After spending most of our vacation days in 2013 doing numerous road trips that took us to Canada and fifteen states in the U.S., Johnny and I felt that we deserve to start the new year with the most relaxing and luxurious beach-side getaway . Although belated, on this occasion we were celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Bal Harbour in South Florida immediately came to mind, especially because we had not been back to this beautiful area since our honeymoon. Due to the stellar reviews of The St. Regis at Bal Harbour, we decided to book a two-night stay for mid-February, just in time to escape Atlanta’s winter weather.
On the northern end of Miami Beach lies the “village” of Bal Harbour. On this stretch of the island, the atmosphere is serene and you can spend hours peacefully gazing at the gorgeous aqua blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. Bal Harbour is not only known for its beaches, but also for the exclusive and high-end boutiques of the Bal Harbour Shops. The St. Regis is an oceanfront property that is conveniently located across the street from this shopping center, and minutes away from the popular tourist destination South Beach.
Even before our arrival, Johnny and I were confidant that we would thoroughly enjoy our stay at The St. Regis. Within 24 hours of making a reservation, we received a phone call to ensure that we would be placed in a room of our choice. In addition, one week prior to our stay, the concierge team contacted us via e-mail to give detailed information on resort amenities, and to ask if we needed any assistance with transportation, additional reservations, and special requests. Allow me, as they say at The St. Regis. And this was just the beginning of the outstanding service we received from this exemplary establishment.
As we pulled up to the hotel entrance, the valet staff members greeted us and notified the personnel inside of our arrival. We were quickly ushered for check-in, and were offered champagne to welcome us to the hotel.
While waiting for our suite, we were given a tour of the property, and we relaxed by the pool to catch some of the afternoon breeze.
The resort offers two infinity pools: the main ocean pool, and on a separate level the adult-only pool with a hot tub.
For extra comfort, guests may rent Oceanfront Day Villas and Oasis Cabanas. The Day Villas are placed below the Tranquility pool. They are air-conditioned cabanas that come complete with a wet bar, bath and shower, flat screen TV, and full Butler service. The open-air Oasis Cabanas can be found near the main pool and Remède Spa, and include amenities such as fresh fruit, bottled water, and soft drinks throughout the day.
The Deluxe Oceanfront Suite
All the rooms and suites at The St. Regis Bal Harbour have been carefully designed so that each one features a spacious balcony with unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean. Led by our butler, George, and a gentleman named Bob, we took a private elevator up to our Deluxe Oceanfront Suite on the 12th floor. We immediately fell in love with our “new home.” At 1250 sq ft, the elegantly appointed suite has a six-guest dining area, a kitchenette with top-of-the-line appliances, a master suite, a separate living area that doubles as a second bedroom with its own full bathroom, and two furnished balconies.
Two tablets, one in the living room and one by the bed, are used to control the lighting, temperature, drapes, and to request housekeeping service.
The luxurious en-suite bathroom has a deep soaking tub, rain shower head, separate toilet area, double sink vanity, and bath products from The St. Regis’ Remède Spa. In addition, an LCD TV is embedded behind a glass mirror, and it is one of four televisions that are ready to entertain us during our stay. A second full bathroom can be found off of the suite’s living area (it comes with a shower, but no tub).
St. Regis Butler Service
One of the advantages of being guests in a suite is having access to special services provided by The St. Regis Butler. For a stress-free vacation, you can have the Butler unpack and pack your luggage, press your clothes, and deliver coffee or tea to your room. We were so fortunate to be assigned with such an attentive Butler, George, who brought complimentary champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries to help us celebrate our anniversary.
Although my instinct told me to spend as much time in our dreamy suite, on our second day at the resort I managed to walk down to the beach, and simply soaked up the beautiful scenery and warm weather of South Florida. The beach attendants were eager to make our time on the beach as relaxing as possible, and they set us up a cabana and brought refreshments throughout the afternoon.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort presents various dining experiences. At J&G Grill by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, guests can savor fine, world-class cuisine while sitting by floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the ocean views. Breakfast is served at Atlántico, and poolside and beach dining is provided by Fresco Beach Bar & Grill.
If you are craving for Japanese food, The St. Regis Bar and Sushi Lounge serves up Sushi, Sashimi and Nigiri from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM. And let’s not forget the Traditional Afternoon Tea Service that The St. Regis is famously known for.
Guests should also check out the all glass temperature-controlled Wine Vault, as it holds an impressive collection of the world’s finest wines and rare vintages. Stop by the bar at 7:30 PM for a nightly champagne sabering ceremony, and stay for the live music afterwards.
Spa, Fitness Center, and Shopping
Although Johnny and I are typically the type of people who love to venture out, all the amenities available at The St. Regis made us reluctant to step away from the property.
For the ultimate indulgence, head over to Remède Spa, where you can unwind and experience customized services. Couples may want to try the 5-hour long Bal Harbour Restorative Gold Package, which includes a signature body wrap, the Bal Harbour 24-Karat Designer Facial, and anti-aging manicure and pedicure. In addition, you may choose where to receive the spa treatment, be it in your room or on a secluded spot on the beach.
The St. Regis makes it fun for guests to stay fit and healthy during vacation. The St. Regis Athletic Club faces the pool and the ocean, and is equipped with state-of-the-art machines. Many of the cardio machines have built-in TVs with Internet access. Group classes, individual training sessions, and a comprehensive wellness program are also offered by the club.
A boutique store and the Rosenbaum Contemporary art gallery can be found next to the lobby. For guests’ convenience, the St. Regis and Neiman Marcus have a partnership program called the Neiman Marcus Closet. Prior to arrival, fill out a short survey of your fashion preferences, then Neiman Marcus’ shopping team will fill your suite’s closet with a personalized wardrobe collection. Keep what you like, and return other items using The St. Regis Butler service.
Our time at The St. Regis felt too short, and we are already planning to return next year. If you are looking for an elegant accommodation by the beach, coupled with service that goes above and beyond, then look no further than The St. Regis at Bal Harbour.
Note: We have added this blog post to the #SundayTraveler, where you will find a collection of travel stories and recommendations from around the world.