Color therapy might be pseudoscience, but there’s no denying the impact of color on mood. Chalk white and royal blue, eggshell and azure, sand and cerulean. They’re pacifying. The same goes for balmy temps, sunbaked skin, and cool water. Altogether, the combination is tranquilizing and a little intoxicating (whether you’re sipping a jalapeño margarita poolside or not). These vibes are just a sliver of the reprieve Miami can supply your next jaunt with, and there’s no greater place to do so than at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, an oceanfront haven nestled along North Miami Beach.
The area is decidedly more hushed than South Beach, and that’s the point. If you’re looking for a long weekend away from your everyday frenzy, this is exactly where you need to be.
Carillon’s prime location means nearly every balcony has a cherry-picked view. Select rooms provide direct ocean vantage points, while others offer a sweeping eyeshot of the resort’s grounds, and some have city skyline-facing outlooks. Here’s the greatest draw: The one- and two-bedroom apartments are massive, starting at 720 square feet. In the morning, enjoy an espresso on your balcony or post up at the kitchen’s granite island for in-room breakfast. In the evenings, loll about in the soaker tub (take a moment to appreciate the Italian mosaic tile detailing on the floor), then wrap yourself in a Turkish-cotton robe. The space oozes serenity and the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room let in copious amounts of natural light.
What to Do
The Carillon is sprawled over 70,000 square feet over multiple stories, so there’s plenty of space to explore. That also means you won’t have any problem finding your own little pocket of paradise. Peak season is winter, as temperatures climb in the spring and become downright stifling in the summer. But if you don’t mind a little heat wave, you’ll enjoy fewer crowds.
Go Pool Hopping: There are four pristine freshwater pools on the grounds. The Sunrise Pool, as you can infer by the name, is perfect for early mornings. It’s situated by an outdoor fitness space, as well as an indoor studio used for classes or yoga at your own free will. The Sunset Pool is located on the 6th floor of the North Tower with plenty of shade in the mornings and midday until the sun floods the rooftop in the afternoon. There’s an outdoor shower and shrubs that create little secluded nooks for sunbathing with added privacy. The Atlantic Pool is another rooftop option with a stone hot tub designed for reclining. And the most popular is the Cabana Family Pool, closest to the beach. You can order cocktails and food from the Sea Glass Cafe, which will be hand-delivered. Every pool has plush sun loungers, complimentary sunscreen, and spa water, and staff members can adjust umbrellas and add lounger covers at your request. Fancy a trip to the ocean? The beach is just steps off the resort. Striped umbrellas and loungers (free) line the sand, and cabanas and daybeds are also available for a daily fee. There’s also the option to request food and drinks here, too.
Head Out on the Water: Miami Kiteboarding will take you out for a one-on-one lesson, basing the experience entirely on your comfort and skill level. Head 20 minutes out from the resort to Oleta River State Park, where you can try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and water biking. There’s even an opportunity to try your hand at deep-sea fishing on a 58-foot-long sport fisherman boat that boasts a tuna tower for spotting behemoths, outriggers for spacing out bait, fighting chairs, and a flying bridge with a captain’s chair. Speak to a staff member at concierge to set up any of the above.
Sweat a Little (or a Lot): You’ve got more than 20 fitness classes offered daily at the Carillon (it is a wellness resort, after all). There’s a strong mix of modalities including pilates, boxing, HIIT, circuit training, various types of yoga, indoor cycling, and more. If you’d rather train alone, the fitness center has a wide array of equipment with an oceanfront view. Scale the property’s indoor rock-climbing wall, or head out to nearby Normandy Shores Golf Club for a challenging round on the green. You can also spend a morning or evening pedaling along on a cruiser bike ($50 for 4 hours). The beach pathway right outside the resort winds all the way to South Pointe Pier. Mosey along and stop to snap pictures of the Art Deco buildings and Versace’s mansion along Ocean Drive.
Indulge in Spa Services: This is perhaps the biggest draw. Carillon houses the largest spa in South Florida. You can sample an extraordinary mix of therapies like massage (try the Quartz massage; you lie on a heated bed of crystal quartz with the addition of light therapy), cryotherapy, Tibetan bowl ritual, and more. Don’t miss the Detox & Renew Wrap. Body wraps, scrubs, and massage all take place on an aemotio spa, which involves an adjustable, heated water bed that more or less envelops your body; steam bath with aromatherapy; light therapy; and a Vichy shower with six jets. Check out the full list of services here.
Imbibe on Signature Libations and Wine: Sip on a craft cocktail you’ve made with your own two hands with the Carillon’s craft cocktail class. You’ll be paired with an onsite mixologist who’ll teach you the basics and offer a little history lesson. Is there anything sweeter than enjoying the fruits of your labor? Well, for some, sitting back and enjoying a tasting sans the work is. You’ve got a couple options here: a mezcal and tequila tasting and a wine tasting with the onsite sommelier in the wine lounge. Taste wines from an array of regions, varieties, and vintages. I highly recommend kicking back with a cheese and charcuterie board next to the wine vault before dinner.
You don’t have a ton of options, but you’re not missing out.The Strand Bar & Grill has plenty in the way of variety, with an emphasis on healthy, seasonal fare. The mussels and salmon were phenomenal, and, if you want to indulge, try the risotto and cheesecake. The breakfast buffet was honestly the best I’ve ever experienced (no runny eggs and perfectly cooked bacon!). All in all, the restaurant carries the ethos of the resort.
You leave feeling rejuvenated from the inside out, nurturing yourself with wholesome food, wellness-minded spa treatments, and fitness with an emphasis on feel-good movement. It’s a welcome changeup from vacations that leave you feeling crummy (too many frozen cocktails, not enough sleep) and in need of another vacation to reset your mind and body.
Should you want to venture off the resort, check out our 4-day weekend guide to Miami for an itinerary full of unique activities, culinary hot spots, and can’t-miss bars.