As, I have mentioned before, one of the best parts of doing the annual Spa Edition (this is year #8) is the relationships I, and my staff have formed with the local spa owners. Every year I look forward to seeing them and spending some quality time with them and their staff. In addition, I get to meet new people as new spas come on board every year. What I have definitely learned from the spa owners and their staff is if you take care of your body on a regular basis it will take care of you and make you look and feel younger for many years!

The Atlantic Hotel & Spa (601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd- Fort Lauderdale) (954)567-8085 – Atlantichotelfl.com

You can really drift into a state of euphoria at this Oceanside sanctuary. The Spa Atlantic services use nourishing elements derived from the sea, including concentrated marine products, which allow them to focus on improving skin quality and optimizing overall well-being. They offer rejuvenating European-inspired thermal areas for both men and women – including a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy tub – to cleanse before and after your service(s).

The spa is located on the 5th floor of the beautiful Atlantic hotel. I was greeted by the spa GM, Robyn, who was so nice and explained the procedures I was going to receive. She then walked me to the men’s Locker room, where I changed into a lush robe. Mariella met me and took me to the room where my 2 services were going to be performed. She started with the Detox Clay Wrap 50 min ($140). This full body wrap features a bentonite clay based body mask for deep tissue cleansing. After the application of the clay mask, the body is gently wrapped in warm sheets. As my body absorbed the healing benefits of the mask, Mariella pampered me with a pressure point scalp massage. The service concluded with the application of their nourishing skin enhancer, leaving the skin deeply hydrated. This service is performed using the Jindilli brand of products, which is made with pure macadamia nut oil.

The Detox Clay wrap was followed by a relaxing 25minute reflexology foot treatment ($50) to enhance circulation. The treatment alleviates stress and aides in healthy kidney, liver and bladder functions. Mariella reached all the pressure points and by the end of this service my feet felt fabulous. The rest of the day I felt like I was walking on air.

The Grand Resort and Spa (539 N. Birch Road – Fort Lauderdale) – 954-630-3692GrandResort.net

For those of you read the Spa Issue yearly, you know how much I love Paula,  last year I was generous and let a co-worker experience Paula’s magical hands, but this year I wasn’t as generous, and kept Paula all to myself.  However I did let a co-worker, Anthony, experience JD’s massage.

Anthony received a Deep Tissue Massage – 50 min ($125) – which focuses on specific problem areas to relieve tension, spasms and overall tightness. Pressure is medium to deep, although Anthony requested Deep and he said JD had the perfect touch. .

According to Anthony, JD welcomed him and offered cucumber lemon water and walked him back in to one of the treatment rooms. He said that relaxing spa music and aromatic oils filled the room, and Anthony was well on his way to being relaxed.

JD first asked Anthony if he had any problem areas, and began his full body massage. Anthony said a hot towel placed under his neck was very soothing. The massage included toes, temples and butt cheeks. He also stretched Anthony’s arms and neck. He was completely relaxed once the massage was completed.

It was now my time with Paula’s, and experience her wonderful Deep Cleansing Facial – 80 min, ($145). The facial started with a double cleanse which was followed by a microdermabrasion treatment which is a mechanical deep exfoliation with a diamond tip wand. Afterwards Paula massaged my face with her magical fingers using stress relief oil. This is followed by an oatmeal mask, and then a contour mask is applied on top of the oatmeal mask. This is to tighten and calm the skin down. While the masks are setting Paula does a hot stone massage to the arms and neck. Once the masks are removed, she applies moisturizer and sunscreen.

Every time I get a massage from Paula its amazing, and I highly recommend this Colombian beauty!

Omm Spa at Ocean Manor Resort (4040 Galt Ocean Dr l3) – (954) 635-2151 – oceanmanor.com

I sent Silvio to this Spa, and as soon as walks in he is greeted by receptionist who says “Hello you must be Silvio.” She then began to review his services. He was booked for a Deep Pore Cleansing Facial $159 for 60 minutes, Sports Massage $90 for 60 minutes and a Combo Mani Pedi for $40.

Holly then offered Silvio a beverage and then introduces him to the skin care specialist Amalfi who is a licensed esthetician. She’s been with Omm Spa for 7 years and gently escorts me back to the facial and skin care center. Her first step is to get Silvio to relax, and she does this by explaining that every face is like a fingerprint, unique and no two are alike. 

