Namaste, ladies! I just got back from my trip to Miami for my post-wedding getaway/Smartypanties review-trip (real honeymoon is scheduled for January next year in case you were wondering!). It was definitely a week of excess eating, drinking and sun. So necessary after all the wedding planning! I’ll start with my favorite hotel we stayed at, the Canyon Ranch. From the moment you walk in you instantly become relaxed. This is Miami’s off-season so the property was definitely less busy than say during spring break but this made it the most perfect time to go in my opinion. If you’re looking to unwind, this is the time! The check-in process was a dream. Our room wasn’t ready yet so the receptionist took our number to call us as soon as it would be. They took our bags and we were off to explore!
Our beautiful little kitchen! They give you a lovely tea set to use. I made us a pot of soothing chamomile before we showered one day. It was heavenly.
Our suite was equipped with a beautiful kitchen and living room. Everything was absolutely immaculate. We had two balconies overlooking the beautiful ocean and pool. They give you luxurious robes to put on after a great shower or a soak in your enormous bathtub. They have maid service twice a day and super technologically advanced buttons you can press if you want privacy or to have the room made up. Each night we came back to a turned down bed and soft rock music. This was one of our favorite parts of the trip! The bed was so comfortable as you would imagine.There were also two enormous flatscreen TVs in our room, so the technology was way up to par!
They have something everyone would want. Yoga, Gyrokinesis, Meditation, Group Walks, Spinning, Abs, Legs and Kickboxing. Oh and did I mention the 2 story rock-climbing wall? The Huzz and I even made it all the way to the top! It’s harder than it looks! The instructors are fabulous. We spoke with our rock-climbing guide and he told us that Canyon Ranch interviewed over 1000 applicants before they hired their staff. Each instructor is truly an expert in his or her field and it makes the experience so fabulous. If you’re not a class person, there is also a state-of-the-art gym, complete with touch-screen TVs on each machine to watch your favorite shows, that is if you get tired of the ridiculous view of the ocean. You’d be surprised how much quicker your run goes when that’s what you have to look out at. Or if you want to run outside there is a fabulous path just along the water. The rest of the gym is gorgeous and super-clean as well.
The grounds are beautiful. Everything about this place
screams whispers, “Zen!” There are 4 pools, one being adults-only, which is nice if you just don’t feel like getting splashed. Although, I have to say the children that were around were completely innocuous, when it comes to annoying children it’s always nice to have a safe escape. I had read some reviews on Trip Advisor complaining about children but I think the resort does a nice job of giving adults their space as well as fun activities for the kiddies and families to do together. At the main pool you can order food. You can also do this on the beach. The property is beach-front and they have attendants down waiting to set up chairs for you. It’s the perfect place to put your feet up and chill out. You can also order food by just raising your flag and having them bring it right down to you! The property is spattered with water fountains and gardens to sit and chill out or read a book. There is also a lovely library and lobby where you can rest, put your feet up and take it easy. We even loved perusing the store, filled with workout gear, yoga goodies and inspirational books and CDs. Yep, we drank the Kool-aid!
The spa is truly the most unique I’ve ever been to. First of all, let me start by saying I am a total germ-a-phobe, for those of you who don’t know me. I have insanely high standards after visiting some of the best spas in NYC (and unfortunately also some of the worst—enter, Spa Castle). But I had never seen anything as fabulous as the Aquavana at Canyon Ranch. It’s a mixture of heaven and water! It’s a haven between the locker room and the spa that’s filled with wet saunas, dry saunas, foot tubs, cool showers, Jacuzzis and an igloo! Yes, I said it, an igloo! The idea is to go from hot to cold. It’s supposed to help rid your body of toxins. It’s a European-inspired aquathermal oasis offering intriguing treatment suites designed to relax your muscles and enrich your blood with oxygen. It’s truly an invigorating experience and even if you don’t book a spa treatment (which I think you should) you have unlimited access here if you’re a guest of the hotel. Once you’ve indulged in the Aquavana to your heart’s content you should try out the spa. I personally am old-fashioned so I stuck with a facial and a Deep-Tissue massage, which were soothing as can be, but the spa offers standout unique treatments like body wraps and traditional detox rituals. They also employ two healers who can offer Reiki treatments, healing energy or acupuncture, if that’s your thang. There are also medical consultants and nutritionists if you need to detox your diet or learn about building better health habits. The spa isn’t exorbitant but it ain’t cheap either. It’s pretty much what you would expect, somewhere around average for such a luxurious spa, which offers use of its aquavana as well. So in my opinion definitely a place worth the splurge. You could come here with a girlfriend and relax in the aquavana all day long. Massages begin at $140 for 50 minutes. Facials start at $150 as well for a deep cleansing facial. Body wraps also start in the same area at $165 for a 50 minute treatment session.
