Tierra Santa Healing House Faena Hotel Miami

The glamorous Faena Hotel in Miami has been blessed with several auspicious awards since my visit: the prestigious Forbes Five Star Award and the recent Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Award.  As previously posted, this property is a dazzler in every sense of the word. To reach the secluded spa treatment room, it is necessary to pass through the stylish wildly colorful and tastefully curated Tierra Santa boutique. Brimming with handcrafted treasures and South American inspired hats, purses, jewelry and clothing by Carolina K.https://i0.wp.com/www.faena.com/miami-beach/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/08/Faena_hotel2_Spa-Waiting-Area-640x640.jpg?resize=584%2C584

Mingling the Latino and Miami vibe, the brilliant tones continue in the reception lounge; accented by retro-style furniture, a vividlyhued striped rug energizes the sunny boutique, hovering above, an immense chandelier comprised of multicolored fishing lures. Locally based Argentinian fashion designer Carolina Kleinman designed colorful poofy ottomans covered in intricately embroidered textiles.

Carolina Kleinman also designed the spa’s staff attire and she has curated the small adjoining boutique, which is stockedwith her Carolina K line of boho Mexican and Peruvian-inspired smocks and caftans. Stock up, it will save you a trip to a foreign country, chic, fun and sexy attire! I filled a bag and have received numerous compliments on my distinctive purchases.

The Tierra Santa Healing House is a striking 22,000-square-foot refuge that features one of the largest hammams in the U.S. Designed hand in hand with shaman-developed body-healing rituals and treatments, the spa instructors guide you on the interior journey.

The immersive experience offers an introduction to South American healing culture and massage art. Time-honored healing rituals are combined with magical ingredients ethically sourced from the South. Each treatment is an opportunity to transform your life and improve your health through the therapeutic power of touch, sound, color, taste and scent.

Tierra Santa” translates as “holy ground” and I would recommend meeting their spa guides, to lead you step by step through the spa. Begin the ritual by shaving slivers of soap from the massive block. The fragrance of the clay-colored soap was hand selected by Alan’s wife, Ximena, a soothing combination of lavender, chamomile, white fir and cardamom. Create your own “do it yourself” ritual. Lather up with a choice of muds, scrubs, butters and oils available at reception. Choose from one of each category to create your own Tierra Santa experience with these unique South American healing ingredients. Purifying Scrubs: maca and guarana or palo santo and buriti. Healing Clays: Amazon white clay or Rainforest bio green. Nourishing Oils and Butters: sandalwood oil or murumuru butter.

I padded slowly to the ‘wet spa’ – a small curved room where you enjoy bathing rituals; seated in one of two small alcoves built into the wall – begin with the icy snow mound, dribbling it across your skin. Ice stimulates your blood flow. Chilled and calm, continue through the eerily quiet spa to the tepiadirum. Unique to Tierra Santa is the private Hammam Purification body treatment. Begin your journey with a personalized cleansing ritual on a warm marble slab, where your therapist will purify the body with a scrub of guarana and maca, followed by therapeutic Amazonian white clay or Rainforest bio green mud to nourish and soothe. Take time to relax while gently inhaling the soothing steam, and then conclude the ritual with a beautiful full-body massage using precious rose oil from their Sacred collection.


The enormous jasmine scented hammam has a show stopping massive hexagon slab of Amazonite stone, its heated and the jasmine scent will reduce you to a trance like state, if you haven’t yet succumbed to the hypnotic zen zone of Tierra Santa.

Highly recommend an afternoon of spa rituals as a sun and sand recovery program.


Local Food – Dining Santa Fe

Situated in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, at over 7,000 feet, Santa Fe is known for year round outdoor adventure, a vibrant arts scene, rich Native American history and scrumptious dining. In Santa Fe, there are a myriad of choices, highly regarded chefs flock to this historically rich area. Our friend, David Tanis, spent some time years ago manning the kitchen at the highly praised Café Escalera in Santa Fe. It would be interesting to create a map of noted chefs and their migratory patterns, I’m certain Santa Fe would be dotted with acclaimed chef flags.

LOCAL FOOD Dining – Downtown Santa Fe offers a variety of dining options, including Southwestern cuisine at the Coyote Café, and one of my sentimental favorites, the garden restaurant, SantacaFe. Newer dining spots include the charming patio location of Eloisa and a bit out of town, Arroyo Vino.

Nothing better than a languid late afternoon terrace lunch at Eloisa. Named for Chef John Rivera Sedler’s grandmother, Eloisa Rivera, was the first person who taught him to cook in her cocina. Eloisa was personal chef to another creative woman, Georgia O’Keefe. Combining elemental ingredients to produce mouth-watering dishes: fiery chilies, elemental corn and bright garden blossoms, the dishes composed of simple southwestern ingredients are extremely creative and very satisfying. Chef Sedler was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016. Perfect recipe: order a Canela tequila cocktail and lazily nosh through the small bites and share with dear friends.

Eloisa Santa Fe. Abiquiu Cesar, a non-traditional salad topped with green chile Caesar dressing and blue corn croutons. Request Tuna for a protein boost.

Eloisa Santa Fe. Tortillas Florales. House made nixtamal tortillas with avocado butter. Delicious!

A newish restaurant is Arroyo Vino, which was a 2017 James Beard semi-finalist. Arroyo Vino also has a wine store attached with a high quality wine selection and knowledgable staff. The Restaurant seeks out ingredients from farmers and purveyors of quality produce, locally sourced where possible, including an on-site garden. The two-acre garden plot has a greenhouse, seven honey bee hives, and provides the majority of seasonal produce. House Dry Aged Pekin Duck Breast smoked figs, cipollini onions, foraged mushrooms, Chinese barley, wilted greens.

Garden Greens, Arroyo Vino

Arroyo Vino

The Compound and Geronimo are fine dining establishments and local favorites set among the many galleries on scenic Canyon Road. An old standard, SantacaFe still serves meals in their charming garden and serves unique American cuisine with a southwestern flair. Always satisfying and convenient when downtown art and retail therapy leave you peckish!


You really get to know a city by tasting Local Food.