Guests will enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences found only at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.
By Valerie Westen Furr | Photos by Nick Garcia
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers much more than just a spectacular location. Although the South Florida attractions, turquoise water and warm sand nearby make for an ideal destination, the 1-year-old resort offers even more to make every guest’s stay unforgettable. Whether visiting for a family vacation, weekend getaway or business trip—or for an extended stay—the dining options, on-site activities and exclusive spa menu are enough to fill the days without ever having to leave the premises.
Enjoying fine food is an important aspect of any trip and The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers a wide range of dining options and diverse flavors to satisfy all palates at any time of the day.
“We take a lot of pride in selecting and preparing the food we are going to serve to our guests,” says Guntram Merl, director of food and beverage.
At Atlantico, guests start their days with indoor and outdoor table options and the choice of buffet or a la carte breakfast meals. The first meal of the day becomes a delicious occasion at the sun-filled dining spot, which also offers breathtaking views of the beach.
The resort’s signature restaurant, J&G Grill, led by chef de cuisine Richard Gras, offers a 180-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean from its floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a fusion of flavors from star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Its refined, modern decor combined with a changing menu of one-of-a-kind dishes will make any lunch or dinner a meal to remember. The restaurant also has a tasting menu and on-demand wine pairing for any of the items ordered.
Merl says that the restaurant’s most popular menu items include the black truffle pizza with fontina cheese and the local red snapper, which is encrusted with nuts and seeds and served with sweet and sour jus. For dessert, he recommends the warm chocolate cake with a vanilla ice cream accompaniment.
For a more casual dining option between sunbathing sessions, guests can enjoy an outdoor setting with pool and beach views at Fresco Beach Bar & Grill. The lighter-fare dishes and signature cocktails, such as the chilled cucumber soup and Fresco mojito, are great options for guests to reinvigorate themselves before diving back into the blue.
In addition to fine dining at the resort’s restaurants, the St. Regis staff also creates custom dining experiences. Chef Concierge Brian Bean and his team are available to plan bespoke lunches or dinners upon request. For a private catered dinner alfresco, the concierge team arranges everything from a romantic sunset meal on the oversized balcony of a guest’s room—complete with a personal visit by the chef himself—to preparing a picnic basket for the beach.
“Most guests’ unique experiences are of the romantic variety,” Bean says. “Once, a guest having dinner on the terrace had a biplane fly by at a scheduled time with a ‘Will you marry me’ sign.”
Not to be overlooked, the recently completed St. Regis Bar and Wine Vault offers a lounge-style atmosphere for guests to relax and enjoy international wines or sip signature drinks such as the Bal Harbour Bloody Sunrise, a local twist on the bloody mary created at The St. Regis New York in 1934. The St. Regis Bar also features live Latin jazz music every evening, which sets the mood for a sophisticated meeting, romantic date or friendly get-together. Guests can order elegant and easily shareable food from the bar’s appetizer menu, including three artisanal cured Spanish hams, Angus beef and foie gras sliders, miniature tuna burgers with ginger aioli and grilled Mediterranean octopus.
A must-see event at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is the Champagne sabering ritual, a nightly celebration that kicks off the evening in a dramatic way. This technique, which first became popular in France when Napoleon’s army celebrated his victories with Champagne and opened the bottles with their sabers, is used at St. Regis Hotels & Resorts around the world.
“The Champagne sabering ritual exudes history,” bar manager Bora Stankovic explains. “There is a certain nostalgia that comes with the sabering that guests love. They transcend time as they are transported back to The St. Regis New York, where Lady Astor invited her closest friends to enjoy Champagne sabered by her personal butler at the first address. At The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, this ritual has become a legacy showing our guests they, in turn, have become our closest friends.”
There is perhaps no better way to relax between meals than by taking some time to be pampered by the professionals at Remède Spa. Remède, which is French for “remedy,” is a fitting term to describe the exceptional treatments offered at the tranquil sanctuary. The relaxation begins the moment guests walk into the spa, where the cozy atmosphere, organic feel and serene ambience transports them to a Zen-like place.
