Pretty in the City - Journey to Jurlique

Seeing as Miami Spa Month’s hourglass was about to run out, and yours truly just became the author of the award winning blog Pretty in the City (thanks to the South Florida Black Journalists Association), I figured what better time than the present to treat myself to one of Miami’s finest spa experiences? My advice to those seeking a spa adventure -- book your reservation early. Because I waited till the eleventh hour, almost everything was booked, over, or adapted to edit out the reason you chose that spa to begin with. Many spa practitioners confessed that they simply lacked the man power following their busiest July ever. Miami Spa Month was a huge success, apparently. So huge that I had to get creative with my choices. I decided to venture away from the standard best-of spa places – the deals at the Mandarin and the Setai didn’t seem worth it – a foot treatment sans pedicure, and a half hour massage were their respective offers. This pretty lady needed more bang for her buck. Hence, the Jurlique Spa in Coconut Grove’s secluded Mayfair Hotel. Their Journey to Havana included a mojito-scented foot soak, sugar scrub, and massage for $99. A sweet deal, indeed.

Inspired by both Eastern and Western sanctuaries, the ambiance at Jurlique is peaceful. As in, completely silent. No burbling nature sounds, no Enigma-esque New Age music humming in the background. Peace and quiet is the name of the game. The changing rooms are super private, the lounge area is beautiful. Pitchers of water infused with orange slices were a delicious and refreshing touch. Now – on to the treatment! The Journey to Havana began with a subtly scented mint foot soak and mini-massage.

On a quick personal note -- the dress size of the average American woman is a 14. I fall into that average range, and the robes at Jurlique left me feeling a little overexposed. Blame my childbearing hips, but the thong I was offered for my sugar scrub and Vichy bath also looked woefully inadequate. If you’re not a skinny Minnie, you might want to BYO cover-ups to this spa.

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After the foot soak, it was off to the Vichy room for my very first bath experience. The spa therapist, Airi, strapped on a heavy black plastic apron, and instructed me to strip completely and lie on my back. Then she began to exfoliate my skin with a dry brush, which hurt, but in kind of a good way. After the dry brush, she started massaging from my feet on up with a mix of mint, sugar, and oil. She mentioned that the Vichy bath is a client favorite. “Some people like it better than a massage,” she assured me. I was initially skeptical, but was swayed as soon as I felt warm water cascading down my back. Spaficionados, if you haven’t experienced the aquatic massage of a Vichy bath, you are missing out. The whole room gets soaked, but your body feels infinitely clean and soft, and your mind is transported to a warm and relaxing place.

After the Vichy bath experience, my time with Airi came to an end. She handed me over to Stan, the funny and charming masseuse. Before I booked my appointment, I was informed that many women choose to not get massaged by a male. Why not? Stan’s hands were soft, his touch was as firm as I wanted it to be, and he was a consummate gentleman – even covering me up when my blankets fell away. Stan gave me an awesome back massage, and ended my Journey to Havana with a scalp massage that was absolutely out of this world. All for $99. My Jurlique experience was so nurturing, so tranquil, that I promised myself to return again soon. Even if I pay regular prices – the hour long Vichy Nirvana package is $130, and I know now that it’s totally worth it.

-- Patrice Yursik

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