The Art of Wellness


The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers an all-inclusive and innovative program to stay fit and well.

By Valerie Westen Furr | Photos by Nick Garcia

Tracie Vlaun was an international model and actress before immersing herself in the world of fitness.

Wellness holds a different meaning for each individual. But although each journey to well being is unique, the ultimate goal is the same: to reach the pinnacle of physical and mental states. This summer, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort helps guests achieve their fitness, nutrition and relaxation goals with its tailored Wellness Program. The new program takes an innovative approach by matching each person with a customized multifaceted plan.

“We wanted to create a program that addressed our guests’ needs and wouldn’t let travel derail their diet and exercise routine,” says Marco Selva, the resort’s general manager. “Wellness is not about limiting life but enhancing it. We understand that wellness and health are a priority for our guests, and wanted to offer a program where anyone could take a vacation and not worry about putting on the extra pounds or [losing] their motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Husband and wife team Christopher and Tracie Vlaun, the founders of V Art of Wellness (V stands for vibrations) who helped create the Wellness Program, came from two very different backgrounds. Tracie Vlaun, an international model and actress for 15 years, began training in various forms of yoga while traveling around globe, from South Africa to Germany, where she developed new ideas incorporating her knowledge of music and spirituality.

Christopher Vlaun’s passion for fitness started in college. His interest in core training, boxing and strength conditioning led him to train collegiate and professional athletes while developing an interest in outdoor fitness. Together, the pair created routines that soon attracted an elite international clientele.

The Vlauns and St. Regis designed the resort’s first full comprehensive holistic program, which not only provides guests with an elaborated fitness program but also other key elements such as nutrition and relaxation. These three components of wellness guarantee complete rejuvenation.

Clients benefit from the outdoor-focused workouts.

A Breath of Fresh Air 

The Vlauns offer custom training that is built upon a client’s fitness level and interests. Routines include yoga sessions such as Aeroga—a blend of aerobics and yoga developed by Tracie Vlaun, beach boot camps, and stretch and sculpt. The intimate sessions change seasonally, providing variety for guests who wish to return more than once. In addition, the team offers meditation, pre- and post-natal fitness, aquatics and stand-up paddleboarding lessons, in either private groups or one-on-one sessions. Guests in town for business can also sign up for a corporate team-building class.

“Guests enjoy the personalized attention of a small group setting,” Tracie Vlaun says.

But what makes this program truly spectacular is the idyllic setting where it takes place, from the warm sands that overlook the Atlantic Ocean to the sound of relaxing waves. “One of our goals is to open our clients to natural workout experiences,” Christopher Vlaun says. “There are strong benefits to being outdoors [and] barefoot on the beach, rather than in a studio.” He adds that participants feel as if they are just playing on the beach, while their bodies are really being challenged by the uneven surface of the sand.

Private consultations for personalized nutritional and fitness advice are part of the Vlauns’ package, as are inspiring and motivational lectures about wellness and traditional and natural foods. For dedicated guests who wish to continue their journey beyond the program, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s state-of-the-art fitness center featuring cardio and weight-training equipment by Italian fitness expert, Technogym, is open around the clock, allowing clients to work out on their own schedules.

Quinoa salad from Fresco Beach Bar & Grill.

Fuel for the Body and Mind 

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s restaurants boast seasonal, local and organic ingredients in their gourmet fare, and as part of the Wellness Program, guests are directed to healthy options on the menu that will help them achieve their goals. Whether enjoying a nutritional breakfast at the Atlantico, a light and fresh lunch at Fresco Beach Bar & Grill, savory supper at the J&G Grill or even ordering from room service menu, guests have several healthy options to accommodate their tastes and dietary needs.

“Healthy options on the menus are key,” Christopher Vlaun says. “Eating natural, unprocessed and more traditional food with more nutrients is important.”

