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  1. #1
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    Default Any good fitness centers in South Beach? - Want to work out on vacation

    Are there any good health clubs/fitness centers/gyms in the Collins Ave. area? I really need to stay on top of my "game" while in South Beach for a week and need somewhere to workout at. I realize I could run,etc..along the beach, however I am a manager at a fitness center out of state and would like to attend some fitness classes,etc...at a different type of facility.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Equinox Fitness on 5th and Collins is the nicest, best facility in the beach. I know you can buy day passes there, but I'm not sure how much they run. Barack Obama was working out there last time he was in town.

    Crunch on 12th and Washington is good too. There are a variety of smaller gyms in the area too, but these two are the nicest. Also, which hotel are you staying in? Some of them have extensive gyms that are very nice.

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    Great Thanks! We're staying at Dezerland Resort and Spa. What's the scoop on it?

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    The one around 83rd street? I stayed there a few years ago - it's not a bad place, but nothing fancy, either. Clean, slightly outdated decor.

    I just liked that it was good rates for an ocean-front room.

  5. #5
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Hi aerofit, if you're staying at the Dezerland, you'll be nowhere near South Beach! You're actually in Surfside.

    The Dezerland has a really kitschy Russian-shvitz style spa with some clunky fitness machines. There's also some yoga classes. There is a gorgeous running path starting at the hotel that goes all the way to Bal Harbour and right next door is a park with a fitness trail.

    Here are a couple of gyms in North Beach -

    Extreme Gym
    230 71st St
    (305) 866-8664

    This one is closest to the Dezerland -

    Island Fitness
    9448 Harding Ave
    (305)993-4111

  6. #6
    Suzanne C
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    Hey Aerofit.

    I've heard* the David Barton Gym is tight.

    *I'm not a gym fan and prefer to exercise outside.

  7. #7
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    Are you serious.....is Dezerland really in Surfside? We were told it was in South Beach! I"m going to be pissed! The address is 8701 Collins Ave. What area is Surfside? Is it ghetto?

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    Yes, that's Surfside - it's not ghetto, but it's not South Beach. You're like at the upper end of mid-beach.

  9. #9
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Aerofit, I'm so sorry - it sounds like it's a bait and switch type situation. A lot of hotels seem to say this, but in reality, if you're a tourist on vacation, it's not a practical distance from South Beach.

    The Dezerland is right at city limits between Miami Beach and Surfside. The neighborhood just before the hotel is technically North Beach. Surfside is a sleepy little coastal area that's mostly condo-hotel/residential homes. It also has a significant Jewish community with a big temple, so it's very family-oriented.

    Just north of Surfside is Bal Harbour, with its famous mall -- all high-end luxury retail. Bal Harbour is sort of Stepford -- everything is frou-frou and highly manicured. It's a very expensive area. I don't want to knock these towns though -- they're pretty, clean and safe. All this is fine if you want to have a very quiet, meditative vacation in a largely residential area, but you won't see any of the exuberant, energetic and also gritty, colorful street life of South Beach. So you get the picture ... what could be ideal for some, could be downright boring for others.

    North Beach is nothing like South Beach either. Some parts of it are ghetto. The best part of North Beach is the park right next door to the Dezerland - North Shore Recreation Area. It does have a nice beach (water-wise).

    The nicest commercial/entertainment areas near the Dezerland are the few restaurants located on Harding Avenue just south of 125th street and then the area immediately around the bandshell on Collins around the '70s. But again, this is NOTHING like South Beach.

    Did you plan on spending a lot of time hanging out in South Beach? You may want to consider finding a different place to stay -- anywhere south of 23rd street. Otherwise you'll have to rent a car, take a cab or bus down to South Beach to go back and forth. And parking can get pricey in South Beach. Also consider that the gyms mentioned by others here are all in South Beach. There were a couple more I didn't even bother mentioning because the distance from the Dezerland to South Beach seemed unrealistic if there were other gyms near the Dezerland.

  10. #10
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    I recommend just cabbing it down there at this point. Unles you can get a good deal on a hotel further south, it'll be ultimately cheaper than renting a car and parking, and much less aggrivating than waiting for a bus on vacation.

    Just FYI South Beach ends around 22nd street.

  11. #11
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerofit
    Are you serious.....is Dezerland really in Surfside? We were told it was in South Beach! I"m going to be pissed! The address is 8701 Collins Ave. What area is Surfside? Is it ghetto?
    Aerofit: Hope you have a fantastic time in Miami Beach. I've been to the Dezerland for the Nirvana Health Spa. Thats the kitschy schivtz establishment Maria's talking about. I've never seen so many funky steam and sauna rooms in one place. I must say I experienced the best therapeutic massage I've ever had in my 52 years on this Earth! And, should you decide to try out the spa, I say try it on your last day. I assume you are flying to and from Miami. Most hotels make you vacate your room no later than 1100. So, if you have a late flight you can get in a great workout, maybe experience one of their great massages and then be able to clean up at a leisurely pace.
    I did not stay at the Dezerland however, here is my assessment. Based on what I saw and smelled this is how I'd rate it based on the 1 to 10 star system with 10 being great and 1 being you know what.

    Staff Courtesy: *******
    Location: ***** A 10 to 15 minute ride to South Beach, limited choice of restaurants in neighborhood. However area not a ghetto.

