ESPA Aqualina at Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, just minutes north of Miami, should come with the warning, "SPA pampering may become habit forming." Imagine 20,000 attractive square feet where the sensory experience begins when you enter the reception, and continues throughout the Spa journey.
In today's fast-paced world, Spas have become more than a treat for special occasions, they have become a way of life, and ESPA Acqualina epitomizes that philosophy. Entering the Spa reception area, we breathed in the pleasant and soothing aroma wafting in the air while low background music set the tone for relaxation. Dark wood walls, beige leather banquettes, polished wood floors, and soft illumination create a sophisticated and tranquil respite.
After receiving a warm welcome from Lisette, she led us to a leather banquette and brought us each a beautiful bronze tray, which held a scented chilled towel, a small fruit smoothie, and a yellow orchid to enjoy while we had a treatment consultation.
Although ESPA Acqualina offers a wide selection of treatments, we decided to indulge in massages. A Hot Stone Massage (for Debra) and a Deep Tissue Massage with Aromatherapy (for Edward).
Since we had arrived early for our appointments, we went our separate ways to the men's and ladies' locker rooms which have their own facilities. I (Debra) began by experiencing the Finnish Sauna where the heat and aroma soothed, followed by a session in the round Crystal Steam Room where a large quartz crystal was the focal point. Sitting on the mosaic tile bench while bursts of steam filled the room creating a fog like haze gave me the impression of being inside of a cloud or in a lovely dream while alternating ceiling lights changed colors from green, to blue, to yellow, and pink, adding another layer to the sensory experience.
ESPA Acqualina Reception
Skin glowing from the steam, I made my way over to the Ice Fountain where I scooped up the crushed ice that was like a snow cone, placed it on a cool scented towel and rubbed the ice all over my face, followed by a refreshing Experience Shower with three different shower heads offering a variety of experiences, "side" had cold water coming out laterally, "tropic" had the feel of a tropical rain, and "rain" was the feeling of being caught in a downpour.
ESPA Acqualina Ice Fountain
With a few minutes left to spare before my massage appointment, I went to the Relaxation Room where a gentle waterfall sculpture cascaded adding a soothing and sensory element, with bamboo screens placed between the chaises to create a private space for each guest. I settled myself onto a comfortable terry covered chaise with a chocolate brown throw, and sipped a lemon water and nibbled on a lemon and lavender cookie, while waiting for my therapist to come for me.
ESPA Acqualina Relaxation Room
Thoroughly relaxed, it was now time for my treatment to begin. My therapist, DeKendra, led me to one of the 16 attractive treatment rooms, where the ambience was tranquil, and featured a heated massage table with a bowl with a flower placed below the face support. What I especially liked was that DeKendra asked my preference of the type of music that I wanted to listen to during my treatment, jazz, spa, or classic music.
Next came the selection of essential oils that would be used for my treatment. DeKendra applied a different aroma on each of my hands and asked me to decide which one was my preference. I selected the restorative oil, a lovely stress-reducing blend of myrrh, sweet orange oil, rose geranium, lavender, and skin-firming palmarosa.
For the next 60-minutes, while jazz played softly in the background, I was in a deep state of relaxation during the Hot Stone massage, where I said goodbye to muscle knots and kinks, while increasing my circulation and overall well-being. The hot stones are very grounding and add another element to the massage, and combined with the aromatherapy oils, this was a wonderful experience.
ESPA Acqualina Hot Stone Treatment
After my massage was complete, I decided to wait for Edward outside on the Spa terrace where there was a private pool for Spa guests, and an outdoor heated jet pool with a Roman waterfall. I slid my legs into the water, and let the warmth of the day wash over me to complete the Spa relaxation effects, thinking, Spa pampering is indeed habit forming.
ESPA Acqualina Roman Waterfall
Edward: With a few minutes before my scheduled appointment I took some time to relax in the Crystal Steam Room to let the moisture penetrate into my skin; I followed that up with a cold shower to seal my pores and I was ready for my treatment. My therapist, Ingrid, led me off to a treatment room where I had a Deep Tissue Massage with Aromatherapy. Like Debra, I, too, was offered two different oils, and I selected the Fitness Oil, a blend of clove buds, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, Indian bay, and lavender essential oils. In addition to selecting the Fitness Oil, we discussed the firmness of the message and if there were any areas that she should pay special attention to. I enjoy a firm Deep Tissue Massage though not to the point of inflicted pain. I also asked Ingrid to pay special attention to my shoulders where I knew knots existed and required special treatment. I knew that tension and knots in the upper shoulder area is a direct by-product of spending extensive time working in front of a computer. I also requested to have jazz as the background music, which is one of my favorite genres.
Laying face down, Ingrid methodically worked on my lower body starting with my feet and working up each leg while massaging those tired muscles from all of the long walks on the beach. Remembering our discussion on special areas to focus on, Ingrid moved to my upper back and the shoulder area where she found each of the knots and worked on trying to smooth them out and release the tension that existed. Spending a bit longer than usual on my upper body, but satisfied that we had attended to each of the knots, she rolled me on my side so she could place resistance on my legs as she stretched the muscles. Rolling onto my back, Ingrid finished my treatment by working on my upper shoulders and head. Massage complete, I was relaxed and ready to engage in another beautiful sunny day in Florida.
ESPA Acqualina Terrace
Read other articles on Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections where Il Mulino New York Executive Chef Michele Mazza shares a delectable taste of the restaurant.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
17875 Collins Avenue
Sunny Isles Beach, FL, 33160, United States
Read other articles on Sunny Isles and Miami in the Destinations section.
For more information on Sunny Isles and upcoming events, please visit the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau website: www.GMCVB.com.
© June 2009. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.