What if the best place to get beautiful just happened to be one of the most beautiful spots in town? That's exactly the case with Muse Beauty Suite, a 500-square-foot space on the second floor of the Sagamore Hotel with a sweeping vista of the Atlantic Ocean. The latest venture of local entrepreneur Sabrina Badeaux Linden overlooks the pool and the beach, offering views that refresh the spirit while the experts go to work on your face. You can start with the signature Muse facial, which involves steam cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, massage, and a soothing finishing mask for a hundred bucks. For five dollars less, you can do the seaweed facial, which includes steam cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, and a fresh seaweed mask. Or go all out with a $130 Repêchage four-layer facial. Whichever you choose, your natural beauty will be revealed as vibrantly as the scenery outside.

Sam Gershenbaum, D.O., P.A.

Need a new nose? Better boobs? Bigger booty? "If you're looking to take your body to the next level with surgical mastery," the Aventura Center for Cosmetic Surgery advises, "Dr. G can get you there!" Born in New Jersey, educated at the University of Miami, and doctored up at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sam Gershenbaum is a self-described perfectionist whose workweeks are chockablock with rhinoplasties, breast augmentations (AKA BAMs), and Brazilian butt lifts — not to mention Miami's more niche procedures like calf implants, fat grafts, and labiaplasties. And yes, he's also dabbled in reality TV and given away boob jobs at South Beach megaclubs while amassing a fine collection of SUVs and speedboats. But Doc Gershenbaum isn't in the plastic surgery game just for the fame and fortune. Every time he takes his scalpel to patients like Playboy centerfold Kimberly Holland, Tami "Miss Maxim 2006" Donaldson, and hall-of-fame bodybuilder Richard Gaspari, it's because he wants to make this world a more beautiful place. "My work is about empowerment," Dr. G once philosophized in a letter to Haute Living magazine. "I don't just want my patients to look better; I want them to be all they can be."

This place has it all: gargoyles, a haunted floor, and a room where a mobster murder allegedly took place. The enormous pool plays host to rows of beautiful Roman-style statues of women who look like the Venus herself. Access to the fitness center for those who have not booked a room costs $35 for the day, starting at 5 a.m. and continuing into the night. It includes access to the gym, sauna, showers, and lockers. More than 100 weddings are curated by the staff of the hotel every year. A stroll through the halls often yields at least one blushing bride posing for her bridal shoot. Some of the best-kept secrets of the legendary hotel are private poolside cabanas, finch cages scattered throughout the main lobby, a culinary academy, great mojitos, and high tea time, which is held during two seatings each day for the bargain price of $25. To truly capture the essence of the timeless establishment would take far more than a couple of hundred words. It is everything you don't expect from Miami but should.

Wood Tavern
Courtesy of Wood Tavern

Everything about Nordstrom is extravagant: A-list-celebrity-worthy designer shoes, Dolce & Gabbana handbags, a gourmet café, and marble floors all make you feel like a million bucks. So it's no surprise the restrooms are on par with the department store's opulence. The one that stands out is the ladies' room on the second floor. The exterior might look like a typical lavatory, but the interior lounge is, um, bursting with luxury. We're talking leather couches, wing chairs, a wooden center table, modern full-length mirrors, ceiling lights that cast a golden glow, and a subtle scent of floral freshness. This is what royalty must feel like every time they visit the loo.

Lotus House Women's Shelter

It's easy to turn a blind eye to those Miamians who are struggling a bit more than the rest of us. But helping others is good for the soul, so get out of your brand-new condo and put some effort into helping those in need. After all, Miami isn't exactly known as a charitable city, so you should do your part to change that perception. A great place to offer help is at Overtown's Lotus House, where you can put in volunteer hours helping women who find themselves homeless due to domestic abuse, medical or mental illness, disability, or economics. The house, which is already receiving aid from titans like art collector Martin Margulies, offers these women and their children a much-needed oasis in Overtown, one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. You can also help by donating unwanted clothing or furniture or by simply shopping at the Lotus House Thrift Store in Wynwood. All proceeds from the store help fund the shelter and its services, which include health care, job training, counseling, education, and meals. What you get in return is the priceless feeling of charitable giving.

The Everglades is a dumping ground. Not just for garbage but for living things. People drive in and toss unfixed lab mixes, matted shih tzus, and fluffy puppies out of their cars and into the wild. Mother Nature is unkind to these pets. They're hit by cars, devoured by mosquitoes, infested with fatal heartworm infections. But the 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida cleans up the horrors that South Floridians leave behind. Its members trek through the sawgrass and concrete of Miami on regular rescue missions, armed with food, medical supplies, and crates. They deal with dead dogs, starving puppies, gruesome injuries — the worst scenes imaginable for animal lovers. But most important, they save lives. They scoop up the innocent pets that people throw away like so much trash and give them new life. They've rescued well over 700 dogs and more than 40 cats, all otherwise doomed to die. These are real-life animal heroes. Email them at [email protected].

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®