Miami Beach Refresh

Who among us doesn’t harbor somewhat of a postcard image of the Miami Beach good life?

You know, the beautiful people, year-round sunshine and endless beaches—all wrapped up in an “I want to be there doing that” allure.

Miami Beach, at its heart, is known for its glitzy hotels and jet-set nightlife, but nestled among those is one magnificent gem of a place that is more about respite and wellness than dancing into the night. The Palms Hotel & Spa—a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts—is all about luxury, to be sure, but it is luxury with a conscience. The hotel has adopted an “Inspired by Nature” program whereby every aspect of the property and staff adhere to a culture of sustainability and environmental friendliness, winning the hotel numerous awards, including a coveted Green Key rating in 2013.

Originally opening in 1939 as the Sea Isle Hotel and undergoing a couple of renovations over the decades, The Palms Hotel & Spa (so named in 2010) still bears subtle touches of the golden era of Art Deco. The lobby, with its massive columns and open-air atmosphere, feels like a throwback to the 30s. Palm trees and drowsy wicker-and-rattan fans put you into an imaginary Old Havana movie set. Guestrooms are spaciously modern with huge windows providing beautiful city, garden or ocean views.

Essensia, the hotel’s restaurant, leads the charge in Miami Beach with its farm-to-table philosophy and is one of the very few hotels with an on-site organic garden. The garden produces herbs and seasonal produce that are picked fresh daily and used in recipes and in signature cocktails, too.

For her seasonal menus, Chef Julie Frans expertly fuses South Florida’s cultural influences and fresh, abundant ingredients. She is well known to the regional farmers and food artisans as a champion of fresh local vegetables and fruit sourcing and light-handed, healthful preparation. In keeping with the hotel’s pledge to sustainability, seafood comes from a regenerative source, fish is line-caught, meats and poultry are grass-fed and natural (organic where possible) and even the wine list is 100% organic or biodynamic.

For some delicious fun, dive into one of the signature cocktails listed on the “Garden-to-Glass” menu at the tropical indoor, outdoor Essensia Lounge. Bartenders can certainly put an artful twist on classic favorites, too, but why not go a little off-the-grid? Life is an adventure, after all.All this healthy eating commands a visit to The Palms Spa—an Aveda luxury spa influenced by “the greater web of life and with nature” and lead with ancient Ayurvedic holistic philosophies, aromatherapy and healing touch. Signature treatments include an invigorating HydroCapsule with a Vichy shower and steam that follows a Dead Sea salt scrub down (note: do this before sunbathing!) followed by a personalized Elemental Nature Massage to re-set your internal balance. Aveda products, exclusively used in the Spa and also as guestroom amenities, are 90% organic.

For a sampling of the best this resort has to offer, check out the Palms & Paradise package,  which includes 2-night accommodations for two, choice of Tiki Cabana or Beach Cabanita rental for two days, discounts on Tiki Bar food and beverage, and $50 spa credit.