A spa in the desert is much like a blank canvas, inviting designers to integrate the landscape within a getaway retreat. Desert Springs Resort and Spa, a JW Marriott-owned and -operated facility in Palm Springs, Calif., was designed with this in mind when it was renovated in July 2007.
The renovation of the Spa introduced decadent new suites with private showers, fireplaces, and outdoor whirlpools, for the utmost in personal luxury. All 47 treatment rooms now feature the latest in spa technology, while highly skilled and trained technicians focus on indigenous healing treatments.
The 38,000-sq. ft. facility also includes courtyards and numerous other ways for couples and groups to “spa” together—including a co-ed relaxation lounge, a deluxe couples suite, a luxurious VIP suite staffed by a personal butler, and multi-purpose treatment rooms with private relaxation lounges. These indoor/outdoor spaces serve as sanctuaries for bridal parties, girls’ getaways, and romantic relaxation.
THE GOAL:Design a spa that is heavily influenced by the landscape of the desert, with treatment rooms that are both aesthetically pleasing and operationally practical.THE PLAN:Construct an expansive facility with everything from a VIP suite with a private entrance to changing areas with Turkish hammams and digitally programmable desert rain showers.THE PAYOFF: Desert Springs Resort and Spa has booked additional spa parties and attracted more guests for its expanded services.
The newly designed entrance helps to put guests into full relaxation mode, with water features and meandering walkways. The Spa’s dressing area includes a dry sauna, wet steam room, and aromatic hamman steam chamber. The on-site fitness center offers strength and cardio equipment, along with a yoga studio that overlooks the golf course’s 17th green. And the Spa Bistro delivers healthy, delicious fare from its perch overlooking the pool and mountain vistas. A full retail shop and separate hair, manicure, and pedicure salons round out the revamped Spa experience now to be found in the desert.
When Desert Springs opted to renovate, Dawn Ferraro, Spa Director, put a great deal of focus on the treatment rooms, both dry and wet.
The dry rooms are where guests are treated to massages, facials, wraps and scrubs. They span 12 x 14 feet, as do the spa’s wet rooms for mud and algae wraps and body scrubs.
Because specific treatments take place in wet rooms, though, special design considerations were made. “Wet rooms—especially in the case of vichy treatments—can be louder than massages or facials,” Ferraro says. “They need to have floor drains properly placed and they need to be accessible to both male and female guests.”
Desert Springs’ dry treatment rooms, meanwhile, require adequate counter space to house hot cabbies, stone warmers, oil bottle heaters and a sink. So sufficient cabinet space was allotted to store spa products, towels and blankets.
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