Guests are assigned their own attendants, who are there to respond to their every need. After offering welcome beverages, the attendants escort guests to the lockers and designated treatment areas. Remède Spa is divided into three main areas: women, men and couples. Each area has a lounge where guests can relax before and after their services with complimentary dry fruits and other refreshments. The spa also features a hair salon, manicure and pedicure stations, 11 treatment rooms, steam rooms and saunas. The facilities offer amenities such as a whirlpool for women and a rain shower for men, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate even after the treatment.
One popular attraction at Remède Spa is the couple’s suite, which features a private area to spend a quiet moment with a loved one. Couples can experience treatments together such as the Remède Spa Shared Indulgence, Body Buff Bath and Coral Gemstone Massage for Two. Between treatments, guests can relax in the warm water of the oversized soaking tub.
Kadir Marrero, spa operations manager, wants his guests to experience the spa and leave feeling renewed and rejuvenated. “Guests should feel more grounded, balanced and a better version of themselves,” he says. He especially recommends that anyone with chronic pain or sleeping disorders come experience the luxurious and relaxing services that the specially trained therapists can offer.
Many of the treatments, such as the popular Bal Harbour Brilliance Massage, incorporate Indian techniques that focus on the chakras, or vital force centers, and marma points. Marma points are positions on the body where veins, arteries, tendons, bones and joints meet, which correspond to the chakras. The goal of these techniques is to reinstate proper balance using long strokes and light pressure points to release any blockage of energy.
Marrero, a 12-year professional in the spa industry, designed the unique massage himself. He recommends arriving at least 30 minutes early to enjoy the luxurious facilities. The 75-minute service starts with a foot soaking ritual in a bowl of stones and crystals to induce relaxation. Once on the massage table, the treatment is customized to each individual’s needs, focusing on the chakras and marma points to help relieve stress and eliminate negative energy. Gemstones are also placed on the body to provide energy and a complete sense of well-being.
Another service recommended by Marrero is a 90-minute Remède signature treatment, the Bal Harbour 24-Karat Designer Facial. It uses 11 age-defying remedies including Gold Flash firming serum, gold sugar scrub and gold oil as well as the rare Hungarian Moor mud. This treatment leaves skin feeling rejuvenated and radiant, Marrero says.
Before leaving the spa, guests can enjoy Champagne and chocolate truffles in one of the lounges, particularly the co-ed lounge, which opens up to the pool. Guests can also extend the experience by renting one of the poolside cabanas reserved exclusively for spa customers, which can be used before, between and after treatments, and from which lunch served by the Fresco Beach Bar & Grill can be enjoyed.
Shop and Play
The concierge service at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort includes a dedicated team of five concierges certified by Les Clefs d’Or, a national professional organizations that upholds the highest standards of guest service. Bean and his team handle everything from restaurant and event reservations to fulfilling more unusual requests like chartering yachts and planes.
“If it’s legal, ethical and within the guest’s budget, there’s nothing we can’t provide,” Bean says.
The Bal Harbour Shops, located across from the resort, is a shopping destination that guests will not want to miss. The concierge team can schedule personal shoppers to help guests select perfect outfits from the most famous designer names in the world, such as Chanel, Michael Kors, Gucci and Balenciaga. It is an easy walk across the street to reach the shops or the concierge can arrange complimentary transportation via the resort’s Bentley to the center. The St. Regis has an exclusive relationship with the Bal Harbour Shops and can arrange for purchases to be delivered to guest rooms upon request.
After an afternoon of shopping, guests can enjoy South Florida’s weather, clear waters and smooth white sand at the resort’s Oceanfront Day Villas. These cabanas, located adjacent to the pool with ocean views, are an ideal way to enjoy a day in the sun. They feature air-conditioning and private showers as well as private butlers and complimentary Champagne. The concierge service can also arrange for a gourmet meal to be served in the villa.
The elite concierge team can coordinate any other activity within the St. Regis or nearby. “We love challenges,” Bean says. “We pride ourselves in forging relationships so that wherever our guests go, they receive extra attention.”
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is the destination for many local activities, but within its premises are many exclusive experiences only available to guests and residents. Whether you want to enjoy a culinary experience in your suite provided directly by one of the resort’s renowned chefs, a customized spa experience or a day in the sun with personalized service, you will find it here. The resort provides experiences that go above-and-beyond to ensure all of its guests enjoy unforgettable moments.