Amidst the shops, bustle and sun of South Beach, Fla., lies a tranquil place for guilt-free indulgence. Every day is Earth Day at the Uhma Spa & Shop, where creator Debora Leia Almeida decided to share her eco-conscious lifestyle with her community. The 1,750 square feet (163 m2) of Uhma Spa & Shop, whose name comes from the Portuguese word “uma,” meaning “one,” is split between spa and retail space.
Upon entering, guests experience an outdoor flair. The retail space features a hand-carved American walnut wall adorned with shelves that hold gifts, organic skin-care and bath-and-body products, and the shop’s signature jewelry line by Brazilian artist Adriana Bittencourt.
Uhma Spa & Shop offers an array of massages, facials, healing baths, wraps and body polishes. Therapists combine contemporary techniques with traditional Ayurveda—a holistic system of medicine from India—and European aroma therapy, along with ancient treatment practices from a variety of cultures.
Products are environmentally friendly. Manicures and pedicures use nontoxic polishes and are waterless. Only 100 percent natural, organic products are used for face and body treatments.
Bamboo floors and ambient lighting that mimics natural sunlight bring elements of nature inside. Facilities include a waiting area, two manicure/pedicure thrones with head-to-toe massage, silent and private treatment rooms with a Vichy shower, a couple’s room, and a wet room equipped with a pipeless whirlpool bathtub and shower.
Throughout construction, everything already in the building was recycled, reused or donated. The original ceiling was incorporated into the current design to maximize insulation and minimize energy use. All paints are VOC free, and epoxy coatings in the shop are water based. Metal halide, light-emitting diodes and compact-fluorescent bulbs make up the lighting system. Appliances are Energy Star rated, gas is used for water heating, and all faucets and toilets are low flow.
The Uhma Spa & Shop demonstrates that pampering sore muscles and rejuvenating worn skin can be done with a light environmental footprint.
Uhma Spa & Shop
726 Sixth St., South Beach, FL 33139 / (305)695-0996 / www.uhmaspa.com