Sure, most travelers book a trip to Miami Beach with a single plan in mind -- drink all day, party all night. But everyone needs to cool off and chill out at some point. Even Miami, which we rate as one of the world's party capitals, has plenty of options for relaxing, refreshing, and (maybe) replenishing your body in preparation for another night out. Here's how:
Stay at the Metropolitan by COMO (pictured)
Although it's just two blocks from the flashy W South Beach, the newly opened Metropolitan by COMO has a completely different approach to the guest experience. This hotel, management tells us, is for people looking for peace and quiet. Unlike at the Delano and SLS, for example, the hotel's laid-back pool is open only to guests and the only music you'll hear is soothing, not thudding. "We don't disrupt the guest experience experience by closing the pool off for parties," they add.
Health is at the heart of the COMO brand and the Miami Beach property offers a personalized approach with its signature COMO Shambhala treatments (given by Balinese-trained therapists), and rooftop hydrotherapy pool. COMO's spa treatments are therapeutic rather than "pampering" and start at $150 for 60 minutes. Organic and locally sourced COMO Shambhala Cuisine (nothing boiled, no butter) is available in the hotel's Traymore restaurant. In-room and poolside dining, and cold-pressed juices and blends are also available at the juice bar throughout the day.
Advance purchase rates start at $255 per night (a savings of $37 on regular rates). That includes tax and a $22.60 daily resort fee.
Spend a Day at the Standard Spa
The Standard Spa Miami Beach has a refreshingly out-of-the-way location on the residential Belle Isle on Biscayne Bay. The hotel occupies what was once the Lido Spa Hotel, a popular mid-twentieth century retreat. Today, wellness is fully integrated into the guest experience at the Standard, with a comprehensive program of retreats, lectures, classes, seminars, and events. The spa menu contains around 100 options, including a 60-minute "Thai on the Table" massage ($160), a "One-on-One" pilates class ($120), and a 75-minute acupuncture initial consultation ($165). You can also make use of the hydrotherapy spa and its array of sound pools, plunge pools, mud baths, and a traditional hamam.
Rates at the Standard start at $239 per night for the "La Vie en Rose" package, which includes a DIY Mud Lounge experience, a bottle of wine, a complimentary upgrade, and the resort fee (normally $20). If you just want to make use of the spa, a day pass costs $75 Monday-Thursday; $125 Friday-Sunday.
Escape to Matheson Hammock Park
This 630-acre park just south of Coral Gables features a man-made pool and a tranquil beach offering views of the Miami skyline. Matheson is a magnet for kiteboarders thanks to its calm, shallow waters. You can also rent kayaks and standup paddle boards from the park's concessions, and grab some fresh seafood at Red Fish Grill, which is located waterside inside the park's original beach pavilion.
Swim in the Venetian Pool
Also in the Coral Gables area, the Venetian Pool is an elegant public swimming pool that was built in 1923 out of an old coral rock quarry and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The pool is fed by a natural spring, so the water is always cool and it's drained daily. There are two waterfalls, several grottoes, and, in between dips, you can enjoy the shade in the surrounding grassy nooks. Entrance costs $11 and the pool's summer hours are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Find a Quiet Space at Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Miami Beach Botanical Garden touts itself as something of an "urban oasis" and that's true -- as long as there's not a party going on while you're there. With 2.6 acres of lush landscaping, a Japanese garden, bamboo, pagodas, ponds, a bridge, and a gazebo, the garden often gets rented out for parties and receptions. The garden is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and entrance is free. Every Wednesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., you can join a hatha yoga class ($5-10 suggested donation; mats available on a first-come, first-served basis).