso agent
Eden Roc: (305) 531-0000; edenrocmiami.com