By Lisa Loverro
The Palms Hotel & Spa, tucked away on a stretch of beach just north of Miami's famed South Beach strip, is a true tropical paradise, offering a touch of class and a bit of respite from its trendy neighbor to the south. While offering the perfect escape from Miami's fast-paced scene, the more residential area where the hotel is located is a short 10-minute cab away from the party scene on Ocean Drive, should you decide to dance the night away.
Surrounded by palm trees (hence the name), this 12-story, 251-room hotel is colonial-inspired in architecture and exudes a feeling of tropical splendor—something most of the hotels to its south don't offer. The property's pathways lead to many gardens (including a chef's organic garden) and the beach has a private entrance. Inspired by nature, the resort uses natural products whenever possible, from their spa treatments to their farm-to-table dining.
Its bright, sun-soaked lobby is filled with white columns, ceiling fans, and glowing palm silhouette designs. The pool deck—a true oasis—is covered in orange-cushioned loungers, turquoise umbrellas, and a man-made sandy shore, complete with tiki bar, with even more chairs, hammocks, and umbrellas for all-day lounging. The stretch of beach designated for its guests carries through with its blue umbrella theme, along with offering a volleyball court, chaise chairs, and full food/drink service. Should you choose to work off that food/drink service, the large, full-service gym features updated equipment, flat-screen TVs, towels, and sea-porthole windows.
The hotel's restaurant, Essensia, embodies the simplicity and elegance of natural gourmet dining, and is a member of Slow Food Miami. Essensia focuses on "the pure essence of taste," with a genuine passion for providing an opportunity to slow down and indulge in a dining experience carefully crafted for the mind, body, and soul.
Essensia features worldly fare, with some ingredients sourced from the chef's on-site garden, and presented in a vibrant and sophisticated style. With a long track record of creating exceptional green and organic dishes, the menus also include a nutritious kids menu.
Finally, the hotel's Aveda lifestyle spa, a favorite in the area, is large, peaceful facility measuring 5,000-square feet, featuring holistic treatments, five treatment rooms, and rituals carefully created to deliver a highly personalized experience to pamper and relax, with natural and botanically-derived Aveda products.
Although the Palms Hotel and Spa is just slightly north of South Beach's hustle and bustle, its quiet and serenity seems a world away.
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