    Cleanliness: ***** Building is old from 1952 Looks older. In the lobby, there's the unique pungent odors of the greasy restaurant and the smells from the Spa. The spa has "Platza" leaves for beating the flesh combined with all the odors from the saunas and steam rooms create a distinct powerful smell.

    Restaurant: ** Smells like a greasy spoon or the snack bar at your local K-Mart. I've heard the food is mediocre at best. I'd avoid it.

    Pool: ***** Satisfactory but water was cloudy. I did an aquatic workout in it when I patronized the spa.

    Spa: ******* Staff friendly and informative facilities are worn. Locker room poorly air conditioned.

    Elevators: ZERO STARS! Three elevators look like the originally were the type with the wire doors and an elevator operator. Agonizingly slow! Avoid a high floor. Usually in a mid to high rise hotel I like to be high for the view but those elevators!

    Overall Look: **** This place has not aged gracefully. The hallways look like the ancient corridors at my alma matter the University of Maryland at College Park and I graduated back in 1979 when the dorms were the originals. Old and dingy.

    Rooms: ******* For a property this old and worn the rooms actually look much better than the commons areas.

    Overall I'd rate the Dezerland ***** Here's a link to Trip Advisor that will give you all the "411" on this hotel. Price wise, it's not too bad and the savings should counter balance all the not so great aspects. But remember you are in Miami Beach to see, eat, work out and most of all have fun. The hotel is just a bed and a bathroom.


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...t-adjacent.jpg
    nice jogging trail by the beach that Maria was describing.

    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...-the-messy.jpg
    Hotel Room looks no older than the Clinton Administration. I like aqua so I'm biased.


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...frigerator.jpg
    This hotel opened as the Biltmore Plaza in 1952. Need I say more?


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...e-the-poor.jpg
    The swimming pool on a good day.


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...-my-room-1.jpg
    Another Dezerland Hotel Room. Wal Mart furnishings do look cool in aqua!


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...t-to-hotel.jpg
    Not the Twilight Zone but, you have entered the kitschy Nirvana Spa with scores of ways to have your body rubbed, manipulated and steamed to a sodden noodle. One of my friends said the place looked like a fun house from a 1950's horror flick. My main bud Phil said the place smelled like feet. Tim who gave the fun house comment said the Hyperbolic O2 thing looked like something out of Final Destination III.


    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...s-trucking.jpg
    Believe it or not, this monochromatic shot of a typical corridor looks better than being there and seeing it in it's dingy glory.

    Please don't judge Miami Beach solely on this hotel! Maria, Gus, Suzy and Michelle will steer you right for a great time in Miami Beach!

    TripAdvisor

    Hotel looks like a Pez dispenser!
    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/med...ee-is-what.jpg
    http://www.hauntingfx.com/catalog/images/GC4160.jpg
    http://www.sugarcopter.com/zen-cart/images/chococat.jpg

    http://bac.the-bac.edu/~michael.b.wi...gallery-sm.JPG
    http://www.glendalehigh.com/images2/...rs-hallway.jpg
    Looks awfully close to a Dezerland guest room corridor.

























  12. #12
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Zippyjet, thank you for your thorough input and photos! Much appreciated.

    Nirvana Spa is not as nice as The Russian and Turkish Baths at the Castle Hotel. The latter is still kitschy, but not quite as the former. It also doesn't reek of feet -- as much. Plus, the gym is a little nicer and they serve good smoothies.

    In my experience at Nirvana, I had one of the worst massages ever. But you know, that all depends on the individual therapist.

    Nevertheless, doing the Russian sauna followed by a cold dunk at either spa is extremely relaxing and therapeutic.

  13. #13
    Full Member zippyjet's Avatar
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    In my experience at Nirvana, I had one of the worst massages ever. But you know, that all depends on the individual therapist.


    Maria so sorry to hear that you got rubbed the wrong way at Nirvana! We had such a great time at lunch and the time went so fast I didn't even get to my Nirvana spa experience. What type of massage did you get? I splurged on the 60 minute "Sports Massage." The therapist went deep the way I like it and took me apart and put me back together again. I had never in my life carry the positive residual effects for so long (1 week at least!)How are the prices and services at the Russian spa at the Castle? Nirvana while not cheap was within reason. The spa believe it or not is only five or six years old but, the place looks worn like it's had 20 years of hard service.And, the weight room is ultimate kitsch! Chandeliers from way back in the day adorn this dingy workout center. The lights encrusted in dust. Looks like 1950's bordello meets Liberace rumpus room! Cleanliness wise, I'd rate it in the middle 5 stars. Now, the spa on the cruise ship for cleanliness even the locker facilities was 10 stars. Overall, I get not the greatest vibes about the Dezerland property. While I myself look for the cheapest rates, I do have some standards. The Dezerland is old and looks it. It has not aged well and it seems a lot of Virgin travelers from the Continent/UK get sucked into it. Bush is a bad enough impression of our great nation. Why do we, the USA and Miami Beach need additional bad publicity? For not much more, tourists can do better. Maybe the Dezerland will get a much needed serious do over. It needs it!And, I've never seen an industrial size dryer with rust on it's front!

    Ahh such interior design for the body!

    http://nirvanaspamiamibeach.com/media/picGym.jpg

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