Restore : The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Naples

The tri-level world class Ritz-Carlton Spa, Naples is an elegant oasis, designed to relax your mind, revitalize your spirit, and restore your soul in a welcoming environs surrounded with (and pampered by) nature. The Spa facilities include locker rooms (stocked with fluffy robes, towels, sandals, and every grooming item imaginable, just in case), aqua lounges, an outdoor mineral pool, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and relaxation areas (stocked with water – sparkling or flavored still, coffee, teas – both hot & iced, and small snacks including nuts). Offering treatments including massage, facials, micro-dermabrasion, eyebrow shaping, reflexology, yoga, reiki, body wraps, personal training, and more.

Mineral Pool at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples

We checked into the Spa early to change into our robes and enjoy a soak in the warm whirlpool within the aqua lounge before heading to the salon for our scheduled services. The aqua lounge also houses hot and cold plunge pools, a steam room and sauna in addition to the whirlpool, which offers an inviting bowl of iced cucumbers to soothe your eyelids, if you so desire. Just prior to your appointment, a host will find and escort you to the proper treatment area, so you won’t have to worry about a thing, including time.

Our time arrived and we were escorted to the salon for our services: one Ritz-Carlton Signature Manicure and one seasonal Citrus Summer Manicure and Pedicure Combo

The salon personnel were very welcoming (and accommodating) as we mulled over which polishes to choose, desired nail length and shape. After choosing our lacquers, we were seated in plush manicure stations beside one another.

Completed manicures, modeling Danialli Rings, available in The Gallery

One FOTF opted for the Ritz-Carlton Signature Manicure which includes exfoliation, a deep therapy mask applied then hands encased in warm mitts, completed with a nourishing moisturizer. After perusing the polish options she chose the vibrant Big Apple Red from OPI.

I chose the Citrus Summer Manicure and Pedicure Combo, a softening treatment for the hands and feet using citrus scrubs, available as a seasonal special. Starting with the manicure, my nails were expertly unpolished, shaped, filed, and buffed to a glossy sheen. Then my cuticles were fixed, the scrub applied, and my skin softened and repaired from oils of the Kukui coconut. I chose a traditional french manicure with polish in a soft pink hue by essie. Once my nails were completed, picture perfect and sealed with a quick dry shellac, I was whisked off to the pedicure area. Their pedicure stations are complete with state-of-the-art massage chairs by True Touch with a multitude of options, ranging from zones, pressure, style, and speed. My feet experienced the same expert treatment as my hands, while I played with the options on my chair, and were topped off with a coat of Midnight in Moscow, a deep purple hue by OPI.

While waiting for the polishes to fully set we headed upstairs to the mineral pool to soak up some Vitamin D before lunch. Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative and we had just settled in when the sky opened up to a torrential downpour. Heading inside for cover, we decided it was time to taste test the Spa restaurant =H20+.

=H20+ offers an array of healthy, creative all natural items for a light lunch, including: made -to-order salads, sandwiches, wraps, and smoothies. We chose to modify the House Smokey Turkey  Salad and Spinach Salad.

Upon being seated you are served a crispy crackle bread and assorted sauces including hummus, and a roasted red pepper in addition to a diced vegetable. Until we sat down to eat, I didn’t realize what a hunger I had amassed. I noshed on the cracker-like bread until our fresh heaping salads arrived.

Turkey Salad at =h20+

The House Smokey Turkey  Salad we modified contained a mix of candied squash, dried cranberries, walnuts, large pieces of smoked turkey and broccoli, atop arugula and paired with a maple vinaigrette. This robust salad balanced the smoky flavor of the turkey against the sweetness of the candied squash and vinaigrette. The walnuts imparted a distinct crunch, while the cranberries were slightly chewy resulting in an array of different textures to delight the mouth.