The restaurant is gorgeous inside but has fabulous outdoor seating that’s in the shade and oh-so relaxing. I know you may be nervous that at a facility like Canyon Ranch, where they emphasize healthy eating and exercise, that you may not be able to indulge at the restaurant, I mean it is a vacation afterall, right? Well have no fear, I bear good news. The portions were not unreasonably tiny and the prices weren’t unreasonably exorbitant. Plus, many things are even organic (or at least partially so). Egg dishes ran about $11-12 and many came with potatoes, toast, or fruit. Nothing skimpy about that! Also you can easily supplement a side of turkey or veal bacon or other side-dish for only $4. Personally I loved the fresh-squeezed juices. My favorite was the watermelon! It’s so sweet and refreshing you’ll find yourself ordering a second. Also, good to know, the hotel serves complimentary coffee and tea until about 9:30 in the library, which is divine and also will save you a few bucks at breakfast!
The service in the restaurant is fabulous. Each staff member is friendly but not over-intrusive. My other morning favorites included “The New Yorker,” which is half a hemp-seed bagel with lox, tomato, cream cheese and onions, omelets, filled with anything your heart can desire, and the Sweet potato pancakes. Those were my absolute favorite! Definitely not to be missed! So unique and light but so filling at the same time.
It’s such a pleasure eating at Canyon Ranch because although the food is delectable you know you can’t get into too much trouble. Plus, they list calorie counts for everything so you at least know what you’re getting into! Lunch Favorites? The artichoke fries were ridiculous. Such a satisfying, salty snack and yet totally on your diet because they’re baked! The fish tacos and grass-fed beef tacos down by the pool were also to die for! The portions were also pretty hearty if you’re hungry. The only thing I ate that I didn’t love was the chocolate zucchini cake and chocolate chip cookies. Not bad, just wouldn’t say they were my favorite. The other desserts were much better, especially the cheesecake lollipops. A must-try! My favorite part about the restaurant is that during the day it is an extremely laid-back environment but at night it transforms into a chic, trendy restaurant.
I had one of my favorite drinks that I’ve ever tasted here. It’s called a “Purple Pillow” and it consists of house-made lavender infused vodka and muddled blueberries. Other cocktails were fabulous too like the Lychee martini, which uses house-made vanilla infused vodka. She even showed me how to make the infused vodka. You just soak overnight whatever you want it to be infused with! Okay so maybe I could have inferred that, but point is, the bartender was a sweetheart and her drinks were to die for! And they were strong as heck! Just don’t have too many of them the night before your 7am beach walk!
Things to Know Before You Go
Bring lots of workout clothes you’re going to want to do a million classes. You may want to spa or swim in between though so make sure you bring lots of changes for throughout the day. No one wants to put back on sweaty gym clothes! Gross!! My only complaint (literally!) was that the bath products were not my favorite so if you’re picky you may want to bring your own. Finally, it gets pretty windy down by the water so you may want to bring a light sweater.
I can’t tell you enough how much we enjoyed our stay. It was everything you would come to expect from the rumors about how fabulous Canyon Ranch hotels are!
Have you guys been to Canyon Ranch Miami? Tell us about your experience!
For more information or to make reservations visit Canyon Ranch Miami‘s website or Facebook page!
*Smartypanties received 2 complimentary nights in consideration for a review. However, we did stay for 3 more nights, which we paid for and were well worth it. As always Smartypanties only posts honest opinions.*