Magazines haven’t got into lifestyle branding in the UK in quite the same way that they have in the US, but I think it’s clear that the writing is on the wall: as print advertising revenues falter, the big publishing houses on both sides of the Atlantic are looking for ways to diversify. And that means using the brand names they own in sometimes unexpected ways.
Personally, I think I would be less likely to choose a spa if it was branded by a magazine, but the 22,000 sq ft ELLE Spa at the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel on Miami Beach confounded my expectations by being more ELLE Deco than ELLE mag, and was possibly the chic-est hotel spa I’ve visited. If I hadn’t been due on stage to speak at a conference in the hotel, I would have happily hung out after my massage in the lovely, calm relaxation areas, sipping cucumber water and examining my navel.
Next time I am in Miami, I wouldn’t think twice about booking in here for a day. The hotel is an easy cab ride – about a ten minute drive north – from South Beach, just up past the Soho Beach House and the massive bulk of the Fontainebleau in Mid Beach.
The Spend the Day package is $50, and for Eden Roc Resort Guests it’s $25, but it’s fully refundable against any spa treatments. It includes access to the very nice Oceanfront Fitness Center, the private sun terrace, steam room, sauna, sensory pools and showers, and all scheduled fitness classes (Yoga, Pilates & Spinning).
My massage was really exceptionally good, and the treatment rooms are large, well-appointed and a perfect temperature.
That it is such an engaging and pleasant environment is surprising, as I found the hotel outside of the spa pretty off-putting: although the Eden Roc’s justly famous Art Deco architecture is glorious, the hotel’s echoing, cavernous spaces are filled with yapping conference people (of whom I was one), never conducive to a relaxing atmosphere.
It is not a place in which I would like to spend any vacation time whatsoever: it desperately wants to be chic, but the clientele just isn’t. It doesn’t help either that the towering height of the hotel’s newer accommodation wing cast a long cold shadow over the main pool, that my room in the tower block, although large, was depressingly sterile and characterless, that the front desk service over the entire duration of my stay was possibly the worst that I have ever experienced worldwide, and that I drove all the way to Miami Airport only to discover that they had forgotten to arrange for my luggage to be placed in my car upon checking out.
That being said I have nothing but praise for the exemplary hotel manager who helped with my luggage issues afterwards, the charming breakfast busboys, and the fab beach cabanas where we spent a sybaritic morning.
I was at The Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel, Miami Beach as a guest of a corporate client when speaking at a conference, and my spa services were picked up by the client.