Spinach Salad at =h20+

The Spinach Salad we modified to include diced tomatoes, roasted pears, and marcona almonds atop fresh spinach leaves, paired with a honey mustard vinaigrette. This salad satisfied our sweet tooth while also introducing a copious amount of nutrients. The roasted pears were yielding and decadent, a nice accompaniment to the crisp marcona almonds. The dressing on this, house-made honey mustard was the perfect consistency and just sweet enough, but not too much so. After we headed home, I ended up wishing I had asked if it was available for purchase.

This small restaurant fills up quickly, especially in the rain, but their service is quick and efficient. On better (non-monsoon) days outdoor dining is also an option.

Finishing up our meal we headed downstairs to spend time in the relaxation area before heading back to the aqua lounge where we blissfully reclined until closing time. The Spa was tranquil with a handful of other patrons cycling through throughout the day, as it is only available to guests and members of the Ritz-Carlton. If you are in search of a elegant private oasis, look no further.
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The Ritz-Carlton is now offering a summer Spa-Cation package until September 30,2011. You are invited to relax and restore your senses with their unparalleled service coupled with rejuvenating treatments at the Spa.

The package includes: Overnight accommodations in a coastal view room, a $200 Spa Credit per night, and Lunch for Two in the Spa’s new =H20+ wellness eatery (per night).

Click here for information on the Ritz-Carlton, Naples Spa-Cation deal.

Click here for the previous post about Resort Activities at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples.

The Ritz-Carlton Naples
280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd.,
Naples, FL 34108 USA
Phone:  (239) 598-3300
www.ritzcarlton.com

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Venezuelan Comfort Food: Eats Good 33 – Ft.Lauderdale, FL

Today as I struggled to adequately express myself in my review of the uber-luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Naples Resort (coming soon, I promise!) I turned where I often do in times of stress: comfort food. I stepped away from my desk and into a cozy little restaurant hidden in a row of warehouses off McNab Rd. in Ft.Lauderdale, highly recommended by a fellow foodie. The place, Eats Good 33. Their motto: Tasty, fresh, healthy, and affordable food for you to enjoy. I can work with that.

With an extensive menu spanning breakfast, arepas, soups, burgers, panini, pasta, wraps, salads, side orders, desserts, and daily specials, it can take some time to decide, so I started with a refreshing freshly blended Watermelon Juice while pondering the selections. It was light, refreshing, and naturally sweet.

Eats Good 33: Fresh Watermelon Juice

What I ate: Once I heard the lunch special, Asado Negro, a Venezuelan masterpiece marinated and cooked for 6 hours and topped with brown sugar, I was sold. The incredibly tender rump roast drowning in the sweet sugar sauce accompanied with quinoa and minced veggies arrived quickly despite their conspicuous wall hangings that urge patrons to be patient. (Note: I arrived at 1:30, so I quite possibly missed the rush, or experienced exceptionally good lunchtime karma.) Even if I had to wait 30 minutes for this dish, I gladly would have. It achieved the comfort food status I was looking for this afternoon, and that could not be rushed. If the Asado is on special when you visit, I highly recommend.

Eats Good 33: Asado Negro

Anyone who follows the FOTF Girls on a regular basis knows we can’t pass up dessert. Today was no exception. In theme with comfort food, I ordered the Chocolate Marquesa, a Venezuelan dessert with maria cookies soaked in milk and rum between layers of heavenly dark chocolate. I’ve found a new obsession.The waiter joked that if I couldn’t finish the dessert, he would be happy to pack it up for me to take home. This wasn’t needed, the plate was practically licked clean and I had to restrain myself at that.

Eats Good 33: Chocolate Marquesa

What I thought: The food was ah-maz-ing. The staff is very polite and helpful. There is a warm vibe inside that makes you feel like you are coming home, and regular patrons are welcomed back. Which I most definitely will be. Comfort food with a Venezuelan kick, and only 7 minutes from my desk, this could be trouble…

Eats Good 33
6882 NW 20th Ave
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309
ph. 954.956.4480
orders@eatsgood33.com