I’m going to say it right here: I’m a spa aficionado. From my very first experience as a teenager getting a facial with my mother to sampling the intricacies of resort spas in Jamaica, to exploring the subtleties of heat and steam at the Russian & Turkish Baths on Miami Beach, I’ve done it all. Hot rock therapy, coffee scrubs, chocolate wraps, organic facials. My spa resume is a litany of self-care rituals that have spanned thirty years. A necessary punctuation to a hectic work schedule and a fleeting release from chronic pain.
Now, at last, on my spa journey, I’ve reached the mountain top. The 42,000 square-foot spa at Eau Palm Beach is the quintessence of everything a spa should be. There are absolutely no corners cut here. Every detail is carefully considered and immaculately executed.
Setting a tealight candle in the bronze wishing well in the circular vestibule prepares your mind for the experience ahead; a quiet reminder to leave your stresses at the door. After donning my plush spa robe and ergonomically fitted spa slippers, I was ushered into an exquisite lounge, airy with whispery curtains, and giving a peek into the Self-Centered Garden, scattered with cabanas, swinging chairs and water features.
My husband gifted me a Pause package, which started with a 90-minute aromatherapy hot-stone massage. I was wonderfully surprised by an experience that catered to all five senses, not just touch. I was able to choose the hue of lighting in the room, the spa soundtrack (subtle sounds of piano for me), the scent blend for my aromatherapy oils, and then taste: a straw filled with sweet local honey – the perfect kick-off as I prepared to have the rest of my senses indulged. After my massage, my therapist gently guided me over to the float bed. I’ve never before been on a float bed, and I’m almost hesitant to describe it. The discovery itself is part of the delight. As someone who carries a lot of tension in her body from long hours at a computer, the initial sensation of release and ensuing cocooned weightlessness is simply indescribable. My package ended with a trip to the DIY scrub & polish bar where a mixologist expertly blended my scrub with a combination of salt, eucalyptus, citrus and, at my request, sand! I was invited to test it at the sink, and I did not find it wanting.
My spa day was by no means over, however. I sauntered over to the Finnish sauna and inhaled the curative scent of cedar as the heat continued its work on my muscles. Next up was a dip in the Jacuzzi, letting my limbs float languorously atop the bubbles and taking time to duck under the rain shower pattering lightly from the ceiling. Bliss. I spread my towel to pause and rest on the heated (indeed, no detail is too small) lounge chairs, and then made my way over to the blue-mosaic tiled steam room. Then a trip to the garden, reposing like a jewel in the center of the spa. With my glass of champagne handy, I stretched out on a chaise lounge draped with striped cabana towels and allowed the sun and breeze to kiss my skin. I closed my eyes and listened to songbirds trilling among the trees and the tinkle of running water. Decadence. Delight. I returned inside and once more savored the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Truly, once can do this all day.
I tore myself away, finally, to pick up my daughter. But as I drove down A1A with windows down and moon roof open to the sun, I sighed, refreshed, and like General MacArthur whispered ,“I shall return.”