“A journey is a great description of what a spa experience is,” says Loma Alexander, a spa consultant based in Napa Valley, California. “If we can surrender in the spa and take time out, it’s a journey away from our everyday stresses.”
Alexander, who has worked on spa projects that include a number of Auberge Resorts properties, believes it takes more than an hour to disconnect; to truly experience a journey, one must commit between three and five hours. Alexander notes that spa-goers typically don’t hang out at the spa or take advantage of amenities such as pools, steam rooms and whirlpools. “That’s where the journey occurs,” she notes, “by using the circuits and really using the space.”
Beginning the voyage
For spa director Robin Jones, the journey begins whenever a spa team member soaks the client’s feet. “This takes the client to a new place, a journey to somewhere magical,” she says. Jones, a massage therapist, is the spa director at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where the Sanctuary Journey is offered. “I believe our business is very participatory in that when the client allows the therapist to gently coax them to someplace new, either within or beyond, it truly is a journey.” The Sanctuary Journey has been on the menu since the spa opened in 2004, and was developed for the experienced spa-goer who schedules two or more services in one day.