Features Sunshine State of Mind

Relax, Rejuvenate, Repeat

Courtesy of W South Beach

The W South Beach welcomes visitors back after its $30M renovation

It’s time to get Away — to the spa, that is. W South Beach recently reopened its Away spa after a $5 million renovation. The entire hotel, in fact, has been refreshed for guests this winter.

“Our vision when we first opened was to develop a world-class hotel that embraced the dynamic energy of Miami,” said David Edelstein, developer of W South Beach. “Since then, Miami has evolved into a cosmopolitan center with a thriving culinary scene, world-renowned architecture and leading cultural institutions. Our renovation reflects that evolution and will set the tone for a new decade where W South Beach remains a leader in luxury hospitality and continues to be recognized as one of the great hotels of the world.”

The spa itself is a 9,000-square-foot luxury wellness and beauty sanctuary that is primed with neutral colors, delicate white fabrics and fine brass finishes and includes seven treatment rooms, a serene couple’s suite, dedicated manicure/pedicure nooks, indulgent spa lounge, lush outdoor basking terrace and dedicated powder rooms with eucalyptus-infused limestone steam showers and Chanel-inspired vanities.

With all-natural imported materials, including oaks, limestones and live rich greenery throughout, the bespoke spa menu follows suit with organic rituals and detoxifying relaxation massages, body healing, and skincare treatments.

“Tell us what your perfect spa day looks like, and the Away Spa at W South Beach can create it,” said Kristen Laukaitis, Away Spa at W South Beach director. “We flipped the spa concept on its head, moving away from the dark and isolated environments often associated with spas to one filled with light and calm natural textures.”

Treatments at the updated spa include massages, facials, body treatments, on-the-go quick appointments, couples’ massages, add-on enhancements, manicures and pedicures, among other options.

To get the full picture of the spa’s offerings and the hotel’s updated experiences, we spoke with Rick Ueno, general manager of W South Beach. Here’s what he had to say about what guests can expect this winter.

TELL ME ABOUT THE RENOVATION. WHAT’S NEW?

The renovation includes a full redesign of the 408 oceanfront guest suites, the introduction of a best-in-class spa (Away) and a refreshed museum-quality art collection. Miami Beach-based Urban Robot Associates designed the new rooms as well as the hotel’s new 9,000-square-foot Away Spa.

The reimagined suites were designed as a retreat, enhancing each South Beach moment from sunrise to sundown, all while overlooking the endless Atlantic Ocean views. The design process unpacked the residential dream by marrying beach house-style millwork, natural oak, airy and plush neutral textures and a beige color palette with accents of soft corals and shaded teals, while the new room flow created an idyllic, transitional oasis where guests can go from a sleep haven to a contemporary living room set for entertaining.

WHAT KINDS OF EVENTS DOES THE HOTEL USUALLY HOST, AND WHO ATTENDS?

For over a decade, W South Beach has drawn the world’s most sophisticated travelers and has been the social center of Miami’s major cultural events, including Art Basel, South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Miami Swim Week. As the leader in the market, W South Beach has become known for celebrity guests like Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Tyler, Bono, Lizzo, Pharrell, Mark Walhberg and Tom Cruise. It’s where LeBron James celebrated after announcing that he was taking his talents to South Beach and where Drake has played on New Year’s Eve. It’s where Sports Illustrated forever changed the rules of the catwalk when model Mara Martin strutted on the runway while breastfeeding during Swim Week.

WHAT DISTINGUISHES THE AWAY SPA?

Each treatment room is devoted to nourishing the mind and body through its soothing aromas, atmospheric temperature and soft textures. Guests are given the option to curate their sound experience through the addition of an in-room Bluetooth connection, making it possible for them to stream their own playlists. Outdoors sits a sun-drenched terrace, where palm tree shadows provide a reprieve from city life. 

TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE PIECES IN THE REFRESHED ART COLLECTION. HOW WERE THE PIECES SELECTED?

W South Beach is known for its museum-quality modern art. The refreshed multi-million-dollar art collection, curated by Aby Rosen, will go with the hotel’s new look, which is expected to include four new Andy Warhol art pieces and one Jean-Michel Basquiat piece.

DESCRIBE THE IDEAL DAY FOR A GUEST.

A must is a custom spa experience. Post-spa treatment, guests can relax by the pool in one of W South Beach’s furnished plush cabanas and end the blissful day with dinner at the opulent Mr Chow. If guests are looking for a more casual dining and lounging experience, they can check out the hotel’s outdoor garden bar, Irma’s, which Urban Robot renovated in 2017 with reclaimed materials by Hurricane Irma.

WHAT KINDS OF LOCAL EXPERIENCES CAN VISITORS FIND NEARBY?

The Magic City is entering a new era, from “party central” to a cosmopolitan destination with an explosive culinary scene, stunning architecture and some of the most high-brow art museums and culture centers. And despite the pandemic, Miami is experiencing a moment of many firsts, including its very own version of NYC’s High Line with the long-awaited 10-mile linear park, The Underline.

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