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://i2.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.


Varua Spa At The Brando

Months have passed since my visit to The Brando Island, but not forgotten. I used my fragrant Papaya Body Scrub this morning and was reminded of my late afternoon sojourn at The Brando Varua Spa. A daily spa treatment is included in the Brando amenities; if you have never experienced a Polynesian massage, do schedule for afternoon arrival and every day following!

A brief bike ride beneath the towering coconut fronds and you arrive at the secluded pond, the actual location where the Tahitian Royal family once withdrew to rest and indulge in relaxation routines. A natural haven, the spa villas are hidden amid the dense jungle; dragonflies and enormous Lilly pads adorn the scene from your perch above the pond. There are a few couples rooms including an intricate woven wooden sphere tucked into the tall palm, suspended like a nest in the middle of the deep green jungle canopy.An indulgent treatment included every day for one guest, The Brando and the Varua Spa will truly reset your balance. From the moment you arrive at the spectacular space, your heart rate seemingly drops as you are enveloped in the calm of this natural preserve. Quiet is only interrupted by the splash of a bird in the lagoon; act one – setting the stage for blissful nirvana. Staff silently eases you onto the most comfortable spa bed, drift off with the dream producing ambient music and the treatment commences. From this moment, I lost consciousness and when awoken, relaxed and rejuvenated I had to admit I couldn’t ride my bike back to my villa! My legs were jelly and my brain was calm. I was barely able to navigate back to the changing room to reclaim my Villa key and decided the spa robe was appropriate for the staff aided ride back to my Villa.

Woven cocoon massage room

Waiting for my buggy driver, I languidly observed the geckos clambering across the thatched roof of the pavilion – an overwhelming sense of tranquility possessed me. Generally geckos above my head send me scurrying, today, not so much.The Brando offers an escape unlike any other and the Varua Spa is an essential part of the schedule. The jar of sensual Papaya scrub will add to your luggage weight, but months later when you use it, the luggage tax will be forgotten.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                              The Brando Varua Spa- Highly Recommend!