The Vlauns believe that although people in general overeat, they remain malnourished, and therefore the culinary component of the Wellness Program makes a conscious effort to provide dishes that are designed with health in mind. Delicious and healthy options at St. Regis include warm asparagus with morels, orange-dusted sea scallops and black cod with bok choy and black bean vinaigrette, as well as quinoa salad with roasted vegetables, grilled mahi mahi fish tacos or shrimp salad featuring Florida shrimp, seasonal greens avocado and citrus dressing.

Additionally, the resort goes the extra mile to ensure that guests will not be tempted: Patrons can request that their in-room mini-bars be stocked with healthy foods that are low in sodium and fat, and high in protein—coconut water, flax bars and kale chips, for example.

“The mini-bar [can be] transformed into a wellness mini-fridge,” Selva says. “It can be personalized to suit each guest’s dietary needs and arm them with heart-healthy selections so they can avoid the temptation of cookies and potato chips.”

The Wellness Program also features a specialty fresh juice plan, and for those who still want to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail, a menu of organic wines and healthy concoctions (such as the organic Thyme Square and Farmers’ Gin and Juice) is available.

Relaxation and Rejuvenation

The program would not be complete without some time spent at the spa, which wraps up the experience with services designed to complement the fitness element. Tracie Vlaun says the staff at Remède Spa is aware of the various workouts offered to clients.

“We work together,” she explains. “Every guest is unique, and they customize the treatments.”

She adds that the timing and order of each of these treatments is important, as well as pairing them correctly to create a whole experience. The spa’s extensive menu allows guests to enjoy several indulgent services, such as the Royal Muscle Rejuvenation (assists in healing bruises, joint pain, sprains and muscle pain) and Remède Customized Wrap (combats cellulite, releases muscle tension and improves skin condition). Treatments may be recommended by the Vlauns or spa staff based on the guest’s needs, or chosen directly from the menu.

The timing and order of treatments at Reméde Spa is important in creating a wellness experience.

Customized Experiences 

For those interested in an all-inclusive package, two stays have been designed thus far to provide guests with a well-rounded holistic experience while meeting individual needs.

The Recharge package, tailored specifically to each client, begins with a one-on-one consultation and private session with a personal trainer. Participants are given a choice of group fitness classes and receive a St. Regis Fitness Pack (this includes a stretch mat, water bottle and resistance bands). A post-training treatment at Remède Spa allows for guests to recuperate and feel reinvigorated.

The Renew package does just that—renews the client with a focus on balance and clearing the mind through a private, customized beach yoga session. Also included is a one-on-one session with V Art of Wellness and the fitness pack, followed by a relaxing treatment at the hands of the experienced therapists of Remède Spa.

Packages must be reserved at least seven days in advance and require a two-night stay at the resort, but the personalized attention and luxurious accommodations, as well as any additional services, are always available no matter the length of one’s stay.

The Wellness Program follows The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort’s renowned commitment to providing exceptional and bespoke experiences. Selva encourages guests to take advantage of this unique service during their stays.

“Wellness encompasses everything—dining, leisure activities, sleeping habits and even finding joyful things in your day,” he says. “So when travelers book a package through the Wellness Program, they can maintain their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying the benefits of a luxurious vacation.”

Customized mini-bars provide guests with heart-healthy snack options.

Wellness Villas

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a rigorous fitness routine offered through the resort’s new Wellness Program. The Oceanfront Day Villas, nine 600-square-foot cabanas that lay just beneath the tranquility pool, boast sweeping ocean views, an elegant ambience and array of top-notch amenities. Fully air conditioned, the spaces feature marble floors and walls with antique mirrors, a plush lounging area, wet bar, shower, flat-screen television with movies on-demand, an iPod docking station to tune into your favorite music and mini-fridge stocked with sweet treats such as fresh fruit, Champagne and bottled water. A sprawling outdoor patio features a daybed, umbrellas to shield the sun, dining table and hedges for privacy. It’s the ideal setting to sit back in a cozy terry cloth robe and slippers (also provided) and drink in the view and fresh Florida air. With uncompromising butler service, wellness clients can order any of the resort’s healthy dining menu options for in-cabana delivery.