Daily Pampering: Miami’s ‘Rhythm Massage’

When Dayalis Gonzalez was looking for a way to spice up her daily spa routines, she turned on the music in her car and let the beat guide her. The result? A unique massage that incorporates the rhythm of Latin and Spanish music into massage movements meant to connect your mind and body with sound.

“Massage therapy is a form of healing, and so is music, and I wanted to combine them both,” said Gonzalez, a massage therapist at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Miami. And so it was discovered – Miami’s Rhythm Massage, available to guests starting July 1 at the hotel.

If a massage were adorned in a red halter dress, stilettos and with Antonio Banderas on its arm, this would be that massage.

Guests choose from two variations – the relaxing or energizing version; or you can request a combination. The relaxing massage uses long strokes to the sounds of sensuous salsa harmonies. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a long day on the beach and before lounging under the stars on a steamy Miami night. The energizing rhythm massage blends cross-friction techniques to upbeat Latin music – you leave feeling completely energized and ready to get your groove on, Miami-style. The massage is unlike anything you’ve experienced — the strokes ‘dance’ over your muscles to the various beats of the music, and within minutes you’re transported to a dance club, salsa and samba-ing your way into a new mindset.

The Rhythm massage is one of 19 new treatments The Ritz-Carlton South Beach spa is introducing starting July 1.

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35 Best U.S. beaches for Summer

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts.

Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts.

Summer is fast approaching. Where are you going to spend your vacation? How about visiting one of our country’s many fantastic beach locations? Bring your lover or family, a bathing suit, sun lotion, a blanket and a picnic basket, and you are all set for a romantic get-away or a relaxing family get-together on one of these magnificent sandy stretches.

Delray Beach, Florida

Delray boasts a great family-friendly stretch of sand, with youngsters playing Frisbee games and teens surfing the waves. Enjoy the well-preserved dunes and the warm, snow-white sand and comforting turquoise water. After a day on the beach, take a stroll in the European-style town and dine at the sidewalk bistros.

Mexico Beach, Florida

Mexico Beach is located on Florida’s panhandle …

Versace mansion lives on as Miami hotel

The Versace name is synonymous with luxury, privilege and decadence, so it’s no surprise that the mansion where Gianni Versace lived in Miami ranks as one of the most coveted homes in America. When Gianni Versace was gunned down in 1997, his South Beach home became a place to pay homage to one of the world’s elite designers and purveyor of fine fashion. Now, his home is open for the night.

The 19,000-square-foot Versace mansion has been renamed The Villa by Barton G – a 10-suite hotel filled with fountains, Italian marble, stained glass, and featuring a pool and terrace tiled to resemble a hidden oasis in Italy.

According to the hotel’s website, the Villa’s 10 custom suites feature king-sized beds or custom double king beds, over-sized bathrooms with two shower heads, closet space fit for a fashion designer, separate living rooms or sitting areas and balconies or patios. There’s a rooftop lounge and a private restaurant. Gianni Versace’s former bedroom has a nine-foot-wide bed, two balconies and seven closets.

The New York Times reports rooms start at $2,100. If you can’t afford a night’s stay, the restaurant in the mansion is open for dinner (reservations are required) and starting April 15, there’s an afternoon tea service on weekends for $35 a person.

Daily Pampering: The Tanning Butler, Ritz-Carlton South Beach

Oh, hellooooo, Mr. Tanning Butler.

Ladies, allow me to introduce you to your favorite beach accessory. He strolls Ritz-Carlton’s South Beach pool and beach area during peak tanning hours with one purpose: to apply sunscreen to those hard-to-reach shoulder and back areas.

You can flag him down every weekend from 12 noon to 4 p.m. and ask him to layer on the Hampton Sun tanning products. The Tanning Butler travels with an Evian spritzer to help you cool down, and will even clean off those spots on your sunglasses. Whether you need SPF 10 or SPF 100, he’s got it and will offer you a complimentary rub-down… err, sunscreen application, while you enjoy your day in the sun.

“This modern twist on the English butler is beyond guests’ expectations,” said Michelle Payer, creator of The Tanning Butler. “It’s a light-hearted service we created to cater to our guests as they sunbathe by providing an unexpected, luxury service they won’t see anywhere else in the world,” she said.

We completely agree, Michelle! (And may I just say, bravo, Ritz-Carlton. You rarely disappoint, but this little luxury certainly tops the list of favorite hotel amenities.)

UPDATE: We just got word that the The Ritz is hiring a new tanning butler!

“We’re looking to fill the position immediately with someone who’s outgoing, positive, energetic and recognizes the role as a brand ambassador,” said Payer.

If you think you fit the bill (Requirement #1: The position is for men only) contact the Ritz-Carlton South Beach for details. It’s a good gig, if you can get it — the last tanning butler is on his way to Italy for an Armani modeling gig. (psst, Ritz-Carlton: If you need help with the interviewing process, you know how to reach me.)

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Want a beer with that Burger King burger?

Burger King is expected to open a bar in Miami’s South Beach sometime in mid-February.

The aptly named Whopper Bar will sell beer from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week. Beer ordered at the walk-up window, which stops selling alcohol at midnight, has to be consumed on the patio or inside the restaurant (sorry, Miami is still no New Orleans when it comes to open containers). You can expect a Budweiser or Miller Lite to cost you $4.25 a pop.

More Chipotle than typical fast-food fare, the Whopper Bar will also have an assembly line where you can customize your burger and add toppings such as guacamole, bacon, or steak sauce. Burgers will be available 24/7 inside the restaurant, at the walk-up window, and through some local delivery options.

There are already Whopper Bars in Orlando at the Universal CityWalk and overseas in Munich, Singapore, and Venezuela. New York City, Vegas, and L.A. could be next. With all the amazing bars in those cities, it’s kind of like recommending a McDonald’s in Rome. Then again, who can argue with 4 a.m. cravings or the novelty of it all?

Tip: Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, which has two locations in New York City, already features an affordable selection of beer and wine. According to the Shake Shack website, five more branches will open this year, including one in Miami.

[Via CNN]