Like most people, my husband and I cherish the time we get to spend on vacations with our families. We want to make the most out of the time we get together, so we always put a lot of work into planning and preparing for our trips, and always end up needing a vacation from our vacation afterward (can anyone else relate!?). When we looked at the calendar and realized we had an open 4 nights on the calendar without children- we jumped at the chance to take a stress-free getaway for just the two of us.
Welcome To Miami
We were in search of a location with a beach, a culinary scene, and a quick direct flight. We also wanted to keep some focus on health and fitness, so we were interested in trying out a wellness resort, but nothing too intense– no colonics, fasts, or special “almond only” diets. After much research online, my husband found the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. I know what you are thinking: Being in Miami isn’t relaxing enough? No, it’s typically not due to all the high level of socializing that goes on there. However, the Carillon had an onsite spa, fitness center overlooking the beach, daily group fitness classes, healthy on-site food options, a saltwater adults-only pool, and an overall focus on healthy living -it was calling our names. Also, it was in Mid-beach, 2 miles from South Beach where we could still access all the wonderful food and culture Miami has to offer without being on the scene 24/7.
Spa & Wellness Center
When we checked in, the concierge encouraged us to speak with a wellness professional about all the spa and touchless services they had to offer. I have never experienced such an extensive list of wellness treatments! The spa services came complete with thermal hydrotherapy services, and not just your average sauna but crystal steam rooms and igloos to improve circulation and to reenergize. They also offered holistic services such as acupuncture and energy healing in addition to touchless wellness service packages. My husband was nursing a recent intercostal muscle strain, so they encouraged him to try a customized touchless circuit for muscle recovery, ideal for athletes dealing with pain and inflammation. I was planning to just stick with my go-to deep tissue massage and facial, but it rained most of the time we were there, so I decided to try some of the touchless therapy options as well. The circuit I customized included a deep tissue massage and a mix of muscle recovery and stress relief touchless services. Truly such impressive offerings.
The Prism Light Pod
This was by far my favorite machine, maybe because of the nostalgia of an old tanning bed, but seriously, it was relaxing and was exactly what I was looking for. The 15 min pod session is a red light therapy that speeds the regeneration of healthy body cells and produces collagen through the absorption of the skin. The pod has 6 settings to choose from: anti-aging, weight loss, sports recovery, chronic pain, joint pain, and injury healing. I wanted to choose them all, but unfortunately, you can only choose one benefit per session. Which, obviously, just meant I had to do it more than once.
Halotherapy & Infrared Sauna
My husband and I love the infrared sauna at Pure Sweat in Nashville, so we were excited to try the combination of halotherapy. It was your typical infrared sauna which has many benefits such as removing toxins and relieving inflammation but integrated salt through the airways to support respiratory health, skin condition, lung function, and stress reduction. Sign me up every day for this!
V.E.M.I. (Vibroacoustic Electro-Magnetic and Infrared Therapy)
This was the most unique therapy we experienced. My husband and I entered a very sterile white room where we relaxed on beds in front of a hypnotic-like screen for about 15 mins. The VEMI beds look like some sort of futuristic recliners and produce healing sound resonance in combination with full-body vibrations at natural earth frequencies. The VEMI grounds the body and reduces the effects of electro-smog radiation that comes from the use of our everyday electronic devices. While it’s hard to immediately feel the benefits of this therapy, it certainly was a calming and relaxing experience, which we both enjoyed.
I read every day about the importance of meditation and my husband, after years of mocking it, is now into it like he’s some sort of shaman. I tend to deal with my stresses with a glass of red wine, but apparently, that’s not always the best solution. As a busy working mom, I have a hard time shutting off my mind from everyday priorities and relaxing. However, the somadome pod, with the sound and energy therapies, forced me to forget about external stressors and into a deep, 20-minute mind mediation. It was very freeing and relaxing and something I’m going to try to integrate into my life more often now. Ommmmm.
The resort had a state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking the beach with every workout machine you could ask for plus a massive rock-climbing wall. They also held daily fitness group classes with experienced teachers including boot camp, boxing, biking, barre, and yoga to name a few. They put out a fitness schedule a few weeks in advance so you can customize your workout plan for the week or even schedule private sessions with fitness pros. We really enjoyed the morning boot camp classes on the beach, that way we could enjoy the rest of the day in the spa or relaxing at the beach.
Our Go-To Miami Restaurants
This restaurant on the property offered an array of healthy options sourced from local farm ingredients including salmon poke bowls, salads, fish wraps, and wellness bowls. We ate lunch on the property a few times and it never disappointed. We did venture out to South Beach for dinners every night and had some great experiences as well.
Stiltsville Fish Bar
If you are looking for a casual night out with quality seafood and a fun vibe, you should check out this Key West-inspired bar in the heart of Sunset Harbor. The oysters and specialty drinks were fabulous and the neighborhood as well.
Wow, this Mediterranean & Asian-inspired restaurant and rooftop lounge has it all – food, ambiance, experience. The food is sharable and everything we had was outstanding from the wagyu gyoza to the flamed branzino at your table. As you eat fire artists are performing to ethnic music which enhances the experience to another level.
Habitat in the 1 Hotel
The last time I was in Miami, we stayed at the 1 Hotel and fell in love with it. The hotel is gorgeous, and we love their restaurants because of the fresh healthy ingredients. Habitat is a modern-day Mexican restaurant in the hotel, and the venue has live music from classic rock/cover songs to Latin vibes Thursday-Sunday. I would recommend checking out the entire hotel and their rooftop sushi restaurant, Watr.
Overall, this was a great vacation for me and my husband. Our days were full but not jam-packed. We experienced new things, relaxed, had fun, and enjoyed some stress-free time together. Most importantly, we came home feeling rejuvenated and recharged. While we’re always going to enjoy our regular family vacations packed with food, fun, and festivities, we’re definitely planning on trying out another wellness resort like the Carillon again soon.