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Making Waves

By: Mary Bemis
Posted: July 22, 2008, from the March 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

While water therapies are at the core of the spa experience, they’ve taken a back seat to other types of treatments at spas in the United States as the industry has grown and defined itself. There was a time, not so long ago, when spa-goers shied away from hydrotherapies—but not anymore. State-of-the-art hydrotherapy tubs and showers, along with water as a design element, are making waves in the spa industry. Elaborate water circuits are being built at resort spas as never before. Here are a few good examples of this trend.

The Spa at The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Duane Hagadone, owner of The Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho, doesn’t do anything lightly. So it’s no surprise that when he decided to build a new spa to celebrate his resort’s 20th anniversary, he hired one of the industry’s best: Tag Galyean of The TAG Studio in Lewisberg, West Virginia. Galyean is noted for his spa designs at The Greenbrier, The Hotel Hershey, The Broadmoor and Turnberry Isle Resort, among others. The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s spa, which officially opened for business this past June, cost $11 million and put Coeur d’Alene on the resort spa map.

“I wanted to have one of the top resort spas in the country,” Hagadone says. “Tag’s name kept resurfacing, so I called him. We’ve been in the top 10 with two of the leading golf magazines for our golf course, and I wanted to parallel that with our spa.”

The original spa, which opened 10 years ago, was small but successful—it was turning away 20 to 40 guests per day, according to Hagadone. “The Northwest is growing very rapidly,” he notes. “Coeur d’Alene is one of the fastest-growing communities in the country. People have discovered fresh water lakes, and we have 120 miles of shoreline. That ties into our resort and spa experience.” It all goes back to the lake.

Galyean took his design cues from Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding wilderness and played upon the water and nature themes throughout the two-level, 30,000-square-foot spa. River rock pebbles, cut stone and fresh Western red cedar planks are welcoming, natural surfaces. The planks line the walls of the spa’s entrance and are replaced regularly so that the fresh-cut scent of cedar always wafts through the air, greeting guests. Glass, copper and slate are evident throughout, as well.