She identifies that his forehead is drier than the rest of his face and will require different serums and treatment to bring it back to its natural state. The facial begins with a simple cleansing followed by a deep cleansing of his pores getting them to open up so the dirt and debris and dead skin can be removed. She’s stripped away the dead skin with a microdermabrasion tool that seems as powerful as a drill. Afterwards she replenishes his skin with extracts and vital nutrients which range from collagen, to pumpkin and other natural derivatives. This was Silvio’s first ever professional facial so he was impressed by the step by step process and science behind the skin rejuvenation. 

After the unveiling I feel like a new man with skin and a face a fresh as a new born baby’s bottom. I am sold 100% and can’t wait to book my next facial with Amalfi. I can not thank her enough.

Directly next door to the Facial Room is the Massage Room, where he was introduced to masseuse Caroline.  She immediately asks about his previous experience with massage techniques and what preferences he has. She said she will knead and work his muscle tissue to the point to where it will release the tension and break up scar tissue as well.

Silvio lies on the massage table face up as she begins the massage, and she begins stretching his frontal muscles carefully. Each individual limb is passively kneaded and its feeling very organic and his entire body feels connected to the universe. As she applies light oils Silvio is acutely aware of how in touch he is with his breathing. She then repeats the process on his back, legs and feet. Their session ends with Silvio in a state of unconditional relaxation.

He is then introduced to Gina for a Mani Pedi Combo. First off she has Silvio recline in a super sleek state of the art massage chair that adjusts to various stages, while dipping my feet into the wash basin below.

She goes on to apply softening agents that aid in the process, then files the toenails and the gives Silvio instructions on the proper angles should he attempt to do this at home. Once filed to the degree that she is satisfied his foot goes back into the bath and another lotion is applied to keep the skin and nails pliable and easy to work with.

Moving to the manicure table she gently applies a lotion to begin the soaking process. She always shows him the angles and intensity necessary to do the best without causing unwanted damage to the fingernails. She explains that cutting too close cause’s pain for days.

Once the filing is completed she goes back to apply a clear coat to my toenails that is barely visible and only meant as a protective coat. They then go back to the table and apply a coat to my fingernails.

Urban Retreat Spa (4450 NE 20th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale) – 954-249-9176 – Facialsfortlauderdale.com

Frank Velaz, who is the owner of Urban Retreat Spa, and I have known each other for many years. He opened Urban Retreat and Spa in 2006 and the business has steadily grown. His therapists each have at least 10 years’ experience in the industry.

Urban Retreat offers a Free Skin Analysis to properly design a custom plan of professional treatments and home skin regimens, with reality based prices.

This year, I sent Brian, our Business manager, to Urban and Frank determined his skin was inflamed, highly sensitive and slightly reactive. It was also dehydrated to the point it was over producing oils/sebum to try and compensate.  Therefore, the facial Frank decided to give Brian was a hybrid of their two most popular facial treatments (the Image O2 Lift and the Skin Sense Hydrating Facial – 60 min $85).

He gently used an enzyme-rich gel that removed a layer of dead skin, followed by an effervescent masque on most of his face and an anti-redness/calming cream masque on the areas where Brian struggled with inflammation and sensitivity. After Frank applied: the Skin Sense pH Balancing spray Toner, Skin Sense Pure Hyaluronic Serum, Skin Sense Vitamin C & E Booster Serum. Then he used Image Skincare Ormedic Lip Complex which instantly adds moisture and fullness, an Image Ormedic Eye Cream that went on the lids also. Finished with the Image Prevention+ Moisturizer Tinted SPF 30.  In the end Brian looked super hydrated and glowing. 

Spa Q at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach (505 N. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale) – 954) 414-2617 – FortLauderdaleBeachResort.com.hilton

When I arrived at the beautiful Fort Lauderdale Hilton, you pull right up to valet which is complimentary if you are using the spa. I then walked into the hotel’s beautiful lobby and took the elevator up to the 6th floor. I was greeted by the Spa’s new GM Marianna Magapan, who was so sweet and delightful it made my morning. The Spa desk is also in the Gym, which is complimentary for hotel guests and anyone using the spa.

I was then walked back into the treatment area and introduced to my masseuse, Leon. Leon, who was very soft spoken has been with the Spa since virtually the day they opened over 10 years ago. He walked me to the men’s locker room, showed me the lockers, steam room, showers, etc and told me to come out when I was ready.

