Well Intentioned: A Winter Wellness Guide to Miami

Everything at the anti-minimalist Faena Miami Beach is designed to delight, including the panoramic views from the oceanfront suites
Everything at the anti-minimalist Faena Miami Beach is designed to delight, including the panoramic views from the oceanfront suites | Courtesy of Faena Miami Beach / Expedia.com
Emma Sparks

Turn up the heat in the Sunshine State with spa hotels, healthy restaurants and yoga studios that’ll leave you rested and restored, whatever the season.

Prefer sandcastles to snowmen? Miami is renowned for its reliably mild winters, attracting migrating snowbirds from further north in America and manatees, too. Spend a few days soaking up this sunny city’s wonders, and the winter blues will soon become a distant memory. Want to skip winter and chill out in the city where the heat is on? Here are some of the best ways to slow down and destress in Miami.

1. The Standard Spa

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel

Woman sits on a large deck facing the water with a claw-foot tub next to her at the Standard Spa, Miami
Courtesy of the Standard Spa, Miami / Expedia.com
You’ll feel your shoulders drop at least three inches after a stay at this swish spa hotel along the Venetian Causeway. Start your day with an açaí bowl at the wellness-focused cafe, or hit the gym first thing: gear includes Peloton bikes and pilates reformers. Outside, you’ll find a zero-entry pool overlooking Biscayne Bay and a zen garden dotted with hammocks, quirky sculptures and fire pits lined with cocoon chairs – the perfect place to chill after a deep-tissue massage.

2. Manna Life Food

Restaurant, Vegan

A healthy vegan bowl
© Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash.com

This organic vegan restaurant ticks every health-food buzzword, but it’s far from lip service. Manna’s self-proclaimed mission is to help everyone eat “más plantas” (more greens) – and there’s not a limp lettuce leaf or imitation meat in sight. Try the superfood arepas, stuffed with gut-friendly avocado, spirulina chimichurri and hemp hearts, or chow down on a sushi-burrito hybrid norito packed with roasted veggies and turmeric brown rice for a vitamin boost.

3. Miami Beach Edition

Resort, Chain Hotel

Luxurious private deck with jacuzzi, plush lounge chairs and ocean view at Miami Beach Edition
Courtesy of Miami Beach Edition / Expedia.com

Less hectic than its South Beach neighbors, this Mid-Beach beauty gently nudges guests into a state of utter relaxation. Lazy afternoons are best spent in the palm-lined garden, complete with two pools, luxury cabanas and a sandy-floored outdoor cinema. Aching after an al fresco yoga class? Indulge in a tension-busting CBD-oil massage at the spa, followed by the “power-nap service” said to simulate four hours of sleep in just 30 minutes, thanks to a blend of aromatherapy, relaxing audio and microcurrent technology.

4. Green Monkey Yoga

Yoga Studio

Group of women in studio in side plank yoga position
© Fizkes / Depositphotos.com

Sunset Harbour is Miami’s one-stop shop for wellness, crammed with fitness centers, cold-pressed juice bars and yoga studios. Of the latter, Green Monkey is one of the best, with a generous selection of classes – held indoors and on the rooftop – to suit all levels. Yes, you may find yourself surrounded by lycra-clad yoga bunnies, but the monkey logo is a reminder not to take things too seriously – yoga isn’t about perfection, after all.

5. Faena Miami Beach

Resort

The tranquil wonderland of Faena Miami Beach spa with rolltop bath and massage tables
Courtesy of Faena Miami Beach / Expedia.com

Red velvet. Tassels. Bold murals and animal print. Everything at this anti-minimalist resort is designed to surprise and delight, from the gold-leafed woolly mammoth skeleton by the pool (by Damien Hirst) to the Moulin Rouge-esque theater (masterminded, like much of the hotel’s design, by Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin). But it’s not all in-your-face – the spa is a tranquil wonderland of shaman-inspired sound-bowl sessions, tai-chi workshops and 80-minute coconut-oil massages.

6. Black Point Park and Marina

Architectural Landmark

The lush grounds of Biscayne National Park and the ocean behind
© Tdezenzio / Depositphotos.com

Just a 30-minute drive from Downtown Miami, this is one of the best places in Miami to spot manatees. Bring a picnic (and your patience) and keep your eyes on the water – locals will usually let you know if they’ve seen any around. For a scenic walk, wander the southern section of the Black Creek trail until you hit the slither of land that juts out into Biscayne Bay – a fine (and rare) spot to watch the sunset.

7. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Botanical Garden, Museum, Park

The colorful tropical gardens of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
© SC / Depositphotos.com
Fairchild is one of the largest tropical botanical gardens in the US and is a riot of color year-round. Wander through a misty miniature rainforest, enter the realm of a thousand exotic butterflies or scan the greenery for a glimpse of the alien-like Darth Vader flower. Simply spending time here is enough to soothe the soul. There’s a regular schedule of guided walks as well as mindful activities such as sketching, gardening and outdoor yoga.

8. Wynwood Walls

Art Gallery

A woman artist works on a mural in Wynwood, Miami
© Marina113 / Depositphotos.com

Scientists have proven that engaging with art can boost your feel-good hormones, reduce stress and improve your sense of wellbeing. Cue trendy art fair Art Basel, which runs in Miami Beach every December, bringing with it a whole host of fringe events and free exhibitions that showcase the best of the local art scene. Trendy Wynwood Walls gets a fresh lick of paint, too – so winter’s a brilliant time to come and see its vibrant murals and brand-new installations.

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