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Summer in Miami? Miami Spice and Spa Month deliver great value

Posted by Hilary Nangle  August 17, 2011 08:48 AM

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When a business trip landed me in Miami in late July, I dreaded leaving Maine's cool breezes for Miami's heat and humidity. Once there, I discovered I'd hit the lucky combo of Miami Spa Month and Miami Spice, two cool events that have me hot to return.

The Greater Miami area has countless spas. During Spa Month (which actually runs for two months, July 1 through Aug. 31), participating spas offer treatments or packages for $99, including use of the spa facilities. Those facilities can include whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, and relaxation rooms stocked with beverages and snacks. Many of the hotel-based spas also are offering lodging packages.

I took advantage of a 50-minute massage at the brand spanking new and ultra chic Elle Spa (as in the magazine) in the oceanfront Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, and a package comprising two mini treatments (25 minutes each) at the beachfront Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. An acquaintance gloated about the spa at the Conrad Miami, downtown, which is offering a half-dozen 75-minute treatments at that $99 rate. Note: Spa Month offers are subject to change throughout the promotion; tax and gratuities aren't included.

Equally enticing is Miami Spice, the city's version of Restaurant Week, except it lasts for two full months (Aug. 1 through Sept. 30). About 150 participating restaurants, including some of the top tables, offer three-course specials: lunch for $22 and dinner for $35. Many also have special offers on various nights, such as half-price or free bottles of wine or half-price Happy Hours. I was fortunate to catch the kick-off event, and also to enjoy lunch at BLT Steak at The Betsy boutique hotel on South Beach, which began offering its Miami Spice menus in late July.

And that heat and humidity? Honestly, the heat wave New England experienced in July was worse, and at least in Miami, everything is air-conditioned!

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