After a small consultation, Leon decided to change the massage I was originally scheduled for and give me a custom massage (50 min $155) that combined Deep Tissue and Hot Stone Therapy. He was immediately able to tell that I worked at a desk and that my problem areas are my neck/shoulders and lower back. In addition to his talented hands, Leon used a combination of Hot towels and Hot stones that I had never experienced before (I have been doing the Spa reviews for 8 years, so for me to say I have never experienced something is a big deal!).

Needless to say, this was one of the best massages I had ever had and trust I will be back to Spa Q!

Spa Cabanas Guesthouse and Spa (2133 NE 26th Street, Fort Lauderdale) – 954-565-2307

Norman Lachance, owner of Spa Cabanas, is feeling better than ever before. Having reached the milestone of 10 years in business, Spa Cabanas is now considered to be among the best men’s day spas in south Florida. With his experience owning spas in Canada and Germany, Norman has created a culture of excellence in spa treatments and customer service. Norman made the choice to go to Pavonia and Decleor from Paris for skincare, and he also pursued studies (earning a certification) from Dr. Babor of Germany. After 10 years he still insists that the spa’s success is due to his loyal local residents, his talented team and the ever growing community of travelers. 

Once again, Norman had decided he wanted us to experience multiple services, and I brought the owner of Hotspots Media, Peter Clark, along with me to get pampered. Peter was with Mario Martinez, a licensed massage therapist, who performed the extraordinary Bamboo Massage (90 minutes $145) for this year’s bodywork treatment. This fresh and natural approach combines Swedish and Deep Tissue massage strokes with beautifully crafted sets of warmed aroma oil-soaked Bamboo tools to roll, slide, knead and tap you into a deep state of relaxation. This Bamboo Massage is done with hollow organically treated Bamboo Canes of different lengths and diameters, which is warmed or used at room temperature. This is used to roll and knead the tissue to create an extreme sensation of relaxation and well-being. Peter said Mario was clearly an expert at the Bamboo Massage and that he felt so relaxed all day long!

Before I was re-introduced to my Aesthetician Brett, I was talking to my new friend Christian Perez, who was recently promoted to the Spa Manager. Christian is a licensed massage therapist, who relocated to south Florida and began working at Spa Cabanas while volunteering for the American Massage Therapy Association in the fall of 2017. Christian is a graduate of both Goldey Beacom College (bachelor degree) and the Academy of Massage and Bodywork in Wilmington, DE. Although he is best known for his unique approach to deep tissue massage, he is very excited about his new job as the spa manager and is thankful to have inherited a talented team of aestheticians and massage therapists. His vision for Spa Cabanas is to continue to be the best men’s day spa in south Florida by providing the highest level of customer service, by upholding the highest standard of professionalism and by evolving as individuals and as a company. In Christian’s opinion, Spa Cabanas will become a one-stop shop for state of the art treatments that enhance the health and wellbeing of men across the world.

Shortly afterwards, Brett McAnlly, esthetician, arrived and walked me into the treatment room. Brett received his license from the Hollywood Institute of Beauty. The facial treatment he provided is the newest innovation at Spa Cabanas called the 3 Layer Facial (60 min $159). We began with a deep cleanse and exfoliation including extractions, which are the basis of any good facial. He then performed the painless micro-needling treatment, pumping serums directly into areas of primary focus such as scars, wrinkles and even the delicate skin around the eyelids. Lastly, after the skin was treated, he finished by applying an oatmeal hydrating mask while massaging the face. There is virtually no down time!

Brett then performed their popular Back Facial Treatment (60 minutes $85).  The back facial is performed by cleansing and exfoliating using microdermabrasion. Afterwards, he examined the back and communicates any irregularities on the skin (I was so happy to hear I have good skin on my back). The treatment is great for people who spend a lot of time in the sun, have dry skin or suffer from excess blackheads. The back facial ended with a complete mask that calms, hydrates and moisturizes the skin.

The Spa Cabanas always features specials; check their ad right here in Hotspots to find out what they are. For the month of September, they have many specials as they are continuing the celebration of their 10th anniversary (from August) due to popular demand! The specials are: Three 90 minute massages $245 (reg: $375); All waxing 20% off; Babor Facial only $89 (reg: $129); Exfoliation $64 (reg: $85); Five 60 min massages $259 (reg: $457); A facial and a massage $149 (reg: $229); Three Mani-Pedi packages $135 (reg: $195). Take advantage of buying any or all of these specials until the end of September.