Slightly off the beaten track on a small, condo-crammed island linked to South Beach by the Venetian Causeway, hotshot hotelier André Balazs rescued the decrepit 1950s Lido Spa and in 2005 transformed it into an adults-only boutique oasis whose spa facilities and services are very much the star of the show, with the longest list in town of wellness treatments and dozens of sundry activities and classes focusing on fitness, meditation, and beyond—some of which I’d never even heard of. Despite the cool factor, the vibe is mellow and non-“scene-y,” with rocking chairs in the lobby and guests padding around in white waffle robes (though I’ve also been to promoter events here that import a touch of more stereotypical SoBe glitz). Decor blends Scandinavian-mod with leftover 50s notes (like the lobby’s terrazzo floor and the entire facade); rooms are organized around landscaped central gardens crowned by a huge infinity pool right on Biscayne Bay (a pool, by the way, with soothing music piped underwater); and on-premises dining focuses on organic Mediterranean fare, with plenty to keep vegetarians happy, too. A way different way to do South Beach, for sure.
- David Paul Appell