|Eden Roc, A Renaissance Resort and Spa in Miami Beach, Florida|
Eden Roc Spa
Eden Roc Spa describes itself as a "fitness spa." The vast majority of its 50,000 square feet are dedicated to fitness areas - cardiovascular theater with True treadmills, Precor ellipticals, Stairmaster climbers, personal audio/visual system for music and TV and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean; weight complex with Free Motion, Atlantis and Cybex equipment; spinning room, various studios and the sports complex with racquetball/squash courts and a 28 foot high indoor rock climbing wall. According to Spa Director, Tim Williams, there are over 1200 local members who, along with hotel guests, enjoy a wide selection of group exercise classes. Offered seven days a week, these classes include: Urban Cycling, FitTrek, Ultimate Step, H2O in the upper pool, Pump Roc, Yoga, Fit-n-Functional, Latin Groove, Abs Express, Body Pump, Power Yoga, Revs & Reps, I=mx (Pilates), RevZen, Stretch & Flex, Cardio Box, Yoga-by-the-Sea, Step Interval, Flow Yoga, Cardio Dance Party, Legs/Buns/Abs, Awesome Aquatics, E-Z-Does-It Yoga, Piloga and Step & Pump. Personal training, fitness assessments and body fat testing are also offered.
I had my first spinning class at Eden Roc. Keith Skowron led the RevZen class through a stationary bike ride using visualization, varying the difficulty by telling us when to adjust the "gears" and when to stand and pedal and when to sit and pedal. While each rider had total control of how fast they pedaled and how much resistance they used, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I kept up with Keith's instructions. That was the Rev portion of the class. When it was over, the we all got off our bikes and got on the mats in front of the bikes for the Zen portion - Yoga. Keith led us through a series of stretches and yoga postures that nicely complemented the cardio workout.
I also had an opportunity to enjoy the the Spa with a Lavender Waves treatment. I checked in at the reception desk and was escorted to the Women's Locker Room. I had time to change into my robe and use the steam and sauna, but I chose to relax in the waiting room. At the appointed time, my therapist, Lisa escorted me to a treatment room. The Lavender Waves started with a massage with lavender oil which was very good - relaxing, yet therapeutic. This was followed by a Bath Bloomers lavender salt scrub to exfoliate. I was then instructed to go into the shower and rinse off just until the salt was gone. I returned to the room and Lisa massaged two cremes on me - a lavender hydrating creme and a lavender moisturizing creme. My skin was soft, moist and shiny. The therapist and the products used in the treatment were terrific! The not-so-terrific part was due to the configuration of the spa. The spa's five massage and body treatment rooms are located between the men's and women's locker rooms which allows the rooms to be accessed from either side. Each treatment room has two louvered doors, one opening to the men's side and the other to the women's side. The entire time I was having my treatment, there were a number of very talkative, rather loud men in the men's locker room. With the louvered doors, they sounded like they were in the treatment room with me. There was music playing in the treatment room, but soft spa music didn't have a chance of covering up their conversation. I tried to focus on my breath and meditate during the treatment, but most of the time, I just wished the men would be quiet or leave. That is one of the disadvantages of having one locker room for both fitness and the spa. People are using the facility for totally different purposes - one to get fired up, one to get relaxed. It's hard to meet both needs in one space.
The good news is, according to Spa Director Tim Williams, there are plans to extensively renovate the 10-year-old spa in about 2 years. While the plans are in their infancy, Tim says he hopes to integrate the salon services into the spa and make it more of a destination spa. Currently, the Salon is a separate facility that offers hair care, skin care services, waxing, make-up and nail services. The new spa will have at least 10 treatment rooms including a wet room, couples room and a larger relaxation area. Tim says the spa is now too small for the demand and highly recommends scheduling services well in advance - especially on weekends. He believes the decor will be in style of rest of the recently renovated hotel. In the mean time, solid doors on the treatment rooms and the use of white noise machines would go a long way in blocking out the locker room noises.
The Spa of Eden offers an extensive list of services including: massage (lavender aromatherapy, deep tissue, Swedish, in-room, beach - on the beach, by the pool or in one of 9 outdoor cabanas); specialty services (Thai/Nuad B-Rarn, neuromuscular massage, prenatal massage, reflexology, shiatsu, chair massage, reiki, aquasage, La Stone Therapy); and body treatments (honey almond masque, chamomile body polish, aromatic salt glow, Dead Sea mud body & scalp therapy, firming gel body treatment, thermal seaweed body treatment, thermal back therapy). The spa offers a number of day packages combining these treatments. The Personal Journeys packages are themed using various fragrances and Bath Bloomers products including: English Herbal Garden, Adventures of Early America, Eastern Expeditions and the Grecian Getaway. Other combinations are available. Eden Roc also offer offers a number of overnight spa packages and a Family Fitness Camp package.
FYI: A 18% gratuity is automatically added to spa and salon treatment prices. Package prices are inclusive.
The Hotel and Resort
The 14-story Eden Roc resort located on 600 feet of white sand beach was originally designed and built in 1956. Recent renovations include $17 million on the pool area, meeting rooms, and the fine dining and casual dining restaurants. Three years ago, $24 million was spent on the ballrooms, lobby and the 349 guest rooms and suites. Renovations included replacing the glass doors and windows with environmentally safe "turtle glass" so that the hotel's bright lights will not disturb the sensitive mating habits of the sea turtles at night.
Each guest room offers ocean and/or bay views, direct dial telephones with voice mail, dataport, remote cable TV, in-room coffee makers, mini bars, AM/FM clock ratio, hair dryers and safes.
There are two heated swimming pools - an oval rooftop pool and the main rectangular pool, two oceanfront Jacuzzis, Harry's Grille, Harry's American Bar in the lobby, and Aquatica Beach Bar and Grill (dine inside or on the 3,000 square-foot deck overlooking the ocean).
Complementary for all hotel guests is use of the cardio and weight equipment, pool chairs and beach and pool towel service. Available to rent are beach chairs, beach umbrellas, beach cabanas and kids camp. At the time of my visit, Eden Roc offered a Resort Package for $12/day per room that included beach chairs, local phone calls and spa admission with access to all fitness, yoga and spinning classes.
A variety of water sports is available including Wave Runners, kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats, aqua bikes, and parasail rides. SCUBA instruction, including a beginner's certification course, is also available. A private marina is available to accommodate 18 yachts of up to 112 feet.
One of the features I enjoyed most about my stay was walking on the 25-block, 1 3/4 miles-long boardwalk which runs from 22nd Street to 47th Street and directly in front of Eden Roc.
Photos copyright 2003, Julie
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Photos copyright 2003,
Licensed to About.com