Best Massage 2018 | The Betsy Hotel Wellness Garden & Spa | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of the Betsy Hotel

Living in Miami — the traffic, the heat, the yelling — can be a bit much. We all need to take time to relax every now and then. And there's no better way to de-stress from your day than with the Moonlight Sonata, a nighttime massage available between 8 and 11 p.m. at the Betsy Hotel Wellness Garden & Spa in South Beach. You'll be transported into a meditative state as you step onto the Zen-inspired spa deck decorated with bamboo, wood, and stone. And you can rest assured that all the products the therapist slathers on your body are natural and paraben-free. So throw away your cares, hop onto the massage table, and look up at the stars from your private cabana on the Betsy's rooftop while a therapist smoothes out all of those aching muscles. The Moonlight Sonata costs $230 for 60 minutes. The spa is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, based on availability.

Courtesy of Tierra Santa Healing House

Every spa offers massages and facials, but only at the Faena can you book a spa treatment developed by a shaman. That's right — Tierra Santa's menu of "body rituals" takes inspiration from mystical healers, as well as experts in the field including a holistic medical scholar, a licensed digestive health specialist, and an internist and cardiologist. It's all led by spa director Agustina Caminos, who's a Pranic Healing instructor and professor of yoga. Treatments such as the Masaje con Flor Blanca and Hammam Rose Ritual are as good for you as they feel. Like the rest of the resort, the spa's decor is both colorful and eclectic, a refreshing departure from the flowing curtains and bamboo floors that are standard issue at most spas. Oh, and Tierra Santa is 22,000 square feet. Sometimes you've gotta go big to find your Zen.

Courtesy of Dr. Ary Krau

Plastic surgery practices aren't burger joints or auto shops. They are places that will change your life forever, for better or worse. It's important that your choice of plastic surgeon be right on the first try, so firsthand reviews are essential to making an informed decision. Dr. Ary Krau has the good word of the people behind his work. A former University of Miami instructor who was featured on the Bravo reality series Miami Slice, he has a long list of clients who rave about his attention to detail and compassion. Patients routinely fly in from other states to have work done with Krau. This is the sort of thing that calms one's anxiety about the whole surgical process. Whether you're in desperate need of surgery or have always wanted something fixed, nobody in Miami provides services better than Dr. Krau. Ask the people — they'll tell you.

Courtesy of Iris Tattoo

You know, many tattoo parlors are pitch-dark, have inexplicably low ceilings, and always seem to be a boys' club where Slayer records play at volumes that can wake the dead. That's not Iris Tattoo, which is sure as hell a good thing. Iris sits inside a condo complex on North Miami Avenue in Wynwood — but the room is multiple floors up from the ground, and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of the city while you sit for six hours getting that back piece inked up. There's even a balcony where you can take a quick breather. Iris' website says its parlor was designed this way on purpose: The teals, pinks, and yellows make the place look clean, fresh, and welcoming, and the owners told New Times last year that they opened their original shop in Buenos Aires after getting treated rudely at a local parlor. So this isn't the place to ask for gang tats, but that's a good thing. Iris happens to employ some of the best artists in town — Karry, in particular, specializes in delicate, linework-heavy pieces, from intricate Buddhist mandalas to mystical animals to Hayao Miyazaki characters.

Attention to detail, competence, and patience: Those are the attributes you should look for in a body-piercing artist. Empire Ink checks every box. The well-known and reliable artists, clean environment, and stellar reputation make this shop tops. In fact, we're confident in saying you'd be hard-pressed to do better. In terms of sheer variety, Empire Ink has you covered. Numerous artists can show you an astounding number of examples of past work. There are certainly many choices when it comes to body piercing, but Empire Ink is the only place you will ever want to visit. The shop also has locations in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.

Courtesy of Cloverleaf Adult Video Store

Not everything has to happen on Amazon. Sometimes you actually want to, you know, see and touch a product before you buy it. Remember that? Remember shopping at, like, places? So weird. Sure, visiting Cloverleaf Adult Video Store isn't exactly running to Walmart for toothpaste and baking soda, but it's still a store! In 2018, sex should be something people openly talk about. Sex, in a way, is a craft, and Cloverleaf provides tools for the trade. What sets this place apart are the fun displays that offer just about everything one could imagine when it comes to fun between the sheets (and beyond). Do you like chocolate, vanilla, or grape so much you need condoms in that flavor? Well, you're in luck! Is a vibrator that looks like a bunny something you might like? Cloverleaf to the rescue! The store also carries a wide variety of adult videos, so there's something for everyone. If they don't have it, they'll find it. If they can't find it, they'll let you know where to find it. The staff is very helpful, and you won't feel odd asking them just about anything. It's all fun and games at Cloverleaf, which is how it should be. Open 24 hours.

Photo by Jesse Scott

You have not seen a flea market until you've visited the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale. This place is nothing short of a spectacle, with nearly 2,000 vendors selling anything and everything on God's green earth. The Swap Shop is open seven days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), but the heart of the action happens on weekends. Things to check out: the expansive produce area, the indoor food court, and even a drive-in movie when the entire space is transformed into a 14-screen outdoor theater at night. The Swap Shop has been going strong since the '60s — it remains a South Florida icon and must-see.

Chances are, if you're visiting a pawnshop, the best-case scenario is you want your spring cleaning to be profitable. The worst case: You're desperately in need of cash and are willing to part with your left foot until you get in better financial shape. It's easy for pawnbrokers to take advantage of their customers, but Sergio of Cash Now Jewelry & Pawn doesn't do that. Instead, he and his team will walk you through the process of pawning and give you an excellent price for your valuables. Then they'll lock your stuff away in a bank vault until you're ready and able to collect. The shop also buys and sells jewelry and other items, so if you're looking for a gently used diving watch or a pre-owned chain, stop by.

Sometimes great things come in small packages. Not every liquor store needs to look like an airplane hangar or have attractive models at the end of each aisle asking if you want to try the newest Bud Light Rita flavor. Sometimes you just want a locally owned corner store that treats you as if you matter. That's what Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar is all about. The place offers a great selection, friendly customer service, convenient locations, and, most important, zero hassle. You get in and out, with no frills or long lines. You don't need a membership card or special coupon to get a deal here either. The prices are always on point. At the end of the day, we're all looking for the same thing out of a liquor-store experience: new and exciting choices at decent prices. Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar is a diamond in the rough and an excellent alternative to the chain liquor stores that don't concentrate on customers.

Courtesy of Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar

Miami is home to a heaping handful of cigar shops boasting the latest sticks from the most respected brands. But few spots offer the buyers' choice of delicious beverage pairing with their cigar selection. On that front, Prime Cigar has the competition beat. Along with stocking dozens of brands in its enormous, walk-in humidor, Prime offers a full bar specializing in whiskey — more than 50 kinds, originating from Kentucky to Canada to Japan. It also has a decent wine list and more than a dozen craft brews. But can you even taste your drink in a smoky cigar bar, you ask? Not a problem, thanks to the bar's air-control system, which ensures patrons never sit in a cloud of their own making.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®