June 13, 2010
ONE Bal Harbour Resort and Spa
10295 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; oneluxuryhotels.com; 305-455-5400; 877-455-5410
Back story: Even the most jaded world travelers will be soothed by the serene, understated elegance at ONE Bal Harbour. Harboring a $4 million art collection by the likes of Ed Moses and Joe Walters, the rooms and public areas feature mahogany and marble floors, leather upholstered walls, Jatoba columns and oversized windows offering panoramic views of the most northern tip of the coastline of the city.
Opened in September 2009, the hotel is owned by local real estate entrepreneur Jorge Arevalo and business partner Tom Sullivan, and operated by Arevalo's ONE Luxury Hotels group. The hotel has a multilingual staff, 24-hour concierge and personal shoppers available to cater to your every whim, up to and including private jet and yacht charters. A private, invitation-only beach club is slated to debut in September.
Just for fun: The spa at ONE Bal Harbour is a posh, Zen-like oasis of tranquility. Exquisite Japanese flooring lead up flowing water gardens and delicate swathes of white fabric surrounding seating areas to ensure privacy during your mani/pedi. The 10,000 square foot space offers many private rooms for massage and treatments, as well as a resident Rekki master to help soothe your aches and pains.
Outdoor cabanas are equally luxurious, offering private hot tubs from which to enjoy views of the garden or ocean.
In your dreams: Semi-private elevators whisk guests to the ocean-view studios or suites, ranging in size from 510 to 2,800 square feet. Sleek, free-standing tubs stand out in the bathrooms, with 10 foot floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean or Bakers Haulover Inlet. Keep up to date with the in-mirror televisions in the bathrooms, or view from the 42 inch flat screen TVs with BOSE SurroundSpace sound.
Design features include European wood cabinetry, granite counter tops, fully equipped kitchens in the suites, and soothing plants strategically placed in the rooms. Other amenities include feathertop mattresses, 350 thread-count bedding, complimentary shoe shine and twice daily housekeeping.
Celeb cache: Charter members of the beach club include Serena Williams, Stephen Dorff and Harry Morton, among others.
Eat, drink and be merry: Sunday brunch is notable at the resort's ONE kitchen & Bar. While local, seasonal produce is featured here daily at breakfast, lunch and dinner, brunch highlights include a dessert display with a chocolate fountain, make your own bloody Mary and mimosa bar, as well as a generous selection of appetizers and entrees including tapas, chilled shrimp and smoked salmon.
Attractions: Fifteen minutes from South Beach and the Aventura Mall, the hotel is within walking distance to the shops at Bal Harbour.
Just for kids: Your little ones will love the ONE Kid's Package and the ONE Kid's VIP card. Good for treats such as ice-cream and sodas, kids are also offered special souvenirs and in-room amenities, as well as a movie and book library, and mani/pedi and haircut services at the spa. Gourmands in the making can experience the exclusive Nobu cooking class for children, while you can ensure everyone in the family eats right with organic food and beverage options.
More about pets: Highly pampered pooches will feel right at home with the Lulu Flynn Dog Program. Created by Lulu Flynn, author of "The Ultimate Dog Party," the program includes custom doggie beds, bowls and treats co-branded by Eloise Pet Accessories. A "pawcierge," dog sitting, dog walking and vet are available upon request, as is doggie dining created by celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman.
Prices: Rates range from $250 to $600 per night low season, $550 to $945 per night high season. Packages are available.
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