Mandarin Oriental Hotel-Asia Meets Miami on Biscayne Bay

Asian accents and state-of-the art technology combine at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Built into Biscayne Bay, the fan-shaped $100 million, twenty-story hotel is as sleek as can be. Enjoy a luxuriously funky retreat and total serenity.

The Spa, managed by London -based ESPA, blends Eastern and Western philosophies. Think candles, pottery, bamboo flooring, Zen-like lounges. Hotel guests have direct access to a movement studio for group sessions of yoga and Pilates, to a workout room with Cybex equipment, and to the outdoor lap pool. Individual treatments or holistic rituals are scheduled in private suites; there are seventeen rooms for massage and skin care.

Start your daily program as a two-hour ritual based on Asian cultures. Therapists can be Bangkok-trained or Latino. You are welcomed with traditional washing of feet, then relax as warm aromatherapy oil is massaged on reflex zones. Treatments suited to your dosha or body type aid in purification. Bliss comes after an aromatherapy bath when herbal tea is served.

The treatments elevate your senses: try a salt and oil scrub, spearmint body polish, and hot herbal linen wrap. Other options include hot stone massage, Indian scalp massage, or shirod-hara, where warm oil is dropped soothingly on your forehead. The six spa suites have whirlpool tubs, showers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and water views.

Surrounded by water, the hotel feels like a cruise ship. Vaulted ceilings and enormous windows enhance the lobby’s bay view. Terraces curve from restaurants to swimming pool at spa level. Jog along Brickell Key seawall, or cross the causeway to Miami’s financial district.

For sophisticated dining, the hotel’s Azul Restaurant features the cuisine of Chef Michelle Bernstein. Seafood is the specialty. Dine alfresco all day at casual Cafe Sam-bal on the waterfront; two can share appetizers of stone crab and sushi.

Guest rooms are done in a tranquil palette of beige and white, with dark wood furnishings and Spanish marble bath tiles. Suites are enhanced by bamboo hardwood floors and a double balcony. And Biscayne Bay adds ocean colors as well as sea air.