The phrase tierra santa means “holy land” in Spanish. For guests of Tierra Santa Healing House at Faena Hotel Miami Beach, spending time at this unique retreat is certainly a sacred experience. In a crowded south Florida spa landscape, this original sanctuary stands out for its artistic inspiration and distinctive design, its meaningful signature services, and its South American flair. “Drawing from ancient wisdom from South America and our team of experts who are well-versed in modern and alternative medicine, we created a holistic sanctuary designed to awaken consciousness and restore wellbeing, which we see as something new for North America,” says Agustina Caminos, Faena’s operations director for spa development.
The spa name and concept are inspired by hotelier Alan Faena’s picturesque seaside beach house, which is located in the rustic village of Punta del Este on the Uruguayan coast. It is there he spends tranquil, restorative days filled with long walks, twice daily training and yoga, and daily meditation. It’s this unique combination of holistic healing, fitness, and relaxation that has become the philosophy for Tierra Santa Healing House.
Like the rest of the hotel, art is also integral to the Tierra Santa experience. The hotel is part of a larger Faena District, a reimagined neighborhood where art and culture thrive and that also serves as a mecca for events and activities surrounding the acclaimed Art Basel art fair that descends annually upon the area. This creative vibe also extends into the spa. Argentinean artist Juan Gatti created a pattern exclusively for Tierra Santa that is featured on the walls of the couples’ treatment room and in the waiting room. Another standout in the vaulted, window-filled waiting room space is a stunning chandelier called “Float” made of 500 fishing lures. Additionally, cushions, pillows, and other embroidered accents found throughout the spa were custom-made in South America and commissioned and designed by Carolina Kleinman of Carolina K.
The retail area is equally inspired and serves as the only retail space within the property. It offers a revolving collection of handcrafted treasures and South American-inspired clothing, hats, purses, and jewelry. “Most products are sourced by design, created by local and international artisans, and made using the highest quality material,” says Caminos. “The retail offerings are an additional extension of the Faena philosophy—bringing something unique, beautiful, inspired, and tied to South America.”
Also unique to Tierra Santa are the services and spa experience itself. Prior to treatments in one of the spa’s 11 treatment rooms, guests are encouraged to partake in the extensive Wet Spa area. In this space, which features a hammam with a single slab of Amazonite from Brazil in its center, a steam room, a waterfall, an ice chamber, a sauna, a tepidarium, and two Wet Scrub rooms, spa-goers are encouraged to take a journey through varying temperatures to promote relaxation and detoxification.
It’s the ideal way to prep for one of the spa’s signature services, ranging from customized facials using Biologique Recherche products to massages using Naturopathica products to the aromatic Hammam Rose Ritual ($400, 2 hours), which was created by lead trainer Marsida Keskin using her years of experience working as a healer in Turkey. The Tree of Life Vibrations ($400, 2 hours), a nature-inspired session, is one of the Healing Arts services and takes place on a heated quartz table from Gharieni and involves singing-bowl sound therapy and signature Tierra Santa Sacred Oils poured along the spine. Other Healing Arts options include The Sacred Warrior ($400, 2 hours), which involves warmed indigo poultices and lapis lazuli from Chile, and the Palo Santo & Sound Bowls ($400, 2 hours), which uses oils from the sacred South American Palo Santo tree and seven sound bowls selected by the spa’s resident shaman.
Further highlighting Tierra Santa’s role as a haven of holistic healing are the partnerships and expert staff. Much of the menu was created via collaboration with Mexican healer Carlos Gomez, who created the Healing Arts services and trains the team on properly incorporating indigenous Latin American methods. Medical partners include Juan Rivera, M.D., a Johns Hopkins-trained internist and cardiologist who runs the preventative medicine program; Matthew Cooper, M.D., a digestive health specialist and enzyme therapist; cosmetic dermatologist Roberta del Campo, M.D.; and physical therapy guru Kevin Mills, D.P.T., from USA Sports Therapy.
On-site yoga sessions are led by experts from the Miami Life Center, and offerings like hosted meditations, family constellations workshops, and wellness lectures are all available to contribute to the overall wellbeing of guests. And the Faena team of 22 full-time and five part-time members has every intention of maintaining this collaborative, healing environment. Says Caminos, “We will continue our mission to offer the best spa treatment and experiences while regularly offering new and innovative workshops and collaborations to provide our guests with a healing space for personal transformation.”
Operations Director for Spa Development
60% female; 40% male
20,000 square feet; 11 treatment rooms
Biologique Recherche, China Glaze, Essie, Majestic International, Naturopathica, OPI, Rossano Ferretti, Soleil Toujours, Tierra Santa Sacred Oil Collection
Gharieni, Living Earth Crafts, OkaB, Spa Soft, Technogym, TOMS, Ty Robes