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Hip and Delicious

By Dianna Sanchez
Posted On Oct 18, 2011

By: Barbara Perkins

Bliss spa in Fort Lauderdale’s W Hotel hits the reset button, leaving the ubiquitous, new age-y spa vibe behind.

No sophomore jinx at Fort Lauderdale’s W Hotel: Now in its second year, the contemporary hotspot with its rooftop pool and beachfront location continues to draw a crowd. East meets West through the interior of this hip hotel with its flickering candles, trickling waterfalls and oodles of well-placed Asian-influenced art that simply exude Zen.

Not so at Bliss. Located just beyond the main lobby, directly across from the hotel’s well-edited boutique, a friendly and exuberant staff bops behind the registration desk slash beauty supply store, ready to welcome guests. The Fort Lauderdale outlet is one of 21 locations in the ever-expanding Bliss brand portfolio. Tapping into a retro 1950s Florida motif, Bliss hits a playful note at this 4,000-square-foot facility. With the exception of the five treatment rooms’ entirely white aesthetic, Bliss nails the space with a rousing color palette.

Bold and lively, the narrow hallway leading to the back is plastered with a combo of beach scenes and Orange Crushinspired wallpaper. Front walls dazzle–seemingly endless rows and colors of nail polish in bottles that appear suspended in mid air–cleverly and artfully arranged into a floor-to-ceiling custom-designed Plexiglass wall.

With a dozen or so teak lockers, a caution on swiping robes and a few posted “shhhh” signs, the changing areas are clean, efficient and chock-full of Bliss-brand products. The only real downside here is the sauna and whirlpool–both MIA–leaving you to rough it with only a steam shower. Precious pre-treatment time lands you in a micro-lounge. Here, too, a small space is saved by amenities: warm tea, sparkling lemon-lime water and a surprisingly current selection of magazines. As for nibbles, pass on the cucumber slices and head straight to the OMG-how-yummy-are-these brownie bars.

We inhaled two of them before our therapist came calling, fetching us for what we expected to be a good old-fashioned full-body massage. As it turned out, our go-to treatment here is considered the spa’s signature service–the 75-minute “blissage.” A client fave—and now ours, too—it began with a “pinch-me-because-I-must-be-dreaming” foot wrap, followed by an extreme stress-slaying session. Having experienced those therapeutic instances whereby one hour’s calculated equivalent is 50 minutes, you can imagine our delight with a “bonus” 25. The heated massage table and Jack Johnson tunes were not hard to take either.

A myriad of other treatments are detailed both online (where you can book appointments in “real-time”) and printed on the spa menu—a blue pocketsize booklet that is deliriously entertaining. The “No Zit Sherlock” facial, “Quadruple Thigh pass” anti-cellulite treatment, and “Nerve Whacker” aromatherapy were knee slappers. Of course, this being South Florida, there is a focus on manicure, pedicure and waxing services. A blush-inducing special the week we visited was the “He Man.” This wax treatment, according to Bliss-411, is designed especially for guys who want to remove a little off the top and sides “down there.” We understand it’s madly fashionable.

If the weather is nice, and you can pull it off, take a little more “me time” and finish up your visit as we did, on the private outdoor terrace, relaxing in a chaise lounge enjoying the ocean view.

Bliss Fort Lauderdale
401 North Fort Lauderdale
Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Telephone: (877) 862-5477
www.blissworld.com

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spas