So, to celebrate some major happenings in my life (promotion, birthday, and finishing up a big project), I scheduled a full day of pampering at Iluma's day spa.
Iluma Center for Health is a medical facility and day spa in Aventura (Miami Beach area). The medical facility offers a wide variety of health services, everything from nutrition and weight loss to physical rehab and chelation therapy. The day spa is, quite simply, an oasis. Iluma's located in a nice (but crowded) strip shopping center alongside a Starbuck's and a Fresh Market. It's off of US-1 and 182nd -- a very busy area indeed, even at 10.30am.
TIP: If you don't live right next door to the area, allow an extra 15-30 minutes to get there. Traffic is always hell and you'll need some time to fill out their guest form. For this kind of thing, there's no such thing as "arriving too early".
The medical facility is downstairs while the spa is upstairs.
Iluma has several spa packages running the gamut, from a couple hours to all day and at many different price points. I had the Royal Treatment which was around 5 hours.
I started out with a seaweed bath, then a full-body salt scrub and Vichy shower. Then, a massage, facial, and deluxe manicure and pedicure. During the facial, I also opted for a chemical peel which bumped up the total price a bit. "Wonderful" doesn't even begin to describe the experience.
Because that's exactly what this is. It's not like a salon that performs "spa-like" services -- from the moment you walk in the door, you're taken care of. It's a mental and emotional, as well as physical experience that a salon can't match.
Indeed, when you walk in to Iluma, quiet smiling faces greet you, lit candles are everywhere, fresh citrus and floral scents hang in the air, and soothing music plays in every room. They have a spacious changing area, complete with wood lockers (that actually lock, and you carry the key during your treatment) a beautiful shower area, and lots of freshly laundered robes and slippers in various sizes. For body treatments, they also supply disposable bras and panties in various sizes. Each treatment has its own room and each room is treated as a destination in itself. Everything is pristine -- it looks almost like a hotel and you're the only guest.
During my day-long series of treatments, I met 3 staff members and all of them treated me as if I was the only client there that day. They were all extremely professional, respectful of my space (and modesty), and very helpful.
Iluma is pretty much my spa of choice. Their supreme service comes at a price, of course -- my day at the spa and some extras (lunch, the peel) came to around $580 with tips. But you know, this one of those rare places in South Florida where it's worth every single penny. I emerged from the spa, literally polished and glowing from head to toe.
One caveat: I was sold pretty hard (in a nice way, though) during the facial portion. The woman who did my facial (and subsequent peel) was fabulous, but she's also a businesswoman and no doubt gets a commission when she sells extra services and product. The upside of that is she's very knowledgeable about how to treat problem skin (I have acne-prone sensitive skin) but she didn't load me up with product (which I didn't buy anyway, else I'd spend another $150 I hadn't planned on).
Iluma also has couples treatments. Given their focus on the "spa experience", this would be an awesome way to celebrate with someone special. Perhaps a "personal health day" where you both take a day off of work during the week and head off to the spa for a couples massage, then a leisurely lunch at an area restaurant, and spend the rest of the day together in bed (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
Definitely the best spa experience I've ever had, and I hope to have a few more before I'm too old to enjoy them properly. :-)