In the madness that is Miami, The Palms Hotel & Spa offers an unusually tranquil vacation spot. But don’t worry, you won’t miss out on the excitement.
While South Florida is an all-inclusive label for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, rarely do Miami residents travel north, nor do property owners in Palm Beach, Broward or even Martin and St. Lucie counties head south. There are few miles between each region, but they are worlds apart in culture, aesthetics and atmospheres.
Miami Beach is known for its unrivaled nightlife, monstrous residential towers, fusion of cultures and draw for tourists. The Palms Hotel & Spa is located in its midst, yet it’s entirely secluded from the chaos.
Everything at the oceanfront resort is fresh—from orange and turquoise accent pillows on crisp white bed sheets, to locally sourced ingredients served at Essensia Restaurant + Lounge, to aromatherapy treatments at The Palms Spa-AVEDA.
My visit began with “conscious cocktails” on an airy patio lit with lanterns and cooled by leaf-shaped ceiling fans. Fresh fruit, artisanal spirits and herbs grown in the chef’s garden are muddled in each glass. The menu belongs to the Essensia Restaurant, where we dined the next night on Peruvian ceviche, signature local snapper and seared Strauss grass-fed filet mignon. The restaurant, like the resort, focuses on healthy and green, sustainable practices.
Eating is done well at The Palms, but relaxation is also on the agenda. We spent most of our visit by the heated, 24/7 swimming pool, framed by tropical plants and palms. During the day, two pet parrots loitered close to the water, swimmers ordered food and drinks from the Tiki bar, and sunbathers enjoyed the resort’s private stretch of Miami Beach.
After a day in the sun, to complete our Zen—a 50-minute deep tissue massage at AVEDA. The wait is as calming as the aromatherapy treatment in the spa’s part-indoor-part-outdoor relaxation area, complete with a fountain and steam room. Guests of just the spa even receive access to the hotel’s gardens, pool and beach area for the rest of the day after treatments.
And of course, for those who love some Miami nightlife, The Palms’ mid-beach location is ideal for accessing Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road, and Collins and Washington avenues. But for us, a bottle of wine and a beach sunset worked just fine, too.
IF YOU GO
Stay: The Palms Hotel & Spa, 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; thepalmshotel.com
Where to eat: For Sunday brunch, have the French toast bread pudding on the patio at Essensia Restaurant + Lounge.
Where to drink: Cool off at Circa 39’s Wunderbar with its rum-focused drink menu. Circa 39 Hotel, 3900 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; circa39.com/wunderbar
Where to explore: Rent a kayak or paddleboard at South Beach Kayak and venture along the bay just north of the Venetian Causeway; southbeachkayak.com